Avoiding Pipes in Bath Cabinet Installs
From contributor F:
If it's a hollow block wall you should be able to set the depth stop on the drill so that the bit just barely goes through the block. This would prevent it from going into the cavity and hitting pipes.
From the original questioner:
Thanks guys, both of these are great suggestions. I guess because we have a 3/4" scribes to the left/right against a wall the easiest thing to do is to drill the back of the cab into the wall. I'm realizing this is very risky business when you're shooting in the dark. I don't know if 1" or less bearing is enough to hold up a floating vanity, so most times we have to go a bit deeper. I think going from the sides and securing the cab to the base would be the best rough to take to ensure we avoid the same issue. Once again thanks for the assistance. This site is an incredible resource.
From contributor R:
This was always a fear of mine installing when I lived on St. Croix. Was the pipe in a poured wall or block? In a block wall, use the depth stop. You are not going to get any more holding power than the thickness of the block anyway should you drill into the void space. We preferred using plastic feet under the cabinet and securing to the wall once set. On St. Croix, mopping was typically done by dumping a bucket of water on the floor then mopping it back up! Having an easily replaceable toe kick was a big deal. The legs proved very fast and easy to set, especially since the floors were often way out of level, and they support a great deal of weight, so we were less concerned with the hanging strength of the wall anchors.
From contributor J:
If the blocks aren't covered with anything like sheetrock, you should drill and screw only at the ends or the center web of the block. This avoids the stuff in the cores, and allows a full bite for the screw. I havenít had the puncture problem before, but if this happened in frame walls, you should raise hell about the lack of proper shielding of the utilities, and look what a mess that water made of your clothes!
From contributor R:
To contributor J: unfortunately, block walls in the Caribbean are typically skim coated making it nearly impossible to determine where the ends or webs might be.
From contributor S:
Put it in your contract, but be prepared to fix any accidents, stuff happens. Try to word in something like a utility location clause and that the nature of you field exposes the possibility of unseen damages. Explain that you will take reasonable actions to avoid damages up to asking that other systems be installed in such a manner as to prevent these damages or that these systems be marked or labeled. In 25 years I have only hit one water pipe, but I got it two times in and out installing one grab bar. I can't wait until I screw into high voltage!
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