Mr. Mouse Killed the Network

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by c hris527, Apr 27, 2018.

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  1. c hris527

    c hris527 Getting comfortable

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    A local IT guy who I help out from time to time asked me to help him with a Intermittent Network issues on a segment he was having issues with. About a week or so ago I went to the building he was having issues with. This cable had been in place for at least 7 years or so and was a home run back to a switch that was feeding another switch with 3 PC's . He had already replaced the switch and a standard cable tester (AT THE TIME) was showing it was good. I carry a 200' cat 5e bypass cable with me and we bypassed the cable and let it run for a week...ok NO issues. Now it was time for the new run, This was in the wall and shows a critter got its way with it, looks like the installer most likely twisted or yanked too hard and damaged the coat then some mouse finished it off this winter or early spring.


    critter.jpg
     
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  2. TonyR

    TonyR Known around here

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    Oh, yeah....gophers, rats and squirrels (all rodents) LOVE thermoplastic. They'd get into some of our older in-ground traffic signal pull boxes (old ones had no grout over the crushed rock drain sump so they'd get in around conduits) and chew the conductors like crazy. They found out they could chew the 24 VDC pedestrian pushbuttons or inductive vehicle loop detector lead-in all day without consequences but found out the hard way on the 120VAC ones for the traffic signal lamps.

    And the squirrels would chew the top off our plastic street lighting photoelectric cells, open it up like Popeye's spinach can, rain would pour in, ruin the PC board and relay, etc. Street light would usually day-burn, as our PEC's were normally closed, would energize during the day to turn off the lamp.

    Two years ago a squirrel actually chewed completely into 2 pieces the neutral/messenger part of the 3-wire, 120/240VC single phase overhead span to my mom-in-law's house. With no neutral all her 120 VAC lights were out but her 240VAC water heater, kitchen oven and clothes dryer worked.
     
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  3. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Be glad the house wasn't jammed full of mwbc or there could have been some fireworks.

    My parent's have a place in the mountains. When the previous owner replaced the fuse box with a breaker panel the neutral cable was too short and also some jackass cut through most of the strands of the neutral cable. The fix?, they spliced it with a good piece of wire using a god damn ground rod clamp. It worked until it didn't... because of this the wire insulation was literally melting off of the 240 lines at the service entrance. Picture 4 inches of wire insulation icicle slowly forming as millimeter by millimeter you get closer to a catastrophic fire. Thankfully the main breaker actually tripped before it melted into a dead short. There were also some fixtures installed without boxes and some connections made without wirenuts.

    Rabbits are what I have the most trouble with pest wise. I left an extension cord out and the fuckers chewed it in 12 places, I was tempted to plug it back in to see how many rabbits I could take out per gfci trip. They've also chewed low voltage wiring for ac, sprinklers, and lighting
     
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  4. TonyR

    TonyR Known around here

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    I know, right? There's grass, leaves, roots, nuts, etc. all kinds of tasty stuff and they go after plastic.....go figure. Between the bunnies and the deer we have so many droppings our dogs are on Trifexis because it also addresses intestinal parasites. Our dogs? like the rabbits...all kinds of tasty, highly-rated, organic ($$$) dog food available but what do they consider a delicacy? Deer and rabbit droppings! YUMMY! :puke:
     
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  5. Mr_D

    Mr_D Getting comfortable

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    I've seen cables look like that after someone decided that routing it under a spiked chair mat was a good idea.
     
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  6. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    I replaced some wall switches in a house my brother in law bought. The switches worked intermittently.

    No wire nuts on the pig tails, just wires twisted together and insulated with SCOTCH TAPE. It had yellowed and cracked and fell off when I disturbed it.
    upload_2018-4-28_11-9-27.jpeg
     
  7. TonyR

    TonyR Known around here

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    But that's no ordinary tape, it's....ready for it ? ...........MAGIC tape!!

    No wonder so many houses and manufactured homes in my are burnt down...in these parts if you can make a light bulb come on, you're an electrician!
    And the second-most heard phrase next to "Hey y'all...wanna bet I can jump that ditch with this 4-wheeler?" is "My brother-law-in is a great electrician!". :facepalm:
     
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  8. Ronnie Bailey

    Ronnie Bailey Getting the hang of it

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    Scotch tape!!, everyone knows that you should use duct tape...........
     
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  9. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    once I find something like this I generally feel like looking in every junction box I can find or at least looking for any other obvious signs of idiocy. might be a good time to upgrade the whole electrical panel and upgrade to AFCIs as required in current code.

    Even real electrical tape loses its magic after 50 years and may fall off.
     
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  10. TonyR

    TonyR Known around here

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    Kind of like when I lived in my dad's finished barn for 6 months in '06 while I built my house.
    Lights were flickering so I opened the breaker panel to see and was faced with about 8 or 10 30 Amp single pole breakers. I pulled the guard and ta-da! #14 conductor on all the 30 amp breakers. Not a single #10 conductor in sight.
    Next day I'm down at Home Depot buying 15 amp breakers and moving stuff around.
    The so-called "electrician" doesn't have a clue...he probably thinks the breakers protect the things you plug in, not the conductors.
    No wonder you see so many houses in this rural part of AL burned down. A 30 amp breaker feeding a big overload on the other side of the barn would make that #14 glow red hot in the wall....
     
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  11. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    Here's another fun one I should have taken a picture of: My sister tells me she has this ceiling light that's making some funny sounds and is flickering and that that last time they used it it glowed a different color and continued to glow after they turned it off, interestingly this was intermittent and had done this before... and of course the question is "is it safe to use?" they had already turned it back on and it seemed to be working fine now... light manufactures are all in a race to the bottom to make the cheapest, lightest, most worthless fixtures possible. So the metal that makes up the fixture is only about as thick as 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil, with a layer of fiberglass insulation and actual aluminum foil.

    So what happened? Pieces of the aluminum foil had separated from the adhesive holding it to the fiberglass and it fell down and was making contact with the terminals on the lamp socket arcing until it vaporized. When I got it down the fixture wires had most of their insulation melted off and the nm-b in the box above the fixture had about 3" of heat damaged insulation (thankfully plenty to work with).

    An unfortunate lesson I learned long ago is to never touch hot insulated wires (without ppe), the insulation integrity can't be guaranteed. This and melty fun is why newer nm-b/thhn has nylon around the inner insulation layer.
     
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  12. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    Oh, I did. Every cover plate came off, I found numerous receptacles and switches that I could turn the screws down an additional 1-2 turns without effort. Same in the breaker box. Found one or two wire connections that had been hot.
    A few, the wires came off when I pulled the receptacle out. They where not hooked around the screw, straight wire stuck under the screw that wasn't tightened.
    The house was built in 1984, by a highly regarded contractor that bragged about always using the best subs. Uh uh.
    And passed the building inspection.

    I think I spent 4 days on that part of what should have have been a 1-2 hr job. ;)

    Just because you've been doing something "that way" for 30 years, doesn't mean you've been doing it right.
     
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  13. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    My son purchased his first house, a nice house that was built in the 40's. A previous owner somewhere down the line had "finished" the basement. It had a dropped ceiling, with 6 75watt downlights.

    Son calls me one day after living there for about a year, and say's they can smell something hot in the basement. He had poked around some and found a metal junction box that was warm to the touch. I told him to kill the power to the house, and I'd be over.

    The 4" junction box had been hacked into, and 18gauge lamp cord had been semi connected to one of the 14gauge conductors. That lamp cord was powering all of the 6 75 watt br30 downlights!
    Lets just say the lampcord was a tad brittle.
     
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  14. tangent

    tangent Known around here

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    There's a reason they changed the NEC regarding tightening things to the proper torque recently. Some serious props are due to a mech eng at some of the outlet mfgs though for designing a screw that naturally tightens to exactly the right torque when using a #2 Phillips screwdriver. You're supposed to tighten wire nuts until they change color, right? :angry:

    On a related note I'm amazed how often you see NEW decks constructed using the old bolt the beam to the post method which is not ok. Basically if you see a deck being built with 4x4 posts it probably doesn't comply with current codes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
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  15. looney2ns

    looney2ns Known around here

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    It was magic all right, it practically all disappeared when touched. ;)