Whether starting new construction or simply planning to make a few updates to your kitchen, laundry room or bathroom, consider installing a supply box to keep water valves and exposed pipes hidden and discreet, yet readily serviceable. Supply boxes provide multiple solutions for every installation and can be tailored to match and even enhance the overall aesthetics of a room.
Often referred to as an "outlet box," a supply box connects appliances to your home water-supply lines. Its metal or plastic box mount is set flush with the exterior of a finished wall to allow easy access to your water supply and/or drain.
Supply Box Benefits
While it's not necessary to add a supply box to an unfinished part of your home, such as a basement, these devices do provide many benefits to more finished spaces. Their clean, design-forward look conceals exposed valves, saves space within rooms, and puts all the key plumbing components into one, convenient location.
Let's take a closer look at four homeowner benefits of using supply boxes:
- Quick, safe access to the water shut-off valves in case of an emergency: All water-using appliances must connect to the home's hot and cold water-supply lines. A supply box puts these connections in one place: supply and drainage inside the box for washing machines, plus access to your water lines for other appliances. As a result, you can shut off water to a specific appliance without turning off the water supply line for the whole house.
- Space savings: When water lines go through the floor or wall, these pipes typically stick out from the wall, so that appliances cannot be set flush against it. A supply box provides a recessed space for those valves in the wall, so that your refrigerator or washing machine need not stick out so far. Saving these extra inches enables you to make the most out of the square footage in the room.
- Crisp and clean, finished appearance to your project: Supply boxes conceal unsightly supply valves, giving your laundry room, kitchen, and bathroom walls a cleaner look. In most cases, you can add a supply box to a finished wall, but it requires additional work by opening up the wall, running the water lines, and refinishing the surface. This is why it's best to plan ahead by installing a supply box during renovation or new construction.
- Cost Savings: By having a supply box already installed, plumbers can skip what they would normally do to add in valves in a finished room and directly connect the fixture via the supply box once it’s ready. On conventional plumbing installations involving lavatory, toilet, and sink applications, the plumber stubs out the rough-in coming out of the wall, capping that line off with a four- or five-inch copper stub-out. Once a successful pressure test confirms there are no leaks, the plumber returns to cut off the cap and attach the proper compression valve trim for an eventual hookup to the toilet or sink. Being able to cut out those steps reduces the labor for the plumber, which equals cost savings for you.
Some supply boxes offer faceplates to complete the look, while still providing access to the valves inside. For example, Oatey's MODA™ Supply Box offers three inserts that snap into the standard faceplate — partial coverage, full coverage, and louvered. The white finish faceplate is compatible with all box types and offers a clean, compact look that fits into whatever design it's applied to. Faceplates give you the flexibility to repaint or even use wallpaper to match or blend in with your décor.
Now that you know the benefits of supply boxes, let's look at the different types offered.
Supply Box Options
With many options available today, it is helpful to understand the different types and identify the particular supply box that makes sense for your application. Oatey offers a variety of supply boxes to fit your needs: from Oatey Quadtro to the crowd favorite, the MODA Supply Box System.
Ultimately, the application will help determine the type of supply box you need.
The Oatey Quadtro®, Eliminator®, and Centro II® are all options that offer washing machine outlet boxes for the laundry room and ice maker outlet boxes for the kitchen. Their easy installation and compact shape provide maximum flexibility with a wide variety of configurations available for a sleek design.
Oatey's MODA™ Supply Box System, our most popular brand, has the same footprint, no matter the application — washing machines, ice makers, lavatories, kitchen sinks, dishwashers or toilets. MODA offers a consistent look across the entire building or home.
The MODA Supply Box System is a modular, universal supply box solution. Its modular design allows you to add outlet boxes in whatever configuration works best for your project, including straddling the studs with the water supply on one side and drainage on the other, or even separate walls. The system is also available in standard and fire-rated options. The MODA line also offers 1/2"and 3/4" gas valve options for stoves/ranges or dryers. Along with options for our AAV valves.
Whatever the choice, installing any Oatey supply box is comparatively simple for a professional plumbing installer. Brackets are installed on both sides of the box to secure their place in the wall. Those brackets screw directly to the stud. After the attachment is secure, the water lines are connected and then the drywall is completed around the box. All of our outlet boxes come with a faceplate to cover the box perimeter, giving the install an attractive, finished edge. As mentioned before, the MODA line offers additional options for partial coverage, full coverage, or louvered to go with the design you are looking for.
Supply boxes are a great solution for keeping valves and pipes hidden throughout a home. When thinking about your next design or construction project, be sure to consider including a supply box wherever a water, gas, or drainage connection is needed.