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An inline fuse will not hurt. It will protect the transformer from shorting out. Most of the 75va and larger transformers are fused. If I have a known problem area with mice or a wreckless weedeater operator I'll fuse the transformer.
Ok I think I know why the transformer quit working. The panel that covers the electrical compartment was loose.......this caused condensation on that side...that condensation ran down onto the transformer.
No fear of the weedeater getting to the outside control wire. I understand why you would use a fuse tho and point taken. Seems like the factory would install them....but yeha I know how that is. What they do may not be better than what the service guy does. Totally agree.
As promised here is your pic. It worked great!
There are wire nuts under the tape.....keep in mind it was getting late lastnight and it's hot here. I dont have kids either to fiddle with it.
Just replaced the original with the new part.....all is well.
It worked, that's all that matters. I've never had to resort to using an external power source for secondary voltage. I don't think your heat pump noticed.