Repairing drywall behind washer

AndresrrJuly 14, 2011

So I had a plumber over the house to investigate why my washer was not draining correctly. It turns out that the 50 year old pipe behind the washe had completely rusted. It was un-snakeable so the plumber gave me the option of breaking through the drywall and replacing the pipe. He mentioned that he would not fix the wall. With no toehr choice, and the fact that the guy charged my under $100, I said go for it.

So now I am left with a sizeable portion of the wall missing behind the washer, which isn't a big deal looks-wise and the washer covers it. But I am concerned with energy loss so I think I should fix it.

The problem is that there are a few pipes that come out of the wall there. Questions: Is this a job strictly for a professional (even though looks isn't a big issue)? Am I right to be concerned about enery loss here?

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Drywall repair is a very easy fix but for such a small job it can be difficult to find some one to come and do it. A handyman service might be your best bet. I wouldn't worry about energy loss as long as it is an outside wall there is insulation. Just make sure the pipes don't freeze

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:37PM
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As mentioed above, make sure the insulation is intact and you might consider covering it over with a painted 1/4" plywwod screwed in at the corners ans maybe mid section around the perimeter in the event you need acess to that area again.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:46PM
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I think that it is likely that the original reason for plaster walls and their successors is as a fire-break. If you remove the dry wall, you can have a fire spread more rapidly.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 6:52PM
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Good point! Drywall is easily repaired and inexpensive. a tape coat is required out here. What they don't look at is plumbing and other protrusions not being mudded or sealed which are avenues for fire spread. So yeah, best to get the wall patched up with wallboard and at least a tape coat, but sometimes fire codes aren't dead on in their requirements. An access panel done right would be as safe.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 7:19PM
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Thank you all. I will double check on the insulation question. FYI, a handyman is what I had in mind as well. And I live in Socal so freezing is not an issue.

I will weigh your ideas and come up with something.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Hi, If your interested in learning how to patch with sheet rock you couldn't pick a better place to hone your skills.
Good Luck Woodbutcher

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 6:43PM
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You live in So. Ca. so "freezing is not an issue" wrong! I'm in S.F. Valley & probably 30 yrs ago my bro. who lived 3 blocks away got a rude wake-up call! Loud noise & he followed it to outside the kitchen, seems the water pipe on side of garage had burst & was spraying the neighbors house & freezing so it looked like a fountain. DH & I got the call & went over & couldn't believe it. Never had a pipe burst in South Dakota! It may have been the main valve that went as it took him most of Sun. to get the part & get it fixed. DH & I had insulated our house as it was being built so there is foil-backed insulation in walls & re-insulated attic so it would be warmer in house & cooler in summer but after that I also cover all outside pipes with insulating foam & in winter use an old blanket to cover the main valves. No way I could fix something like that. In your situation, put insulation behind those pipes & might be able to screw on sheet aluminum, paint to match wall, instead of plywood so it can be removed if servicing is necessary. We had about 20 times it froze at night last winter. In 1960's it was maybe half dozen times. Your plants get all watery,wilted looking, early in morning can see ice on roof or on grass. Should be able to do it yourself, If you want to use sheetrock measure it to see how thick it is & get same thickness. Home Depot or Lowe's will probably have some pieces, we got some not long ago from a sheet that had gotten broken. Good Luck

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 1:28AM
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"I think that it is likely that the original reason for plaster walls and their successors is as a fire-break."


It is to give a finished appearance.

Unless you like looking at the back of the sheathing and bare studs...

    Bookmark   July 16, 2011 at 9:56AM
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To replace drywall around pipes, use two pieces on each side of the pipe, with a half-hole in each piece. To join the pieces at the edge, use a 6" strip of plywood that each drywall piece is fastened. To get a finished look, tape your drywall on all seams using the procedures shown at the site below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Drywall Finishing & Repair

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 10:07PM
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