Drilling 1inch screws into drywall with live wires.

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Nello0729
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Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:48 pm

Drilling 1inch screws into drywall with live wires.

Post by Nello0729 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:03 pm

Hi all,

First time homeowner here. I am trying to put curtain rods up that require me to drill 1inch screws to fasten brackets above the window frame. My stud finder detected a horizontal wire that runs throughout the length above the window frame so I am very hesitant to start drilling :cry: . There is not much height flexibility for bracket placement because the top of the window frame is roughly 6 inches from the ceiling.

Will it be safe to drill 1in screws within proximity of a live wire (assuming that the previous homeowner/electricians ran the wires to code)? Can the 1inch screws go deep enough into the dry wall to puncture any wires?

Thanks for any advice in advance!
-Nello

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Aaron
Posts: 3516
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Drilling 1inch screws into drywall with live wires.

Post by Aaron » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:52 pm

Well you do so at your risk, of course. But there's some facts that might make you feel better about doing it. If the electrician did their job correctly, the cabling should be at least 1 1/4" away from the face of the stud the drywall is attached to (and preferably centered in the stud, so it could be 1 3/4" on a 2x4 or 2 3/4" for a 2x6).

If the cable is less than 1 1/4" deep for whatever reason, the electrician should have installed steel protector plates on the face of those studs with the shallow cable, blocking any attempt to screw into the stud.

Another possibility is the cable could be metallic-clad (armoured) cable, which resists puncture.

But since the drywall is 1/2" thick and your your screw 1" long, it would penetrate the wood 1/2", well short of the wire if it's the minimum 1 1/4" deep.

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