Electrical Wiring in the Home/Electrical wiring


Bob - I just had a room divided in my home by a hired contractor.  The work included a new wall with electrical wiring for overhead lights added.  Wall is standard 2x4 construction with sheetrock over.
While putting a 3"screw in the wall about 20" above floor level
to support a shelving standard, the lights went in the room.  On inspection the circuit breaker was found to be tripped.

I removed the culprit screw and reset the breaker and there is no further tripping.  All outlets on and lights on the circuit work.

Do i need to have the wire pulled and repaired, or can I assume that the wire insulation has resealed?

Thanks for any advice.
- James in Tennessee

Hi James,

 Unfortunately - despite all the advances I've seen in my 40 years in the electrical field...they still don't make any wiring that will self-heal - clearly there is a damaging hole that still exists in the wiring run. Your screw tip more than likely pierced between the outer insulation of the hot black wire and the ground wire - shorting it to the bare metal ground wire. Backing out that screw cleared the path for the direct short...and although that circuit is now operational -  significant wiring damage remains....and more serious problems could come back to haunt you any time. I would highly advise cutting out an access section of the sheetrock large enough near the nail hole to either repair the wire or pull in an all new run to replace it. This would be less of a concern if this circuit was on an AFCI breaker - but still a concern...possible fire potential remains.

  The choice is yours - but where it's a new wall - wouldn't you also want it to be as electrically safe as it can be..?

  Hope this helps James - if you have further questions, please follow-up. Note - I will be marking myself as "away" at this site as I have a heavy week of medical appointment's as I continue to struggle to recover from open heart surgery ...but you can still reach me directly by email at:


Best Wishes,

Bob Osgood
Senior Master Electrician / Owner

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Electrical Wiring in the Home

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Master Bob


Master Electrician / Owner RKO Electric (USA Only) - can answer most of the typical residential, commercial and industrial electrical questions regarding new installations, wiring additions, lighting, switches and receptacle outlets and electrical upgrades of any nature.I will make every effort to respond to your questions as soon as possible at the end of the work day...very busy electrical company - your patience is appreciated. Stop by and see us at: www.rkoelectric.com


Licensed Master Electrician with over 34 years licensed experience - updated with the latest NEC Codes every 3 years since 1978. Over see the daily electrical operations of two electrical companies. Also serve as a judge / editor (for Electrical Contracting Products Magazine) to help select which new products are fit and safe for electricians and the electrical market.

2 Years Technical College - Degree in Electrical Construction & Maintenance (Dean's List) OSHA Safety Certified (10 & 30), CPR / Advanced First Aid Certified

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