I know that studs need metal plates over studs where there is plumbing
too close to the wall. This is to protect a nail going into the
plumbing. I'm wondering about exceptions. What about plumbing
behind the toilet? There is a stud directly behind the toilet where
plumbing is running horizontally. I can't see anyone wanting to put
a nail or screw in the wall behind the toilet. Is a metal plate still
Think about the construction sequence: first the stud wall is built,
then the plumbing in the wall is installed, then the wall is
sheetrocked, then the toilet is installed. Certainly the sheetrockers
could hit that plumbing pipe, so the metal plate is required.
Those little goodies are about as cheap as they come, and spending a buck
and saving a whole sheet rock replacement job (including retexturing and
painting later) is a REAL no brainer to me.
Yes, it would be hard to get behind a toilet and shoot a screw or pound a
nail, but at that stage of construction, the toilet ain't there, is it?
When we built our house a few years ago, I installed metal protection
plates everywhere code required for pipes, wiring, etc.
The one area I was surprised a plate was "not" required was on the back
side of an electrical box. In a 2x4 wall, with a deep box, the cables come
out of the back of the box within an inch or less of the stud face. It
seemed all too easy to me for a drywall screw or other fastener to miss the
stud and pierce a cable where it exits the box. Or for that matter, to
drive a screw right through the backside of the plastic boxes. There were
no ready-made protector plates for this situation, so I bought a bunch of
blank cover plates that are made for 4" electrical boxes, and screwed those
to the backside of the wall studs. It usually took 2-4 of the 4" plates to
protect each box.
The electrical inspector said they weren't needed, but for less than $20
for the whole house, it seemed like cheap insurance. It did no harm to add
the extra plates, but could prevent a major problem later.
We bought a new tract house back in the eighties. About six months
after we moved in, we came home to find the living room carpet flooded.
We reported it to the builder, and he took care of it, but it took a
while to figure out what had happened.
The trim carpenter who installed the baseboard shot a finish nail right
into the center of the cold water pipe for the bathroom on the other
side of the wall. It rusted over immediately, then took six months to
rust away enough for the leak to start.
Don't skimp on the nailing plates.
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