How would you know if you drilled into a pipe behind plaster walls? : HomeImprovement


I bought my first home not long ago and in all honesty I’m clueless when it comes to home maintenance, but I’m trying to learn.

It’s a townhome built in the 20s with thick plaster lath walls, and I do have gas heat.

I bought picture hangers that were supposedly designed for plaster walls (here’s what they look like – https://ibb.co/f19m5vS), but it said in the instructions to hammer the nails in, and with plaster I know that’s a no-no. So I drilled some shallow pilot holes and then tried to hammer them in the rest of the way. However, when I got to a certain point my drill gave a lot of resistance and when I tried hammering, the nails started to bend. So I am assuming I hit brick or a stud or something, but my friend warned me about hitting gas pipes in older homes. I’m a hypochondriac and now I am worried I could have drilled into a pipe of some kind, even though I know I’d probably have to go pretty deep to hit something like that? It did release a bit of a funky odor for a couple seconds when I drilled but that’s probably just the smell of old, old plaster. 😂 I didn’t smell any kind of gas.

https://ibb.co/xYMdrVY

Here’s what it looks like. I don’t –think the holes would be deep enough to hit a pipe, but I’m clueless so I don’t want to just assume and be wrong lol.

Could anyone help me out with this and tell me what warning signs there would be if I were to drill into a pipe? In the future what tool should I use to determine where / where not to drill?



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