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Old 11-03-2017, 11:30 AM   #1
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Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


Looking to purchase a home, got the home inspected. Inspector found blackened/browned wires in the electrical box. To us it looked like overheating or previous fire damage. Had an electrician come out, he says it's probably from mouse pee. Anyone heard of such a thing?

Sorry, wish I had a photo! I'm working on getting one.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:00 PM   #2
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


I've found mice to use accessible electric boxes to chew insulation for recreation or as nesting areas from the weather elements rather than use the boxes as a toilet.
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:10 PM   #3
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


Would this be the breaker box?
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:11 PM   #4
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


I guess they do.

https://www.google.com/search?q=mous...QG0XpgaXQRZQM:
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Old 11-03-2017, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


I agree with SS, definitely chew on wires, but they will locate a remote spot to keep their pee and poo away from their primary travels, although they do drop little presents along the way. I have had to clean out and repair potty areas that got so wet they soaked through the drywall.

Inside an electrical box, unless it is also filled with nesting material, they would not be using it as a potty.

Now, it would be common for someone to replace a switch or receptacle that had an arching problem and reuse the existing wires, A real pain to replace wires inside the wall.

Where are these wires and is the part they attach to new or original?

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Old 11-03-2017, 02:55 PM   #6
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


1) Nealtw: Yes the main breaker box for the house, located in the garage

2) Bud9051: Box and breakers looks new-ish. Newer than the wires. The browning is on the wires/grounds that go right into the breakers.

3) Yep, 47_47: Looks just like this but I don't remember seeing signs of chewing: http://www.countryservicespestcontro...oft-smear3.jpg
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:00 PM   #7
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


Maybe just dirt and the box was upgraded.
Age of house?
Main breaker amps?
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:12 PM   #8
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


House is built 2001. It's a log cabin. I did see evidence of mice in the attic. The seller suggested it might be mouse urine. I thought that was pretty silly! Now, with confirmation from an electrician (that I hired), I'm guessing there was much more evidence that the seller already cleaned out and didn't disclose which is how he somehow knew the cause.

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Old 11-03-2017, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


I guess @47_47 has the proof, maybe it could be mouse pee.
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Old 11-03-2017, 03:58 PM   #10
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


If there was a nest in there then the combination of pee and poo could get very nasty. But no, mice did not just urinate on those wires and cause them to turn brown. If mice, I think you are correct, there was more to it and he cleaned it out.

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Old 11-03-2017, 05:00 PM   #11
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


Does the panel have any openings bigger than a dime? Do you think they could have stopped to go and got the left side wires? I have never heard of this happening before and have lived in homes that had mice.
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Old 11-03-2017, 05:04 PM   #12
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


There might be a blank covering a hole that had been left open.
The panel looks new, maybe it was changed out.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:29 PM   #13
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


Finally got the actual photos of the breaker box





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Old 11-05-2017, 08:23 PM   #14
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Re: Mouse urine turns wires brown/black?


OK, I'll take my guess. It isn't a case that the mouse urine turned the wires brown, it was a mixture of urine and mouse droppings accumulated is a mouse outhouse. Someone cleaned out the nest and mess but didn't try to wash off the wires. Apparently the mice continued to have access thus the accumulation of droppings after it was cleaned up.

I suspect all of what we are looking at can be cleaned off, carefully.

Then, if it hasn't been addressed, the access that is allowing the mice in needs to be sealed.

I don't see any chewing, but all exposed wiring should be inspected.

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