PRO TIP: Don't Shoot Nails Into Pipes

It is easy to do, and it is easy to avoid. Step 1 is to use a stud-finder. Step 2 is to think like a plumber
November 14, 2022
Read time: 1 min

"I'm 99% sure I have shot a nail into a pipe, I just don't know it yet."

—Richard McMurray, DFW Crown Molding

A finish carpenter's worst nightmare is not inevitable, but it's not not-inevitable, either.

When shooting nails into walls, do this:

  • Visualize what is inside the wall. If you're near a toilet or sink, understand that you are in the danger zone.
  • Some contractors take photos of the plumbing and HVAC systems before the drywall goes up, which can be very helpful.
  • Mark the subfloor in new construction to indicate where pipes and wires are located.
  • Stud finders can help see the safe zones, and some can even spot pipes and wires.

When the unspeakable happens, and you have to fix it, especially if it is behind expensive paneling, be thoughtful about cutting into the wall—DO NOT think like a plumber.

When shooting nails into walls, don't do this:

  • Hit pipes.
  • Hit wires.
  • Hit your thumb.