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I'm concerned that drywall screws placed in 2007 might pierce copper pipes.

I'm concerned that drywall screws placed in 2007 might pierce copper pipes.

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  #1  
Old 10-08-11, 04:45 PM
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I'm concerned that drywall screws placed in 2007 might pierce copper pipes.

I'm concerned about drywall repairs I did back in 2007. Both manifolds in the house had to be accessed back then to do a hot water re-route. So drywall had to be cut out in two places.

I sealed the drywall openings myself using cut and measured pieces of drywall, joint tape, mud, drywall screws, etc. In a few places, points of the drywall screws were pointed directly at the copper pipes after the drywall pieces were screwed in. To the best of my memory, a few of these screw points might be as close as 1/4 inch from the copper pipes.

My concern is that the screws might move with normal house shifting, and pierce the copper pipes causing flooding. If this ever happened, would I even be alerted to a leak right away? I mean with well-sealed baseboard, it might take time to see flooding. Would there be stains on drywall, or would I hear water spraying inside wall cavity?

If there is a real possibility of this happening, well, I don't even like to think about it. Maybe I should cut open the drywall, and somehow shield those copper pipes?

Thanks, Dave
 
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Old 10-08-11, 05:29 PM
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Dave, since you won't be sleeping until it is corrected, you should pull out the repair, ensure there is no damage to the copper, and reinstall your repair, keeping your screws clear of the copper for sure. YES, there is a real possibility, if you pierced a copper line it could begin leaking or even squirting after a number of years and freeze/thaw cycles of your house. You won't be alerted unless you have a sophisticated water detection system and a method of it notifying you wherever you are.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 07:33 PM
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That's what I thought. I only think about this now and then. But after all this time, there is more of a feeling of urgency. Thanks Chandler.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 07:38 PM
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Uh.. just a thought..
Have you heard any unusual water flow 'sounds' ?? Did you use 'course' or 'fine' threaded drywall screws for your repair? - The reason for my question is that if you used course threaded screws..and happen to hit a copper pipe, you would probably hear a water leak pretty soon thereafter. If it was a fine threaded screw, it may take a bit longer to hear...!
Your repair was done 4 yrs ago.. If you havent seen any leakage/damage or other signs of penetration to the copper lines..(water stains etal...) I would say you're pretty safe....
Thats just my $.02 worth...!
 
  #5  
Old 10-08-11, 08:02 PM
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I don't remember what kind of drywall screws I used. I couldn't find any leftover screws in the house. There are no water sounds or signs of leakage. Like Chandler says, there could still be a leak without any visible signs.

I would hate doing this repair again. It took me so long to do it back in 2007 because I was new at it. I had to move all this heavy stuff out of the room. And there was drywall mud dust all over the house. Took me hours to to clean it all up.

And I had to redo one of the holes even back then, because I screwed up. I could have paid a professional about $600 insurance money to do the whole thing. If I was to do it again, I'm not even sure where to cut with the drywall saw. I screwed in paint stirrers to anchor drywall pieces.

A moisture probe or meter might be inserted through a hole to check without tearing the whole thing open.
 
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Old 10-08-11, 08:38 PM
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A moisture probe or meter might be inserted through a hole to check without tearing the whole thing open.
Or one of those inspection cameras...

I wouldn't lose sleep over it... but then I rarely lose sleep over anything!
 
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Old 10-09-11, 04:37 AM
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Originally Posted by bluesbreaker View Post
I would hate doing this repair again. It took me so long to do it back in 2007 because I was new at it. I had to move all this heavy stuff out of the room. And there was drywall mud dust all over the house. Took me hours to to clean it all up.
I assume this means you are better at drywall repair now
If j/c is applied neatly, you can use a wet sponge instead of sandpaper to finish smoothing it out. Basically the wet sponge softens the j/c allowing you to smooth it out. They sell a sponge with a handle specifically for this - it looks similar to a grout float. A sponge isn't quite as good as sandpaper but it's the best method when you need to limit or eliminate sanding dust.

The paint stir sticks are a bit light for your backer for the screws, it would have been better to use some plywood strips or 1xs.

I don't know which one corrodes [maybe both] but when copper and steel meet - there is corrosion over time.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 08:46 AM
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I would definitely not make the same mistakes next time. I used wet sponge part of the time. But it was not enough because I probably applied to much joint compound.
 
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Old 10-09-11, 09:06 AM
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IMO - A screw that is 1/8" away from a copper pipe, would have zero chance of piercing that pipe due to house movement. The drywall/backing holding the screw would give out WAY before the screw would ever puncture the pipe.

Mark has a good point about corrosion but a 1/4" would be a LOT of movement.
 
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Old 10-10-11, 08:51 AM
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ok, thanks for all the input
 
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