Best location for air tub access panel, front or floor?

Discussion in 'Shower & bathtub Forum & Blog' started by rapida, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    We are doing a bath remodel and there will be a drop-in air tub between a wall and a shower. The access panel for the motor has to be on the adjacent wall with the bedroom on the other side. I don't like the idea much. But since the the vanity cabinet will be in front of the tub on the motor side (blocking front access), and the motor is sitting on a piece of plywood almost the size of the tub (blocking access from the basement ceiling), I really have no choice. I might just put a chair in front of the panel to block the view.

    But where should I put the access panel for the plumbing? I can either put it on the floor to be serviced from below, or on the front. From the plumber's point of view, which location will make servicing easier? The tub height is 24", plus 10" floor joist space, is it hard to reach the faucets from down below?

    The tub is 32" wide, and the tub deck space is only 8" wide where the faucet sits. The shower glass panel will be sitting on this deck, and the shower will be all tiled in. Now I am planning to have the handheld positioned in the back (near exterior wall), and the tub faucet centered on the side (next to the shower). Will this make the front access panel useless should the handheld fail? If I bring the handheld to the front corner, will this block the access to the tub faucet using the front access?

    As a side note, I need to put a grill on the basement ceiling for air to come in anyway. So is it better to just make the hole a little bigger for an access panel? In this situation, where is the best location for the air tub access panel, front or floor, or do I need both?
  2. jadziedzic

    jadziedzic Member

    Messages:
    90
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    What brand of tub? MTI allows you to relocate the blower up to 8 feet away from the tub. Would that help with the access issue (assuming you can find a location for the blower)?
  3. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    The tub is a Maax Pose. I am not too worried about the access to the motor since it's sheet rock on the other side. I am more concerned about access panel for the plumbing because I am doing all tile surround.
  4. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    Any plumber there? My plumber told me it's better on the front, but my general contractor wanted to do ceiling. The plumber didn't insist. Should I be concerned if I just have the ceiling access?
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013
  5. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    Will the thing backup to another room? Could you put an access panel there (or at least mark it so you could cut one, should you need it eventually?). Keep in mind that with an air tub, at least the ones I've dealt with, you need an opening for air to get to the air turbine - IOW, you can't make that tub deck air tight. And, that air works best if it is at least room temp. You can put a grill or have a port somewhere. The act of compressing it warms it - most do not have a separate air heater. Or, as already indicated, you can remote the air turbine say into a closet, so access to it would be easier.
  6. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    If I did not describe the situation clearly, here is another try.

    There will be separate access panels for the motor and faucet/drain, because the motor is at one end and the faucet/drain is on the other end. The motor cannot be relocated per manufacturer (moving it will void the warranty). I am fine with the air motor access location. The problem is the access for the faucet and drain.

    The faucet and drain are located in a 34" x 9" tight space between the tub and the shower wall, under the tub deck. Access is only possible from below and the front (back side is exterior wall). We will have an air vent on the ceiling down below for sure, because aesthetically there is no better place for an grill. The question is whether we should make the air vent bigger to serve as an access too, or have another access from the front.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    From a practical viewpoint, while an access panel is handy, done right with quality materials, usually, the only time you need access to the drain is when remodeling. Almost all valves can be repaired (typically, a cartridge replacement) from the front after removing the trim.
  8. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    jadnashua, by "front" did you mean the top if the faucets are deck mounted?
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,995
    Location:
    New England
    The valve side...cartridges are usually able to be replaced by removing the trim or the body of the handle, which is usually from the finished size. It's rare where you have to go behind the finished wall to service a valve, but obviously, you'd need access there to replace the whole thing.
  10. rapida

    rapida New Member

    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    mn
    Thanks! I'll just keep fingers crossed!
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