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How to Drill a Wall Without Hitting Something You Shouldn’t

How to Drill a Wall Without Hitting Something You Shouldn’t


Drilling through a wall is a dangerous aspect of construction, especially if you don’t have the correct equipment. It’s almost impossible to tell what’s behind that seemingly safe structure and hitting a water pipe, electrical wire, or gas pipe can lead to disaster.

At Concrete Drilling Services Ltd, we always recommend that you hire a professional service to ensure that the procedure is carried out properly and safely, however, if you really must attempt to drill a wall yourself, follow our tips to avoid hitting something you shouldn’t.

Do you need specialist concrete services? Give our team a call on  0800 998 1056  or drop us an email.

Check out our 4 step guide on how to drill a wall without hitting something you shouldn’t, below.

1 – Check the area

If you have access to the architectural drawings of the building, this process will be much simpler. If you don’t have access to the drawings, you can scope out where plug sockets, lights and other electrical equipment is by assuming the lines run above and then across the fixtures, so approach these areas with caution.

The more you try and scope out the area, the less intrusive your work will be and therefore, the less chance of making a mistake.

2 – Avoiding wires

Investing in professional equipment, such as a cable avoidance tool, is the safest option to avoid wires. However, if you don’t have access to this, most wiring runs horizontally 6 inches or 12 inches above the receptacle, so avoid these areas. If it is possible, only drill shallow holes.

Most cables will be at least an inch deep into the wall, so by avoiding deep drilling, you can be sure to avoid wires.

3 – Avoiding pipes

When it comes to piping, the good news is that you are more likely to break your drill bit than break the pipe. Although copper is a softer metal, it will hold up pretty well against your drill. However, if you are on a commercial site and are working with industrial power tools, this most probably will not be the case.

If you are attempting your own commercial drilling, be on the side of caution, drill slowly and frequently check the area you are drill for any signs of pipe. If you have access to a snake plumbing inspection camera, this will ensure that the area is safe to drill.

4 – Avoiding studs

A wall stud is an essential element of a building’s frame, used to support features such as doors, windows and insulation. Studs are vertical posts, connecting the top plate of a wall to the still plate. To avoid these, use a stud finder. You can also attempt to tap the wall to listen for a stud; this section of the wall should sound less hollow than the rest.

However, many people report that they are unable to hear a difference, so it isn’t a foolproof method.

A word of warning

Remember, if you are to hit anything in your walls, the cost of repairs can far outweigh the cost of hiring a professional drilling service, so if you aren’t confident in your own abilities to avoid cables and pipes, calling in a service to help you will save you much stress, time and, potentially, money.

This is of particular importance when dealing with commercial sites as the potential for error is much greater and the damage caused can be much more costly. At Concrete Drilling Services we take health and safety very seriously, making it a top priority.

Do you need specialist concrete services? Give our team a call on  0800 998 1056  or drop us an email.


Concrete Drilling Services Ltd offer top of the range diamond drilling for the quickest, cleanest and quietest performance, even on the toughest jobs. Our friendly and professional team are experts in their field, guaranteeing a perfect finish, every time. For more information on this, or any of our other services, get in contact today – we’re always on hand to offer our assistance.

Why choose Concrete Drilling Services

Over 30 Years Experience
Over 30 Years Experience We’ve worked on countless projects over the years
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Experienced Trained Operatives
Experienced Trained Operatives We’ve got the skills and knowledge to provide high quality work
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Use Of The Latest Technology Our expertise combined with the latest tech gets results
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Nationwide Coverage We proudly serve clients anywhere in the UK

Our Work Process

  • Contact us to arrange a site visit

    Speak to our friendly, knowledgeable team to get the ball rolling, and we’ll arrange a suitable time to visit your premises.

  • Get professional advice & work schedule

    We’ll answer any queries you may have, and advise you on the planned schedule.

  • Let the work begin

    We’ll get to work, fully equipped and prepared to deliver the high quality service we’re known for.

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