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Old 04-03-01, 06:00 PM
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I always have this nagging concern every time that I drill a hole into a stud (or just into the drywall) when I'm working on my little home improvement projects:

Where exactly are the electrical cables located inside of my walls? (or where should they be) Are they secured between two pieces of wood (stud)? How do I know that I will not hit one of the electrical lines when I drill holes??

Much thanks...

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Old 04-03-01, 06:07 PM
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Assume that wiring can be anywhere. But here are some rules that should keep you safe most of the time:

(1) If you encounter any metal in your drilling, STOP.
(2) If drilling between studs, stop as soon as you get through the drywall.
(3) If drilling into a stud, never drill more than 1" into the stud (i.e., 1.5" from the surface of the drywall). And never use screws longer than 1.5"

These rules will keep you from drilling into plumbing too.
Old 04-03-01, 06:23 PM
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Unhappy Uh oh...

I'm sure glad that I asked...I've been using longer screws for heavier objects.

Is this true for the ceiling also?

And...when drilling into a stud to hang curtains, I could not get the screw to go in and had to 'jig' it a bit to the either the left or the right to make it work. Everytime that I hammered the little plastic thingy that holds the screw (had to move off of the stud), the alarm kept going off. Think this was simply due to the vibration? The alarm works just fine...

Thank you for the response John...
Old 04-03-01, 06:41 PM
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You can also narrow down a few highly likely areas that you should predict wires will be.

If you see a switch on the wall chances are there are wires following the stud up to the top plate and through that top plate. This can be true also with receptacles but they also often go down. Now that you mention it be cautous below a switch on the wall to those wire could go down.

Now most guys are close to the same hieght, and will normally stand up and lay a drill against their hip to drill though a set of studs. This would be about an area between 30" and 40" above the floor running horizontally along any wall. If you have a wall that is open you should remember to avoid the area mentioned above if where a counter and cabinets or work bench is to be installed becuase that area is where the mounting screws of that cabinetry is mounted to the wall.

Also be sure that above and below an electrical panel will be full of wires also.

I guess the above would be the most likely places where wires will be hidden in the walls.

Just remember what John said, THEY REALLY CAN BE ANYWHERE.

Most likely what you hit where you would be mounting a curtain rod would be a nail that you hit that was driven in to hold the window or door header.

I would say the vibration made your alarm react.

Hope this helps

Old 04-03-01, 07:34 PM
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Thumbs up Wow, that sure does help!

Thank you Wg...much appreciated!

I need to reread your message though so I can understand your point regarding the cabinetry. I'll let you know if I get your point.

(glad it was just the vibration and not the alarm wires! that would have been a disaster!)

Old 04-03-01, 09:03 PM
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Wink Hey Wg -

Are you saying that if the cabinetry has already been installed, that I need to look out for the areas on the wall within the cabinetry unit?

No? Didn't think so...I think I'm with you... you're saying that these areas along the studs (30-40" from floor) are where the cabinetry units are generally installed and that I need to be careful where any switch plates are on an open wall. (??)

I think I've got it...yes?

Oh, what's a top plate??

Old 04-04-01, 06:09 AM
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I'm saying that if you have a room with open studs that have counters and cabinets planned to be run in that room reserve the area 30" to 40" from the floor and don't install wires there the likely would be hit by the cabinet man when he screws the cabinets to the wall.

A top plate is a long 2x4 that ties all the wall studs together and are found install horizontally at the top of the walls.

Good Luck

Old 04-04-01, 06:26 AM
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Thumbs up Okay...

yea, I don't plan to have any cabinet put in. I just do a whole lot of different things all over the house where I'm drilling into walls to accomplish my tasks to get the projects done.

That's interesting about the top plate. I've never heard of it before.

Thank you very much for your response!! I will be much more cautious as to where I'm drilling (and with what length of screw)!


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