Floor Access Panels

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Shinshi, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Shinshi

    Shinshi New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Alberta
    I have 3 plumbing access points in my basement foundation which are right in the middle of what I intend to be a bedroom floor. I am still uncertain on how to make them as hidden as possible and still make it possible for future access should it be required. Does anyone have any recommendations on this?

    I am planning a subfloor with Delta FL and 5/8" OSB. What I put on top of the subfloor can be changed depending on what would be best. I'd prefer carpet in this case to add warmth to the floor. I was thinking that I would mark where the access points are on the subfloor and cover with wall to wall carpet. Should access be required, the carpet can be rolled back and the subfloor could be cut where marked. Then when the job was done, the subfloor repaired and the carpet rolled back.

    I've been told that this idea would not meet code as access to these floor cleanouts must be easier than what I have described. My thinking is that it would be so rare to have to access these cleanouts that this method would be acceptable.

    What is the general consensus on this method?

    Is there any good way of making hidden access to these floor access cleanouts?
  2. Mikey

    Mikey Aspiring Old Fart, EE, computer & networking geek

    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    Central Florida
    I like your ideas. My 30-year-old home had no cleanouts anywhere. When I remodeled a bathroom, I added a cleanout, but there was no practical way to put it in an accessible place, so it's now underneath a 12x12 porcelain tile, marked with a tiny brass plaque that says "In case of poop, break tile." Based on past history, I doubt we'll ever have to do that. I'm also pretty sure it's not per Code.
  3. taysan

    taysan Member

    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, ON Canada
    I'd go with laminate wood flooring and area rugs. Access panels would be easy to make and cover with area rugs, and frankly, I think laminate flooring is a better resale investment than wall to wall carpet in a basement.

    Laminates are cheap now - as cheap or cheaper than carpet in many cases, and easy as pie to install yourself.

    That being said, if you're stuck on carpet, steal a page from commercial carpet installations which are actually done in tiles. This allows for reconfig of partition walls without ripping up rolls and rolls of carpet, and it makes installation easier given no hauling of massive rolls of carpet up in tiny elevators.

    You could, depending on the carpet, neatly cut a nice square over the cutout and have a panel with carpet glued to it in place. Depending on the carpet you might not even notice it is there.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  4. bombjay

    bombjay New Member

    Messages:
    62
    No mention of whats beneath all of these.If its a location where your sewer leaves the structure, then remodel with ,"what would I do if the sewer backs up here on a sunday night?" in mind.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2008
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,045
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    cleanouts

    You must have had a beginner plumber, because one who has been in the business for more than two weeks or so knows how to put them in the walls so your problem does not happen.
  6. Shinshi

    Shinshi New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Alberta
    I like the idea about putting a access point under a tile. I am planning to do exactly that in the bathroom where I have an access point to the backwater valve right in the middle of the floor.

    I've considered laminate, but had decided on carpet for added warmth. I may reconsider laminate in this room at least. It would make it easier to cover the access points with an area rug. That might be the best option if I am to make them easily accessible.

    There are still two other clean outs. One in the main stack just before it goes down through the foundation. The other is in the ceiling of the basement about the middle of the house. I definately plan to have easy access to both of those via access panels. It just sucks to have some in the middle of the floor that I'd like to cover.

    One covers the cleanout for the sanitary sewer, one for the storm sewer and the other a drain beneath the foundation. I believe the drain goes into the storm sewer. I do have a drain in the utility room that is connected to the sanitary sewer.
  7. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    I would make sure all clean outs are accessible with the thought that you could have a flood on your hands. I would install those neat rug tiles somebody else talked about. I have seen what happens when you have sewer back ups. If a few more people thought about what should be covered and not covered My life would be simpler. If you have a back up the drain maching the drain cleaners use is very dirty and will make a big mess. I sure hope that helps you decide.

    The older the house the more likely you WILL have a back up.
  8. Shinshi

    Shinshi New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thank you for the advice. With the helpful feedback I have received, I am now convinced and will make these access points easily accessible. More so than I had originally planned. Now I will just have to come up with an ingenious way to build an access panel into my Delta FL & OSB subfloor that will not flex or be noticeable when stepped on.
  9. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
  10. Shinshi

    Shinshi New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Alberta
    Thank you Redwood, for providing a link to that Watts cleanout. I really quite like that idea and I also found some that were good for recessing tile. I can use that style in the bathroom floor. I had done some searching for floor cleanouts, but not come across the one you linked to here.

    Another question comes to mind. Both of these cleanouts are end of the line and I was wondering on the feasibility of moving them 5 feet to one side which would put them in a closet? I imagine the line has to be fairly direct to the main pipe and connect with a wye. I will have to remove more of the gravel and see if that is a possibility. If I could move them to a closet floor, that would be ideal.
  11. mer

    mer New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hi there, Interesting thread. I'm currently doing a basement reno. We had to install 2 (yes two) backwater valves. Ok great. Done. We have a panel for access. Any suggestions on what to do about the floor? Because unfortunately we can't do a crazy subfloor because we are trying to keep the height. What would you suggest to keep the floor "solid" under the flexy panel access? thanks
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