Fixing heavy items to powdery plasterboard

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I'm trying to put up a couple of candle holders and having a bit of a mare...

They're silver coloured 5-arm candelabra type things from Habitat - called Klein (wall version).

Two issues. Firstly, there is only one place we can put them in the flat (where the cats won't be able to stick their faces in the candles) and there are electric cables below the surface of the wall.

Secondly, as I found recently when putting up some lightweight blinds, the plasterboard must be old and has gone to powder. When you drill in, the hole ends up bigger than the drill bit, and you struggle to get any purchase with the plugs. This is a real issue, as these candle holders are pretty heavy. I'd say around 1kg each. Coupled with lit candles - they need to be secure.

So firstly, if I can detect the live cables accurately enough to screw in, what do I use? I bought some Rawlplug hollow wall heavy duty grabber screws, but the plaster is so powdery, the teeth just dig in then spin around & you can't expand the inner bit.

Secondly, earlier this year on another cabled part of the wall, I mounted a piece of wood with no more nails, painted it the wall colour, and screwed a coat rack into it - which is solid and has held well. What sort of weight do you think I can expect with this method, and what sort of size wooden board should I use? The mounting plates on the candle holder are approx 5" x 2"





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