How many times has it happened to us that, when we want to face a home renovation or remodeling, we run into the fear of drilling holes in the wall and damaging a cable or pipe? There are few cases in which, unintentionally, when drilling a wall we find a puncture in a pipe that forces us to call a plumber, or to drastically raise costs (not to mention the disaster in terms of moisture and damage on furniture and walls). Well, technological advances provide us with a very useful tool for these cases: the wall scanner.
Wall scanner – a surprisingly versatile instrument
The wall scanner is a tool useful control for the builder, the interior decorator and even for the work that has to be done in a home, where you need to hang some pictures or install a shelf. For both the use of this tool it is extremely simple and immediate.
It can be useful both to face a major refurbishment – such as the installation of a new window or door, or the installation of an air conditioning unit – as well as to carry out minor remodeling such as the installation of a lamp, some paintings, an artifact of telephony or simply know where the wiring pipes of a certain device go through.
They can also be useful to determine if the interior of a wall is made of reinforced concrete, brick, wood or plasterboard (drywall), if there is, on the other side, any artifact, or simply if in the bathroom of a remodeled house Before there was a mortar tank for the toilet.
How to choose a wall scanner?
A good wall scanner will have different detection modes, coinciding with the material from which the wall is made: reinforced concrete (concrete), plasterboard, and so on. It should be able to detect items such as iron rods, hollow plastic tubes, ferrous and non-ferrous items, energized cables, and others at a depth of up to 6 inches from the edge of the wall.
The importance of a graphic display
To the scan a wall In search of elements, one needs to visualize, in some way, where they are and what form they have. A good wall scanner it should provide a graphical representation of what is behind it, so that we can understand, at a glance, the location in three dimensions, including depth.
Different detection modes
Another important factor when choosing a wall scanner it is the possibility of choosing different types of detection: cables, water pipes, infrastructure (wood, iron rods).
Why? Simple: all these elements can exist on a wall, and some detectors only indicate the presence of any of them, without discriminating between them.
Usually when scan a wall we need to discriminate between all these elements. Maybe we don’t care too much about drilling a wood, but we do care about a pipe with cables, water or gas.
Maybe we need to know the route of a certain cable tube, to know where we should install a new inspection box. Or trace the route of a hot water pipe, to install a stopcock.
Even the wall scanner It can help us to know, in old houses, where the old lead pipes pass, in order to remove them. Or if there are modifications that were forgotten in time.
As we can see, it is important to have a wall scanner that offers us a discriminated detection of structural elements.
Other factors to consider
At a secondary level, we must take into account other aspects, such as the weight of the instrument, its autonomy, storage conditions and ease of use.
Autonomy and conditions of use and storage
The instrument should be able to scan for at least four hours if regular batteries are used, or six hours with rechargeable ones. In addition, the same process of changing batteries should be simple and run in less than a minute, so as not to interrupt the workflow.
In terms of storage conditions, it must be able to withstand temperatures as low as -10 ° C and as high as 60 ° C. Operating, the acceptable temperature range is between 0 ° C and 40 ° C.
Ease of use
It goes without saying that the tool It must be accompanied by a clear instruction manual, in Spanish, that covers from the most basic functionalities to the nearest technical service centers. There are some generic models that are inexpensive but, lacking the manual, leave the user in the dark regarding operation.
The instrument itself should be comfortable, light, easy to handle while working, and ergonomic. Furthermore, it is desirable that it be to a certain extent resistant to humidity, dust and splashes of water, since by its nature, it is an apparatus that is designed to work mainly in construction sites.
Finally, choose those models that are easy to clean; This is something that is often overlooked, but it does make a difference in the life of the instrument in the long run.