Wiring problem......

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Old 09-27-13, 01:05 AM
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Wiring problem......

I am in the process of adding a switch to an existing hot wired ceiling light. I am kinda stuck at the stage of drilling. When I try to drill the hole from the attic, the drill bit hit some metal block which I have no clue what it is. I've done quite a lot of research before start the project, but non of the example has mention there is metal between the attic and the wall cavity.

Here are the pictures of the drilling and the switch location (Please use the link to view the full image size, the image is cropped for some reason) .

http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps1a36aacb.jpg



http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps0a481dc7.jpg



http://i820.photobucket.com/albums/z...ps62edd495.jpg


One assumption I have, is the metal that reinforcing the corner. I cannot think about any other reason there is metal in the construction. Does anyone know what is the metal I am hitting? If my assumption is correct, how far usually the metal extended? Thanks.
 
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Old 09-27-13, 03:32 AM
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In a corner, it is highly likely you hit a group of nails holding the framing together. You may have to move laterally a few inches to miss the group of nails as opposed to side to side. You have a stud bay that should be close to 14 1/2" wide where you propose to put your switch loop, so move a little over.
 
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Old 09-27-13, 07:54 AM
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I suspect you have hit some type of steel framing connector that was used as earthquake reinforcing (you are in California). Chandler's advice sounds good to me, just move over a little and try drilling again.
 
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Old 09-27-13, 11:34 AM
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Try drilling a hole down a few inches towards the A/C duct.

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Old 09-27-13, 04:02 PM
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Thanks everyone, that sound like the solution. Seems I am not really hitting the nails as I drill through the metal and I can see all drill hole wall are all shiny for about 1/4 inch. Most likely it is the steel connector as CasualJoe said.

I will just need to swing the drop chain and catch with a magnet. From anyone's experience, how far from the corner will be safe to drill? I am kinda new to the home DIY so please shed me light. Thank you.
 
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Old 09-27-13, 05:50 PM
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how far from the corner will be safe to drill?
Insert your hand in the hole for the switch box and see if you can touch the next stud. (Get a small kid if your hand is too large.)
 
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Old 09-27-13, 07:16 PM
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If you have a small mirror and a strong flashlight, put the mirror in the wall and shine the flashlight at the mirror, maybe you can see what's going on up at the top plate. Another trick I've been using a lot lately is sticking the cell phone in places that I can't see into and taking pics. I haven't lost a phone in a wall...yet.
 
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Old 10-04-13, 12:45 PM
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Thanks. Just talked to a friend and he had encounter the same problem before. He told me just drill a few inches over. I will try it this weekend. Thanks again guys.
 
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Old 10-04-13, 02:01 PM
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Good luck, and let us know how it goes, please.
 
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Old 10-06-13, 11:30 PM
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It works! Thank you so much guys. I drilled about 3 inches over and didn't hit any metal. Its my first time doing this kind of work so the drill depth is a bit scary. Apparently I have to drill through two stud to hit the wall cavity. Tested the wiring and working, but unfortunately I have broke the switch in the process, will need to pick up a new switch tomorrow.

Does anyone knows a good switch that can dim LED with remote? Lutron has an IR switch but many people report it does not work with LED. Just want something can turn the light off after I get to bed.
 
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Old 10-07-13, 09:20 AM
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Glad you got it and thanks for letting us know.

Its my first time doing this kind of work so the drill depth is a bit scary. Apparently I have to drill through two stud to hit the wall cavity.
A stud is a vertical framing member. What you had to drill through was a double top plate, a common framing installation.

Once you've finished the wiring, all penetrations through the top plate need to be sealed with fire caulk or expanding foam.

Does anyone knows a good switch that can dim LED with remote? Lutron has an IR switch but many people report it does not work with LED. Just want something can turn the light off after I get to bed.
Not offhand, but the folks who make the controls for automated systems, at X10 and Insteon, may have something.

Lutron, BTW, has great information pages for their controls on their site. The information for their Maestro IR dimmer with remote says "Incandescent/Halogen."
 
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Old 10-07-13, 01:29 PM
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Thanks for the follow up Nashkat1. I have sealed the opening with fire resistant caulking. Next project will be wiring some LAN cable to three of the rooms, should be very similar with this project. Thank you again.
 
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