The pipes, water heaters, and other elements of a plumbing system exist in every residential and commercial structure. Wherever water or waste is carried through a building, the relevant pipes are present. These pipes remain within walls except at the endpoints in order to preserve the look of the property and protect the plumbing from unnecessary wear.
An access panel provides a way to reach the plumbing behind walls whenever repairs or replacements are required. These panels eliminate the need for demolition while still offering the same protection as a solid wall.
Where Plumbing Access Panels Are Used
A plumbing access panel is important anywhere plumbing is present and is not easily reachable through other means. In most properties, this includes plumbing for:
- Laundry Rooms
An access panel might be present on either an interior or exterior wall. They are often placed during the construction process, but a renovation or plumbing issue might require the installation of a new access panel.
In general, plumbing access panels come in standard sizes that allow them to fit between wall studs. The panel can be attached to its frame through a hinge, or can be a lay in panel that is held in with a locking mechanism.
GFRG and GFRC Plumbing Access Panels
In the past, commercial access panels most often came in plastic or metal. Plastic was typically chosen for its inexpensive price and ease of installation. These are often placed by using caulking to adhere the plastic frame to the wall. But plastic is often unsuitable for outdoor use and has a limited lifespan.
Metal access panels are more durable and can withstand water and a higher humidity that is often present around plumbing. They are bolted into the wall, although the weight of them can sometimes require extra support if the panel is large enough. Neither of these options is easy to conceal, or suitable for finishes. They also come with durability issues that affect their lifespan.
GFRG and GRFC are innovative and more effective materials for plumbing access panels. Without the shortcomings of plastic and metal, GFRC plumbing access panels are superior because they are:
- Durable – These materials are some of the most durable construction grade materials available. They do not scratch or break and last for decades with little maintenance required.
- Lightweight – GFRG and GFRC have a fraction of the weight of their counterpart gypsum and concrete, and often weigh less than metal. This means they can be easily handled, even in large size panels, and do not require additional support to accommodate them.
- Affordable – Both the installation and the panel itself comes at a low cost. The installation is inexpensive because it is straightforward and does not require significant manpower or special skills to complete. The materials are also affordable, giving you a panel that will last while fitting within a construction budget.
- Invisible – Although stronger than drywall or concrete, GFRG and GFRC resemble those materials and can be finished similarly. Paint, wallpaper, tiling, and texturing will make an access panel match the wall around it. Because these access panels don’t have external frames like metal or plastic panels, they are practically invisible when they’re in place.
GFRC also has the advantage of being waterproof so it can be installed outdoors or in an area that frequently experiences moisture. Otherwise, panels of both materials can be installed by any contractor during the construction phase or in a later renovation.
At GC Products, we can custom manufacture plumbing access panels from GFRC or GFRG for any property. Standard GFRG access panels are available wholesale through our Ledge Products brand, but for custom panels to meet a requirement for shape, size, or other need, our advanced manufacturing process can craft an affordable and durable panel for your property. Contact us today to learn more about what we offer.