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Mobli Home Gremlins

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  • Mobli Home Gremlins

    I've had a problem in my home for a couple of years that I have never been able to figure out, admittedly I've only spent a few hours chasing it but I'm in need of advice or suggestions. First off, I live in a single wide mobile home. The problem started when I went to plug in an extension cord. I got an immediate pop (turns out there was a short). Well I went to my breaker box and sure enough, a breaker was tripped. I reset it, but the circuit it went to never restored. My first guess was a bad breaker, so I went out a bought a replacement and replace it. It didn't work. My next guess was the GFI outlet I was plugging into, so I replaced that. Still no luck. I have checked, as best as I can tell, every outlet/switch/light fixture on the circuit but no dice. I really can't afford to hire an electrician to come in so I'm kind of left to my own to try and fix it. Does anyone have any suggestions or theories? This is one of the main lines in my house and it goes along one side of the house. I'd really like to get this fixed as it's been a pain in the butt living with it.

  • #2
    Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

    It's time consuming, but here's what to do. Go to the panel and turn off the breaker that was tripping. Start where you plugged in the extension cord, remove the device (receptacle) and isolate the wires so none are touching. Go back to the panel and turn on the breaker. If it trips, turn off the breaker, and go to the next device upstream (toward the panel) on that circuit and repeat, removing the device and isolating the wires. At some point, the circuit will remain live and you have isolated the short between the last device working and where the short is. Look for scorched wiring or burns on the devices, ( a ground wire touching somewhere it shouldn't. Look inside and outside your home for penetrations (screws, nails) that might run in the area that the wire travels through. Hopefully you won't find anything like that. If you do, you'll have to tear open some walls to find the short, but I'm betting it's in one of the boxes along that circuit. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

      Something is fishy here madjack! If you truly had a short in the mobilehome wiring, the breaker should have tripped when the short occured, resulting in you getting no power when you plugged in the extension cord. If you got a pop when you plugged the cord in, either there was a short in the cord itself or whatever was plugged into the cord at the time. Have you read voltage at the breaker itself since you replaced it? This could be as simple as needing to push the breaker handle past the off position and back to on. Let us know what you find out.

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      • #4
        Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

        Let me clarify. The item I plugged in had a short, I believe. Since then, that line has been useless. It's been suggested to me that there could have been a loose wire on one of the outlets and it came off.

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        • #5
          Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

          for clarification,
          does the breaker trip when you try to reset it?
          or is the breaker resetting and there is no power in the line?

          if the outlets, receptacles or any of the switches have the push in wires, they may have lost contact, or burnt to a point of on connection,

          but if it is a short, some thing tripping the breaker, follow killavolt suggestion, actual follow his suggestion but if the breaker is ON,
          and power is at the breaker, (if you have a volt meter check the power at the breaker where the wire hooks on and see if there is power going through the breaker),then you may want start at the closest end to the breaker checking things, there may be a junction box as well, that has a poor connection and the over load caused it to become an open or short,
          (but work on the circuits with the power off, only test with the power on),
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

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          • #6
            Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

            Originally posted by BHD View Post
            for clarification,
            Is the breaker resetting and there is no power in the line?
            ,
            Yes the breaker resets and there is no power in the line.

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            • #7
              Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

              i do a lot of mob service. first check to see if have voltage in the wire at breaker. actually test the wire in panel. what i find with back stab wiring is that the recp upstream will be a bad connection where wires on load(exit) side of recp. recp will usually test good. you may have to pull several recps to find bad one. one thing i do to isolate circuit is to flip all the rest of breakers in mob or house for that matter. by doing this you can check all recp to find any that are powered. all recps on one side of mob will usually be on one breaker and some interior walls. when i pull recps i tug and twist them to check for bad connection. i also change out all the back stabbed recps AFTER i find problem. find the problem FIRST. you may wont to have power off in the circuit every time you remove recp. this whole process can take time. you may wont to make notes as you go along. i do. i make sketches of each room as i go along. breid...........

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              • #8
                Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                Well just to update and close out this thread completely. This past Sunday I was replacing my well pressure switch underneath my house. To make a long story short, I had to remove a piece of skirting from in front of my pressure tank and switch and low and behold, I found a GFI outlet that I didn't know existed on the underbelly of my house. It was tripped, and it had shut off this entire circuit in my house. Needless to say, I was a little happy as the wife and I were ready to shell out a few thousand dollars to have an electrician come and fix my circuit. Thanks to all of those that responded and gave me some ideas to look into. After 5 years of frustration, I finally have power back to my entire house.

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                • #9
                  Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                  You should never put 2 GFI's on the same circuit, because that will cause phantom tripping & you only need one. I would change the one at the end of circuit. ( the 1 you plugged the cord in 5 years ago.) And good electrician would have only charged you about $200.00 to fix that. Whenever a circuit is dead I check for power at the breaker 1st & then look for hidden GFI's.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                    Although the problem has been resolved, one thing I did not read mentioned was having some sort of receptical tester to see if there was power at the recepitcals he is removing. A receptical tester and one of them testers that chirp when near AC voltage are the bare minimum to have when troubleshooting gremlins. If the neutral was bad he still could have gotten shocked thru the ground wire. I have gotten tagged a few times taking a receptical out of a box and getting a surprise by touching things that are not friendly.

                    How do you spell receptical anyways? with two e's or just 1?
                    We don't have preventative maintenance around here, we have CRISIS MANAGEMENT!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                      receptacle.


                      How do that GFI get installed under there and why are two questions I am pondering.

                      Maybe the GFI was for some heat tape for pipes in the winter time? Are sub-freezing temps a problem in your area?
                      Last edited by Bob D.; 06-15-2011, 03:48 AM.
                      "It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?" Bob D. 2006

                      https://www.youtube.com/user/PowerToolInstitute

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                      • #12
                        Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                        all mobs here have a gfci on the under side. would you like to be under there on the ground without one? what i've not seen is the feed through going to the inside circuits. learned something new here and i'm 66. breid....................

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                        • #13
                          Re: Mobli Home Gremlins

                          Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                          receptacle.


                          How do that GFI get installed under there and why are two questions I am pondering.

                          Maybe the GFI was for some heat tape for pipes in the winter time? Are sub-freezing temps a problem in your area?
                          I'm pretty sure that's why the GFI was under there. It's right next to my well pressure tank and switch. I'm in New Hampshire so freezing temps are an issue for 4 months a year at least.

                          I'm glad the GFI is there, the problem is, I didn't know it was there and it had tripped back when this problem started and I was never able to reset it, as I didn't know it was there.

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