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I’m trying to attach camera mounts to the ceiling wall that has an AC vent running behind it.

Is it safe to drill into the drywall and make small holes to insert anchors without damaging the vent behind the wall?

enter image description here

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3 Answers 3

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Take off that vent grate and look inside. You should be able to see the depth of the vent boot that connects to the duct and make a reasonable determination of the amount of space you have between the drywall and the duct.

Commonly (at least in residential and light-duty commercial), a soffit that encloses ducting like that is built from a box made of framing lumber, so even if the box is as tight as possible and nearly touching the duct, you can reasonably assume that you have at least the depth of a stud (1.75") between the back of the drywall and the boxed-in duct, likely more.

I'm guessing this is a recording studio. Was it purpose-built that way or refitted into a house or office building? That might give us an idea of what type of framing is used.

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  • It's entirely possible that this is the last duct on the branch and that the duct work comes in from the right side, leaving nothing behind the drywall to the left of the duct. This is the one way to be 100% certain.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Sep 1, 2022 at 14:18
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Yeah, you can.

Drill for the screw, though, not the anchor. If you hit metal immediately behind the drywall, just mount your camera to that. It will not hurt a thing. There are already many holes larger than that in your duct system, sealed or not.

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Start by drilling a hole only 1/2 inch deep.

Just enough to penetrate the drywall and not more.

Now insert a long screw or nail to the depth of your planned anchor.

If will feel any resistance then there is a AC vent behind it.

If not you can continue with your installation.

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