Saturday, March 2, 2013

Garage Epoxy - Part 3 of 10 - Rat Ate Electrical Wire Repair

Fig.1 Damaged Wire
By Gary Boutin

Supplies and Tools:
2012 National Electrical Safety Code (N.E.S.C.)
Electrical cord and cord holder 
Electrical tape
Electrical radial saw
Flat head screwdriver (electrical) 
NM (Non-metallic electrical wire)
Tape measure

Rue Phon called my repair service to clean up his laboratory rats on the loose in his garage. He owned a beautiful home overlooking Azusa Hills, California. In this post my partner Carl will be helping me solve and work out the details of the job. 

This post shows the eight steps to solve this damaged electrical wire from rat attacks.

Rats' teeth keep growing and they enjoy chewing on things to keep those teeth in shape. Their teeth grow non-stop and they must chew all the time in order to wear down their teeth. Rats often choose to chew on electrical wires which can lead to electrical fires. Note: Rats need to chew to keep their teeth under control. The rats chewed the external electrical wiring.

Step 1: Identify the problem and check the rat chewed electrical wires. Check for any missing outer layer inside the Romex® cabling. If its missing replace that piece of wiring. Check with your local (NESC) National Electrical Safety Code and Electrical Codes to see how much wire you will need to replace.  

Tip: If you are not sure find an electrician to help you decided. 

Step 2: Repair the Romex® cables, also called NM wiring. Fig.1 through fig.3 shows the damage done to the electrical wiring. The cable sheathing was eaten away by the rats, but not the internal wires. Instead of removing and replacing the Romex® cables Mr. Phon wanted these wires to be repaired instead of replaced. 
Fig.2 Rats ate Romex® cables
Fig.3 Romex® cables
Step 3: Fig.4 shows the Romex® cables were repaired by wrapping electrical tape around the damaged art of the electrical sheathing.

Note: If the rats ate through the wiring then replace the entire length of the run.

Step 4: Fig.5 shows Carl repairing the Romex® wiring before replacing the garage cabinets.
Fig.5 Carl Replacing 
damaged wires
Step 5: Fig.6 and fig.7 shows that Carl used a radial saw to cut into the 2x4 wood braces to protect the Romex® wiring for further damage and possible pinching from installing the garage cabinets. This process prevents pinching the electrical wiring. Fig.8 shows the Ryobi radial saw and the electrical cords used for these steps.
Fig.6 Carl cut a groove
to protect wires
Fig.7 Romex® wiring

Fig.8 Ryobi radial saw
Step 6: The electrical outlet internal wires were damaged by the rats. Fig.9 and fig.10 the problem was solved by cutting the damaged part of the wire and re-wiring the duplex receptacle. Turns out there was plenty of additional wiring on the outside cabinet assembly that the handyman was able to pull enough Romex® wire to repair this receptacle. A flat screwdriver to used to place the hot (black) and common wire (white) in the receptacle plug. 
Step 7: Do not forget to wire the ground, the copper wire goes to the green screw on the electrical outlet. Fig.10 shows the ground is located at the bottom of the picture.
Fig.9 Wiring
Fig.10 Ground
Step 8: The electrical Romex® wiring has been repaired, this job is finished.

Garage Epoxy:


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