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I hired someone from Amazon Home Services to install a TV wall mount. As the person was drilling holes into studs, he found metal when drilling one of the holes. He wasn't really sure what he was drilling into. But, he drilled through it anyway, and was able to install the screw and then the TV wall mount.

My house is a newly built townhouse (2019 construction). Should I be worried about something (water leaks, electrical wires short circuiting)?

Thanks, -Ghulam

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    Do you know what sort of metal? Silvery (iron, aluminium, zinc)? Yellow/orange/red (copper)? Do you know how thick it was? Do you know if your house is wired with metal conduit or not? Do you have what I call an RCD (residual current device), but you probably cause a GFCI, protecting all circuits? – Martin Bonner Jun 10 at 20:48
  • Thanks for your comment. I am not sure how thick, but it couldnt be too thick because the technician was able to drill through it and install holding screws for this TV wall mount: amazon.com/gp/product/B003WUBL0S/… The shavings that were coming out during the drilling were silvery. Not sure which metal was it. I am not sure if the house is wired with metal conduit. Can you please tell me what it is? Sorry, I am really new at home ownership. So, lot to learn – gmemon Jun 10 at 20:53
  • Any chance your townhouse was built with metal studs? – JPhi1618 Jun 10 at 20:55
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    Posted an answer. In my opinion, the installer shouldn't have kept drilling. – JPhi1618 Jun 10 at 21:06
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    you should file a complaint with Amazon .... if something got drilled into, and fails in the future because of the drilling, then you may have a recourse for compensation – jsotola Jun 10 at 21:54
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Unless you know exactly what it is, do not drill through metal in the wall. There are so many bad things it can be. Ductwork in the wall wouldn't be terrible to drill into, but then trying to use a sheetrock anchor in that hole might not be a great idea.

If you are drilling into a stud, and you find metal, it could be a nail protector designed to cover pipes and wires that are run through studs.

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These are easy to identify because they will sit directly behind the drywall. They are thick enough so you can't puncture them by accident, but if you have a drill and are determined, you can drill through it pretty quickly.

If there is a wire behind the plate, the damage might not be immediate or obvious but the damaged wire could cause issues later. (Of course you can get lucky and not hit the wire).

Plumbing pipe is another common source of metal, but in new construction that has been largely replaced by plastic pipe. Either way if a pipe is drilled, you get pretty immediate feedback that you messed up in the form of a big leak.

  • Based on your comments, it would seem like he found metal in the same stud as a clean wood hole (directly below or above the good hole). In this case, it's pretty likely it was a nail protector. Make sure all the electric circuits in the house work. You could have gotten lucky, but may have partially damaged a wire. – JPhi1618 Jun 10 at 21:05
  • Thank you so much!! Since the installation yesterday, I have not seen any issues with electricity in the house. But, I'll keep an eye on it. Could a partially damaged wire cause fire in the house? Is there a way that I can check the site of drilling to see if any wires were damaged? – gmemon Jun 10 at 21:12
  • The problem is that the thickness of a wire determines how much electricity can safely flow through it. When a wire is nicked, it gets thinner in that spot. Normally a residential wire can handle 15 amps of power. If the wire size is cut in half or worse, and you plug in a vacuum or space heater, that spot on the wire can melt. The most likely result is the outlet dying with no obvious cause, but it sparking is possible. In other words, fire is not likely, but there is an increased risk. – JPhi1618 Jun 10 at 21:16
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    Unfortunately the only way to check and see what they hit is to cut a hole in the wall next to the area and look. You could use a small hole and a "borescope" camera or just cut a 3"x3" square and check it out. – JPhi1618 Jun 10 at 21:17
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    Borescope/endoscope cameras are pretty cheap when paired with a smartphone. You're looking at about $30 from Amazon. It'll leave you with an easy-to-repair 3/8" hole left behind. In my older house, this has been an essential tool for investigating a range of questions. I recommend investigating to see if any wires/else were damaged. – Sam Jun 10 at 22:30
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Thank you all so very much for all your help!! I ended up drilling a few holes close to the original site in question, and passed a camera through it, and took some pictures. From what I can tell, there is blue pipe passing along the stud, and there was a metal plate on the stud that was protecting it. Luckily, as far as I can tell, the screw didn't go through the pipe. There is some scarring on the pipe. I am not sure whether that's something to be concerned about or not. The pictures that I took are attached.

Thanks!!

Blue Pipe Screw Coming through the Stud.Insulation is blocking the view a bit Another view of screw coming through the stud Just the screw - no pipe in view Scarring on the pipe Possible metal plate at the front of the stud Another view of scarring on the pipe

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    Maybe a cold water PEX line – auujay Jun 13 at 0:11
  • Thanks, @auujay!! – gmemon Jun 13 at 19:58
  • What’s the white thing in the 2nd and fourth pics? That looks like electrical wire and could be what the plate was protecting. If the blue pipe runs parallel to the stud, the plate wasn’t meant for that. – JPhi1618 Jun 18 at 22:24
  • That looked like insulation (a bit fabricky) to me. But I could be wrong. – gmemon Jun 18 at 23:08
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Do not pass this off so easy .Take pics and record. Call and record to company. It may have been a nail or screw, gas line or electric.I cant believe he kept drilling and added screw to hole anyways. Yes a stud finder may have helped. And stuff like that happens. You may be fine now, but maybe not later. You may be able to cut a little hole to inspect. Tv may cover patch.

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