Frequently Asked Questions

Do Zircon stud finders work on lath and plaster walls?

Basic Zircon StudSensor™ stud finders with only Stud Scan and/or DeepScan® mode are not recommended for lath and plaster walls.

However, MultiScanner® models with Metal Scan mode (or a dedicated metal finder) can be used to locate the pattern of nails or screw heads attaching the wood lath to the studs. The nails or screws should be found in a column when scanning for metal.

Note: If metal mesh reinforcement was used in the construction, even the Metal Scan mode (or metal finder) may be unable to help you find the stud through the material.

Click here to learn more.

What kind of batteries do Zircon stud finders use?

Most Zircon StudSensor™ and MultiScanner® stud finders require one brand new alkaline 9V battery (with an extended expiration date) for proper operation. Please be sure to refer to the instructions for the specific model you have.

Note: The MultiScanner® x85 requires three AAA (LR03) batteries.

What is Zircon’s product warranty?

Zircon Corporation (“Zircon”) warrants products to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for two years from the date of purchase.

For more information, please call +1-408-963-4550 (Mon – Fri 8 AM – 5 PM PST, excluding holidays).

*NOTE: A BRAND NEW 9V ALKALINE BATTERY IS REQUIRED FOR PROPER OPERATION.*

What is Zircon’s contact information?

Zircon Corporation is located in the Silicon Valley, California USA.

Zircon Corporation
1580 Dell Avenue
Campbell, California 95008, U.S.A.

Main Phone Line: +1-408-963-4550
Technical Support & General Inquiries: +1-408-963-4550
Fax: +1-408-963-4597

General Info: info@zircon.com
Sales: sales@zircon.com
Media Support: marketing@zircon.com

Zircon Customer Service is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time.
Closed 2017: 04 JUL, 04 SEP, 23 NOV – 24 NOV, 22 DEC – 25 DEC.

How do I change the battery in my stud finder?

Zircon stud finders do not require the removal of any screws to install batteries. Do not unscrew the tool. This will release the components inside and cause it to work improperly.

For the appropriate battery installation steps for a specific model, please click here, give us a call:1-800-245-9265, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, or visit the Support Center.

How do I reassemble my StudSensor™ stud finder if I took the screw off of the back?

With the screw still off, take the battery cover off and place the tool flat on a table. Carefully take the top case off to reveal the circuit board inside. Make sure everything is aligned correctly and looks square.

Check that the battery spacer (the plastic part with two holes) is sitting in front of the battery contacts. The smaller hole is the “+” terminal and the larger hole is the “-” terminal.

If everything is aligned, place the top case back on. The two tabs at the very top of the case need to be inserted first for the top to fit flush with the bottom case. Make sure all the seams are flushed before replacing the screw.

To check and test the tool’s functionality, insert a brand new 9V alkaline battery with an extended expiration date. Press and hold the Power button with the tool in the air. The green “TruCal” or “Ready” light should come on and nothing else.

Test the tool on your wall.

If you are unsure if you’ve reassembled the tool correctly, please call our product experts at 1-800-245-9265, Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time. We’re here to help.

Can I use Zircon stud finders on the exterior of my home, through siding, or roof shingles?

No, Zircon StudSensor stud finders and MultiScanner wall scanners are designed and recommended for interior use only.

How do I calibrate my StudSensor™ or MultiScanner® stud finder?

Zircon stud finders are designed to be as effortless as possible. Place the stud finder flat against the wall, press and hold the power button, and wait for 1-2 seconds. The tool automatically calibrates to the wall’s surface.

If there is a calibration error, or if you have started over a stud, the tool will intermittently beep and the lights may flash. Please release your finger from the Power button, move the tool over a few inches to the left or right and begin the calibration process again.

The package states the tool will locate metal studs but the specifications state the tool does not have Metal Scan. Which statement is true?

In StudScan and DeepScan® modes, the tool will indicate the presence of wood OR metal studs with a stud indication (but will not indicate whether the stud is wood or metal).

MultiScanner® models with Metal Scan mode can be used to verify whether the stud located in Stud Scan or DeepScan® mode is metal.

How can I differentiate between metal and wood studs?

To verify whether the stud you located in Stud Scan or DeepScan® mode is metal or wood, you would need a MultiScanner® stud finder with Metal Scan mode (or a dedicated metal finder). Switch the mode to Metal Scan and scan the stud again. If you receive positive metal indications from floor to ceiling, the stud you located is metal. Intermittent metal indications from floor to ceiling are likely nails or screws. (This mode will only detect the presence of metal.)

Note: Tools with Metal Scan mode may not have the same scan depth or sensitivity as dedicated metal finders.

Note: The Metal Scan mode in Zircon MultiScanner tools are only designed for detecting metal close to wall surfaces, such as nail heads and joist brackets. It is not designed for locating pipes contained within walls or under floors. Please refer to the Zircon MetalliScanner® MT 6 metal locator for more information for those applications.

What is the difference between WireWarning® detection and AC Scan?

WireWarning® detection is a feature to alert the user to the presence of live,unshielded, electrical AC wires while scanning for studs and metal. The WireWarning® detection is always on in StudScan, DeepScan®, or Metal Scan modes. (An LED light will flash, or a lightning bolt icon will appear on the LCD display when live AC voltage is present, depending on the model.)

AC Scan is a dedicated Scan mode on certain MultiScanner® tools that enables the user to narrow the location of live AC (using the Interactive Calibration technique). With AC Scan, the display changes to indicate when the tool is moving towards or away from the live electricity. This interface enables the user to adjust the tool’s sensitivity to live AC. This procedure can be repeated multiple times, as needed.

Caution: Electrical field locators may not detect live AC wires if wires are more than 2 inches from the scanned surface, in concrete, encased in conduit, present behind a plywood shear wall or metallic wall covering, or if moisture is present in the environment or scanned surface.

CAUTION: DO NOT ASSUME THERE ARE NO LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES IN THE WALL. DO NOT TAKE ACTIONS THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS IF THE WALL CONTAINS A LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE. ALWAYS TURN OFF THE ELECTRICAL POWER, GAS, AND WATER SUPPLIES BEFORE PENETRATING A SURFACE. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN ELECTRIC SHOCK, FIRE, AND/OR SERIOUS INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.

Always turn off power when working near electrical wires.

Why does my StudSensor™ stud finder start flashing, or blinking, when I press the Power button?

The flashing, or blinking, is most likely a low battery indication. Please replace your battery with a brand new 9V alkaline battery with an extended expiration date.

Zircon stud finders require a robust, fully charged 9V alkaline battery to properly operate. This is especially important with models with backlit LCD screens.

Note: The MultiScanner® x85 requires three AAA (LR03) batteries.

I suspect electrical wires in a certain area when I scan, but why am I not detecting any?

Electrical field locators may not detect live AC wires if the wires are more than 2 inches from the scanned surface, in concrete, encased in conduit, present behind a plywood shear wall or metallic wall covering, or if moisture is present in the environment or scanned surface.

If your tool has Metal Scan mode, use this mode to see if you can locate the metal, wire, or metal conduit.

CAUTION: DO NOT ASSUME THERE ARE NO LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRES IN THE WALL. DO NOT TAKE ACTIONS THAT COULD BE DANGEROUS IF THE WALL CONTAINS A LIVE ELECTRICAL WIRE. ALWAYS TURN OFF THE ELECTRICAL POWER, GAS, AND WATER SUPPLIES BEFORE PENETRATING A SURFACE. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS MAY RESULT IN ELECTRIC SHOCK, FIRE, AND/OR SERIOUS INJURY OR PROPERTY DAMAGE.

Always turn off power when working near electrical wires.

Can I find studs behind a tiled wall?

No two tile walls are alike. We do not recommend the use of basic StudSensor™ models with only Stud Scan or DeepScan® modes to locate studs behind tiled walls.

MultiScanner® models with Metal Scan mode may help to identify the pattern of nails or screws attaching the lath or sheetrock to the wall beneath the tile.

Note: Bathrooms and kitchen walls consist of many pipes, as well as duct work. The stud finder may detect these objects if they are within scanning range. Please properly map out studs before drilling or nailing.

Where can I get help with my stud finder?

Zircon Customer Service and Technical Support is available Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM Pacific Standard Time: +1-408-963-4550.
Closed 2017: 07 JUL, 04 SEP, 23 NOV – 24 NOV, 22 DEC – 25 DEC.

You may also access our ZirconTV YouTube channel for the latest How-to videos and our online Interactive Support Center.