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Sulphur smell drilling hole in wall of victorian terrace house

Postby Lauratcreative » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:38 am

Hi-I live in a late Victorian terrace house. I was drilling a hole on the landing in the wall which joins our house with next door to put up a shelf. There are no sockets or should be any electrics running on this part of the wall so thought it was safe to do so.

I felt like I hit resistance but kept drilling and then there was this really strong eggy/sulphur smell coming from the hole. I immediately feared I'd drilled through a gas pipe and called the emergency gas people. They came out and said it was all fine-no gas and won't be any pipes in that wall.

The smell stopped quite quickly but the dust that was left on the floor from drilling still smelled really bad. My neighbour suggested it could be because I drilled into a concrete breeze block which have chemicals in that can smell of sulphur.

Has anyone ever heard of this? Or know what it is? I'm worried about drilling the other hole for the shelf now and want to make sure it's safe to do so...

Any help would be appreciated.

Ps-it's a very good but old drill (borrowed) and a cheap drill bit if that makes any difference.
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DIY asbestos test kits

Postby proptech » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:37 pm


As long as you haven't drilled through a cable (you'd know about it if you had)
your neighbour is probably right. The age of the power tool won't make any difference, but the drill bit certainly will. If the bit is blunt considerable heat will be generated, especially if run at high speed. This can cause a smell in some materials.
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Postby » Mon Apr 27, 2015 11:20 am

A sulphur smell is normally produced by mould or damp. You may have drilled into a patch of mould. It really does stink!
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