Using Stud Finders to Avoid Electrocution
Stud finders are a modern tool used to find wooden studs in the wall into which you can then drive nails or other hanging hardware. However, how can you tell if there is electricity line running through those studs — or wherever in the wall you happen to be trying to hang or mount something, for that matter?
You absolutely do not want to drive a nail or screw into a stud that you found and then get yourself electrocuted because of live wires that you didn’t know were there. That's why it is so important to think and act carefully before entering your walls with nails or other hardware in order to hang something such as a flat-screen TV or mirror or mount a bookshelf to the wall for safety.
Did you know that you can use your stud finder to find those live wires as well as the studs?
You can! Here, we'll go through how to best use a stud finder for hanging things on the wall at home. The best stud finders out there are such simple pieces of equipment, easy to obtain, and really pretty cost-friendly (even the fancier modern ones with digital displays!). There's really no good reason to skip using one and risk harm to yourself or your home.
Let's get into the details of how and why to use a stud finder.
How do you avoid getting electrocuted using your stud finder?
Using an electronic stud finder, you can detect live wires behind the walls or through the studs. An electronic stud finder is a tool that will let you find studs, beams, joists, or wires. Since a variety of materials are used to build your walls, it is essential that your stud finder can adapt to those materials.
If you are looking to drive nails into your walls to hang something securely, you need to know with accuracy where the live wires are so that you don’t get electrocuted.
Your stud finder lets off small beeping noises as you run it along your wall. You know when you find studs because your finder will change the tempo of its beeping.
With an electronic stud finder, the tempo of the beeping changes if there are live wires behind the wall as well. However, the tempo will be different compared to the tempo of found studs.
What can I expect when my stud finder detects wires and studs?
More advanced stud finders called “multi-scanners” are designed to find electrical wires using a small radar that also has metal detecting radars. As your stud finder runs along the wall, if it comes across as stud that has live wiring running through it, the beeping will turn more into a screeching sound.
You need to pay attention to that screeching sound as it will notify you to take extra care. If you are in doubt of your stud finders ability to detect live wires, then you can test it by running it up to the wall where a stud is detected.
As you run your finger up to the wall, you will notice a change in tempo. If that change is different than the location where live wires are suspected, you know your stud finder is doing its job.
It is important to know that stud finder are not 100% accurate in their finds. Most only give you the best guess estimate. However, more expensive, higher-end stud finders are much more accurate by giving you a location that has only a couple centimeters of variable space.
What's the best way to avoid electrocution?
If you want to be 100 percent certain that you won’t be electrocuted when driving a nail into a stud, a good stud finder with a live wire detector is what you need. However, nothing helps avoid you getting electrocuted better than switching off the breaker in the area where you will be working.
Conclusion: Why to use stud finders
Stud finders are great tools to have when you are doing some construction in your home, hanging a picture or television. However, they are only so accurate when it comes to detecting live wires in your walls. Though a higher-end stud finder does have the capabilities to find live wires, you want to follow safety procedures and not rely 100 percent on your stud finder.