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How To Know If It’s Safe To Drill Into A Drywall?

Drilling into walls is a common practice. At present, walls are not just a block of bricks and plaster. Most of the household pipelines and electronic wires are hidden inside them.

Therefore, it is natural to fear any damage that might result from drilling through walls.

Since walls are not see-through, you don’t know which wire is lying where. Or what pipeline is in which wall. You must prioritize your safety before:

  • Drilling holes in drywalls.
  • Screwing in drywalls.
  • Using any electric machine to pass through drywalls.

In this article, must-to-take precautions are highlighted to ensure your safety.

What Should You Look Out For Before Drilling?

Behind drywalls are present:

  • Studs
  • Electric Wires
  • Gas Pipelines
  • Water Pipelines


In houses with drywalls, wooden or metallic studs are present. These studs provide support and frame to walls and houses, respectively.

Another purpose that studs serve is to get drilled into. Drywalls alone cannot bear things heavier than 1.6 pounds. So the nails and screws are knocked into studs.

Electric wires

Around sockets, there are wires lying vertically or horizontally. Vertical wires are very easy to avoid. Horizontally spread cables are not.

Usually, wires are coated with insulators so they are not hazardous. But if any conducting part is naked, you will get in trouble.

Drilling into wires can cause electrocution. Your drill bit can tear the coating and touch the conducting part.

Gas pipelines

In most houses, gas pipelines are fixed inside the walls. If you don’t have them marked, you will need to double-check before drilling.

Drilling through gas pipelines can be very dangerous. Gas might leak out and cause troubles. Gas leakage can cause difficulties in breathing. In some cases, it can cause fire too.

Even if you’re quick to turn the gas off, you will still need to spend money on fixing the pipe.

Water pipelines

Water pipelines distribute water around your house. Therefore, they are all over the place.

Making the mistake of drilling through water pipelines can damage your wall and, you guessed it, water provision.

4 Methods To Drill Safely

To locate safe areas, make sure to detect:

  • Studs
  • Metals
  • Pipes
  • Live Wires

To do that, you can use one of the four methods:

  1. Knock on the wall to track studs down.
  2. Use Wall Scanners.
  3. Use Endoscope Camera.
  4. Create a small hole and use an insulator to find unsafe points.

Before proceeding, take note of studs, live wires and pipelines.

1. Knock On The Drywall To Find Studs

Locating Studs is comparatively easy. To find studs, knock on your drywall. If there is nothing, it will sound hollow. If there is a stud, it will feel filled and the sound will be heavier.

2. Use Stud Detectors

It is better to get stud detectors if you can’t find them by knocking. Most detectors are found to be useless.

Magnetic Stud Detectors end up detecting screws and nails. Thus, never helpful.

But I will recommend you to get one of these detectors;

Above mentioned items are useful in detecting:

  1. Studs
  2. Live Wires
  3. Metals
  4. Pipes

Preciva Wall Scanner

Preciva Wall Scanner is known to be accurate and very reliable. This detector is multifunctional. With its 4 detecting modes, it can scan;

  1. Studs
  2. Wood
  3. Metals
  4. AC Wires
Preciva Wall Scanner for Drilling

It also has an LCD Display. The display indicates scanning modes, signal strength, automatic calibration and battery life.

Automatic Calibration discards any potential error. This scanner ensures your and your property’s safety.

How To Detect Live Wires?

Scanning live wires is necessary. Live wires while drilling can be life threatening. If there is a good flow of electricity inside, chances of electrocution are high.

To prevent that from happening, I will recommend Bosch Wall Scanner.

Bosch Wall Detector

It can find wires that are up to 50mm deep inside the walls. It can also detect magnetic and non-magnetic metals.

This gadget is error free as well. It is accurate for metals only. It won’t work for wooden studs.

Bosch Wall Scanner

Using both scanners is not complicated at all.

  • Preciva Detector produces a sound when any of the four things is detected.
  • Bosch Scanner has three LED lights that indicate the presence of live wires. These lights are:
  1. Red light. It indicates that an object has been detected.
  2. Yellow light. It signals the presence of a metal nearby.
  3. Green light. This light represents a safe area.

3. Use An Endoscope Camera

An in-depth inspection is safer. To get a thorough view of what’s inside your wall, get an endoscope.

The ones that you will find online are full of defects mostly. Some don’t have a good picture resolution. Many are not waterproof. Most don’t show effective results.

To make it easy for you to get an efficient device, I will recommend Despetch Wireless Endoscope.

Depstech Wireless Endoscope

This gadget is very helpful and it makes it easier to get a detailed look at the insides.

You can connect this device with your phone and scan around. It can be connected to both androids and iOS.

Depstech Endoscope

It is waterproof and picture quality is top-notch. You can avoid pipes, wires and any danger before drilling by using this endoscope.

4. Make A Small Hole For Inspection

There is another method to make sure you are ready to drill.

Make a small diameter hole and use an insulator, i.e., a wooden stick, to find studs, pipes, or wires.

How To Know If It’s Safe To Drill Into A Drywall?

When your detectors do not signal the presence of pipes, wires and metals inside, you are free to drill.

Studs are safe to drill into. Since they can hold weights well, you are supposed to screw and drill into them.

In Conclusion;

In this article, steps to follow before drilling into drywalls are given. Wall scanners for complete safety and surety are also provided. For readers’ convenience, brief reviews for each one are also written.