If a mouse has recently turned your favorite lamp's cord into their personal chew toy, then the good news is that you can easily repair it at home yourself using some very basic tools.
Unfortunately, mice and other rodents are attracted to electrical wires in homes and vehicles. The rodents have the ability to feel the vibrations of the current inside of the wires, and they find the smell of the wire's plastic coating to be appealing as well. Chewed wires are a danger because they can cause:
- home fires
To prevent further damage to your home, you can fix your lamp using the following steps:
Step 1: Unplug the Lamp
As soon as you notice any damaged electrical cords around your home, you should immediately unplug them to prevent fires.
Step 2: Inspect the Damage
Household electrical cords are made of the following three components:
- inner wires
- insulation fibers
- outer plastic covering
If the plastic covering or insulation fibers are the only areas of damage to the cord, then you can safely wrap the cord in electrical tape to fix it. Electrical tape is very inexpensive and you can buy it at any hardware store in your area.
If the wires of the cord have been damaged, then you need to take one of two possible actions:
- splice together the wires
- replace the electrical plug
Step 3: Fixing the Wire Damage
If the cord was chewed in the middle and the damage does not leave enough cord length to cut the wire and replace the plug, then you should splice the wires together using wire nuts and some electrical tape.
To create a splice, simply cut each side of the electrical wire around the damaged area. Strip back the wires approximately an inch on each side. Wrap the two black wires together and secure them with a plastic wire nut. Do the same for the red wires.
Once you have successfully spliced the wires together, then you should wrap the entire area of the cord with a liberal amount of electrical tape for added safety.
If the chewing damage is near the end of the cord, then simply cut the damaged area away and replace the plug. You can purchase a new plug at the hardware store and they are very easy to install. Follow the directions on the package of the plug you purchase to ensure the plug is correctly and safely installed.
After you've had pest control services deal with your rodent infestation, you should ask a licensed electrical contractor from a company like All American Air & Electric, Inc. to come out to your home and perform a safety inspection as soon as possible, since rodents can do major electrical damage to your home. Many times rodents will chew on the wires in your walls, and your first sign of their damage can be when you house burns to the ground—better safe than sorry!