Interesting Day- Freakin Carpenters

Hello All,

Well me and my guys went out to a high end house that we had roughed in a few months ago to move a few recess lights because the owner changes their cabinet layout and wanted them re-positioned which is not a problem.

The Drywall guys had cut out the locations and we proceeded to move them as the romex was long enough since we typically loop extra romex at all recess lights in case this ever has to happen....typical with custom homes.

So we climb up to move the FIRST recess and look up into the hole and guess what i see…

The trim carpenter had come in AFTER the rough in and at the owners request to add supports to the outside edge of the walls for crown molding, and I mean the large fancy molding…owners changed their minds MANY times but I digress…

Anyway we look RIGHT up in the hole and guess what…they added some blocks and DROVE nails RIGHT through our ROMEX and guess what it would have NOT been seen unless they choose to MOVE those lights…

Yes the romex was more than 1 1/4" away from the edge…what happened was they never even LOOKED and simply added the wood and the wire was clearly in view…the NAIL had CUT right through the ungrounded conductor…scary huh…

Point is…NEVER assume other trades will look out for you…this wire was in PLAIN view and makes you PRAY this is the ONLY one that it happened at.

I see it all the time in phase inspections Paul.


I don’t think I’ve ever inspected new construction that at least one wire didn’t have nail or staple damage.


I got lucky this last summer while doing an HI – client said that one of the GFCI would not reset after having some new drywall installed. Took my telephone tone generator and hooked it up to the wall socket and followed the wire through the wall with the signal tracer until I found the drywall screw.

Marked it with a post-a-note and took a picture of it.

As you say, wonder how many others are out there that we don’t know about until the home burns down

Ckt breakers do work


Scary ain’t it…I spend ALOT of time training my guys to be aware of anything, double check before they drill and constantly stay aware of their environment.

it’s what you CAN’T see that always worries the electrician.

I would think generally if there is a problem…it is your fault…not the carpenter, or many think that way…!

People don’t have the knowledge, it usually is not the fault of the electricians when problems do occur. I see the people who do not speak english with staple guns having a field day.

Where some of them come from, they don’t have electricity, so they don’t understand the potential for life threatening mistakes.

Thats the problem…it is NOT the electricians fault if they followed ALL the guidelines and clearances…the Carpenters came in added this after the rough in was done, passed inspection and upon the WHIM of the home owner to decide to add large crown molding now.

SO…it is on the shoulders of the Carpenter to know what they are doing and when they are doing it.

But you are right…If the problem had been unnoticed yes the ELECTRICIAN would have taken the blame…and it would NOT have been the fault of the electrician.

Crap always falls on the Electrician…lol…we never have the service on in time, we never have the HVAC hooked up in time and so on.

Reminds me of a commercial project I was managing a while back that had a subcontractor hanging straps for some large water pipe on the 1st floor ceiling of a 2 story manufacturing building. Even after being counseled to not drill too deep and to have a mechanical stop on his drill one of the installers proceeded to do just that, drill too deep, and punched thru the concrete flooring to the office area above. The 3/4" masonry drill bit came out about 6" from a secretary’s foot while she was working at her desk. Needless to say, she freaked out and I got an earful. Rightfully so, I might add.

YOU hit this one RIGHT in the HEAD Dale…was EXACTLY the situation.

:smiley: …little side note Paul…:smiley:

I’m going to the FBR Open today…in case my buddy Phil needs any pointers…:smiley:

you DOG !

My arch-nemesis is sheet rockers. They use a 3" rotozip blades to cut holes for outlet boxes, while the rock is in place.


Oh lord TOM…don’t get me started on those freakin Sheetrockers. They sure know HOW to tear up some conductors in a box without even a BLINK of an eye.

Being a Carpenter by trade, I guess a comment is proper.

The problem with today is that a lot of the finish carpentry is sub-contracted out. There was a time when a carpenter did the foundation and utilized the lumber used to do the form work an re-use it to frame the house and then do the finish work on the inside. That is when everyone used finish nails and one was carefull to assemble properly.

In todays world, the finish is sub-contracted most times and they come in with their high powered air nailer’s.

Having skipped the steps previously mentioned, they proceed to nail crown moldings and bed moldings and what not using the longest nail they have, to make sure that it is adequately fastened.
Since they have never seen the rough wiring installation nor the plumbing rough-in, do you think they care less.?

While fastening a piece of 3/4" stock, you will notice that they are using 2 1/2" nails. The longest they got. Then when they get to thinner materials, do you think they will change nails, no. Voila, nail in wire. Or, pipe.

Makes one wonder why the protector plates came into the picture. Now we know. Even with the minimum distance of 1 & 1/4" from face of stud is no longer adequate.


The infamous roto-zip. Ahhhh, wonder tool.
If the sheetrockers would have enough brain power to figure out that the bit only needs to stick out of the tool 3/4", it would help.
No, they have the whole thing going around an electrical box and shred whatever is inside. Each sheet they put up is money and that is all they care about.
Makes you wonder why we went to 4" deep nail on boxes. With sheet rockers, that is not enough when they are full of conductors.
If the conductors have survived the Roto-Zip, then there is the taper that will fill the box in with joint compound and the Electrician can’t tell which wire is black anymore.
Then there is the painter with his famous and glorious spray gun. God love the Electrician if he expects to know what color his conductors are. ha. ha.

God bless the poor Electrician when the circuit trips. But, I will know why.

I found a screw one time that was shorting out a copper lined room for an MRI unit, in a hospital I built, and that took a couple of hours. I know how it feels.

To my Electrical and Plumbing friends, stay in the middle of the wall and use as many protector plates as possible and hope for the best.

Good Luck.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :wink:


Ha ha ha. I had to go and check an outlet box that a teammate said was full of ‘neutrals’. You know what happened. :smiley:


LOL…in my case i was well beyond 1 1/4" from the edge of the wood in question and they still drove a 4" nail thru it…:slight_smile:

If this problem gets too big we will have to create “safe zones” for electrical and plumbing.


Richard I am ALL for that…I may start SPRAY PAINTING around my wires in the NEXT home the carpenter in question does…just to MAKE a point.

But then again he may get offended and do something to my wires anyway…lol


How in the hell did you get TWO greenies?:p:p

I dont know…seems like I am so hated…but I have my SILENT supporters…:slight_smile:

I would give you a negative,but I cant from this PC. LOL:p