Many of us are privy to a spot of DIY every now and then, but when it comes to drilling holes into walls, holding your breath and hoping for the best is not always the best approach.

The main problem is not knowing what is behind the wall or what you are about to drill into. If it’s just pure concrete, then fine, but what if there are electrical wires, plumbing works or gas pipes running through the other side of the wall? Accidentally drilling into any of those three things could have dire consequences that could be costly to repair.

In short, unless you can see through walls (which you probably can’t), drilling holes into concrete walls is a total stab in the dark. Therefore, it’s important you have as much information as possible before you make the first incision with the drill.  

Check the area

With architectural drawings, you will know the ins and outs of the building and therefore know the areas of wall that should not be drilled into. However, without this knowledge you need to scope out the area that you intend to drill. Where are the plug sockets, light switches, light fittings and other electrical items?  Any drilling around these areas should be approached with extra caution.

Know your tools

Read the user’s manual for your drill carefully and get to grips with how to set up the device. Take time to learn what all the controls mean and how they work. Make sure you feel comfortable handling and using the drill before you go ahead and start using it on your walls.

Avoid pipes

Copper is a very solid and rigid material, so there is little chance of actually driving your domestic drill through a copper pipe – chances are your drill bit will snap off and break before it has chance to penetrate the pipe! However, if you’re working on an industrial site with power tools, copper might not withstand such pressure. The key is to take it slowly and only drill shallow holes to start with, regularly checking for any signs of pipes as you are drilling. If possible, using a plumbing inspection camera will give you peace of mind that the area is safe to drill into.   

Avoid wiring

The safest and most accurate way to avoid wires is to use a cable avoidance tool, although this would be quite an investment to make if you weren’t going to use it regularly.

The other option is to carefully plan where the wires would be logically running behind the walls, so you know where not to drill. Most wires run horizontally around 6 or 12 inches above the receptacle, so these are the areas to avoid most. Most standard cables are about an inch deep, at least, so be careful not to drill too deeply.

Top tips

  • Don’t forget your safety goggles
  • Make sure the drill bit is securely slotted into the chuck of the drill
  • Move the drill in and out in one motion
  • Don’t stop halfway through drilling and try to pull the drill out


If you’re looking for professional construction and demolition services then please get in touch with the team at Drilltec today. Based in Luton, we operate throughout the UK offering expert diamond drilling services to commercial and domestic clients. No job is too big or small for us, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.