Locating studs in exterior wall

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Old 10-21-15, 12:25 PM
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Locating studs in exterior wall

Hi All,

Hope someone can help with what I'm having trouble with.

Trying to locate studs to hang a wall lamp that hangs out several feet from the wall. I'm doing this in a newly built condo building. The wall is part of the living room but is an exterior wall. It is also a load bearing wall as there is a concrete column that I can detect both with the stud finder and sound.

I originally located what I thought was a stud. Drilled through the drywall (1/2 inch) and reached the metal. Was able to pierce through this without much problems - using first a small drill to pierce it and then a larger to make the hole.

The problem - I encountered another piece of metal behind it 1 1/2 inches behind the drywall. What the hell am I drilling into? I should also mention that the stud finder detects this to be pretty wide (around 3 inches or so, but I'll have to measure again to be sure if that's information that's necessary to you).

Another note, the next stud over is also a little strange. Going from left to right it detects a stud that is 2 1/4 inches thick, where as going from right to left it detects it to be about 1 3/4 inches thick. Through some research I'm betting that what this second one is is Z furring, but not sure.

Also, I was trying to look for any horizontal plates or anything I can find with the stud finder, but it detects nothing

I would like to continue in the original stud that I located, but has anyone encountered a set up like I'm describing? What is it?

Thanks
 
  #2  
Old 10-21-15, 12:29 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Are you sure you have wood studs? Kinda sounds like you're encountering metal ones.
 
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Old 10-21-15, 12:37 PM
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Oh I know they're metal. I don't think I mentioned wood and if I did it was a typo.
 
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Old 10-21-15, 12:39 PM
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I inferred you were looking for wood because it sounds like you found the metal studs but did not think you had found the structure.
 
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Old 10-21-15, 12:43 PM
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Sorry about that.

Any idea what I may be hitting back there based on my description? Have you ever encountered that?
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:31 PM
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Oh, ok, now I'm on board. Sounds like it could be a pipe - anything you're aware of in that wall?
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:37 PM
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No idea what might be in that wall. Given that it's an exterior wall, I'm guessing that there should be some insulation and other similar material, however the wall itself is pretty thick.

The metal from what I can see is actually flat and not curved unless it's a rectangular pipe. The space seems empty however.

Any ideas, suggestions?
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:43 PM
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Two:
1. Use a different spot.
2. Open up the wall and see what this is.

Neither is the obvious choice.
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:45 PM
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Last question for you. If it is in fact rectangular tubing such as this (Speedy Metals - Steel Rectangular Tube) is that something that could bear a load for me to mount on?
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:46 PM
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I can't say yes without seeing it and knowing what it is.

Is there enough viewable that you could post a picture?
 
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Old 10-21-15, 01:48 PM
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Fair enough. Unfortunately a picture won't be able to show what I'm seeing.

Thanks.
 
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Old 10-21-15, 06:59 PM
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It's possible you drilled through one flange of a 1 5/8 steel stud and hit the back flange. Could be special framing around something in the wall. Another thought, have you checked the outside of the wall in the spot you are drilling? Could be hitting the back of an electrical box.
 
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Old 10-22-15, 09:12 AM
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I'll likely be cutting a piece of drywall to see what's going on back there.

If it is what you say and I happen to be hitting the back flange of a 1 5/8 steel stud, would I be good to drill through the back flange and still hang something off it?
 
 

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