What happens if a nail hits a wire?

Asked By: Abdesalam Luikh | Last Updated: 16th January, 2020
Category: home and garden home entertaining
4.5/5 (654 Views . 39 Votes)
It's common practice to staple electrical cables to the sides of wall studs, and a nail has to be well placed to puncture one, but it happens. If the nail makes contact with the hot conductor, the nail becomes live, and you can be electrocuted by touching it.

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Similarly, what happens if you screw into a wire?

If you hit the hot wire and the drill is completely metallic to your hand and you have a path to ground (maybe you are standing in water, or barefoot on a metal floor, or your other hand is resting on a grounded refrigerator) you might get a nasty shock, but still probably not enough to kill you.

Also, can a cut wire cause a fire? If by 'cable wire' you mean Coax cable for the TV, or Internet, then the answer is no. That is why fuses and/or circuit breakers should always be included in any electrical service wiring to cut off the supply of current before a fire can be caused by such damage.

Secondly, what do you do if you nick a wire?

If the cable is inside a wall and sheath has been nicked then carefully wrap the outside with electrical tape is OK.

Avoid Potential Fire Hazard and Future Problems from Damaged Electrical Wires

  1. The cable will need to be cut.
  2. Place the cable into an approved accessible junction box.

How do you tell if there is wiring behind a wall?

How to Know if There Is Electrical Behind a Wall When Hanging Shelves

  1. Place the stud finder with wire tracing mode onto the wall.
  2. Move the finder along the wall, front towards you and the flat side against the wall.
  3. Move the stud finder over the electrical wires.

30 Related Question Answers Found

How do you fix a broken electrical wire in the wall?

Cut the electrical wire at each of the holes. Remove the damaged portion from within the wall. Strip both remaining ends with your wire stripper. Remove approximately 2 inches of outer insulation and then strip the inner insulation to expose 1/2 inch of bare copper from each of the wires.

How do you tell if you're drilling into a stud?

Make a fist and knock on the wall with your knuckles. In some places, you'll hear a hollow sound. Other areas will sound more “solid.” The “solid” sound indicates you have knocked on a stud. Measure 16 to 25 inches away from either side the first stud and rap on the wall again to hear if you've hit another one.

Do electric wires run up or down?

Electrical wires typically run either vertically, up and down the side of a stud (with staples), in order to reach receptacles, ceiling lights/fans, etc., and horizontally in order to get across the room(s).

Do plug socket wires run up or down?

JohnD. p.s. as a rule of thumb, if you have an older house with wooden floors, the socket cables will quite often be run under the floor and go up to the sockets. If you have concrete floors, they will usually come down from the ceiling to the sockets. In kitchens they sometimes run horizontally between sockets.

What happens if you drill into electric?

Damage to electrical wiring from drilling into walls is a surprisingly frequent phenomenon – especially when buildings are being renovated. Not only do the lights go out, but you usually blow a fuse as well. If you suspect that an electric cable has been hit, it is absolutely necessary to repair it.

What happens if you wire a light switch wrong?

If either wire at the light fixture is still hot then the switch is wired incorrectly. If one of the wires is still hot at the light fixture with the switch in the off position, then you most likely have the light switch on the neutral wire. Separate the bare ends of the wires so you can safely turn the power back on.

How do most electrical fires start?

A failure or malfunction within the electrical components of equipment or machinery can cause electrical fires. Electrical fires originate in electric wires, cables, circuit breakers, and within electrical components. Fires start in electrical panels from overloaded circuits or age of the panel.

Can an outlet catch fire with nothing plugged in?

Answer: An outlet always has power to it as long as the breaker is turned on, so yes it can start a fire when there is nothing plugged into it. A light fixture that is turned off, on the other hand, would be very unlikely to cause a fire.

Where do most vehicle fires start?

fires originated in the engine, running gear or wheel area of the vehicle. vehicle fires (45 percent). area (18 percent) were the most common items first ignited in highway vehicle fires.

Can you mix 12 and 14 gauge wire?

mixing 14-gauge NM and 12-gauge. both 14 and 12 gauge will be protected by a 15A breaker. Code states that 14Ga will be protected by an overcurrent device of not more than 15A and 12GA by 20A. 14 and 12 are both ok behind a 15amp breaker, but you must use one or the other and not both.

What are the signs of an electrical fire?

What Are the Signs of an Electrical Fire?
  • There's a Persistent Burning Smell – and You Can't Figure Out Where. If you smell something burning, but can't find the source, it may be an electrical fire.
  • Your Breakers Keep Tripping. A tripped breaker means a trip to the electrical panel.
  • There Are Charred, Discoloured Outlets and Switches.

Can insulation touch electrical wires?

Be safe and smart with insulation, particularly in the garage and attic, to help prevent electrical fires. Don't let any insulation touch bare wires, and keep insulation fibers out of electrical outlet boxes. Unless you are an expert DIYer, hire a pro for safe insulation installation.

Can an open neutral cause a fire?

An Open Neutral in the Panel
Lights on the leg with the smaller load get more power, and they get brighter, while those on the leg with the larger load get dimmer. This is a dangerous situation because devices can overheat and start a fire.

How do you know if your house needs rewiring?

Signs that you may need to rewire your home include circuit breakers that trip regularly, slight shocks from switches and outlets, frequently flickering or dimming lights, damaged or exposed wires and cables.

Do stud finders detect wires?

A magnetic stud finder detects the metal nails in the wall studs. Some electronic stud finders also have the ability to detect wires behind walls. Voltage detectors are helpful once you find your wires -- they let you test whether the wires are live.

How do you know if you have a bad wire in your house?

Feel for Warm or Vibrating Wall Outlets
Another way to find out if the wiring in your home has gone bad is to check by feel. Without touching any wiring directly feel your home's electrical outlets for heat or vibrations. In the case of either, have an electrician check for and replace any loose or damaged wiring.

How do you find electrical wires behind drywall?

Use the Stud Finder
With the stud finder set to find electrical wires, place it against the sheetrock wall and move it alongside the drywall. A signal will indicate the location of any electrical wiring that is behind the sheetrock.