Should You Use a Stud Finder as an Electrical Wire Finder?

Electrical WireMany people install drywalls into their home’s structure for a number of reasons, like better sound transmission and higher thermal resistance. In most cases, these walls have a thickness of about 48 to 96 inches. This makes them ideal for the use of a stud finder.

What is a Stud Finder?

In general, the use of a stud finder is to check where the studs are — thus the name. Experts noted, however, that stud finders have other uses. TASCO, Inc. says that they can also act as a more affordable electrical wire finder. You can do this by setting your stud finder to check for electrical wires. Once done, run it along your walls. Your stud finder would then light up or produce a sound as soon as it finds an electrical wire underneath the drywall.

The Logic Behind the Practice

Remember that you cannot set all stud finders to find wires behind drywalls. In some cases, a stud finder would be best for its main purpose — a handheld detector that can check for studs.

This should not keep you from using it as an electrical wire finder, though. You simply need to keep in mind that electrical wires tend to run along the studs horizontally or vertically. Let your stud finder do its job. Once it finds a stud, you can assume that a wire is probably running along its length. Of course, you need to mark the area to ensure that you do not accidentally drill through where a wire or a stud could be.

While stud finders can do the job, you have to remember that it will only work for thin drywalls. If the electrical wire runs behind a thicker wall material, your stud finder might not be able to accurately detect where the studs are or where your wire is running.