Sheer wall plywood on shower wall?

I've ripped my shower back to studs. One wall has 1/4" plywood over the studs with just a small hole for a shower head. House is 20 years old in So. Cali.
I've been told that this is 'sheer' protection. I would like to put some plumbing in this wall for additional heads, but am concerned that I should not mess around with the plywood.
(I've also been told that it has since been found that with 1/4", if the protection is ever needed, the nails will rip right out of it before it withstands much stress.)
So, do I need to not mess around with this plywood? Or can I do something which will allow me to open it up to do some plumbing work?
Joe
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Joe S wrote:

It's part of a sheer wall. No bfd. Do your work and replace the plywood in that area when you're done.
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G Henslee wrote:

the
old
that
if
work?
My big concern, really, was that it's currently a much bigger sheet (can't tell how big, really, as it goes up into the next floor). So, if I understand, if I just cut out a rectangle, do the plumbing, then replace that section with a few holes in it, then that's alright.
Joe
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Joe S wrote:

If you box out the hole when you're done so as to provide edge nailing for the existing ply and also for the new piece of ply you fill in with, that is generally sufficient. You can use a Simpson "A" clip to help you install the blocks between the studs easier. http://tinyurl.com/9wrlf
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Joe-
If the plywood is really only 1/4" then it's not much of a shear wall.
If you only make small holes (< 3") & just a few I wouldn't worry about it.
If you need to cut out a large section just makes the cuts about 3/4" from the framing so you can put in some 2x4 blocking around the cut. Replace the cut out ply by nailing to the new blocking. Make it easy on yourself & rip the blocking down a litttle so the fit up is easier.
Cheers Bob
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BobK207 wrote:

That's what I understand.

Yes, just a couple.

Thanks much to you, Bob, and G Henslee!!
--
Joe

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Joe-
Let us know how it turns out.
Bob
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