Small lighting fire from mice

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MRDucks2

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Jul 17, 2017
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Franklin, IN
About a week ago had a T-12 light bulb go out in one of the old shop lights that cane came in the shop with the place we bought South of Indy. As I do not replace T-12 bulbs choosing to replace the lights, I decided to check the 4 lights that were 2x4 feet to see if they were T-12 or T-8 fluorescent.

They were all T-8 but two of them had failed tubes so I let them hang open in order to remember to replace the bad bulbs with ones I had.

With 4 T-8 bulbs on hand, I decided to replace all 4 in a light over 2 benches I am frequently at. As I did this, one of the new bulbs went out in the light. Leaving the light on I stepped up to rotate the bulb a bit and see if it seated better. In doing so the bulb next to it flicked and the dark bulb did not come back on.

As such, I took my insulated needle nose pliers and wiggle the wire for the flickering bulb. It flickered more indicating a wiring issue. I then wiggled the wire for the unlit tube and crackling flames began to burn from the edge of the wiring tray where the wire entered. I moved the wire to a non-grounded position and climbed down to turn the light off.

Making the circuit safe, I opened the wiring tray that runs down the center of these lights expecting to see wire chaffed and grounded on a sharp edge. What I found was the tray packed with insulation, mouse turds and the smell of old urine.

In cleaning the tray and light out from this debris, it was amazing to see the damage done by the mice. After removing the light, the cutout for the box the wiring was pulled though was oversized by about 3/4 inch and the back of the light fixture had been open with a knock-out creating a 2 inch open hole. Easy path for mice in the attic.

Attached are photos of a lot of bare wire.

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This was the only light in this condition but could easily have gone unnoticed and caused greater harm than it did.


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monophoto

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Mar 13, 2010
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Saratoga Springs, NY
I understand the pain/frustration completely -

This past Thursday, the HVAC guy came to do the annual maintenance on our AC system. He got halfway through the job, and had gone outside to check out the compressor, when he noticed that the duxseal rodent proofing that seals up the wall penetration into the house was missing. Closer inspection disclosed a mouse cadaver just inside the hole, with his jaw gripped around the 240v line that feeds the compressor. At that point, he refused to do any more work until that wire had been checked out by a licensed electrician. I don't know if the wire is actually damaged, but if I had been his boss, that's exactly what I would have told him to do.

Our home is surrounded on three sides by woods, so every Fall I scatter chunks of mouse bait/poison around the house before the weather gets cold enough to force the mice to try to migrate indoors. Most years, that takes care of the problem. But if I wait too late in the Fall, we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet on the other side of the ceiling sheet rock, and that causes my wife to really freak out.
 

1080Wayne

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Feb 5, 2006
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Brownfield, Alberta, Canada.
I understand the pain/frustration completely -

This past Thursday, the HVAC guy came to do the annual maintenance on our AC system. He got halfway through the job, and had gone outside to check out the compressor, when he noticed that the duxseal rodent proofing that seals up the wall penetration into the house was missing. Closer inspection disclosed a mouse cadaver just inside the hole, with his jaw gripped around the 240v line that feeds the compressor. At that point, he refused to do any more work until that wire had been checked out by a licensed electrician. I don't know if the wire is actually damaged, but if I had been his boss, that's exactly what I would have told him to do.

Our home is surrounded on three sides by woods, so every Fall I scatter chunks of mouse bait/poison around the house before the weather gets cold enough to force the mice to try to migrate indoors. Most years, that takes care of the problem. But if I wait too late in the Fall, we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet on the other side of the ceiling sheet rock, and that causes my wife to really freak out.
Bat insulation between the joists solves the pitter-patter problem , but not the one of them following a wire down between two studs to an outlet above the kitchen counter , and trying to gnaw through the sheetrock there .
 

MRDucks2

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Franklin, IN
Living in Central Indiana and not in a town or sub-division, I live on the edge of... you guessed it... a field. Some years soy beans, some years corn, all years mouse heaven.

As soon as we bought the house I noticed the garden shed and the detached garage I use as my shop had serious mouse issues at one time. I expect there was a period, possible even with the owners we bought the place from, of not using or taking care of the out buildings in any real way.

Planted, placed, tossed many little green blocks of rodent poison in the attics and high places along with a few strategically placed in low places and have had very few issues.

From my experience living in Texas, the batting helps the sound of the potter patter of the feet but really just gives them wonder places to tunnel through. It was all fiberglass. I don’t recall the same issue in older homes and building I have owned that used the rock-wool batting or what ever it is called today.


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randyrls

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Feb 2, 2006
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Harrisburg, PA 17112
Mike; I have smoke alarms that are wireless. Three interconnected; when one goes off, they all go off! This will alert me if the shop should have a problem.
 

MRDucks2

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Franklin, IN
Mike; I have smoke alarms that are wireless. Three interconnected; when one goes off, they all go off! This will alert me if the shop should have a problem.
What is the brand? I like that idea. When I set the current alarm system up, ADT couldn’t tie the shop to the house wirelessly. But staging shop, garage and house alarms could act as a relay.


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Lucky2

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Mar 2, 2012
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New Brunswick/ Canada
Luckily, you didn't get burnt out, it could have happened very easily. I had a mouse and red squirrel problem, in the shed of my previous place. They ate or chewed up every bit of insulation in there, and then made bedding out of it. They were sneaky, they only left about a 1/2" of insulation in the ceiling. And the amount that they left tricked me, I couldn't tell they had been at it at all. Not until I went to do some work on the ceiling, man was I surprised. I tore the rest of the insulation and wiring out of the shed altogether, I even unhooked the electricity running to it. And after having to do all of that, it was open season on the critters. I never poisoned any, I was afraid that one of the pets would get into the poison. Instead, I fed each and every one of them a hot shot of lead from my little 22 repeater. At the last count I did away with over three hundred of the vermin, and that was just in one winter season. My brother is going through the same issues as I did, he borrowed my 22 because all that he had was a shotgun. So far this year he's shot over sixty of them, and he's only been home from Florida for four weeks so far. He lives there over the winter, and he moves back here around the middle of May. He has always had a problem with the critters over the summer and early fall, and I always had the problem with them in late fall and over the winter months.

Len
 

randyrls

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Mike; These are Kidde brand; Click here: Interconnected smoke alarms. I've never tested them for range. There isn't any info in the manual, but I have seen comments from Kidde on feedback that the range is 100 to 200 feet. I suspect that the relay idea would not be applicable. It appears that the unit with the alarm sends the signal to all the other units. If ADT could not make them work, I suspect these would not work either. All these use radio signals in 2.4 - 4.8 GHz radio band. You would have to test them. I don't know if you could install a wired unit at the remote location, and connect to other wireless units?

What is the brand? I like that idea. When I set the current alarm system up, ADT couldn’t tie the shop to the house wirelessly. But staging shop, garage and house alarms could act as a relay.


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