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Old 02-11-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
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drywall screws


Trying to avoid hitting wires or anything else behind walls. If a drywall screw hits the wire will it automatically trip the breaker or can the wire continue yo have power? Thought of using a non contact voltage tester and touching the screw to see if there is power? Also, if the wire does not have power how can one tell? Any tools that could help? I know that there are plates to protect the wires and the wires should be far enough back but I have opened many walls and there have been no plates and the wires very close to the drywall. Thanks for your help.

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Old 02-11-2015, 07:23 PM   #2
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The screw would need to hit the hot and another conductor or a grounded surface before tripping the breaker.

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Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
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Old 02-11-2015, 07:55 PM   #3
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Ive pulled 40 year old wiring out with a nail thru the center but never shorted and thats why they invented afci they may short out right away or take years to catch your house on fire
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Old 02-12-2015, 03:25 AM   #4
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Use the shortest possible screws
And allow enough clearence behind walls
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:37 AM   #5
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Holes for wires in studs are supposed to be at least 1-1/4 inches behind the stud edge and this means at least 1-3/4 inches behind the drywall surface. If the hole absolutely positively has to be closer to the wall surface then you need a "nailing plate" over the stud edge that will inhibit the placement of a screw at that location.

You would then be able to use 1-1/2 inch drywall screws without any problem.

It is possible for the cables to waver a little, coming closer to the wall surface between studs. But more often than not, a screw will push the wire back rather than penetrate it.

Drywalls crews have very little holding power between studs. Toggle bolts work better and also do not have sharp points making penetrating the wire even less likely.

If the screw penetrates one conductor in the cable, no short will occur althoug it is possible for the screw to become energized.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 02-12-2015 at 06:42 AM.
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