After I got the measurements of the mount brackets to mark the holes and marked, I then used my stud finder, found some, marked them and made some pilot holes. It quickly became clear the newly added wall was made of metal studs. I have never mounted on metal studs but after some quick research I felt convinced that it wasn't much different, other than the recommended bit and toggle anchor being quite a bit bigger.

Now, to the issue. I wasn't looking to install the mount strictly into studs, it was like a 10 pound 30 inch tv but I was working with one of those giant mounts for 80"+ TV"s. I think one stud and a couple drywall anchors would've been sufficient though. the problem began when the whole wall seemed to have a thin sheet of metal throughout it because no matter where I drilled there was metal. My stud finder never detected any possible AC where I was drilling, and I triple, quadruple checked sometimes that there wasn't any electrical. So after a little bit the mount was up.

But there was a problem. Both of the outlets on the new wall now aren't working. Is it common, or possible, for stud finders not to detect AC lines, or miss them completely if they're running through conduit in the middle of these metal studs? And do some contractors build partition walls using metal sheets in between each metal stud, like a big thin metal sheet inside parallel to each of the outer plaster boards? Now a question of desperation(lol) before I have to admit defeat and confess a mistake happened caused by me. My understanding, which is limited, of partition walls is the source of power they use for the outlets on them typically come from circuits from the closest outlets of the adjoining walls. The electricians ran the power coming from the ceiling instead and then down through the middle of the partition, where they were aware a TV was going to be mounted on that wall(it's a small wall)right in the middle. Nobody told me this but i'm not sure that matters. Most important question. Are there other reasons these outlets might not be working? The guys who built the wall say the outlets worked before they left, so how would I know if I knicked a wire? I imagine something would spark, or Any help or thoughts are very appreciated. Thanks. 21

  • I’m voting to close this question because this is an "Office Improvement" question, not "Home Improvement". The rules are different in a commercial structure.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 12, 2022 at 11:03
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    It is unfortunate that the OP does not define if it is an office office or a home office. I am leaning to home office since most office workers don't do maintenance, and the boss does not seem to be screaming.
    – crip659
    Apr 12, 2022 at 11:25
  • I wouldn't worry about the rules of commercial property or residential property, sorry if I didn't clarify, it is a commercial office partition. I guess I always considered if somebody mentioned a partition wall, especially one with outlets, they were talking about an office. But that would be wrong apparently. I believe this particular scenario whether in an office or at home would have the same answers for the questions I am asking. But if the urge to explain why not becomes too overwhelming I am all ears to learn something new. Apr 12, 2022 at 12:33
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    Also, it's VERY unlikely that a stud bay is both completely occupied by a metal air duct and ALSO contains wires!
    – jay613
    Apr 12, 2022 at 13:12
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    This is a 3 story office building. Not too big. This partition wasn't part of the office, or building, until about 2 weeks ago. It is not a wall that was originally built with the building, that's why it is a partition. So luckily there are no air ducts in it, but it definitely has wires. I am learning incredibly fast about general construction techniques, and i'm figuring it out by making as many mistakes as I can and putting giant holes in everything I can. It's the only way. Apr 12, 2022 at 14:04

2 Answers 2


If the outlets worked before and you drill into a wall and they do not work now, you broke a wire, breaking the circuit.

Turn off the breaker/s for that room.

Will need to open a hole in the wall where you drilled and look inside. Repeat till you find the problem.

When the problem is found, will need to fix the wire. Either by using a accessible junction box and splice the wire, replace that wire run, or in some locals they allow you to use special wire connectors that can be hidden inside a wall.

  • Thanks Crip659. That's kind of what I was guessing but it never hurts to ask. Do you know why the metal would throughout the whole wall though? I seemed like no matter where I drilled I hit metal. Apr 12, 2022 at 12:38
  • Paper thin 'metal'(aluminum foil type) might be a type of insulation covering, but other than that, not much need or use, for metal sheets in walls.
    – crip659
    Apr 12, 2022 at 13:21
  • I know, I think I was just double lucky and hit what might have been a horizontal stud that somebody had mentioned, used for structural integrity but also for running the electrical conduit through. Unfortunately this is where commercial and residential separate, if you're listening Freeman. Even though I could find the cause and most likely be able to fix it. It is in building managements hands now, and I am not a licensed electrician. Thanks for the pointers. Appreciate it. Apr 12, 2022 at 14:20

There's a good chance that your stud finder could totally miss AC running up/down inside metal studs. depending on the height of the wall, there could also be metal stud pieces running horizontally stud to stud. I have not run into a situation where metal sheeting was installed before drywall. There is no set standard where the wires are run from... ceiling ,wall, depends on loading and accessibility. When you were drilling, you could have pierced a neutral so there's be no flash/spark or tripped breaker. As far as if the outlets were working, if you were drilling holes in the wall, wouldn't you have been using those outlets? Lastly, attaching a TV to a wall utilizing one stud and the rest drywall anchors isn't a good idea.

  • To diagnose the problem, use a multi meter and test from hot to neutral, then from hot to ground. In a typical outlet, the hot slot is slightly smaller than the neutral. If you have 120 from hot to ground, but not neutral, you nicked it/broke it, like crip659 said. ....EDIT: Thinking more about my comment: This isn't a completely reliable test, you could have broken any of the wires...like if you only broke the hot, it may not have sparked or tripped a breaker. Depending upon access, it may be easier to simply run a new cable and have the junction box accessible in the attic. Apr 12, 2022 at 13:10
  • Think it would depend if the corded drill or the battery drill was most handy to determine if outlet was used.
    – crip659
    Apr 12, 2022 at 13:15
  • The stud finder had to have missed them. I mentioned the ceiling because all of my holes were above the in-wall cable concealer piece newly installed and I couldn't think of a reason to run electrical above that. I wasn't able to use drywall anchors because I kept hitting metal, quite possibly those metal studs going horizontally stud to stud that you mentioned, I had never seen that before. I meant the sheet metal in middle, a drywall metal drywall sandwhich. I used toggle anchors, all on studs. I meant 1 side on a stud, so 2 in a stud and 2 anchors. Also only because the TV was so small. Apr 12, 2022 at 13:17
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    @crip659... Showing my age... all my drills are still corded.. lol
    – JACK
    Apr 12, 2022 at 15:46
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    @crip659 lol Yesterday I re attached a kitchen cabinet door. Guess what?? The outlet was two inches too far away...
    – JACK
    Apr 12, 2022 at 16:14

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