What you need to know about Cable, Pipe & Stud Detectors
Cable, Pipe & Stud Detectors, otherwise known as Wall Scanners, are used for finding hidden objects beneath the surface of a wall.
Most Detectors are multi functional, & can sense more than one material. The simplest models, Cable or Voltage Detectors
, are only able to detect electric currents - useful for finding wiring. Other models are capable of detecting metallic objects too. Stud Detectors
, sense areas of greater density, so can detect wood as well as metal. Studs are wooden or metal frames within walls, providing support to windows, doors, insulation or utilities. High end scanners are able to detect plastic piping alongside easier to find materials.
Any work which requires breaking into or piercing the wall's surface will be made safer & easier by using a Detector. Examples include electrical work such as installing wiring, power outlets, recessed lighting or ceiling fans, or driving nails or screws into the wall when mounting wall brackets, grab bars or hanging hooks. Undertaking any of these tasks without a good idea of what is beneath the surface of a wall runs a risk of electrocution, & might mean damaging a supporting structure, or having to start over again & break into the wall at a different point. Heavy objects are also much more likely to stay in place if hung at the centre of a stud. Therefore anyone who regularly works on their house, or plans on renovating, is likely to save themselves a lot of unnecessary hassle by investing in a Detector.
When deciding which model of Detector is most suitable for you, there are a number of considerations to keep in mind. For instance, if the building you are working in is thickly plastered, you will want to look for a model with a high detection depth to compensate for this. The most advanced models are capable of detecting metals up to 150mm away. If you are working on a wall containing live electrical cables, a detector with a voltage warning function is essential. Moreover, many Stud Detectors are 'Edge Finders', & indicate the outline of a stud. If you mainly intend to use your Detector to help with hanging, a 'Centre Finder' Detector will save you a lot of time.
Most detectors run off AA/AAA Batteries
batteries. Models powered by Lithium Ion Batteries
are also available, with much longer run times.