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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Was in attic installing recessed lights and stumbled across this damaged 14/2 (on separate circuit). The damaged wire daisy chains 9 second floor outlets but this is near the end of that chain. Not sure if this is melt or animal (had animals years ago). What do you all think? Pretty smooth and selective damage for chewing I think.

Should I worry about all existing wiring in the attic?
Is there an easier way to repair this (by code) other than a junction box on each side?
 

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Chewed by an animal. It needs to be cut out and replaced.
The rest of the cables need to be inspected. If this one got chewed there is a good chance others might be chewed as well.
 

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That's a house fire waiting to happen. Probably a chew toy for some rodent.
You might get lucky and can change it between 2 existing junction boxes, but if not replace the entire run.

Inspect everything else, because if one got chewed, odds say that there are more bad spots elsewhere.



ED
 

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A "Handy Husband"
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In the mean time,
Till you can inspect,
The rest of the cable.
Put a gfci breaker in the,
to protect all that circuit.
GFCI will not help. I would turn off breaker, separate the wires and tape up individually. Plan on replacing soon.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That's pretty brilliant - AFCI will protect if this was to spark? AWESOME. There are combos G/A and I was already planning on upgrading to them for the bedrooms so I can just do that tomorrow.

Great idea.
 

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That's pretty brilliant - AFCI will protect if this was to spark? AWESOME. There are combos G/A and I was already planning on upgrading to them for the bedrooms so I can just do that tomorrow.

Great idea.
It could. It looks like you have a bigger headache on your hands. One is what looks like Vermiculite, and the other is that you most likely have nests under all of that Insulation.

I would get all of the insulation out of there (wear mask, gloves, long sleeved shirt, eye protection). Double bag it to make sure that if the inner bag gets damaged, the outer one will protect.

Then once you have the clean slate, you can go through and fix those areas where the critters chewed on and also find out where they have been entering and stop them from doing it again.
 

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That's pretty brilliant - AFCI will protect if this was to spark? AWESOME. There are combos G/A and I was already planning on upgrading to them for the bedrooms so I can just do that tomorrow.

Great idea.

It might (AFCIs with a 30/50ma GFP) or a GFCI, but your best bet in the long run is to remove the damaged section and thoroughly inspect the entire length of that cable, including any circuits in the attic that could have been damaged by animals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It could. It looks like you have a bigger headache on your hands. One is what looks like Vermiculite, and the other is that you most likely have nests under all of that Insulation.

I would get all of the insulation out of there (wear mask, gloves, long sleeved shirt, eye protection). Double bag it to make sure that if the inner bag gets damaged, the outer one will protect.
The loose stuff I just shot up there a couple of years ago - some flame retardant recycled paper fluff from big box. The pink and yellow fiberglass was there already when I bought the house.

Used to have critters up there but since clad all the wood siding/trim with vinyl and aluminum so nothing gets in any more. This damage is at least 5 years old if it's animals.

The questions I asked I guess were a bit stupid since of course I have to check all the wiring up there. It's a pain but it's gotta be done.

That said, changing the breaker to AFCI is a great idea so that's step one. Will track down all the wire and repair as necessary.

Any other ideas/observations, I'm all ears - otherwise thanks a bunch.
 

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Get the wiring fixed like last week. The longer you put it off. The more of a possibility that it could arc.

That also includes like I stated before, getting all of that insulation out of there, so that you can fix all wiring issues, along with air sealing any places that there is wiring and vents penetrating into the attic area.

I would bring the wiring through the joists, not over them. Less problems if someone was to step on the wiring after covered with the proper layer if Insulation.

The other item about getting the insulation out of there, is that you can put in any Baffles that may not have been properly installed before.
 

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Get the wiring fixed like last week. The longer you put it off. The more of a possibility that it could arc.

That also includes like I stated before, getting all of that insulation out of there, so that you can fix all wiring issues, along with air sealing any places that there is wiring and vents penetrating into the attic area.

I would bring the wiring through the joists, not over them. Less problems if someone was to step on the wiring after covered with the proper layer if Insulation.

The other item about getting the insulation out of there, is that you can put in any Baffles that may not have been properly installed before.
Wow.

Why take all the insulation out? Just push it out of the way would do the trick.

Also, do not drill for the wires! If you have trusses, you've just screwed yourself. The proper way is to nail running boards beside the wires so you don't step on them.

If you're concerned about future rodent issues, you could use B/X cable instead of romex. I don't thinks critter would chew very long on aluminum.
 
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