Repairing wires eaten by rats

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  #1  
Old 10-10-04, 11:30 PM
byeaman
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Repairing wires eaten by rats

We recently got rid of rats in our home, but not before they chewed through the wires for our hall light. The problem exists somewhere in the wall. How do I fix this? I was told I need to rent or buy a circuit tester that checks for open circuits. I hear they cost about $300, the benefit being that you can find the broken wire quickly and open a hole to put in a junction box and make the repair. Is this the right approach, or should I just hire an electrician to solve it?
 
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Old 10-11-04, 05:39 AM
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You do need to find where the problem is, but not necessarily exactly where it is located.

You will need to replace the section of damaged cable. You can replace it from the existing light to wherever that cable goes, or you can add a short piece of cable to replace the damaged section, but this will require at least one, possible two junction boxes. You may not want junction boxes in the hall, as these will have to have visible covers and be permanently accessible.
 
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Old 10-11-04, 08:49 AM
Snape
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Well this isnt as hard as it sounds it all hinges on locating the cable that is damaged, you will not need a tester costing $300 to find it.
If you are uncertain or not clear about working with electricity then it might be best left to a professional as they will be able to locate and fix the problem fairly easyily i would imagine.

A few questions i take it that the light does not work at present, and do you have any idea where the damaged cable could be. Also where was the light located upstairs or basement etc..
If you can give us some good info then we can start to help you.

Thanks
 
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Old 10-11-04, 09:18 AM
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The breaker for this entire circuit is off I hope. I wouldn't assume that there is just one damaged area. In fact, I wouldn't assume that there is just one damaged wire. I would turn ALL power off at the main panel and get into the area where the rats were nesting and do a full inspection. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself, consider hiring a certified home inspector. Rats like to chew insulation. This often results in bare wiring that is a huge fire or electrocution risk. The bare wiring may seem to work correctly. Now would be an excellent time to make sure you have working smoke alarms near all sleeping areas too.

Doug M.
 
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Old 10-25-04, 10:04 AM
byeaman
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Thanks for the advice

Thanks for the great advice ... I'll get a home inspector to do some deeper work. (sorry for the long delay ... not been online lately.)

The problem is likely in a middle level floor or ceiling, not in the top.
 
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