One portion of Fried Mice

Having had a relatively straight forward morning, I later had a booking from a distressed/very cold new client whom had no heating or hot water. The symptoms were basic – simply no operational boiler. Due to experience, the first port of call was to check that this particular boiler hadn’t tripped its ‘over heat thermostat’ – which wasn’t the case this time.

Later going to the client’s Airing Cupboard – it became clear there was no power to the boiler or to the controls at all (the timer was blank and had stopped at 6AM (when the client found the house began to get very cold!)

Starting with the obvious (as to why there was no power), I checked the 3amp fuse – which had in fact blown. A rarity is to replace the blown fuse with a new fuse - and then the system works fine thereafter. This is usually as something obviously had caused it to blow in the beginning. However, with the new fuse, the boiler / system appeared to be working fine?

The next step to ensure all was well – was to turn on/off the boiler, on/off the pump and finally on/off the room thermostat (in order to see if it blows/trips the electrics).

Final check (before leaving the premises with a feeling of ‘that was a ’too good to be true’ simple fix of just replacing the fuse!’) – I then saw a brief flare of light beneath the floor through a hole in the floorboard. I was able to replicate the flare of light/spark by turning the cylinder’s hot water thermostat up/down.

I was grateful that on this first visit I was able to see this flare of light in the corner of my eye – the next step was to isolate the electrical supply to the hot water thermostat and pull the cable up through the hole in the floorboard. Clearly there was a pest, more than likely a Mouse – whom had gnawed it’s way through the cable – leaving a bare, dangerous and exposed Neutral cable!

There was also ‘scurrying’ marks on and around the airing cupboard’s floorboard/cable run hole. The fault was cured with a new length of cable run to a newly fitted Cylinder Hot Water Thermostat. A junction box was used, this was then fixed over the hole in the floorboard – so the pest can look elsewhere (and hopefully away from any cables) to try and enter/escape the building……if of course it wasn’t electrocuted (which was more than likely the case sadly, as it was enough drawn current to blow the central heating system’s 3amp fuse at 6am one cold morning!)

 

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