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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    This is my first time here so please don't throw me out the door to quickly. I am trying to replace outdoor porch light. The wiring is so short that there is not much to work with to wire the new motion light. Also, the junction is not watertight causing shorting out in laundry room and old porch light. I think I need to run new longer wire from the switch location straight up the wall to the porch light location.The problem is I have no idea what type of wiring is in this place. It is a 1972 Noble Mobile Home that I've been in for 24 years. I've accomplished many home improvement projects but electrical still eludes me at times. If I put new wiring in, do I attach it to the old with electrical tape and simply pull it through? Also, the siding on the mobile is the old corregated metal, so nothing sits flush. I will get the watertight junction and will probably need some type of molding to go over the wire that is exposed on the outside unless of course I can figure out how to run it ALL up through the wall. That would be nice!~ The light used to sit right next to the door but would burn your face everytime you walked in or out the door. So....a neighbor moved it up higher which has been fine for a few years until now when I need to replace the light. If anyone knows about these old mobiles and the wire type, I would appreciate any advise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicD57 View Post
    This is my first time here so please don't throw me out the door to quickly. I am trying to replace outdoor porch light. The wiring is so short that there is not much to work with to wire the new motion light. Also, the junction is not watertight causing shorting out in laundry room and old porch light. I think I need to run new longer wire from the switch location straight up the wall to the porch light location.The problem is I have no idea what type of wiring is in this place. It is a 1972 Noble Mobile Home that I've been in for 24 years. I've accomplished many home improvement projects but electrical still eludes me at times. If I put new wiring in, do I attach it to the old with electrical tape and simply pull it through? Also, the siding on the mobile is the old corregated metal, so nothing sits flush. I will get the watertight junction and will probably need some type of molding to go over the wire that is exposed on the outside unless of course I can figure out how to run it ALL up through the wall. That would be nice!~ The light used to sit right next to the door but would burn your face everytime you walked in or out the door. So....a neighbor moved it up higher which has been fine for a few years until now when I need to replace the light. If anyone knows about these old mobiles and the wire type, I would appreciate any advise.
    Was there wire added to move the light? If so sounds as though it wasn't long enough?
    You could just add pigtails to the hot and neutral wires to give you more length.

    One thing to consider is the possibiltiy of having aluminum wiring. If so , I would high recommend having an electrician do the work since there are special techniques and connectors needed to safely make connections to copper.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    Thank you for your reply. No additional wire was added when the light was moved. The neighbor just pulled the wire as far as it would come and that's where the light was hung. It's above the door which is nice so no more hitting your head on it or being scalded.

    The wire looks like normal wire to me with silver and ****. but I will need to splice back to get a clean connection on both the black and the white. I don't even know if there was a junction inside the wall where the wire originally came out.

    Anyway, so Aluminum wiring is just that, aluminum in appearance? If that's the case, then no, it's not aluminum. There's a black lead and a white lead.

    When the switch went out inside the back door, there was hardly any wire to work with for me to connect a new switch due to it being pulled so tightly to move the light. Ugh!~!

    Also, as mentioned before, the siding on the mobile is not flush. So, here's my thought to keep it watertight. Cut a piece of wood to mount the junction to, then mount the wood to the wall. Atleast the junction would sit flush and not have moisture getting in the backside. I bought a new junction at Home Depot yesterday and it's closed on the backside. I looked at wiremolding but not sure what type I can use and still have it look decent. When I took down the old straight molding, I found that the protective sleeve that normally encases the wire on the backside was not even there. So Home Depot was a bust. I gave up and came home with just the junction box because the person attempting to help me apparently has never seen a mobile home. lol. Lucky her!!

    So, if I'm right about it not being aluminum wiring, I think I will pigtail and will probably have to get the PVC flex or metal type molding just to fit the wirenuts where I pigtail. Then atleast I can shove some of the wire back down into the wall for the next time I have to work on either the light or the switch! It's never ending around here!

    I'm sending some pictures of this project. Please, if you have any great idea's let me know. I am open to any and all suggestions you have.

    Thank you again so much!
    Diane
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    Your photos show a two conductor neoprene cord without a ground. Flexible cord has never been approved for permanent wiring inside of walls. Someone has added it at some point. It also does not meet code without a grounding wire.

    The cord has copper conductors as can be seen by the copper colored metal. Cords use stranded wires, building wire is most often solid and does not have all the little strands. If you look at the original wiring (maybe back at the switch, or definitely back at the breaker panel) and the metal wires look aluminum (light gray) colored, you have aluminum wiring, and special methods and listed devices must be used. The color of the insulation is for identifying the hot and neutral, not the type of wire.

    Normally wire is fastened every few feet and within 6" of a box and it is unable to be pulled out. Even if it wasn't, it would never pull through a 90 degree bend. The correct wire to use would be NMB 14-2 W/Ground romex. All connections MUST be made in a box and not inside a wall space or conduit raceway. This is to prevent a fire if they become loose.

    If I were doing it I probably would use a non-metallic surface raceway on the inside wall, yes it will be visible. Starting with an N-M extension ring on the switch box. At the point where I drilled through the wall to the back of the light mounting box (weatherproof plastic) I would also mount a small box on the inside wall (not weather proof) and use a piece of 1/2" pvc conduit between them. It is very important to find where they lost the ground as I think a 1972 mobile home would have them. A non-mobile home of the vintage would have them. Look in the panel and see if you have a bare (uninsulated) conductor with each white and black pair leaving the box. That will tell you if you have ground wires.

    The boxes used on the inside will match the surface raceway. All materials are carried at HomeDepot and Lowes, but not all locations have knowledgeable help. I would recommend a lot of reading and studing if you are going to DIY.
    "Lead by Example"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    Sure looks like cabtire ( used for extension cords ) and it's not allowed for household wiring.
    Judging by the information provided it probably would be best to have an electrician straighten out things .

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    Thank you both for your replies. You are both correct, I need an Electrician!
    I appreciate your knowledge and especially your kindness.

    Sincerely,
    Diane

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Electrical Wiring 1972 Mobile Home

    I know it has been a few years since this message trail was posted, but I wanted to comment that currently (May 2014) it is easier and perhaps less expensive to install a separate solar porch light. Cost is around $20-60. The small solar panel is mounted on or near the roof of the house. During the day, the solar panel charges a battery located in the enclosure of the LED light array. At night, the LED light array is lit dimly. The built-in motion detector switches the light to bright for about 30 sec when someone walks near the porch. This lighting system is installed completely separate from the house electrical system, can be easily installed with just a drill, screwdriver, and maybe a tube of painters caulking. Installation time is less than 1 hour max. No professional electrician needed. No building permits needed.

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