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I had a problem with squirrels in the eves of of my "built in 1905" (i.e. old) house. The squirrels ended up chewing through an electrical wire, and I lost power to my front porch light, and entire upstairs.

I've taken care of the squirrels and their entry points (for now anyway -- see old house)

I've had an electrician over who was able to partially restore power by doing -- something? I think they terminated/looped back the power earlier in the circuit. They told me that the short was somewhere further down the line, and since they didn't have access the only way to find the problem was to start taking down the walls -- which they didn't do. So I have power to my floor outlets, but not to the lighting system.

How do I approach fixing this? When I call handymen or electricians they quickly get that "this looks/sounds complicated, time consuming, impossible to estimate, with no clear win" look on/in their face/voice and I don't hear back from them. Is there a specific sort of professional I need to look for? If I wanted to fix it myself how would I go about doing that in the least destructive way possible?

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I'm not a pro, but I'd be doing continuity testing. With a multimeter or other such tool and a few lengths of stranded wire, I'd test each conductor (black, white, bare ground) between known points on the same circuit. Once you have that you can trace it or run new wires.

You'll want a non-contact voltage tester to be safe.

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