Main water shut-off valve access panel

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pakle

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So I got the main water shut-off valve replaced a few months ago (see previous post in Feb), and am trying to figure a way to fix up the wall with access (so I can check for leaks) and not patch the drywall. It's been suggested that I look into a 'plumbing access panel' but the pipe sticking out to the water heater is posing a problem for any door. The hole is also somewhat irregular, ~9"x14" at the widest points, but that's more minor. See pictures.

Have you guys seen any creative solutions for this in your home visits? I've been asking my handyman to come up with something for months, but I don't think he knows what to do. Would love to hear your ideas to push this project along. It's been sealed up as tight as a drum with cardboard and tape since Feb so time for a more permanent solution. Thanks for all your help as always!
 

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arctic bill

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I would just cut a round hole around the valve and the fill in the rest. the location appears to be a furnace room or equipment room so there is no need to hide everything. I would put the handle back on the valve.
 

JG plumbing

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Your saying there is a valve hiding behind the cardboard?

If so fix the drywall and get a couple of escutcheons. Then cut the access panel somewhere where you can reach the valve but not where the pipe penetration will interfere. You might have to reach over a little one way or another to operate the valve, but it's fine as long as it's doable in an emergency.
 

Twowaxhack

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I would fit the drywall around it the best I could then finish it and paint it. Or use a thin plywood.
 

CT18

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They make extensions for valve handles. We use them when the pipe is insulated. You extend the handle past the drywall
 

pakle

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I've been crowdsourcing ideas as an alternative to patching drywall around the valve handle, and someone came up with this design in the picture. They suggested the top 2 pieces be plywood but I'm thinking about some sort of white flexible plastic mat that I can cut out the pipe hole with scissors and put weatherstripping on the back. Picked up a couple access panels from Home Depot and will present to the handyman next time to see what he thinks. Might need to build a frame out, we'll see. Thanks all!
 

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Zanne

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You might be able to find some PVC sheets and then put an oatey access panel underneath where the pipe sticks out. If you weren't too picky you could use the lid from a plastic container and cut it to fit around the pipe.
 

JG plumbing

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I've seen this with checker plate. I don't like the seam in the middle.
 

Zanne

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Maybe the seam can be covered over with caulk and/or paint?
 

FishScreener

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main shut off valves are rarely needed. But, when you need to use them, you needed to turn it off twenty minutes ago.

DO NOT BURY THE SHUT OFF. EVER, EVER, EVER.

I would build a nice box around the installation, with a HDPE cover, attached with a few super magnets.

One of the guys who used to work for me, would do dry wall at the top, with an escutcheon around the pipe, and then install a commercial access panel to cover the shutoff valve.

His solution will make the wife and architect happy. My solution will make other engineers, and the next tradesman who needs to work on it happy. Mine is a brute force, gonna work for ever, solution. His is much more aesthetic. To me having the pipe come out of the wall killed all potential of making it look clean tidy, and aesthetically pleasing. So, I would bruce force it.
 

Zanne

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Ah. I hadn't noticed the shutoff for some reason. I saw the one poking out up top. In that case, I would take plastic sheets that are flexible enough to bend behind the shutoff to cover the hole and insulation without impeding the movement of that valve. Then you wouldn't need an access panel. It won't look pretty but at least you'll have quick access to the shut off.
If you still want a cover for it, go buy a plastic box with a lid from Dollar Tree to put in the hole and cut it for any pipes that need to go through it. Caulk around any gaps-- set it so the lip protrudes out of the wall enough for the lid to sit on it. Need to access that lever, pop the lid off and turn it (make sure box is wide enough to let it turn). I've seen people make boxes like that for AAVs
 

pakle

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main shut off valves are rarely needed. But, when you need to use them, you needed to turn it off twenty minutes ago.

DO NOT BURY THE SHUT OFF. EVER, EVER, EVER.

I would build a nice box around the installation, with a HDPE cover, attached with a few super magnets.

One of the guys who used to work for me, would do dry wall at the top, with an escutcheon around the pipe, and then install a commercial access panel to cover the shutoff valve.

His solution will make the wife and architect happy. My solution will make other engineers, and the next tradesman who needs to work on it happy. Mine is a brute force, gonna work for ever, solution. His is much more aesthetic. To me having the pipe come out of the wall killed all potential of making it look clean tidy, and aesthetically pleasing. So, I would bruce force it.
Thanks for all the ideas so far, guys! I like this idea of magnets actually. Four 2" wide steel bars all around and a large magnetic sheet with holes easily cut for pipe & valve, and some weatherstripping to seal any gaps. Sheet peels off easily for access. Handyman is coming mid-Sept, will see what he thinks and if he can attach the steel bars.
 

Zanne

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Anything magnetic will need to have a coating to keep it from rusting. Ferrous metal does not do well with moisture (in case of leaks) without being coated. Good luck with the panel!
 

pakle

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Just to close the loop on this. I ended up getting stainless steel magnetic strips (like for memo board) and a large magnetic sheet from the craft store. A little weatherstripping around the pipe to seal the gap, and lift the cover to access the handle (and check for leaks). I'll print a sign later that says Main water shut off. $30 total for materials.
 

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Zanne

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I'm glad you came up with a solution. It looks good! I'll have to see if they sell magnetic sheets at the nearest craft store. That is a neat idea.
 

pakle

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I'm glad you came up with a solution. It looks good! I'll have to see if they sell magnetic sheets at the nearest craft store. That is a neat idea.
Thanks Zanne! I don't mind too much the 'look' of this in the garage which isn't painted, has a large burn mark on the right, and ugly-a** holes gouged out for all the pipes. Being able to access everything means more to me. This design wouldn't fly inside, at least in my home.

Magnetic strips: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08BQZZP9D/
Magnetic sheet: Pro MAG® Magnetic Adhesive Sheet, 12" x 24"
 
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