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Access panel and clean-out
When a home is built, the architect and builder should always make provisions for future maintenance. Unfortunately, altogether too often, this is one place where corners are cut. One of these details is access to plumbing components. This means plumbing access panels in the walls.

These panels allow the homeowner to get to the tub water supply and drain, and the manifold (hot/cold water mixer). The access panel is generally located on the other side of the wall in a closet. But what if you have to do a repair and you search high and low for a panel and find nothing?

Well, you're just going to have to cut into the drywall -- but plan in advance. Before doing a thing, head out to the local home improvement store and pick up a plastic snap-in access panel. This type needs no framing and will only set you back about $12.00. Just cut the hole in the drywall and it snaps in!

You'll need to locate the spot in the closet where you need to cut. Then locate the studs with a stud-finder closest to the cut-point between adjacent studs. Mark the wall, open it up with a drywall saw, make the repair, and snap in the plastic access panel. Easy as pie!


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