I have a gas shut-off valve for my oven that needs access in the ceiling of my basement. I currently just have the shut-off itself cut out and it is about 2 inches from the edge of the wall. The pop-in panels I have seen at the big box stores are too big for this application.

Any ideas on what I can put over it?

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The red knob is face down about 1/4 inch above drywall cut-out. I need about 2x3 inches to be able to turn it off and on.

  • 1
    A picture might be useful.
    – Tester101
    Oct 7 '13 at 14:56
  • Personally, I'd make the hole bigger and use a larger panel. Paint it the same color as the ceiling and you'll forget it's there. The advantage of the larger spring loaded panels is that there's room to work in the space if there's ever a problem and they're very easy to remove without tools.
    – BMitch
    Nov 7 '13 at 13:02

Why not use a simple blank electrical box cover?

blank cover

They also come in round versions (about 5 inches) to cover electrical ceiling boxes.

You could hold it up using thin bolts through the eyelets with nuts locking on a small offset piece of plastic on each end that could rotate outward above the drywall to hold it in place.

cover holder

  • I was thinking about that but didn't want to give the idea of some wanky electric going on. The basement is almost finished and pretty nice. What would you think if you saw a blank in a ceiling? Wouldn't care? Also I would have to add anchors in to keep in a bolt long term.
    – DMoore
    Oct 7 '13 at 15:40
  • Blank plates are very common in ceilings. You can paint it with flat paint that matches the ceiling (including the bolt heads) and it will virtually disappear. Any premade access panel is likely to be more noticeable. Anyone who opens it will understand that it is not electrical (and if they can't figure that out, they have no business opening it).
    – bib
    Oct 7 '13 at 15:44
  • 3
    I agree this is a good way to go. But instead of bolts, I would get a low-voltage old-work "box" (the kind that doesn't have a back). Affix 2 magnetic catches (like the kind used in bathroom medicine cabinets) to the "box" and glue the metal plates to the cover. This gives you quick access to the valve. In an emergency, you want to get to the valve quickly without have to find a screwdriver.
    – longneck
    Oct 7 '13 at 16:54
  • Then put a sticker over it so everyone knows: gothamist.com/attachments/Jen%20Chung/2006_02_gotgas.jpg
    – Jason
    Oct 7 '13 at 17:37
  • @longneck I like your modification. And you could put stick-on lettering just a bit darker than the paint that said GAS SHUTOFF that would probably only be visible if you got up close.
    – bib
    Oct 7 '13 at 17:54

2 tricks that I use is ceiling speaker grill or HVAC vent. I agree that blank electrical plate looks....unprofessional.. tacky....

  • I would have to find a speaker grill that you can't see through. The red would stick out I think. It is a good idea though.
    – DMoore
    Oct 7 '13 at 18:29
  • spray paint the knob black or just add black piece of paper behind grill. Many times the speaker comes with a black felt that you cant see through
    – Justin K
    Oct 7 '13 at 18:40
  • @JustinK Don't color the red valve. The color is a safety feature.
    – bib
    Oct 7 '13 at 18:55
  • This would not be used as an emergency shut off valve. Emergency shut off would be for the whole house. This shut off is redundant. There should be a shut off at the appliance too.
    – Justin K
    Oct 7 '13 at 19:10

Why not just nicely cut a 4" by 6" square of sheet rock to serve as a removable recessed panel. Trace the panel onto the ceiling. Saw the ceiling for a nice fit. Coat the raw edges of sheetrock with a fixative to prevent them from shedding dust. (Perhaps reinforce the ceiling opening per bmitch. Around the 4x6 cutout with some 1x2 whitewood or similar glue or screwed to the backside of the ceiling along the 6" edge)

Instead of mudding the patch in place, rig it up as a removable panel: glue two 1" by 7" strips of quarter inch plywood (or similar in popsicle sticks) to the back of the patch in the 6" direction. The strips will overhang the panel by 1/2".

The panel will insert and hang and be easy to push up and slide off to the side when access to the valve is needed.

or used any other material for the panel. 4x8x1/16 inch sheet aluminum bent twice at 90 on each edge to form a lip, or 1/8" plywood.

  • A valve should remain accessible.
    – BMitch
    Nov 7 '13 at 13:00
  • @BMitch - I agree, why do you think it wouldn't?
    – Mikey
    Nov 7 '13 at 18:32
  • 1
    I misread it, focused too much on the part where you suggested the plywood on the back of the patch. If going for this method, I'd use some trim on the outside of the opening to support the "drywall access panel."
    – BMitch
    Nov 7 '13 at 19:11
  • @BMitch - 'panel' is a better word.
    – Mikey
    Nov 7 '13 at 21:46

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