Troubleshooting Your Glitchy Electronic Stud Finder

Is a stud finder really of any use? Let’s put it this way: when you’re planning on hanging a picture, you just need to hammer a nail. However, when you’re going to be hanging your spanking new (and expensive) flat screen TV, you need to be more careful because of the additional weight (and expenses) involved and so you need to make sure that the bolts for hanging your TV pass through the studs of your home.

These studs refer to the vertical wooden strength members that make up your house. These studs, together with beams, posts, joists, and other strength members are what ensure that the roof doesn’t literally fall on your head. When you’re planning on hanging a heavy object, naturally you want your screws or bolts to pass through a stud. The problem is that figuring out where the studs are located is not that simple.

Sure you can tap the walls of your house and find the areas that don’t sound as hollow. You can even drill blindly and pray that you are drilling through a stud. Or, you can invest in a stud finder. These devices allow you to locate studs accurately, eliminating all the guess work from this process.

There are different kinds of stud finders available in the market to suit all purposes and wallets. What do you do when your electronic stud finder doesn’t work properly? Here’s how you should go about troubleshooting your glitch electronic stud finder.

1. Device Doesn't Switch on

This is an indication that the battery in your electronic stud finder has discharged. If your stud finder has rechargeable batteries, recharge them or insert new batteries if it uses disposable ones. If the rechargeable battery of your stud finder is not charging or holding charge, you may have to replace it. If the batteries are all right, check that they are installed properly.

2. Read the Manual

Stud finders need to be operated in a particular manner in order to be able to detect studs in the wall. Read the operating instructions and use the device accordingly. Incorrect usage may cause errors in detection.

3. Calibrate the Device

Most electronic stud finders measure the density of the wall in order to detect studs. If your device is not properly calibrated, it may not be able to detect wall studs accurately. Calibrate your stud finder in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions prior use.

4. Building Material and Wall Thickness

Different stud finders are set to scan different depths. If you have an old house with thick walls, consider buying a stud finder that can scan these thicker walls. Building materials used in older houses such as lath and plaster walls can reduce the efficiency of a stud finder. Tiles made of natural stones such as marble or granite can also cause a stud finder to give erratic results. Exterior walls also have a slightly different design than the interior walls, and this may affect the ability of the stud finder to detect studs.