PEX and mice?
(03-01-2023, 11:20 PM)adamcherubini Wrote: I heard some Japanese car makers tried to make their cars more recyclable and came up with plant based wire insulation that rodents eat.  I have a few friends who had it happen. In their case it was squirrels. One guy needed an $1800 harness replaced in his Mazda CX-5.

PEX is extruded(?) polyethylene

It's in a lot of cars. I think it's a soy based insulation.

The only wires the squirrel touched in my Chevy Express van. I did everything to stop it. Must be the only wire under the hood made with this insulation. Replaced it several times. Covered the wire with 3/8 rubber fuel hose. Wrapped it in aluminum wire. But hot sauce on it.. I finally trapped the squirrel.

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Neil Summers Home Inspections

" What would Fred do?"


I only saw PEX chewed once, and that was only because the mice thought it was easier than chewing wood to make the hole bigger. They stopped chewing both there when they got sprayed. I've seen romex chewed more frequently, usually where it goes thru the floor or a stud. Last summer I located an open hot wire in the wall with a tracer. The signal stopped right on a stud. Of course I cut an access on the wrong side. I was able to pull hard enough from the middle to pop the staples above both receptacles to pull my snake to connect both boxes without cutting out more wall.

As for recirculating hot water, I saw a system that used an occupancy sensor to turn on the pump in a bathroom. There was hot water at the tap by the time you needed it.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
I sure hope this is not much of a concern as I just plumbed my house with PEX. Fortunaltely for me I can access everything relatively easily if there's an issue.
It seems to me that there's a trade-off between the seemingly low risk of mice chewing the PEX and the cost of copper or it busting for various reasons like freezing.
There's always something unfavorable that could happen.
Thanks all for the great discussion.

Based on the responses, I am convinced the internet articles I found that stirred up the concerns in the first place are not worth the electrons the mice may have chewed on.

As I stated above, I have lots of romex and no signs of any gnawing in 30+ years with lots of evidence of mice sharing our home when they can. 

I now have zero concerns and would consider the odds of such damage to be indistinguishable from zero.  

BTW, trees on my wooded lot have been struck directly by lightning and instantly boiled to death at least 4 times in the 30 years we have lived here.

So, now what are the chances of 4 lightning strikes PLUS PEX-chewing mice happening in the same place?

I think we all know that statsitically speaking this is now a PEX "safe space."  

Cheers all.
sleepy hollow

rats got into my inlaws park trailer and chewed on the pex and caused a leak.  Course it was in a seal compartment below their shower...which isn't sealed anymore.  And the hole the pex was coming up through has been sealed.

Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. - Philip K. Dick



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