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Hit Electrical Wire With Screw Installing Cabinets

October 15th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

What should I do if I hit an electrical wire behind the wall with a screw while installing cabinets? In twenty seven years I’ve never had to address this question until the other day. I hit a live 220 range wire with a drywall screw. There was a slight spark on the tip of the Phillip’s drill bit and a slow smoldering odor that followed. The smell of smoke was in the air. I knew that I had nailed that sucker right on.

The funny thing is that the electrician on the job was standing less than ten feet from the electrical panel when the breaker tripped. He yelled, “hey dude you tripped a breaker. What’s going on?”

I’d never done such a thing before. He walked over to the box after I got into the garage and flipped the breaker. It stayed on. I said: “good, then I guess it’s alright.” He thought for a moment and said, “I’ll be in a moment to take a look.”

I had to remove the hood cabinet that I had installed so he could get to the area where the screw entered into the electric wire.

Taking a razor knife I hand, he cut the drywall away and then split the outer casing of the electrical wire. Fried chicken, dang it!

The electrical wire was running up the wall and into the attack. He was able to get the old wire fished out and rewired a new one within a day. The scary situation turned out to not be so bad. It was very nice having him on the job to correct the problem rather quickly.

So what do you do when you hit an electrical wire with a screw when installing cabinets? Well, remove the wall covering and take a look at the damage. This is something that must be done. Electrical problems are nothing to try and smooth over. If a new wire must be rerun, then that’s what will have to happen.

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