Backstabs. Hot breakers. Crappy mobile homes.

pharkusNovember 26, 2010

More of a rant than anything.

There are 11 people living in a 3-bedroom trailer. The furnace doesn't work. Needed a blower motor. I got one. No run capacitor. Costs $3. Nobody wants to get one, yet apparently we can afford to heat the place with electricity...

Space heaters everywhere. Trip breakers left and right. I keep moving heaters around to different circuits (I know which ones are on what breaker) but others don't care and keep doing stupid things with them. I have no power to force otherwise.

Notice one day that the outlet in my bedroom wall is hot. Nothing is plugged into it. Turn off power, pull receptacle out of wall. Backstab connections. I knew that. Move to screw terminals? Nope. There are no screw terminals. Who makes a receptacle with no screw terminals? Worse yet, who USES one? Total crap.

No new receptacles here, they're all at the project house 40 miles away. Wirenut the darn things together for now. Wait! That SHOULD be the last receptacle on the circuit?!

Remove wirenut, turn breaker back on. What doesn't work? Oh, half of the room CONTAINING THE BREAKER BOX. There are two other rooms in between. So this circuit leaves the panel, chains around to half of the receptacles in the same room, then goes half way the length of the trailer to ONE OUTLET in my room, then up to the lights, then... back to the room it started in?!

While I'm there, move space heater to one of the few receptacles in the house I installed myself. I know someone else in the house will put it back later... or just add another one... whatever. Not my problem.

The breakers themselves are hot. 3/4 of the trailer is on one leg. Stupid slim breakers. The second leg powers pretty much the bathroom GFCI (so, a 5-watt nightlight), the washing machine, and the furnace - which isn't even in use. There's so much heat coming from the top two spaces that a circuit with no major loads on it (circuit powers a couple quad boxes I installed in my room for computer equipment) tripped today just from the heat from the breaker next to it.

Last night one of the women who live here came in and asked me if I could fix her power strip. Plug melted. Oops. Did I mention all the receptacles in the house have loose contacts?

We're moving December 15, to a 5-bedroom house with a working furnace and real wiring. I seriously expect this place to burn to the ground before then - and the only thing I can do about it is continually remind myself that I'm not the one who has to pay for it when it does. The window is right next to my bed, computer tower containing all my data is on the other side of the bed. Grab tower, exit window, everything else I own is in storage anyway.

Enough ranting. I need to go turn off two heaters and an aquarium pump so I can microwave my dinner.

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Add a plenum to the service panel and duct the heat throughout the trailer.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 10:32AM
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    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 10:34AM
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I hope you have a couple of smoke detectors working for you until you move...

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 3:13AM
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Mobile homes are NOT built under the NEC, but a separate HUD code that governs everything from framing to wiring and plumbing.

In wall taps are allowed (without boxes) and a lot of other shortcuts that would never be allowed by the NEC.

Arguably it produces a lower cost, and mobile homes are not intended to have a very long life.

The breakers are inverse-time, so they have both a heater for tripping on small overloads and a magnetic trip for short circuits.

The heater portion does produce some heat, it is needed to actuate the breaker for smaller but longer term overloads.

If the breakers are near rated capacity they can get warm.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 9:50AM
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I've seen those stupid backstab-only outlets, they are a pain. I carry a couple of recycled regular outlets we can swap in if we have to when putting in a mud ring and transformer (for alarm power supplies)

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 5:11PM
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