Is a sink or toilet shut-off valve behind an access panel approved by code?

Thursday, October 15, 2020

The International Plumbing Code (IPC) allows a fixture shut-off valve to be in an accessible location. Accessible is defined as “access that requires the removal of an access panel or similar removable obstruction.” So the shut-off valve behind a removable panel in the wall next to the toilet is acceptable.

    But the installation shown above has another problem. According to IPC 604.5 “the supply pipe shall extend to the wall behind the fixture.” So, although the shut-off is okay, the pipe has to protrude from the wall before the compression fitting and flexible hose can be connected—which it doesn’t.  

    Irregardless of code, this installation does not meet normal plumbing trade standards. A leaking shut-off valve or compression fitting in the wall would not be noticed until water began puddling in the adjacent rooms. 

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Here’s links to a collection of our blog posts about SHUT-OFF VALVES: 

How do I find the main water shut off valve for my house?

How do I shut off the main water service in a mobile/manufactured home?

• Where do I find the main water shut-off valve for my condominium?

• Does a home inspector check and test shut-off valves?

 Which plumbing fixtures require water shut off valves in a home? 

 Is a hot water faucet required at a washing machine?

 Does a refrigerator water supply line require a shutoff valve behind it?

 Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater?

 Is a shut off valve in-line on a supply line to a plumbing fixture acceptable? 

Is a shut-off valve required at the cold water inlet to a mobile home water heater?

• What is the average life expectancy of plumbing fixture water shut-off valves? 

 Is it alright to have a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes at a water heater? 

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