Stud finder question

I have this small slightly over 2' wall in bathroom of an older house. I used my finder and got a reaction right almost in the center of that wall. I then drilled a small hole to confirm it. I did hit something and pulled the drill out. Now, my question is that i had to drill almost 2'' before it made contact. Aren't studs suppose to be almost flush against a drywall, with the exception of the depth of the drywall?
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What do you mean by "older house".
"An older house" is a rather relative term.
Older than this one?
http://www.jjcafe.net/photography/weekends/House/frontpage.jpg
or older than this one?
http://www.twinwolf.net/~tsb/old%20house.jpg
Something like a "1940's house" or an "1890's house" might help us determine what you have found.
In any case, when you drilled through the wall, did it feel like you went through the wall material, then went through some open space and then hit the "something" or did it feel like you were drilling through 2 inches of wall material before you hit the "something".
If there was open space, you could have hit a vent pipe, a piece of BX cable, who knows.
Depending on your wall thickness and material, the stud finder could be giving you inaccurate readings.
For example, my walls are 3/4" thick, made up of 3/8" brown paper covered, tongue and groove plasterboard (laid horizontal) then covered in a 3/8" layer of plaster. Using a stuff finder is a bear on these walls and I've gotten lots of false positives over the years.
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Derbydad is 100% correct
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I use the small round super magnets to find nails or screws, and find that they give me a better picture of what's behind the tape. Everything is not put butt square on. Sometimes two sheets are put up, and a horizontal strip is put up that is from three to twelve inches wide. Horrible to figure out with a stud finder, but easy with the magnets.
Steve
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Anthony wrote the following:

wall (24" on center). The bathroom wall cavity may be deeper than a standard 2" x 4" studded wall.to allow a 4" drain/waste/vent to pass through. Possibly a 2" x 6" studded wall Both of the above may hint that what you finally hit 2" in was the drain/waste/vent pipe. If so, I hope the hole drilled into this pipe was above any fixture that drains into the pipe. Better a slight odor than a leak.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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Why is that? Metal studs are becoming more and more popular/common.
nb
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well i did that and without going all the way, I withdrew the drill and saw some deposits..but its hard to distinguish it, it almost looked like powder. Yes the hole i drilled is top floor bathroom above all bathroom fixtures. Now i am getting concerned if i am hitting a vent pipe. Stud finders are suppose to go by nails I presume, and vents are metal. What puzzles me is that before i make contact with whatever the drill hits, I have to go through almost 2'' inches of space. Even if it is a stud, I will need a long wood screw ...about 4'' at least. I have to go through a half inch of the cabinet wood , then the drywall, and then the 2''space, and at least another inch or so to go into that stud.
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On 10/5/2010 7:00 PM, Anthony wrote:

Odds are it is a vent pipe, or if the house is REALLY old, maybe an old abandoned gas line for the wall lamp that used to be in the next room. Even if it is wood, you don't wanna hang anything off it. As the screw draws up, it is likely to screw up the plaster. Just how heavy is whatever you are trying to hang? Butterfly anchor or multiple large-caliber molly anchors are usually plenty, unless it is a cast iron shelf or something people will be hanging from. Wait, you said a cabinet- how about hanging it from a metal cleat the full width of the cabinet- you should be able to tie that to the wall (and maybe even a stud) in multiple places. How old IS the house anyway? Pre-1950s probably is not drywall. Probably plaster over wood lathe or blueboard (the old version that was actually brown, with all the holes for the plaster to squish through and form keys.) If it was plaster over metal lathe, you would have noticed.
--
aem sends...

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Its pre-1950 built, like 85 years old or so...The wooden cabinet is about 15 pounds, and its being held up now with 2 anchor screws, where one somehow has loosen, so the cabinet is leaning slightly. I had make a pen mark on the sides when i first installed it, just to see if that line changes and it has about a 1/4 of an inch in 5 months, on that weak side.... so I want to reinforce it, hoping to find a stud...but i believe it is the vent that i hit. Its being held between 2 sides walls, a niche so to speak...so i doubt there are any studs there, and I have bad luck with the anchor one...it would be easier for me to drill a hole in the inside of the cabinet, where it would not be seen and screw it into the wall...if there were a stud. Wouldn't a lath hold it? I don't know how to add a cleat in that space. If i am having a hard time now attaching it, imagine with a cleat., wood or metal.
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On 10/5/2010 7:43 PM, Anthony wrote:

(snip)>> --

The cleat I was referring to is the kind where you screw one half to the wall, and the other half to the cabinet, and then hang it like a picture. It does make the cabinet sit out from the wall a hair, though, so unless back of cabinet it is recessed, it may not be what you want.
Only 15 pounds should be no problem for toggle bolts or the extra-big molly anchors. Tell the guy at the hardware store you are working with old plaster and how thick the back of the cabinet is, and he will fix you right up. Drill 2-3 holes in back rails of cabinet, hold it up where you want it, and have somebody poke a nail or marker through the hole to mark on the wall where to drill the holes. You do have to be careful to line things up carefully. Use big washers under the screws on the cabinet side when you hang it, especially if the cabinet is the usual pressboard stuff they sell for bathrooms these days.
It ain't hard, just tedious.
--
aem sends...

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Anthony wrote the following:

In a newer post you said the house may be 85 years old, so the DWV pipe would not be ABS plastic unless some renovation was done since then. You certainly would know if you tried to drill into a cast iron pipe, and more than likely, would not be able to do blindly since the drill bit would have to be held on the exact center of the pipe (even then, a center punch may have to be used). Stud finders come in all flavors, from the very cheap magnetic type that finds screws or nails in the studs to the electronic deep seeking kind that can also find electric wires and pipes in the wall cavities.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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