Author Topic: anyone know of a metal conduit that can be installed over existing wiring ?  (Read 17195 times)

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Offline free_electron

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like a split conduit that can be snapped or screwed shut.  ( like a u-shaped conduit with lid )
i have Squirrels in my attic and they have been eating the wiring. HVAC controls, coax, ethernet cable, power lines. they eat everything.

The damage is extensive. half the house is without power as they caused a short in a feeder. I'm faced with several thousand dollars in repairs.

I want that cable in steel conduits.

Is there any kind of conduit that can be installed over existing wiring so i can protect the undamaged wire runs.
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Offline ConKbot

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While not the most orthodox of uses for it, raceway for power/phone lines when surface mounting them could be put in.  Some not as aesthetically pleasing may be cheaper. I think the stuff that can also double as a large junction box is called "Wireway."   Wiremold is a big manufacturer, but their website isnt particularly helpful.

 

Offline free_electron

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it doesnt have to be aestetical. it's in the attic. nobody sees it. as long as it keeps the squirrels out i'm ok.

someone suggested getting simple wire mesh and simply make a 'tunnel' around the existing wiring. that would keep them out.

i may do that. that way i can leave the undamaged wire and simply tack down a u shaped tunnel.

damn vermin.
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Square & rectangular steel conduit/trunking is common here in the UK.
This sort of thing
http://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/cable-trunkings/0614154/
Youtube channel:Taking wierd stuff apart. Very apart.
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Online Monkeh

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Any ordinary steel trunking, as above, or simple steel capping: https://www.tlc-direct.co.uk/Products/SC2.html

This stuff is surely available over there with some looking.
 

Offline AlfBaz

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Similar to Mike's suggestion, as a leco I use it all the time. Unistrut, you can build just about anything with it
Channel
Lid
 

Offline dr.diesel

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  • Cramming the magic smoke back in...
Not cheaper to fix the hole in the long run?

Offline helius

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They (the squirrels) will chew their way back in, unless you cover everything with hardware cloth. Once they have made a nest somewhere they always go back.
 

Offline free_electron

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Yeah the holes have been fixed three times, they keep eating new ones !

The problem is roof rats. They eat the initial hole and then squirrels get in.
Damn HOA hasn't been putting out bait for rats for 3 years. They are paying for it. But i want a long term solution. I cannot understand why wires are just run in the walls in the US. That is sheer stupidity. In europe such a thing is unthinkable. it's either plastic or metal conduit. Especially since homes here are built out of wood.
it's a friggin fire hazard.

Half my home is without power, including my lab. The short circuit trips the breaker to that section of the home.

I can live not having light in my hallway. i cannot live having no power in my lab !   >:(

Best way would be to replace all wiring int he attic with aluminum clad reinforced flex. I could do that myself. the wire costs next to nothing.
 but i am not a licensed electrician and the HOA won't let me do it. They also won't pay for having all of it replaced, just the damaged sections.

if it was up to me i would cut the existing wires where they come out of the woodwork , put a metal junction box over em and string reinforced wires. material cost is like a few hundred $. no problomo. Paying someone to do it is multiple thousands of $ ...

So i will have an electrician do the fix as per HOA and then install reinforcement over it myself. So i need something i can install without having to cut existing wires.

Right now that mesh seems to be the best solution. it's cheap , i can bend it and shape it in  a tunnel and simply screw it down in the woodwork ( the cables are nailed down onto the plywood )

Fortunately all wires are visible. ( no wires running under non-accessible area's)
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Offline photon

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I have a small rat terrier. They aren't cheap or that easy to live with (they like to do what they want) but I no longer have issues with roof rats or squirrels.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 12:10:06 am by photon »
 

Offline gfiber

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I install surveillance equipment on poles. There is a 40 inch safety zone I have to observe between the comms lines and power secondary where I am not allowed to run 110 or 220 VAC. What I do is cut some plastic conduit in half and attach it to the pole in that area so I can run my AC power through the safety zone and not worry about the cable or telephone guy's getting into power they do not expect to be there. OSHA 1910.269 requires me to do that.  Something like that might work in your attic too.
Gary K8IZ
 

Offline Psi

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they caused a short in a feeder.

You'll get no sympathy from us if you installed electronic squirrel feeders in your home and are now overrun with squirrels  :-DD :-DD
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 02:48:20 am by Psi »
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Offline free_electron

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they caused a short in a feeder.

You'll get no sympathy from us if you installed electronic squirrel feeders in your home and are now overrun with squirrels  :-DD :-DD

hahaaaaa. . no a 'feeder' is the run of cable from the fusebox to the first junction box. it 'feeds' a section of the house.

the plastic conduit is not a bad idea. i could run it through a circular saw to create a 'slit' lengthwise. simple slide it over the existing wiring. and then screw it down.

all i would have to do is take the tacks out of the wood to lift the cable and put the clamps in there.  i may go that way. plastic conduit costs next to nothing.
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Offline Psi

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Have you tried some sort of paint based animal repellent ?
You can get stuff which is so bitter nothing can enjoy eating it :)


About 15 years ago dad found some old electrolytic caps in the basement with sections of missing plastic where rats had chewed it off.
mm... electrolytic cap
« Last Edit: March 01, 2015, 04:11:13 am by Psi »
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Offline pickle9000

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I do sympathize.

My problem was rats, and the location. Unfortunately bait (poison) was the only solution. I ended up with (3) cameras on the bait stations. I have one bait left and it will stay there with a camera on it for piece of mind. For me no sign of the little buggers for about 7 months. Took more than 5 years to deal with, they really do like electrical wires.

 
 

Offline HackedFridgeMagnet

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I woudn't use steel conduit, it's hard to work with, has sharp edges, needs to be glanded, needs to be earthed.
Here in Australia at least one person I have heard of has been electrocuted due to a live steel conduit.
Enclosure in conduit also changes the current carrying capacity of the cable.
So much work, so many wires in modern house.  :o

What about a physical squirrel and/or rat trap. The ones with a trap door. We use them for possums here. They work really well.
I cannot understand why wires are just run in the walls in the US. That is sheer stupidity. In europe such a thing is unthinkable. it's either plastic or metal conduit. Especially since homes here are built out of wood.
it's a friggin fire hazard.
Not sure why conduit in walls is a good idea. It is certainly a lot harder to do. PVC enclosed cables would actually get hotter.

You need to install a webcam with PTZ so we can help detect your squirrels.  ;)
 

Offline SeanB

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Standard US wiring is "haphazard run of bare cable" While here in SA, with brick walls, it is also the same, but we only have the rats. Taking some PVC conduit and sleeving the existing cabling will work, along with painting the attic area where they run with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denatonium

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Animal_repellent

So either look for a supply of fox urine, or buy 10g of Bitrex and mix in 5l of PVA paint then do all the wiring with it, along with the areas where the rats eat in and the access ways.

If you have some left over paint the HOA door with it as well.

Please note at this concentration you will need to wear a full respirator and a full body disposable coverall, as otherwise you will be tasting it for weeks.
 

Offline Whales

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Presumably the wires are dangerous to the squirrels.  Why not just install more wires?   :-//

More seriously, denaturing the cables sounds like a better idea as you don't have to go around killing the squirrels.  What do they (and the mice) eat through to get in?  Do you have a timber-frame ceiling with roof-tiles and they get in under the eaves?  Brick or wooden walls?  Can they get up in wall cavities from under the house?

Offline pickle9000

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I found 1/4 inch galvanized wire mesh worked. When I placed it I would form it into an omega (cross section) with the pointy bits facing out. I'd close in the bottom with another piece when required. That way I had something to nail the mesh down.

The pointy bits where to discourage them going under.

In my picture above you will see a bunch of sticks with black screws. Brick bait has holes so you can attach it. This is a great indicator, if the stick still has bait no rats. It also encourages them to eat and not store. For roof rats place a bit of shrimp under the bait when you screw it down. That simulates an insect and is fairly attractive. Squirrels will eat bait (they are a rodent). Superwarfarins are far more effective because they are not metabolized as quickly (months instead of days). 
 

Offline free_electron

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I woudn't use steel conduit, it's hard to work with, has sharp edges, needs to be glanded, needs to be earthed.
Here in Australia at least one person I have heard of has been electrocuted due to a live steel conduit.
Enclosure in conduit also changes the current carrying capacity of the cable.
So much work, so many wires in modern house.  :o

What about a physical squirrel and/or rat trap. The ones with a trap door. We use them for possums here. They work really well.
I cannot understand why wires are just run in the walls in the US. That is sheer stupidity. In europe such a thing is unthinkable. it's either plastic or metal conduit. Especially since homes here are built out of wood.
it's a friggin fire hazard.
Not sure why conduit in walls is a good idea. It is certainly a lot harder to do. PVC enclosed cables would actually get hotter.

You need to install a webcam with PTZ so we can help detect your squirrels.  ;)

wiring in europe is run through plastic pipes or metal pipes. These are embedded in the walls.

we use a special grinder with double grinding discs, spaced an inch apart, to cut a slit in the brick walls. remove the piece between slits , install pipes , joints etc , pull wire. then cement ove rthe pipes so they are embedded in the wall.
done.

i'd like to meet the first rat that can chew through that. it'll have to have carbide or diamond tipped teeth ...

here in the us ? simple plastic coated wires (romex ) just running in free airspace through walls. of course the animals eat that stuff.
They could at least have used a steel or aluminum corrugated cladding around the outer insulation. but no.

i don't get this. We know ther eis wildlife. we knwo they get inside. why not run electrical wiring in pipes to begin with ?
the NEC ( national electric code) needs an update ...

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Offline free_electron

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i was up in the attic installing steel mesh over all the vent opening where we could find damage. As i was working one rat actually tried getting in.

There is existing mesh in the vents , but it is screwed down only on one side with the point bits sticking out. The bloody rat grabbed the mesh , hung its weight off of it so the mesh bent, then squirmed its way in.

So now i installed steel mesh screening over every hole and it is nailed down all around.

still there are area's in the attic we can't inspect for holes as the furnace is in the way. This is a condominium complex. I have an end unit.
There is a rat problem in the complex. HOA has been negligent and hasn't had a pest control program for the last three years. they are supposed to have bait stations around the community. they are there, but are empty.

It makes me worry how many of my neighbours also have rats in their attic. What if the place burns down ?

i am pissed off how such things are possible. Simply running wires in pipe would prevent this kind of misery.
Electric pipe costs next to nothing ( 1.5 $ for 10 feet ! )  with 50$ if piping you can do the whole damn attic. That is nothing on the cost of the entire house (700K$)
Construction companies should be sued for negligence.
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Offline pickle9000

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I'd bet on all of your neighbors having rats.

If the bait stations get reloaded they need to stay that way, always.
 

Online Towger

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What I can't understand about American building codes are cars in builtin garages of wooden houses with just a single sheet of plaster board protecting the house from a fire.  I say nothing about plugs which can just fall out of their socket...
 

Offline pickle9000

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What I can't understand about American building codes are cars in builtin garages of wooden houses with just a single sheet of plaster board protecting the house from a fire.  I say nothing about plugs which can just fall out of their socket...

It's all about minimum code, if your lucky.
 

Offline SeanB

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For rats go buy a case or three of Finale wax blocks ( the stuff the bait stations use)  and place them around. For the furry tailed rats place them in a feeder coated with some peanut butter ( cheapest one you can get, it really makes no difference if it is going to make them fat) and give them some water to drink. That can be a dish in the attic with the blocks, and next to it a cat water bowl with Finale liquid inside. Works for rats, mice and bats........

MDS here, you will have to find it in the USA, probably from Amazon........

http://www.bayer.co.za/ebbsc/export/sites/za_internet/en/BMS/MSDS/Finale_Rat_and_Mouse_Wax_Blocks_MSDS_updated_July_2014.pdf

 


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