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Outside Electrical Outlets Stopped Working

Q. Hey Don I have a 1990 Southern Energy double wide 24x60 mobile home. The two outside electrical outlets quit working one day while I was using them....they don't seem to be tied in with the main breaker box is there a different box for these breakers somewhere? Thank you.

A. Check for a GFCI outlet that may have tripped. It could be in the kitchen, a bathroom or outside. Let me know what  you find...Don

UPDATE:  I found it in the master bathroom….Thank you very much Don.

Locating wiring for hardwired smoke detectors

Q. We are trying to locate wiring for hardwired smoke detectors in a 1987 Bridgeport Manor manufactured home.  We are renting and the owner capped wires off and drywalled over.  Any suggestions ? My husband used an electrical tester , but no luck.  Any help is greatly appreciated.  Thanks!

A.  They would be hard to locate with out the proper location equipment used by electricians, these are called circuit tracers. I would check near and over doorways in the bedrooms and near center of the hallway about 6 to 12 inches from the ceiling. They of course may have also been installed in the ceilings. You may also want to pay particular attention to areas above existing outlets and switches, where power may have been pulled from. If you can not locate the old locations you can use snap-in boxes and install new outlets easily by junctioning at existing outlets and switch locations and "fishing" the power up through the wall to install them. 

Now with all that said I have always preferred the battery operated types over the hardwired. The hard wired types will not operate with the power off and in the case of a fire they usually start because of electrical  problems. They may have battery backup but I don't trust them. The battery operated types are cheaper and easier to install. 

The thing no one ever tells you is that smoke detectors wear out and should be replaced every 5 to 10 years., making the battery type more reasonable to own. I do highly suggest that you have smoke detectors in every room possible. Smoke detectors are rated for location such as bedroom or kitchen etc. So read the packaging. Remember to test them every month, set up a schedule, and replace the batteries every time the time changes.

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My mobile home is using a lot of electricity.

Q. I'm trying to remodel a 1976 mobile home. recently got the power turned on and it is using over 90 KWH per day and nothing is being used or is plugged in. I read some of your articles and am planning on checking the outlets and the breaker box tomorrow, but didn't know if there is anything else that I should check or know?

A. Watch out for older inefficient appliances, heavier than average appliance usage due to weather such as hot or cold. Loose connections at outlets, branch feeder circuit breakers and especially the main (200 amp) disconnect breakers. Feel for hot wires, that is an indication of current consumption. The most overlooked energy eaters besides the "vampires" (transformers, chargers, plug in air fresheners etc.) is the water heater and the refrigerator. I have a timer on the water heater and have the settings adjusted for optimum performance with the use if a thermometer, that saves me a ton. Also be advised to check for air leaks around doors and windows. Stock windows in a mobile home are terrible and be sure to use the double pane (inner/outer). Do things like placing those safety plugs in outlets can help with air leakage over time. Use shade to your advantage, blinds in the windows during the summer. Go around the home during the hottest part of the day and feel the walls and ceilings, if you can, for hot spots. Don't forget to use CFL light bulbs and I highly recommend using the newer LED bulbs where you can, especially in places where the lights tend to remain on for long amounts of time.This might help to find inadequate or slipped out of place insulation.  Let me know what you find. Thanks for the email...Don

Radiant Barrier White Ceramic Paint-DIY Mobile Home Repair - Google+

Homeowners do their own test of radiant barrier white ceramic paint vs standard white paint on their mobile home to test the insulation value.

 This is something worth checking out. The insulation and long lasting properties make this an amazing product. I have also been told that people have painted there duct work and under coated their homes with dramatic results.

 Visit this link for the story:
DIY Mobile Home Repair - Google+

Should a white wire ever be connected in with with the black wires? (ceiling light)

 Generally no, but there are circumstances where this does occur. When it does the white wire will have a piece of black tape on it to let the electrician know that this wire is now a "hot" conductor in both the ceiling box and the switch box. This will occur when the power source comes in at the light fixture box and not at the switch box. This now requires that the hot be transferred to the light switch box via the white wire from the light fixture box and then returned back to the light fixture from the switch on the black wire, to give the switch control of the light fixture. Get other answers to mobile home electrical repair problems by visiting the website l.