"I Feel Their Pain"

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niall Y

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I have just spent the best part of a week sorting out an "earth leakage" fault in the lighting circuit in the small annex attached to our property. It was simple enough to work out that the fault lay in the two way switching circuit that controlled the main light to the bedroom. The problem, however, was in trying to find all the relevant cables, hidden beneath two layers of rock-wool insulation. in the cramped attic above.

Scrabbling around up there was difficult enough, but some of the cables were run under a platformed area covered in boxes of junk. And, there was no way of getting access, other than by clearing them away and lifting the floor. What added to the unpleasantness, was the liberal sprinklings of rat poop that covered everything and the mummified bodies of the rats themselves, hidden beneath the layers of insulation.

I spent much of my time laying face down with my head crammed under the rafters of the eaves. And at the end of every day I had to decontaminate before I was fit to join civilised society :giggle: All my tools, test equipment and lamps are now safe to use again, as they have all been cleaned and disinfected.

So, I now feel that I can fully sympathise with those poor electricians, plumbers ( and other trades ) who have to deal with this on a regular basis.
 
So, I now feel that I can fully sympathise with those poor electricians, plumbers ( and other trades ) who have to deal with this on a regular basis.
Have you not heard of electricians mates or plumbers mates ! They are the tools used to prepare dirty areas we are going to work in.

I gather the problem was caused by a rat chewing cables !
 
I gather the problem was caused by a rat chewing cables !
That was my initial thought, though looking at the cable I replaced I can't see any obvious sign of damage. All is working as it should now and I've made a drawing of the layout so next time things should be a lot quicker. :unsure:
 
Sounds a horrible job. Rodents also love those white plastic slip on plumbing fittings, you can imagine the results!
If they chew through a cable one would hope that it proves fatal, though with a water pipe they'll just get wet. o_O



.It's a constant battle trying to keep them out of the attic. They get into the foundations of the house and then up the inside of the cavity walls to the main attic and from there they have access to above the annexes
 
I've just checked the cable again in the daylight, and blow me I found it ! Mid way along a triple and earth there was a little bit of chewing on the outside insulation. I stripped it back to reveal the inside wires are slightly damaged with a tiny scorch mark on one of the grey wires.

Edit photo added. As no corpse was found there is obviously a rat out there answering to the name "Lucky"
IMG_4255_1EN.jpg
 
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You could run the cables bare between insulators and hope the rats only get electrocuted rather than catching fire and be aware when you enter the area.
Came across that in the States, rod and pole? I think, I saw it in the ceiling of a basement, could easily have reached out and touched it, but then they say in America "it’s low voltage it’ll only tickle" not if it’s a high amp system!
 
Food shelter and water - if there is a nearby water source then if possible remove it - any trays or tins that collect rainwater for example. Make sure any drains are covered with metal grids, rats love bird tables for food , as for shelter try to illuminate any possible access points and finally get a decent pest control person to lay down bait boxes. Rats have a phobia of anything different so they won’t eat the bait straight away but once they trust it they’ll scoff the lot and then they’ll need water 😂😂😂 they are very devious and clever - I watched them in my garden climb a pole, perform a tightrope walk along a washing line then climb a vertical wall to get to some bird feeders I’d set up .. had to give it to them for the skills but my air rifle had the final say ..
 
Came across that in the States, rod and pole? I think, I saw it in the ceiling of a basement, could easily have reached out and touched it, but then they say in America "it’s low voltage it’ll only tickle" not if it’s a high amp system!
Here in Canada we call it knob and tube. Many wide boys here have simply tied in new recepticles and switches in the respective boxes and claim to have re wired the house to code when the home is put on the market. Completely illegal of course and a lot were found out.
 
I've just checked the cable again in the daylight, and blow me I found it ! Mid way along a triple and earth there was a little bit of chewing on the outside insulation. I stripped it back to reveal the inside wires are slightly damaged with a tiny scorch mark on one of the grey wires.

Edit photo added. As no corpse was found there is obviously a rat out there answering to the name "Lucky"
View attachment 182854
In rural areas here this is quite common but not rats mainly mice. They got into my panel and chewed the plastic to bare wires. Very lucky that a fire didn't happen. Shortly after this we had a lightning strike and a new breaker panel was covered under the insurance policy.
 
So, I now feel that I can fully sympathise with those poor electricians, plumbers ( and other trades ) who have to deal with this on a regular basis.
Perks of the job ;-) I found this fella on Thursday behind a load of insulation

IMG_20240613_143200932.jpg


I imagine it took a while for the smell to die down, I've no idea how long he'd been there but he looked fairly mummified I was surprised how long his back leg bones were
 
Well done! I don't envy you that job at all. We once had a new cat/kitten that had a fetish for mains leads and before he was 12 months had old bitten through the leads of the table and standard lamps, television and the tubular heater in the office BUT only when they were switched on...and survived.
 
Im off to look at a short beteen earth and live on a cable that seems to link just a couple of sockets tomorrow but I need to double check that its not supplying anything else inbetween, I found it with my little multimeter but of course what to do next is going to be the problem!
The little fella in the picture was inside my shed consumer unit, he had squeezed in where the main supply cable entered.
 

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Have you not heard of electricians mates or plumbers mates ! They are the tools used to prepare dirty areas we are going to work in.

I gather the problem was caused by a rat chewing cables !
I had two of those, but they kept talking on their mobile's, even complained on their mobiles to their mother that I had just sacked them.
 
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