What do you mean there are wires behind walls?

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Forum topic by USCJeff posted 02-05-2008 07:08 PM 1751 views 0 times favorited 32 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1063 posts in 4037 days

02-05-2008 07:08 PM

As the topic title eludes, oops. I was hanging my newly constructed lumber rack in the shop and was very satisfied when done. I used 5” lag bolts After swinging on it a bit and loading it up, I decided to call it a night as it was about 2AM. To wind down from the work, I decided to jump on the net and play some freebie Hold’Em on MSN. Hmm, what happened to my DSL? That’s strange the phone’s are dead too. I knew the answer but refused to believe it. I went outside to get a guess at where the phone cord entered the wall and it aligned with one of the studs. I cut away some drywall and found a lag bolt exited the side of the stud and took out two of three phone wires. They stapled them pretty tight as they didn’t give while being drilled. Of course, I was out of wire that is suitable and will have to mend it another day. At least we got one that is working. Luckily, my alarm company (ADT) decided to call my cell before sending the police thinking the wires were cut intentionally.



-- Jeff, South Carolina

32 replies so far

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4005 days

#1 posted 02-05-2008 07:15 PM

Whoops. I mean, really though? Put it all back in place and see if you can hit em again! I bet you can’t.

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4268 days

#2 posted 02-05-2008 07:20 PM

It can happen to the best of us.

This would make a good subject for Martin’s new homejocks website.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3959 days

#3 posted 02-05-2008 07:38 PM

I wired my entire garage for power as well as sound, and have years of electrical and electronics installation experience, and guess what? While cutting a hole for a ceiling speaker I hit the power line that ran the jigsaw I was running and it stopped (cuz I killed it), and it was stuck (and wouldn’t pull free), and I couldn’t get the power back on (cuz the sawblade had shorted the wires). I had to crawl up in that hot attic, on my fat belly, in a real tight confining space, with a gazillion pointy roofing nails taking turns pokeing me in the head, sweatin’ bullets, just to cut the blade free. It had not only loaded up with insulation and power wiring, it had also clipped the telephone line too.

It was a bad day in the Lab.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

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456 posts in 3759 days

#4 posted 02-05-2008 07:44 PM

We’ve all done that, and will probably will do it again.

-- Bob K. East Northport, NY

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18615 posts in 4129 days

#5 posted 02-05-2008 08:05 PM

that’s a really good point Tom.. bet you couldn’t do it again! oh the joys of “Murphy’s Law”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

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35111 posts in 4369 days

#6 posted 02-05-2008 09:07 PM

Sounds like a local problem that happens in a lot of localities.

But when I was working in the line crew at the phone company. I heard the story of an installer that was installing a new phone wire for the kitchen.

He was outside using a 12” bit to go through the wall. Went inside and couldn’t see it so he went back out and pulled out the drill bit. There was something yellow on it. He tasted it and it was butter. He went straight into the back of the refrigerator.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

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10262 posts in 3957 days

#7 posted 02-05-2008 09:12 PM

That’s why when I built my shop I took plenty of pictures of exactly where the wires were in the walls.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3751 days

#8 posted 02-05-2008 11:21 PM

I’ve nicked a wire or two in all the home remodeling & building I’ve done over the years, but I think the worst thing I ever messed up was when I put a 3” holesaw right thru a 2” copper pipe in my hot water heating system. The homeowner before me built a double wall cabinet in the basement (totaling hideing the heating pipe) that I needed to run a drain thru for the kitchen remodel I was doing above it. Try standing on a metal ladder, holding a 30 year old 1/2” drill (metal casing) while several hundred gallons of rusty water smack you in the face!! Luckily I only got a little tingle before I jumped back & yanked the elect. cord out of the wall.


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1696 posts in 3849 days

#9 posted 02-05-2008 11:47 PM

i have a stud finder that not only helps locate the stud but also sounds an alarm if there are electrical wires near it . i think it was about 20.oo

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296 posts in 3925 days

#10 posted 02-05-2008 11:55 PM

Gary pic are worth taking. it is good to know witch side of the stud the wires run down

-- I get out in the shop when I can

View matter's profile


210 posts in 3738 days

#11 posted 02-06-2008 12:49 AM

If it’s in a wall or floor, I have hit it. Probably twice.

When we wired my brother-in-laws shop for 220v, we had a unique experience. The receptacle was arcing to the box. Assuming the worst, we ripped open the wall, and found that the screw had not pierced the wire, but a vine that had crept through the corrugated aluminum.

For once it wasn’t my fault.

A vine creeping through aluminum, plus fibreglas insulation makes the moisture in the vine become an electrolyte.

-- The only easy wood project is a fire

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Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3790 days

#12 posted 02-06-2008 02:18 AM


You have my sympathies. I saw your drill press post last night and it was 3 hours after mine. Since I was posting around 11 simple math put your post at 2 in the morning. I thought that you must have been really pumped about something to still be on-line at that time. Now I see what it was.

Most of us have done the same thing or have had near misses. As a note of consolation just be glad it wasn’t a water line.

Hope you have gotten everything fixed.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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815 posts in 4054 days

#13 posted 02-06-2008 03:56 AM

Never hit a wire…but I have driven my fair share of screws into water lines. Those fancy stud finders with the electical sensers don’t work on PVC plumbing, been there, done that.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4037 days

#14 posted 02-06-2008 04:53 AM

Gary, We had our home built and I have wished many times that I had taken pivs or video. Would’ve been handy.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

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526 posts in 4045 days

#15 posted 02-06-2008 05:46 AM

Jeff, I am just thankfull that you did not hit a live hot wire, especially with a lag screw! God had His angels watching over you that time!

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

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