There are two main reasons why it is not safe to drill above a normal wall socket. The first is electrical, and the second is safety related.
The first is that you could break off some of the wires in the socket. If this happens, then your house will no longer work due to lost power.
The second reason is safety. You could also damage or cut off the supply lines for other devices like lamps, televisions, or laptops.
Both of these things can very seriously hurt or even kill someone if they occur during an accident. This is why only professionals perform such work, and there are strict regulations around who may do so.
This article will talk more about the dangers of drilling near sockets, as well as tips and tricks to safely avoid them.
Considerations for drilling above a plug socket
While some say it is never safe to drill below or next to a solid object, there are instances where this can be done. When doing so, you must make sure that you have enough of a gap in place to prevent any electrical contact.
Drilling into an empty space or using a tool with very limited diameter holes may also prove helpful in preventing short circuits.
However, there are certain things that should always be considered when drilling near a wall, floor, or other surface. These include anything described as a “plug” or “insertion type screw” before the word socket.
Plug sockets work by being pressed into the hole they sit in. As such, they cannot be removed without damaging the item attached to the socket. This might not seem like a big deal, but think about it- how many times have you wanted to remove a cover or device that doesn’t come out easily?
These plugs often have small plastic washers that fit between the socket and the thing connected to it. By taking these away, you could potentially ruin the part that goes along with the plug.
This is why it is important to make sure that your drill bit does not go all the way through the socket, and instead only touches the plastic washer. You would then need to either take off the extra piece, or find another way to connect the two.
The average person usually plugs their appliance into a wall socket with an all-purpose cable that has both a male and female plug attached to it. These are called round connector cables or normal connectors.
These types of connections do not have protective covers over them, which means it is very easy to accidentally pull out either one of the connection parts or even cut the wires in half.
If you must work with electricity, then make sure your handle these situations properly by using dedicated equipment. For example, use only screwdrivers designed for this purpose!
There can be significant amounts of power going through each individual wire so safety is important. If possible, use pre-assembled connectors or buy low cost versions that include plastic guards. This way, you will know if there is any risk before pulling on the cord.
Removing too much voltage from an electrical source can cause serious injury or death.
As we mentioned before, using quality sockets is essential for your jewelry making career! There are some things you can do to make your jewelry more interesting, though. One of those is drilling into a plug or push-up pin.
The word “plug” may sound scary to some because they associate it with needles. But a true plug is just a circle tip that gets pushed through an object to create a hook.
Engravers use them in decoration and manufacturing. Because they are shaped differently than a needle tip, it allows you to put in thicker wires without breaking off pieces. This is very important when doing fine jewelry!
Some people also use plugs as brooches or earrings. By putting it through another item, it creates a fastening option.
Always turn off power to equipment
When you need to work with electricity, it is very important to always remember that current can travel through wires!
Drilling or scraping metal requires electricity in some form, so never use your tool before saving all of the pieces have been de-connected from power!
Before using any electrical tools, make sure to first check if they are unplugged and saved for good. You also want to be certain that there are no loose connections anywhere on your device. If there are, these could cause an electric shock!
Sadly, this happens more than you would think, as most people leave their devices plugged into a charger while they go do something else.
Never use your device unless it’s fully charged and you know for sure that it will not run out of power at a critical time.
Avoid live outlets
While it is very common to find drill bits with screw in sockets, using one can be dangerous. These drills have what are called nose-mounted rotary motors or spindle motors. This means that instead of having a hole through the motor as you would with normal hand tools, there is only an opening for the tool bit to go through.
The tool bit goes through this small opening and gets rotated by the motor which has magnets attached to it. The problem comes when the machine holding the socked needs power and access to an outlet, but they do not have enough wall space to put a standard plug down.
Drilling into these types of plugs can cause sparks and electrical current to leak out. If you try to use your new drill away from an adequate source of electricity, the risk of serious injury grows.
It also cannot tell whether the socket content is dry material such as dirt or if it contains water or blood which could short circuit the device. Drills with safety mechanisms already exist, but most require you to take extra steps to use them.
Know your wiring
While it is totally acceptable to search for and remove any bad connectors or plugs, you must be very careful not to damage any wires! You should know what kind of plug goes into which socket before trying to work with them.
If you are ever unsure if it’s safe to drill above a connector, refer back to our article about how to test a power source. The tips in this article apply when that question comes up.
Also remember that even though it’s technically allowed to pull out connected components, doing so could seriously hurt yourself or someone else.
While it is totally safe to add drill bits into empty or loose plugs, doing so in plugged sockets can be disastrous. A person could seriously injure themselves by pulling out the bit too quickly!
Drilling into an exposed live wire or piece of metal that has been disconnected cannot always be considered safe. Never assume that a device no longer works before you test it!
A power tool must first reach the voltage state where it will work properly before being drilled into. This process is called retrogression.
During this time, the machine may still appear to work normally but actually not. Drifting off at the last minute is very common when using a battery powered device.
By never knowing if a device has retracted or not, people risk getting shocked for nothing. If your phone dies frequently, try replacing its battery instead of buying a new one.
Never use sanding discs with a tool that has made any buzzing sounds or flashes of light. These tools have known working parts so they are likely not retractable. Discard them and look elsewhere for help.
Seek expert help
While some say it is never safe to drill above a normal wall socket, we completely disagree. In fact, we think it’s more dangerous not to!
There are several reasons why experts believe it’s fine to go beyond your natural wall sockets when doing home improvement projects. One of these is safety gear. You will want to make sure you have enough power cut off cords for all of your tools before drilling anywhere.
Another reason is that many people don’t know the best practices for working with electricity. People might assume that if there was ever an electrical fire in your house, a plug would be the most likely source. This isn’t always true though- sometimes it’s hard to determine where a circuit comes into play.
And while professional engineers can afford special protective clothing and equipment, average homeowners probably cannot.