Dad called this morning to say that he was leaving Home Depot and on his way to our house. All of us were concerned about the chewed wires, and while I hate to jiggle the elbow of anyone doing me a favor, I was relieved to hear he was coming sooner rather than later.
The big hole was reopened, breakers were thrown, and the box was disassembled. Bad news - the wire coming in from the side was the hot side. The wire through the bottom plate was going down not up - it re-emerges on the other side of the threshold and powers the television plug. Dad was unhappy to see that it was wired through the plug rather than being pig-tailed. Apparently legal, but not best methods.
Then we gave that wire a pull to see how bad the bit going back into the wall was. That made everyone even MORE unhappy.
Clearly the whole chunk of wire needed to be replaced, AND we really needed to know what was going on with the rest of that piece of wire where we couldn't see it. We had to cut a couple more small holes in order to get it to turn the corners. We also used the old piece of romex to fish the new piece through. Since it was fished through an insulated wall, that saved me from having to patch the entire length of wall. I'm good with that.
Dad commented that he was glad it was only three outlets, because his back was starting to really hurt. We were initially concerned that we were going to find a lot more damage further up the wire, and if that was the case we were prepared to chase that hot wire around the perimeter of the living room until we got to mouse free area. That would have involved chasing back through at least two more outlet boxes.
Here's the piece of damaged romex we pulled out:
Now we just need to patch. Bob will patch the holes sometime over the next week or so, and then I'll mud them. I've got an old patch to mud in the bathroom ceiling from when we put the new fan in, and we need to take down the bottom of the stairs gate and put the handrail back, so that'll need some patching also. I clearly have a taping/mudding weekend in my future
Rodents are evil, and we're very lucky.