Mice and electrics don’t mix

We have been trying to identify an electrical issue in a lighting circuit.  It occurred right after some electrical work, so we (well, the electrical company) focussed on the work that had been done.  No dice.  Then we looked at the light fittings, and changed them all.  Nothing.  Finally, we isolated it to a specific cable, so I crawled across the roof space to inspect it, and saw tell-tale signs of nibble marks.  So, nothing for it but to change the cables.

If course, they were about as inaccessible as possible, since they not only ran across a hipped roof that meant there was barely a foot of clearance at the edge, but they then went down a cavity wall which meant that new cables had to be pulled through.  No problem I thought, I’ll put in a proper pull-through so we can put in network and other cables in future.  No.  It simply wouldn’t go through, and I ended up pulling each of three cables through by hand, inch by inch at full arms reach in a near unreachable part of the loft.

All now finished, and it’s good to have all the lights working and safe again.  What was quite concerning in the end was to see just how the short had occurred.  I’ll post a photo at some point, but the mouse had chewed through the cable, and they had shorted across with enough heat to cause charring of the cable!  Given the fire risk, and the prevalence of mice, I can’t se why mouse repellent isn’t part of the cable chemistry.  Guess we’ll resort to mouse poison.  And, after 4 hours of effort, a day later I’m still exhausted and aching.  Probably explains why the electrical contractors found something better to be doing.

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One Response to Mice and electrics don’t mix

  1. Pingback: Mouse damage to cables - photos « Greg Pyes blog

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