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I have a leak in a pipe behind my shower and yet I have PVC paneling on the wall so don't want the plumber to have to rip out the whole shower. There's an access panel at the side but the pipe is very difficult to reach from there due to other pipes in the way. Can he cut a hole from inside the shower below the taps and then just cover with a large access panel? Are they waterproof enough for shower walls?

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    Usual approach is to simply put the access panel on the other side of the wall...
    – keshlam
    Mar 11, 2023 at 9:27
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    In fact many Victorians are built with an access panel directly behind the tub taps. We just did a tap replacement in an hour. Mar 12, 2023 at 0:50
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    It might be easier to cut and repair the pipes that are in the way through the access panel than to cut and repair the shower wall.
    – jay613
    Apr 11, 2023 at 15:09
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    Any plumber who would do that is suspect in my book. One does not simply modify shower surrounds for pipe access. [/boromir]
    – isherwood
    Dec 7, 2023 at 16:14

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If access cannot be made from the other side of the wall, then yes, a hole can be cut in the shower wall below the taps or where ever the plumber deems necessary. I wouldn't go with making an access panel there but would go with a more permanent repair to ensure no leaking. The cutout could be carefully cut. A few supports glued to the back of the wall and then the cutout piece sealed and caulked back in place. A few pieces of tile trim from your home store could hide the seam and could be duplicated on the other walls for uniformity.

Plumbers are used to working in cramped,tight places so they might be able to fix this utilizing the existing access panel.

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    Most all plumbers have what they call “shark bite” fittings in their truck. That can make very easy repairs from what used to be nightmares.
    – RPK
    Mar 11, 2023 at 23:22
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    I would not put an access panel on the shower side because keeping that watertight would be a nightmare. Mar 12, 2023 at 0:50
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    @Harper-ReinstateMonica I agree as stated in my answer but you might not have a choice if the wall behind the tub taps is an exterior wall or into a neighbor's unit.
    – JACK
    Mar 12, 2023 at 1:33
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    Please don't duplicate your plastic trim faux paneling on the other walls. Or if you do, OMG, inlay mirrors and put up a chandelier. :) :) :)
    – jay613
    Apr 11, 2023 at 15:16

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