Forum Title: ID these please! Hole in wall yields 3 surprises...
Hello, All. I am knocking a down about a 7 foot portion of a load bearing wall in my house to open up the area between two rooms. I checked as well as I could from the basement to see what was in my way, and the only thing I could see was some air return vents in the floor. To one side of the gap is a duct that runs up the wall, and the same on the other side. So I identified the 5 spaces between studs that I could open up. I used a wireless volt sensor to check that no electrical was running through there, and then went to work with a knife cutting out drywall. Which brings me to the three surprises that I found (enlarged shots below): Red box - Some wires that my volt sensor swears don't have electricity running through them, if I am interpreting it correctly. Basically it beeps like crazy if I hold it near an electrical outlet, or near a wire behind a closet that I know runs to the electrical outlet, but is as silent as the grave when near these wires. They aren't labeled, or anything helpful like that. No writing at all. I'm thinking perhaps they are phone lines or something? Is there a way for me to figure it out? Yellow box - The air return vents in the floor lined up with the spaces in the studs where these metal sheaths were. I didn't think about it, but it looks like air was running down from the second floor, through the wall, and into the air return that way. My question here is - if I put a header in here and block that off, what consequences am I facing? There are still air returns open all over the first floor, and other ones in the second floor at the other end of the house. I think this would close off perhaps 2-3 bedrooms' air return vents. Blue box - The one looks like trouble. It's a grey conduit, that looks to my untrained eyes like it should be hiding electrical wires. However the volt sensor is quiet on this score as well. It doesn't look large enough to transport water or waste water, and also its location doesn't fit that scenario. Any thoughts on what it might be, and how I should find out and/or move it out of the way? Thanks for your help! I am a rookie in this stuff and may have bitten off more than I can chew considering I Have no idea what these three items are or how I should treat them. John
Category: Windows & Doors Post By: DEBRA ADAMS (Berwyn, IL), 01/11/2019

This is the closest I can find right now. You need to measure carefully. Don't worry about the bulbs on the bottom being in different places. Here's another, but no measurements.

- JENNY NAVARRO (Laguna Niguel, CA), 03/02/2019

Non contact testers like you are using are crap. You can't rely on them to tell you anything. Sure looks like conduit. Can't you see it from the basement. Is there a floor above with a subpanel?

- BILLIE DENNIS (Clarksville, TN), 02/12/2019

I did look in the basement, and saw that the Conduit ends above the ceiling panels and IS empty, so good call on that. Also the grey wires are cut off in the basement ceiling, just hanging limp and loose. Not sure what they ever went to. The beige wires go to this thing in the basement next to the breaker box. As you can see there are about a million of them. Unfortunately I have no clue what this thing is: And I am aware that the no contact sensors are less than ideal. However, how else am I supposed to know what's going on behind the drywall if I am not the one that built the house?

- CODY FLETCHER (Asheville, NC), 02/01/2019

Resources & Links For Home Repairs

requestaquote Get Free Quotes callnow 888-506-9527