How to drill a wall and not damage electrical wiring

Before drilling the walls, make sure that the wiring will not be damaged during the work. This can be done in several ways – using communication schemes or special equipment (detectors). A preliminary search for the wiring will not take much time and will insure against serious problems.

What is fraught with a violation of the wiring during drilling
Many home craftsmen in vain do not classify wall drilling as a potentially hazardous work. Carelessness can turn into a whole bunch of troubles:

damaged instrument;
the need to re-lay the cable;
constant operation of the machine in case of partial damage to the cable or its sheath;
electric shock;
Serious fall injuries (sprains, fractures) and even death are possible. All this must be taken into account before you start drilling walls at random.

How is the wiring located in the walls of the apartment
If during the construction of the building the builders adhered to the standards, the wiring in the walls should be located strictly vertically or horizontally. The procedure for conducting electrical communications within the walls is governed by the rules from the PUE-7 clause 7.1.32-58. They prohibit the laying of wires:

diagonally, along a radius or broken path;
at a distance less than 100–150 mm from the ceiling, floor, corners and door or window openings;
closer than 500 mm to heating radiators and gas pipelines.

Self-respecting professionals observe these rules when laying, so it is not so difficult to determine the zones of passage of communications. As additional reference points, you can pay attention to the junction boxes located under the ceiling. It is from them that the wires are bred to the sides.

How to determine the location of the wires
There is a simple and effective way to find wires in walls – by targeting switches and sockets. The wires to these points usually lead from above, so it is sufficient to draw vertical lines through the marked places. This will be the most likely path for the cable to pass through the wall. For insurance, you can also draw horizontal lines through the centers of the boxes for switches and sockets. This step is recommended in cases where there are two sockets on the same wall.

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How not to get caught in the cable when drilling the ceiling
When installing a chandelier or ceiling lamp, it is difficult to get into the wire, but sometimes it happens. In addition, ceilings are drilled not only for the sake of installing lighting fixtures. Flanges of bar counters, hooks for children’s sports ropes, swings, fasteners of Swedish walls and much more are attached to them today. Therefore, the search for a cable laid in the ceiling is an urgent task for a home craftsman.

In most multi-apartment prefabricated buildings, ceilings are built using concrete slabs with internal cavities. It is through them that the cable is pulled. The cavities are parallel to the long side of the slab, so the path of the cable is easy to determine. In addition, he himself comes out of the stove to the outside and serves as an excellent reference point.

You can pick out a piece of putty or plaster in the place of its exit to 100% exclude the possibility of contact of the cable with the drill. The hole in the ceiling can be easily repaired later, but you can not do this either – the place will still be closed by a lamp or chandelier.

Twist drill (screw) Makita D-07141
430 *
Drill AEG 4932363604 spiral (screw)
Spiral drill (screw) Bosch 2608588141
350 *
In rooms with monolithic ceilings, the wire is traditionally wound vertically from above, since the chasing of load-bearing floors is prohibited. This means that it is enough to step back a little from the place of its exit. Also, do not drill the ceiling too deep, because in houses with monolithic ceilings, the wires for the lamps are run along the floor of the higher floor.

In private homes, the cable is easy to spot due to the plaster trail. It is enough to shine a flashlight in different directions and find the location of the channel with the help of a beam of light. If this method does not work, it is better to use a detector. Indeed, when building private houses, standards are much more often violated.

Locating a cable with a wire detector
After buying a home in the secondary market, you can face a situation when its former owners made major repairs and installed cables without observing the norms from PUE-7 p.7.1.32-58. And the builders themselves do not always adhere to these rules. Therefore, it is advisable to insure yourself and use equipment that will allow you to quickly and accurately find hidden wiring.

We are talking about hidden wiring detectors that react to an electromagnetic field. These devices also have names – proximity indicators or testers. They make it possible to determine the places of cable passage with an accuracy of 20 mm. Different devices differ in sensitivity and are able to search for wires at a depth of 10 to 100 mm. This parameter depends on the detector modification. The more expensive the device is, the less depth it is able to find wires.

Wire detector Condtrol Wall 1 999 *
For work in an apartment or a private house, detectors with lamp indicators or an LCD display are suitable. It is very easy to use such testers:

Make sure that the walls under investigation are dry – a humid environment can cause the detector to malfunction (some devices are capable of operating in high humidity conditions, but this should be written in the instructions).
Check the operation of the tester on a live wire. The easiest way to do this is with an extension cord plugged into the outlet.
Calibrate the detector if the instrument has this option. This should be done at a distance of about 1 meter from the walls.
Disconnect electrical appliances that are running in the house or apartment: refrigerator, air conditioner, computer, microwave oven, and even telephones.
Examine the area where you plan to drill holes with the detector.

Wiring detector Mastech MS6818 18 299 *
Before searching for hidden wiring, you cannot turn off the electricity on the dashboard, since it is impossible to find a cable without voltage in the network.

When a wire is detected, the detector will react in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer – it will give an audible, light or other visual signal.

Is a portable metal detector suitable for finding hidden wiring

Metal detector Megeon 45003 2 499 *
Using a metal detector to locate cables is a bad idea. Together with the wires, he will find fittings, screws, nails and other metal objects. That is, its use does not guarantee that there is no electrical wiring on the investigated section of the wall.

Additional Precautions When Drilling Walls
The damaged cable can be replaced. Although this procedure is quite time consuming and unpleasant, it cannot be compared with the consequences of an electric shock. Therefore, before starting work, you need to insure yourself. For this it is enough:

wear goggles to protect your eyes;
do not touch grounded objects: water and heating pipes;
do not work in a humid environment.
It is optimal if there are several separate lines in a house or apartment, individually connected to several machines. Then the line near which it is planned to carry out work, it is advisable to turn off for a while. A drill or hammer drill through an extension cord can be connected to any other line.

Rotary hammer Makita HR2470 + Set of drills B-54704 9 699 *
Even if the wiring in the wall or ceiling is broken during work, it will not damage the instrument or cause an electric shock. It is better to check your “luck” after drilling. If, after turning on the machine, it does not knock it out, everything is in order.

Wiring detector Mastech MS6818 18 299 *
How reliable are the alternative methods of finding a transaction
Sometimes they look for ways to lay the cable using a smartphone with a special application, a receiver, a hearing aid, an ordinary indicator screwdriver, a multimeter, and even a compass.

None of the above methods are suitable for accurate wire detection. Their use only slightly reduces the risk of getting caught in the wire when drilling.