How to remove drywall with wiring underneath

   #1  

Travelover

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I'm going to replace my service panel which is recessed flush in the wall. The good news is that my neighbor is a retired electrician and will be helping me. The bad news is that he wants me to strip the 3/4" drywall from floor to ceiling in the stud space above and below the current box. I'm so grateful for his help, I'm not going to argue that.

My question is how to remove the drywall in such a way it is easy to replace and not run the risk of cutting into any of the wires underneath. Ultimately I want to cut the old drywall back to the center of the studs so I have something to attach the new drywall to.

How would you attack this project?
 
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   #2  

RNeumann

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Panels are set between two studs. Just set a skil saw to 1/2” and cut vertically about 3/4” off the edge of the panel box (not panel cover). Cut the drywall tape at the top with a knife and pull both pieces off (above and below the panel).

The drywall can be cut with about anything- it doesn’t have to be a skil saw. I’ve seen and used a grinder with cutoff wheel, utility knife and reciprocating saw. They all work- drywall is soft and easy to work with.
 
  
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Travelover

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...........The drywall can be cut with about anything- it doesn’t have to be a skil saw. I’ve seen and used a grinder with cutoff wheel, utility knife and reciprocating saw. They all work- drywall is soft and easy to work with.
Thanks - this might be a good use for a oscillating multitool.
 
   #4  

RNeumann

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Thanks - this might be a good use for a oscillating multitool.

That works too. Draw a vertical line and go for it! You will hit a few nails or screws on the way but that’s all part of cutting on a stud.
 
   #5  

tjkubota93

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Thanks - this might be a good use for a oscillating multitool.
It will not be as messy if you use a utility knife with a new blade. 1 pass with a straightedge, then multiple passes till you have cut through it.

Power tools + drywall = flying dust
 
   #6  

spitter

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Score along centerline of studs on both side's of electrical pannel . Make several passes when u hit a nail or screw pull it out . Use 4' level as straight edge .I 've been a rocker for 40 years and that's the fastest way we tried rock router small circular saw, and fein and always go back to utility knife . Fastest cleanest way.:drink:
 
   #7  

Paddy

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cutting down the center of a stud can be hard to keep a straight line for all the nails/screws. I just cut along the inside of the stud. I would plan to just use a small nailer attached to the side of the stud.

Don't try to take one large pc out, take it in smaller sections. I'd cut a 12 inch square using a utility knife. Then you can feel above and below for any wires. If clear, use the dry wall saw along the inside of the stud. In no time it will all be removed
 
   #8  

teejk

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Thanks - this might be a good use for a oscillating multitool.

Yup. Perfect tool for that job because you can keep a straight line and go as deep as you want. I've only owned one for a few years and wish I had bought one a long time ago. You might want to consider opening 2 stud bays leaving a full stud in the middle and a 1/2 stud on each of the sides to make a more invisible repair although 3/4" drywall is probably stiff enough to resist bowing and maybe not necessary.
 
   #9  

EddieWalker

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A cheap osculating saw is $100. A good one is $200. Blades are very expensive. I have both a cheap one and an expensive one and dozens of blades. I would just use a utility knife with a new blade and cut my line along the middle of the stud, then hit the middle section lightly with a hammer. The sheetrock wont come out, but it will break at the cut and then you can use your knife to finish cutting it out and clean it all up. I always leave about 2 inches of sheetrock at the top and the bottom so I have something to attach the fiberglass tape to.
 

PILOON

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Utility knife (or saw) along side of the stud. Punch the drywall with your fist and pull it away.
Unless U have a very steady hand you could consider using a straight edge to make that cut.

Using a saw or other power tool however makes more dust than you might want.

When replacing the drywall simply add a furring strip and re attach new drywall.
Bevel the splice with a blade B4 taping helps for a nice joint.

As Eddie suggests leave some top and bottom for splicing and if you want strength you can add a backer by attaching wood strips with screws.
(I like strips of plywood as it wont split)
 
 
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