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Installation of The Inspection Hatch or plumbing access panel

inspection hatch

Date: 09.28.2023

Written By

Editorial Staff

I am a blog scientist by the mind and a passionate blogger by heart ❤️. Fountainhead of upkeen. I am a freelance writer and lover of all things tech, crafting and general geekery. i am currently living in New York, United States.

You have probably heard of such an element of the bathroom as an inspection hatch, plumbing access panel. Yes, at first glance everyone understands why it is needed, but at the same time they do not always provide for it, which is why they face a number of troubles.

In this article, I would like to discuss with you the importance of installing a device for revising and hiding utilities, discuss the criteria for its selection, and also give step-by-step instructions for installing a plumbing hatch.

Table of Contents

Scope of the inspection hatch / plumbing access panel

Neat design is a fundamental feature of modern bathrooms and toilets. At the same time, technical devices are reliably hidden in the walls and thus do not affect the appearance of the room in any way. Regular access to pipes is not required, but sometimes situations arise in which it is necessary to inspect communications.

It is for this purpose that an inspection hatch is needed, which makes it possible to have trouble-free access to the bathroom fixtures. 

This element allows you to find a breakdown, disassemble the emergency part of the communication and make repairs without dismantling the wall. Most often they hide behind the inspection hatch:

  • counter;
  • filter;
  • ventilation system;
  • valves.

All these details, on the one hand, must be at hand, and on the other, they cannot be constantly in sight. A plumbing access panel in this case will be the most suitable option. In addition, emergencies also dictate the importance of having this device. At the time of a serious breakdown of communications, it is necessary to find its place as soon as possible and fix the problem. In this case, it will be extremely difficult to cope without an inspection door.

Also Read: Choosing materials for laying tiles in bathroom

How to choose the right plumbing access panel

I propose to consider in detail the criteria for choosing an inspection hatch, based on its varieties and sizes.

  • Plumbing hatches are: folding, swing, sliding, push, removable. The choice of a particular variety will depend on the free space in front of the hatch door and on the sides of it. They, of course, differ in their design qualities, but here it all depends on the user’s personal preferences. The most optimal, in my opinion, option is a swing hatch.
  • In addition, when choosing an inspection hatch, it is important to understand its future location, because it can be made not only in the wall, but also in the floor and ceiling.
  • The dimensions of the inspection hatch directly depend on the communications that will be hidden behind it. The more access it is necessary to provide, the correspondingly larger the hatch itself will be. In this case, you should also take into account the layout of the tiles in order to better disguise your inspection hatch.
  • Speaking of materials, it is worth noting that the more durable you need a hatch, the more it will weigh. Therefore, when creating a revision window on the ceiling, it is better to use the plastic option. It will be more vulnerable to mechanical damage, but it will be easier to open.

If you are concerned that your children can get access to communications through the created hatch, or if we are talking about public use, then you can provide a lock that will not allow you to open the door without a key. But this option is the most extreme, and, in my opinion , not so necessary for household needs. The easiest way is to purchase a model with a magnetic door or latch.

Also Read: How to hang a bathroom shelf?

Installation of the inspection hatch / plumbing access panel

First, let’s decide on the tools that you may need during the installation of the inspection hatch / plumbing access panel. So, you should stock up on the following devices:

  • Drill;
  • Screwdriver;
  • Jigsaw (if you need to make an opening in the plasterboard wall);
  • Sealant gun;
  • Putty knife;
  • Tape measure, square, masking tape, pencil and brush. 

You do not need to prepare all the described tools, because in some cases you can cope with the help of available tools. But this list is optimal and serves so that you can make your future work as easy as possible.

The work process itself can be roughly divided into 6 main steps:

  • It is necessary to insert the frame into the previously prepared opening and fix it for a while.
  • Using self-tapping screws and a screwdriver, make the final fixation of the frame in the places provided by the manufacturer.
  • Now you need to adjust the plane of the door so that it coincides with the plane of the wall. Moreover, if you are installing a door with push locks, then the door plane should protrude 2-4 mm forward.
  • Prime your door. When finishing the invisible door with tiles, it is better not to use cement glue, but to purchase assembly glue.
  • The glued tiles should go beyond the door frame from 5 to 80 mm along the perimeter of the door, and in the area of ​​the door hinges up to 50 mm. Note that when laying large tiles, you need to leave 1.5 times more gaps. After finishing the surface finish, you should open the hatch and clean the area of ​​contact of the frame with the door from excess materials used.
  • In order to make the hatch airtight and give it good sound insulation properties, it is advisable to stick masking tape on the inside and outside of the technological seam (with a gap of 2-3 mm). Next, using a pistol, a silicone sealant is applied into the existing gap. The compound should be applied so that it rises slightly above the seam surface. All that remains is to remove the tape and trim the excess sealant after it dries.

The inspection hatch can be considered ready. In order to maximize its service life, I advise you to treat hinges and hinges with silicone grease.

Also Read: Bathroom ventilation: how to do it? Free Guide!

If your bathroom is still missing a revision hatch, then be sure to take the time to install it. As you can see from the article, this device has no negative aspects, because it can be easily hidden under the tiles. At the same time, you get the opportunity of easy and quick access to your pipes, meters and other details of engineering communications.

The installation of the hatch itself is quite simple and does not take much time, and also does not require working with complex tools. Therefore, choose the optimal place and type of the future hatch, and then, in your free time, carry out its installation, because thereby you will facilitate many important tasks for yourself.

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