Installing a Drywall Access Panel

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    Sometimes there is a need to have access to pipes or other things that hide within our homes walls. The easiest way to provide a clean looking solution is to install a plastic access panel.

    They come in a variety of sizes.
    Install with only a few simple tools.
    Can be painted to match your wall.

    In our example we are building a basement wall. Behind the wall is our waste line clean-out.

    To be able to access the pipe at a later time we find the smallest access panel we can.

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    Before we installed the piece of drywall covering the pipe we took measurements from the floor up and from the wall on the right side to the center of the pipe fitting.

    With a drywall saw cut a small opening just to check that the pipe is found.

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    Place the frame of the access panel on the wall and draw a line around the inside of the opening. You will need to cut the opening slightly larger then the line you draw so the frame will fit into the drywall.

    Now just cut out the drywall.

    Give the frame a test fit to make sure the opening in the drywall is large enough.

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    Apply Construction adhesive on the back of the frame.

    Press the frame into place then remove it so you can make sure that adhesive is contacting all around the opening.

    It is important to have a good glue bond all around the opening because when you use the access panel later the glue will need to withstand the prying needed to get the cover off.

    Now that we have checked the glue and the panel seems to fit ok insert the frame and then insert the panel cover.

    You can use a few pieces of tape to hold the cover in place until the construction adhesive drys overnight.

    Check the directions for your access panel to see how latex paint should be applied. You may not need to use a primer on the plastic so when you prime your wall you should stay away from the access panel.

    Thats about it. You now have access to the pipe behind the wall.

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