Self-Contained Switches/Receptacles in Mobile Home

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kailor
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama

I'm helping my brother repair a mobile home and it is wired with self-contained switches/receptacles (14-2). In several areas we had to replace the sheet rock and thus installed new-construction gang boxes for the switches/receptacles. I'm fairly confident with regard to rewiring the receptacles but am not sure about the switches. By the front door there are 3 separate self-contained switches. Each of the three switches has 3 romex wires that terminate in the self-contained device. Each switch was wired exactly the same (per each switch - all ground wires laid on each other in the ground terminal, all white wires laid on each other across both neutral terminals and finally, all 3 black wires were laid on each other across both hot terminals but all 3 black wires had a section removed between the 2 hot terminals (per switch - none of the 3 black wires were continuous across both hot terminals). There is no 14-3 wire in any of these 3 switches. There is no power connected to this mobile home. All of our worked is being performed via portable generator.

1. How would I wire each of these self-contained switches to normal switches?
2. Are these all single pole switches?
3. Are these self-contained devices safe and reliable?
4. If it were you, would you replace all self-contained devices in this mobile home?

Thanks very much in advance! Keith.
Thanks!
Two 14x66's
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Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5696
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Keith, as a rule we do not answer specific electrical questions here since we have no idea of your skill level and I do not want any type of accident on me.
That said, the switches are wired the same way. MAKE SURE POWER IS OFF BEFORE DOING ANY ELECTRICAL WORK!!
They usually are single pole switches unless there is a 3 way switch you should be able to tell if 2 switches control 1 light.
Personally I have no use for the self contained units and personally feel they should be banned, I have seen too many electrical connection problems directly caused but that type of switch.
So, Yes I Have replaced all of them in our home.

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
bobfather99
Posts: 195
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 2:09 am
Location: Indiana

I agree with Greg here, those "mobile home" switches are junk. They can also be dangerous, due to the weak connections inside them. Ive even seen some that were so bad that when you gently bump the wall near the switch, the lights would flicker.
In my opinion, Id spend a few bucks and use the standard switches and boxes.
Tip your bartender.....
kailor
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:25 pm
Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Greg, bobfather99,
Thanks for the replies. If the 3 switches are labeled with On/Off then they are single pole. If not I'll have to assume they are some other type of switch. When my brother and I reach the point of hooking up power to the home, we'll seek out a licensed/qualified electrician. I don't have to tell you guys this but if they would put just a little more time and money into the manufacturing process of these homes they would be exponentially better. Trying to save a few bucks and a couple of hours is not always the best choice when performing a task!
Thanks!
Two 14x66's
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Greg
Moderator
Posts: 5696
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

I remember I saw a Lowes ad a few years ago that had the "NEW" one piece "Modular switch". I just laughed at it and I have never seen it advertised since and I don't think I have seen them in the store either. I wonder if they had problems with them??

Greg
"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."
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KLBoldon
Posts: 55
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:02 pm

We slowly replaced our self-contained switches...just to agree with everyone else - they are scary. In one room, when held in the right place, the switch would crackle & fuzz while flickering the light... I feel so much safer now that we have replaced nearly all of them.
ponch37300
Posts: 622
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:12 pm
Location: wisconsin

One more vote for those switches are garbage. We've been redoing our place room by room for a few years now and have replaced about 75% of those switches and recepticles.
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