Rawl plug screws too short

21 Jul 2012
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United Kingdom

Firstly, I am no DIYer and can barely do the basic things of DIY. What I do know has been researched in the past week.

I have a shelf I wish to put on the wall. The wall is plasterboard (very weak I have too frequently read) and the shelf, a little bit heavy will be holding dvd's (about 30).

I have some rawl plugs which today have been successfully (I believe) attached to the wall (I used a setting tool and it feels very secure, no movement).

(the rawl plugs - http://www.screwfix.com/p/rawlplug-interset-m6-x-37-pack-of-20/40813 )

I have just tried screwing the shelf into 1 of of the rawl plugs (4 in total at the moment) and it wouldn't screw in. I have just realised that the wood from the shelf means that the screw can't bite the rawl plug. The screw has just over 1.5cm (15mm?) space after biting in but the wood is about 2cm (20mm?). Obviously that means I need to get longer screws, preferably ones that can screw fully into the rawl plugs.

Any ideas on which one I would need that are long enough but also compatible with the rawl plugs?

I also have 2 other questions.

1.) Because plasterboard seems to be quite weak (I couldn't detect where the wood studs were) I have also purchased some L-brackets and small screws to attach this to the underside of the shelf and to the wall using some more rawl plugs (4 L-brackets, each with 3 holes on both legs), hopefully to distribute the weight a bit more, stopping from falling on my tv (forgot to mention the shelf will be above my TV!!!!). Is this a good idea or pointless?

2.) How can I detect pipes behind a wall without paying a fortune? Without going into detail, I need a hook in my toilet to attach a medical bag with water to for about 30 mins a day and it wont be too heavy.

Thank you,
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You can press a bradawl into the ceiling to find a joist. Fill in the unsuccessful holes with some easifill or polyfilla.

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