Hand Tools Archive

OT: Backyard wildlife - the world at war *PIC*

Bill Houghton, Sebastopol, CA
Well, maybe not at war...

The motion detectors for the light on our back entrance gate failed in a very creative way, which motivated me to get around, finally, to adding a second light and second motion detector. I installed the existing light and detector eight or so years ago, inside a covered structure built by our son that shelters the back gate, and I wanted a light out on the driveway side, and a detector that would pick up traffic coming up the driveway.

I did the work for the second light and detector, using the same kinds of liquid-tight plastic fittings I'd used before, with metal single-gang boxes thrown in because I don't really like plastic boxes; then set up the ladder to tie these into the existing wiring (which is cleverly concealed behind the Arts & Crafts framing). When I climbed the ladder, I found this:

Apparently, there's something in those plastic fittings that tastes like chocolate to the mice, rats, or squirrels in our yard; Mitch at the hardware store offered the firm professional opinion that it probably wasn't gophers.

This led to a course correction and an extra day's work; all the installation that's out of sight for those lights is now in metal. I was reminded that liquid-tight flexible metal conduit finds the "flexible" part of its name kind of amusing, but only had to try the most difficult box-to-box conduit run three ways to get it connected. We now have improved lights, and I'll be watching the exposed plastic very closely for signs of attack.

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