Whirlpool Access Panels

monicakm_gwSeptember 3, 2007

A friend had a home built (via long distance :o) and wanted a travertine surround around her whirlpool bath. She was told she couldn't do that because of the access panel for repair work. OK, I realize there needs to be access but as I'm looking around for pictures for her, I find several photos of whirlpool tubs that "appear" not to have an access panel as the entire tub deck is tiled. There HAS to be one so it must be well camouflaged. I have no idea if her tub is a drop in (how wide the deck is) or if it's an alcove tub. I guess my question is. "where is the access panel when the tub deck/surround is all tile and it appears there isn't one"?

Thanks,

Monica

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meg711

I thought I had a better photo but this is the best I could come up with:

Our tub surround is a marble tile. (That's what is under the kraft paper.) The vertical surface is cabinetry although the access panels and doors are not on in that photo.

For the record, there is no access to the pump or motor because whoever designed the cabinetry didn't take into account those vertical 2x4s. So across the critical opening, the one that you would reach into to gain access to the motor, there is a 2x4 blocking the way. We're still dealing with the builder and hope this will get fixed.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 6:01AM
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bill_vincent

Although I HAVE made access panels out of tile, the last two tubs I did, they made the access panel in the floor, from the basement. Might that be a possibility?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 8:47AM
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beth4

My whirlpool is surrounded by porcelain tile. The tiler created an access door from the tile. He didn't grout the tile, so I can easily pull out the tile should I need to access the pump. I didn't even notice it; it had to be pointed out to me.

Here's photo of the surround. The access door is on the end of the tub.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:46AM
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bill_vincent

Panel off:

Panel wedged in place while caulking dries on other three sides:

Wedges pulled, caulked on fourth side, and dry:

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 10:55AM
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monicakm_gw

Thanks everyone :) I've sent her the link to your replies. Bill, is there just ONE tile that can be removed? Is that enough? Hope the person that needs under there is on the tiny side (lol)
Monica

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 12:51PM
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bill_vincent

Monica-- all the hookups should be connected BEFORE the side gets installed. The access panel is for emergencies. The times that I've done tub decks with 12x12's, yes, I've left one tile as an access panel. Then, all you have to do is cut the hole about a half inch in all the way around the edge of the tile, so it has something to sit on, and caulk it in place.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 1:18PM
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monicakm_gw

"all the hookups should be connected BEFORE the side gets installed."

Well I KNOW that Bill (lol) Silly man, what you must think of me (g) It just looks like that 12" access would be awfully small to be able to work thru. What happens if there is a problem elsewhere?
Bill, while I've got your attention, where do most people put their air tub's turbine, under the tub or in a remote location. David has only briefly looked at the installation (a plumber will be doing the install).
Monica

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 2:20PM
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bill_vincent

Most times, it'll get put in a remote location, such as a closet in an adjoining bedroom.

what you must think of me (g) It just looks like that 12" access would be awfully small to be able to work thru. What happens if there is a problem elsewhere?

I know of CONTRACTORS who've wanted me to go ahead and finish the side BEFORE connections were made, so I made sure to clarify myself. :-) As for problems, they usually only happen where the motor (in the case of waer pumps) or plumbing connections are. So as long as you place the panel close to them, you're good to go.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2007 at 3:10PM
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magothyrivergirl

Our GFI is also located inside end of the tub- access panel like Bill did - I think the tiler said required for inspection - not to mention practical, should the GFI trip. Can't even see difference between the chaulk & the grout and we used a dark color.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2007 at 1:37PM
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