What are integral stops? (+ more plumbing q)

I came accross these in plumbing cofiguration, mostly for showers are integral stops just a shut off valve, or do they differ in some way from normal shut off valve. are they a part of some other setup, or an individual item? What would be the best way of taking care of shut off valves for a shower panel? My setup: ( 2nd floor bathroom) 3/4" from basement to upstairs, stubs for shower, from 3/4" continues 1/2" to wc, and to bath + sink. There are main shut offs on the 3/4" branches at basement level. I was going to put individual shut off valves on each fixture connection, but the shower has me a little stumped. The only way i can have the valves accessible is from other side of the wall (hallway) though access panel. I could have a small opening (4"x4") with blank cover (would blend with receptacles around the hallway) What would be the proper/standard/best way of installing the valves? The shower is a panel that will connect with 1/2" screw on tubing to the stubs in wall, all mixing valves etc are part of the panel.
thanks.
m
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Martin wrote:

Integral stops are small shutoffs built in to the shower valve casting. Often, when you go to use them after a qtr-century, they won't turn:-(
I would much prefer the access panel in the hall. Use ball valves.
Jim
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Use ball valves. THAT AREN'T MADE IN CHINA!
(Pet peeve -- any time I used a Chinese plumbing component, the job had to be reworked because of problems in the component.)

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Robert Barr wrote:

Amen, bro. Excellent point. Jim
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