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Old 03-21-2011, 03:30 AM   #1
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My wife and I purchased an ancient(in MH years) but very well built mobile home a couple years ago to be our final home. The poor old thing has many issues, and I'll be asking lots of questions here. This one is about the electrical system in our place. Built in 1960, there is no ground system in the 30A(yup 30Amp) aluminum. I supply. I have set up up several grounded outlets for our electronic devices, but it's merely a stopgap thing. I need to rewire the place...but with a very limited income it's going to be a piecemeal thing. My plan is to set up a new service and new wiring. I am no stranger to electricity, but have no certification. I need to find a certified electrician in my area who can coach and instruct me, and help me get the new wiring approved. I am NOT looking for anything illegal or unethical(or unsafe). I have contacted local contractors, but the prices quoted exceed the cost of the house. Are any of you guys located near the Rio Grand Valley here in Texas? I am not asking for any free help, just, as mentioned above, mentoring.
Thanks in advance

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:18 AM   #2
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Flaming arrow sounds like the best bet.

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Old 03-21-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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Flaming arrow sounds like the best bet.
More info please? I checked the member list and found no "Flaming Arrow" Am I missing something?
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:42 PM   #4
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Well then never mind...I've pulled a lot of wire in factories, just looking for someone to supervise and certify my work. I cannot afford to hire a contractor and crew. I was sort of hoping to be the crew.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:55 PM   #5
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Mickey, I'm from San Antonio and have been calling on the Valley off and on for 5 years (not so much in the last couple years but still occasionally). One thing I know is that the Valley is home to a LOT of winter Texans ("snowbirds") and a lot of them have manufactured homes, campers and RV's that are anywhere from 50 years old to brand new. I would suggest maybe calling a local trailer park/etc. and asking their maintenance guy(s) who they might recommend (or they may do it on the side).

Victoria Palms is one such park. May start there?
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Old 03-21-2011, 10:07 PM   #6
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Mickey, I'm from San Antonio and have been calling on the Valley off and on for 5 years (not so much in the last couple years but still occasionally). One thing I know is that the Valley is home to a LOT of winter Texans ("snowbirds") and a lot of them have manufactured homes, campers and RV's that are anywhere from 50 years old to brand new. I would suggest maybe calling a local trailer park/etc. and asking their maintenance guy(s) who they might recommend (or they may do it on the side).

Victoria Palms is one such park. May start there?
I live in such a park...and have checked most of the local parks. The maintenance guys that I have spoken with are kind of like me...they know how to do stuff, but not certified, and more importantly not bonded, which I understand to be more of a deal breaker here in Texas.
But I do appreciate the reply...thought I had the pox or something.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:15 AM   #7
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More info please? I checked the member list and found no "Flaming Arrow" Am I missing something?
Just kidding. Flaming arrows like Indians used to burn down buildings.

I have yet to ever meet a trailer (mobile home) that was worth the expense to rewire. You said it had aluminum wire right? If it has aluminum wire, a used trailer with copper wire may be more cost efficient.
I know you do not want to hear that and I do not know how well built your trailer is. I can only go by what I have seen in the past. Good luck.
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:25 PM   #8
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Doh...senior moment.
I do see your point J.V., but I'm afraid that another trailer isn't in the cards. What we've got is, unfortunately, what we've got.
My plan is,to fir out the walls, and run new copper throughout, a little at a time until complete. Also plan on a new, modern panel, to replace the four fuse box in place now. No hook up will be made until Everything is in place and approved, thus avoiding the infamous copper/aluminum splices(yes, I know that they are possible with the correct components, but I'm not convinced that that is the way to go). At the time of hookup, the whole aluminum two wire system would be disconnected and covered over. I do have quite a bit of industrial electrical experience, at my last and hopefully last forever, job, I was the facility maintenance department(the whole departmentit was a small company. I've worked with three phase and single phase,although all of my installations were supervised and/or approved by a licensed electrician. I will be acquiring a copy of the applicable codes, and plan on adhering to them religiously. My biggest problem is that around here, inspectors and contractors are very buddy-buddy, our county has the dubious distinction of being on the top fifteen list for county official corruption, and the news daily reports of this judge, or that official being arrested for misconduct. I don't have the grease to get one of these final public servants in my camp.
I've no doubt that it'll be an expensive transition, but I'm willing to take my time and purchase supplies as funds become available. I also know it'll take quite a bit of time to do this, but I've got the rest of my life.
brich...do you have any local contacts I could look up? As I said earlier, the parks I've contacted don't have licensed personnel, rather they farm out the code critical work or jerry-rig when they can get away with it.
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Old 03-23-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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Mickey,
I understand. But I just cannot see rewiring a trailer. It would be like trying to fix a bad light bulb. Have you seen whats behind the walls? What type of panel do you have? I am certain we will try and help you. I just can't see doing this job. You could not hire me to do it. Thats for sure.

I say roll it out, and roll a newer one in. Trailers are like cars. Once there useful life is up, it goes to the scrap yard.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:47 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by J. V. View Post
Mickey,
I understand. But I just cannot see rewiring a trailer. It would be like trying to fix a bad light bulb. Have you seen whats behind the walls? What type of panel do you have? I am certain we will try and help you. I just can't see doing this job. You could not hire me to do it. Thats for sure.

I say roll it out, and roll a newer one in. Trailers are like cars. Once there useful life is up, it goes to the scrap yard.
Walls are 1/4" real wood ply with rockwool behind. My plan is to leave everything in place and "frame" an interior wall around the exterior walls. That'll give me the total wall depth for "real" windows and doors...new wiring will be surface attached to the old wall surface with real j.b's. current outlets and switches are not in boxes, and while they work well there is no grounding in the entire system. I'm figuring 12/2 with ground romex stapled to the existing paneling, new framing members notched over the new wiring. I understand that a professional electrician would not take this job, and I'm not requesting bids, just advice and a pro's pre-inspection. I cannot get a permit w/o a pro on the application.
I do appreciate your comments though...much food for thought.
Forgot to add that the purchase oh this MH wiped out the meager severance I was given when Black and Decker shipped my job off shore. I agree that a later model would not have the problems I'm facing, but the later models are pretty shoddy as far as construction goes. This thing was built by Timpte( a well known and respected semi-trailer manufacturer). It's solid as a rock.
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Last edited by mickey cassiba; 03-23-2011 at 06:11 PM. Reason: left sumpin'out
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:14 AM   #11
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OK I get all the negatives... not cost efficient, maybe even a dumb idea...but, can it be legally done as I have proposed? I'm talking new panel, new wire, new everything, just purchased a little at a time. If someone can quote me a code listing that says it is illegal, I'll buy that, but if impracticality is all I have against me, I'd appreciate all the advice I can get to get it done, I got way more time than money.

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