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This may be a bit off topic for an EV forum but the company that will soon be installing my charging point intends to use Hi-Tuff cable rather than armoured cable (SWA). I wouldn’t be concerned about this but there is a short underground run and when I dug the 500mm deep trench for this I exposed a few tunnels caused by rats. I know that rats will chew cables and I’m not sure if they could gnaw through the Hi-Tuff more easily than SWA? Yes - getting rid of the rats would be ideal but it’s near a chicken run and a compost heap and in 25yrs I’ve never managed to eliminate them altogether. I’m not sure if there’s a flexible rat proof conduit available or if burying in concrete might harm the cable?
 

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Concrete sounds like a plan... The little b*stards can't chew through that can they?

Tuf Sheathed Cable
Tuf sheathed cable has a whole host of advantages when used as industrial cable for locations like warehouses, factories, storage spaces and other industrial sites. They are commonly used as an alternative to standard steel wire armoured cable. The robust sheath that goes around a tuf sheathed cable makes it a good choice for outdoor or underground use, leaving you with the peace-of-mind that your mains distribution is well-protected. They can also be suspended in the air or embedded in concrete.
 

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Hi-Tuff cable is not suitable for direct buried installation (522.8.10). You'd need a 50mm twin wall duct or just use an SWA.
 

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Do installation company know about underground run? I ask because they will be issuing electrical certificate so need to be satisfied with how it is installed, not folk on here...
 

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I have often wondered why rodents like to chew at the protective plastic cover of electrical cable ?.
Then only last week I stumbled across a guy in America repairing a HVAC unit at some body’s home.
The mice had found they way into the electrical box and started chewing through the mains cable.
The said that this is a very common problem and he had done some serious work / investigation on why they love to chew at the coating on the cables.
His research lead him to under stand that there is an veg oil extract used in producing the plastic to give it flexibility.
Apparently, the rodents can smell the oil in the plastic and that is why they chew it !.
I have to say that it does make sense to me.
I though they maybe using it for nesting material, but apparently not, they are consuming it.
Rat’s will eat pretty much anything, if I was running a SWA in conditions like that, then concrete had to be your safest option here.
I don’t think the concrete would attack the outer plastic coating to be fair ?.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies. I have contacted the company - Smart Home Charge, who so far have been very good - and they are happy to use SWA instead of Hi-Tuff. I plan to leave the trench open, so they can fully inspect the cable run, and will back fill it later. They say they do not need a conduit in this situation but I have ordered a roll of yellow & black “ power cable below” tape. I’ll have far too much, so if anyone needs some ........
 

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I plan to leave the trench open, so they can fully inspect the cable run, and will back fill it later.
I defer to the electrical experts, but if the rats chew the outer sheath, is the metal sheath earthed, and will it be a problem if exposed? To prevent future issues, if I was in your situation I'd fill the trench with MOT1/concrete mix to just avoid them tunnelling to the cable.
 

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I have often wondered why rodents like to chew at the protective plastic cover of electrical cable ?.
Then only last week I stumbled across a guy in America repairing a HVAC unit at some body’s home.
The mice had found they way into the electrical box and started chewing through the mains cable.
The said that this is a very common problem and he had done some serious work / investigation on why they love to chew at the coating on the cables.
His research lead him to under stand that there is an veg oil extract used in producing the plastic to give it flexibility.
Apparently, the rodents can smell the oil in the plastic and that is why they chew it !.
I have to say that it does make sense to me.
I though they maybe using it for nesting material, but apparently not, they are consuming it.
Rat’s will eat pretty much anything, if I was running a SWA in conditions like that, then concrete had to be your safest option here.
I don’t think the concrete would attack the outer plastic coating to be fair ?.
Makes sense that it is the PVC rather than the cable itself they like. I've had rats chew pvc sheeting, paddling pools and those foam swim noodles I've kept in the shed. Squirrels are known to chew PVC pushfit pipe too, eg in lofts, which causes untold damage!
 

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I used to be an electrician before I retired. I was once working on a farm when the owner asked me to look at his corn drier as it was tripping the mains. I found the fault in a cable duct in the floor. Whoever had wired the drier had used Hi-tuff cables. All that was left in about 20 metres of duct was the copper conductors, no insulation whatsoever. I would be very careful where you use it,
 
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