Expired

Screwed into an electrical wire...

41 replies
Found 13th Dec 2014
Was putting a screw into a wall to hang Xmas decoration up and must have gone into a wire (tripped out). Will be calling an electrician in the morning.
Anyone able to give me a rough cost to get it repaired/replaced?

Thanks in advance

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41 Comments

You can get a whole box of screws in Poundland - not sure how much they are though:|

rogparki

You can get a whole box of screws in Poundland - not sure how much they … You can get a whole box of screws in Poundland - not sure how much they are though:|



not really relevant..

how long's a piece of string ? oO

Has the electric stopped tripping now the screws out?

Original Poster

loisgriffin

Has the electric stopped tripping now the screws out?



It has yes, isolated it to be on safe side though

Did same some years ago and it was simple repair
It sounds like an older property where they buried the wires in the wall plaster?
If they can replace the wire easily it should be no more than£50 to £75 from a certified electrician including all testing and a warranty/repair guarantee

Seriously , 30 mins work for a Sparky ,it will have tripped long before any further damage was done to the cable . He/She will cut back the damaged bit ,crimp back together - electrical job done - £30 tops . Your problem will be the making good - as the local area of plaster /wallpaper etc will have to be removed to gain access to the damaged wires .

The metal that's hit the copper has tripped it out - usually if it comes back on without tripping again it means luckily you've gotten away with it really - If you have conduit it'll protect you to a degree . But if worried to be safe you can call an electrician out (prices vary greatly )or use an electrical tester on it .

Original Poster

sowotsdis

Did same some years ago and it was simple repair It sounds like an older … Did same some years ago and it was simple repair It sounds like an older property where they buried the wires in the wall plaster? If they can replace the wire easily it should be no more than£50 to £75 from a certified electrician including all testing and a warranty/repair guarantee



That's eased my mind a bit! Thank you

Did you put a screw directly in the wall or did you drill a hole first and then insert a raw plug? also how old is the house roughly?

Reason I ask is modern houses have plasterboard walls even external walls, amd would be a lot cheaper and easier to repair.

Original Poster

footyman

Did you put a screw directly in the wall or did you drill a hole first … Did you put a screw directly in the wall or did you drill a hole first and then insert a raw plug? also how old is the house roughly? Reason I ask is modern houses have plasterboard walls even external walls, amd would be a lot cheaper and easier to repair.



Screwed directly into wall, house approx 70 yrs old




Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated!

Original Poster

loisgriffin

The metal that's hit the copper has tripped it out - usually if it comes … The metal that's hit the copper has tripped it out - usually if it comes back on without tripping again it means luckily you've gotten away with it really - If you have conduit it'll protect you to a degree . But if worried to be safe you can call an electrician out (prices vary greatly )or use an electrical tester on it .



Anything I can do If I chip the plaster away myself and there's very little damage?

Apogee00

Screwed directly into wall, house approx 70 yrs oldThanks for all the … Screwed directly into wall, house approx 70 yrs oldThanks for all the replies, much appreciated!


Agree with louisgriffin, a lot of the time removing the screw (when the circuit is isolated) can solve the problem. Once done try turning the breaker back on, don't worry if there is still a fault the circuit will trip again. If it stays on I would say you are fine it would always recommend getting it looked at by an electrician or competent person.

we did a similar thing nailing floorboards down...my electrician mate isolated the supply, (use a tester to make sure cable is definately dead - ) then he cut the damaged cable, stripped the ends, and used a crimping tool like this -

qvsdirect.com/ins…ABg

footyman

Agree with louisgriffin, a lot of the time removing the screw (when the … Agree with louisgriffin, a lot of the time removing the screw (when the circuit is isolated) can solve the problem. Once done try turning the breaker back on, don't worry if there is still a fault the circuit will trip again. If it stays on I would say you are fine it would always recommend getting it looked at by an electrician or competent person.



The fact that it doesn't trip again after screw is removed does not mean it will be fine. If the screw hit the earth wire it could have damaged or broken it, in which case the safety of the circuit is compromised and it would be dangerous to use anything until it's repaired.

If you've isolated it you can minimise the cost by exposing the wire yourself. Cut back the plaster to expose a length of the damaged wire. This will minimise the electricians time on site. Then you make good afterwards.
Of course if you are feeling brave you can actually do the repair yourself and simply have a qualified electrician check it for you. I wouldn't advise this unless you know what you are doing though.
Edited by: "mrty" 13th Dec 2014

Apogee00

Anything I can do If I chip the plaster away myself and there's very … Anything I can do If I chip the plaster away myself and there's very little damage?


Its not difficult to repair the cable with a crimping kit as suggested . Just think of it as a cable that needs to be repaired as if it was on the table in front of you (this one just happens to be buried under the plaster) .
I would be comfortable with doing the repair myself (it used to be my trade), as I said once the damage is exposed its a half hour job at the most amazon.co.uk/Sil…kit . This would be a cheaper alternative .
As a temporary alternative - gain access to the damaged wire/s (by chipping the plaster away ) , wrap the wires individually (there will be 2 or 3 within the outer covering) ,where damaged with insulating tape and that will be fine to switch the circuit back on pending a permanent fix. If its half way up your wall its almost certainly the lighting circuit which is lightly fused and carries very little current.
If the circuit tripped it was because your drill caused a short between two wires ,so no short now drill removed . Just ensure wires are well insulated from each other in the damaged area then use the £10 crimp kit to make a permanent repair (practise with it first on another gash piece of cable from an old lamp or extension lead ).

Edited by: "rogparki" 13th Dec 2014

Why not just rejoin the cables in a junction connector which will cost no more than a pound to buy?

Original Poster

Will open it up tomorrow and take it from there. Thanks for the great advice.

diycrazy

Why not just rejoin the cables in a junction connector which will cost no … Why not just rejoin the cables in a junction connector which will cost no more than a pound to buy?


also known as chocolate block - that would work ,but takes a bit of room that op might not have ( would be about 4cm x2cm x1cm ).

Original Poster

Who's marking rogparki's answers down? Care to explain why please?

Was going to say if you feel it's unsafe isolate then go for the junction box idea or cut /crimp and re -join wire , there won't be much damage to your wall if you follow the wiring route, it's probably the lighting circuit anyway and you wont need to knock a huge hole in .

Lots of good advice here and also rogparki seems to have it sussed and knows his stuff. Other than that you'll have to ring round and get a few quotes if you're worried about doing it yourself, but you have all this info to back you up so you shouldn't get ripped off.
Edited by: "loisgriffin" 14th Dec 2014

Apogee00

Who's marking rogparki's answers down? Care to explain why please?


Always happens when someone ,who knows what they're talking about , takes the time to give good advice . Probably from Losers who wish they'd taken the time to learn a trade . Note : No contradictory advice to go with the marking down . Sad that some folks are like that - I ignore them . Best of luck - it wont be an expensive problem , if I were your neighbour I'd pop round and do it in 15 mins - The wiring that is - I'm bloody useless at decorating , filling holes in plaster etc - now that part of the job would be the problem to me

Original Poster

rogparki

Always happens when someone ,who knows what they're talking about , takes … Always happens when someone ,who knows what they're talking about , takes the time to give good advice . Probably from Losers who wish they'd taken the time to learn a trade . Note : No contradictory advice to go with the marking down . Sad that some folks are like that - I ignore them . Best of luck - it wont be an expensive problem , if I were your neighbour I'd pop round and do it in 15 mins - The wiring that is - I'm bloody useless at decorating , filling holes in plaster etc - now that part of the job would be the problem to me



Haha, I'm the opposite... If there's a hole I'll fill it!

Apogee00

Haha, I'm the opposite... If there's a hole I'll fill it!


I can fill the hole - its just getting it level and smooth with the rest of the wall that I'm useless at

Original Poster

How sad that someone's going round marking comments down!

Original Poster

rogparki

I can fill the hole - its just getting it level and smooth with the rest … I can fill the hole - its just getting it level and smooth with the rest of the wall that I'm useless at



Here it is

http://i1370.photobucket.com/albums/ag248/craigwhitlow/Mobile%20Uploads/2014-12/IMAG0129_zps7laoqbxy.jpg

What you reckon?

Looks like a plasterboard wall , you need a bigger hole to get decent access and strip the outer sheath off for a couple of inches. There will be 3 cables within the sheath ,you'll then be able to see the actual damage to the individual cables . Hopefully there might be a bit of flex in the cable to allow you to work with it . As I suspected no browning of the outer sheath so circuit tripped before any damage was done . By the way - damn fine shot ! dead centre (_;) .
Locking stable door and all that , you should get one of these or similar amazon.co.uk/Sta…sor . Tells you if there's a wire or pipe behind the wall before you drill , also finds the wooden studs in the wall if you need to mount something heavy, eg tele wall bracket .
If you're not confident with electrics , it might be a good time now to call in an Electrician . should only be a 30 min job ,and the hole will get bigger but at least you'll have peace of mind .

Edited by: "rogparki" 14th Dec 2014

Original Poster

rogparki

Looks like a plasterboard wall , you need a bigger hole to get decent … Looks like a plasterboard wall , you need a bigger hole to get decent access and strip the outer sheath off for a couple of inches. There will be 3 cables within the sheath ,you'll then be able to see the actual damage to the individual cables . Hopefully there might be a bit of flex in the cable to allow you to work with it . As I suspected no browning of the outer sheath so circuit tripped before any damage was done . By the way - damn fine shot ! dead centre (_;) . Locking stable door and all that , you should get one of these or similar http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stanley-STHT0-77403-Intelli-Finder-Pieces/dp/B00CEVLMFK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1418558639&sr=8-2&keywords=wire+sensor . Tells you if there's a wire or pipe behind the wall before you drill , also finds the wooden studs in the wall if you need to mount something heavy, eg tele wall bracket .



Haha, I bet I couldn't do it again! Will dig it out a bit more and see if I can make it easier to work with. I've watched a few YouTube vids, was confident anyway but with your advice too, things are looking pretty good at the minute! Will definitely invest in a detector.

Apogee00

Haha, I bet I couldn't do it again! Will dig it out a bit more and see if … Haha, I bet I couldn't do it again! Will dig it out a bit more and see if I can make it easier to work with. I've watched a few YouTube vids, was confident anyway but with your advice too, things are looking pretty good at the minute! Will definitely invest in a detector.


Could have been worse - might have been a water pipe oO .

Original Poster

rogparki

Could have been worse - might have been a water pipe oO .



Ok, it's the black wire I've gone into. So I snip it, take a little of the black sheath off and then crimp it up?

Apogee00

Ok, it's the black wire I've gone into. So I snip it, take a little of … Ok, it's the black wire I've gone into. So I snip it, take a little of the black sheath off and then crimp it up?


That'll sort it . If the wire isn't too badly damaged and the other cables are untouched it'll be safe to turn the circuit back on again until you get hold of a crimp tool . That's the neutral wire and probably tripped the circuit by earthing through the drill .
I did similar a few years back in my first house , putting curtain rails up . Previous owners had moved the storage heaters and put new wiring in for them ,but sadly had not taken the very big fuse from the old system . It left me the other side of the room holding the remains of a Black and Decker and a hole the size of a frying pan in the wall oO . No sign of the wiring ,that had vaporised . I've been a lot more careful with my drilling since then

Original Poster

rogparki

That'll sort it . If the wire isn't too badly damaged and the other … That'll sort it . If the wire isn't too badly damaged and the other cables are untouched it'll be safe to turn the circuit back on again until you get hold of a crimp tool . That's the neutral wire and probably tripped the circuit by earthing through the drill . I did similar a few years back in my first house , putting curtain rails up . Previous owners had moved the storage heaters and put new wiring in for them ,but sadly had not taken the very big fuse from the old system . It left me the other side of the room holding the remains of a Black and Decker and a hole the size of a frying pan in the wall oO . No sign of the wiring ,that had vaporised . I've been a lot more careful with my drilling since then



Wow, someone was looking after you that day! Just off out now to get tools/plaster etc

The earth has no sheath at all for some reason? Old house?

Apogee00

Wow, someone was looking after you that day! Just off out now to get … Wow, someone was looking after you that day! Just off out now to get tools/plaster etc :)The earth has no sheath at all for some reason? Old house?


That's fine , that's how that cable used to come - Live and Neutral and a solid copper earth .

Apogee00

Wow, someone was looking after you that day! Just off out now to get … Wow, someone was looking after you that day! Just off out now to get tools/plaster etc :)The earth has no sheath at all for some reason? Old house?



Buying a bag of plaster might be a bit of overkill, I'm sure a tub of polyfiller would do fine.

Just hang a picture to cover it. Be care full with the nail.

A crimping tool? When you could go out and buy a connector block, some electrical tape and if you want to be extra safe, a chocbox. The whole lot would cost £3 max. The "advice" on here is frightening sometimes.... Just because a circuit doesn't trip doesn't mean it's safe and compliant.

Just for future reference and i'm not being sarcastic never drive a nail into a wall directly above a socket or light switch.

The cables will always run vertically from the said socket/switch if installed properly.

Original Poster

transit

Just for future reference and i'm not being sarcastic never drive a nail … Just for future reference and i'm not being sarcastic never drive a nail into a wall directly above a socket or light switch.The cables will always run vertically from the said socket/switch if installed properly.



I didn't think they'd be that close to the surface tbh, a lesson learned I suppose!

Apogee00

I didn't think they'd be that close to the surface tbh, a lesson learned … I didn't think they'd be that close to the surface tbh, a lesson learned I suppose!



If they would of used metal capping instead of plastic you'd have been ok, no real harm done in the end.
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