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, as shown above, is acceptable.
But this installation 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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