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Tearing Out Part Of Drywall

Question: How can I be sure there are no wires back there until I start tearing the wall down? I don't think there is but I can't be sure that no wires were run in the walls there. Also there is no plumbing around that area so I wouldn't think there are any pipes back there. I am really looking forward to doing this and the change it is going to make. I am just worried I will get started and find problems so I want to try to cover everything that could go wrong before starting.

Answer: When building a kitchen pass-through you can never be 100% sure until you take off the drywall, that is why I suggest that you take off a layer instead of cutting through both walls at the same time.

Things to check are - electrical outlets on that wall - if you take the covers off the outlets, pull the outlets out and check to see how many wires are in the boxes. There should be a max of 2 sets of wires - coming in to the outlet and going to the next outlet. If there are more than 2 sets, the question is where is the other wire running to? Same with switches - look at the direction of the light fixture that a switch controls - if you were running the wire would you run it through the space you want to remove.

If you have a basement see if any unaccounted for wires seem to run up that wall.

If you have an attic see if any wires are coming through from the top plate of that wall into the attic. If you are reasonably sure that there are no wires or pipes, then take off one side of the drywall.

The worst thing that can happen is that you have to replace that piece of drywall and paint!

Additional information on constructing a kitchen pass-through.