electrical receptical in thin paneling

Repair help for the do-it-yourselfer.
For mobile home parts, click here.

Moderators: Greg, Mark, mhrAJ333, JD

Posts: 368
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 7:57 am
Location: Murrells Inlet,SC

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:38 pm

I don't think I ever posted this before except as a side note in another thread, but I have a number of receptacles (wall plugs) that that were never installed on or at studs.

Every time you plug or unplug from these receptacles the wall paneling flexes.

Has anyone found a solution for this?
1987 Craftsman Double Wide 42x28,w/attached 28x12 foot enclosed porch/ re-shingled 2 yrs ago. Original exterior vinyl w/no sheathing.

Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2010 9:53 pm
Location: Steuben County, NY

Sat Apr 20, 2013 4:37 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of mobile home construction! The receptacles are held to the back side of the paneling by plastic legs on those two screws you see from the front, and are a self contained unit. You could open the wall and move the outlet to a stud, but then you'd have to patch the holes where the outlets were. Probably you could cover them with wainscot. Of course, you would also need boxes and conventional outlets, and probably you would have to run some new wire between boxes to get the correct lengths.

User avatar
Posts: 5685
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 pm
Location: Weedsport, NY

Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:28 pm

Possibly if you glued some thin strips about a foot long behind the paneling so the box tabs are behind them it may add enough support to stop at least some of the flex. See "fixing a loose electrical box" in the articles section of the site.

"If I can't fix it, I can screw it up so bad no one else can either."

Posts: 180
Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:04 am
Location: Western Washington, Puget Sound

Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:41 am

1. Open the breaker
2. Detach outlet from wall & let it hang into the room
3 . using a razor knife, cut the hole horizontally at, the top and again at the bottom, either right or left to the nearest wall stud. You'll need to cut a little higher and a little lower.
4. Nail in a new box, ensuring that it sticks out approx 3/8 - 1/2 inch, using the stops on the box to space it
5. Cut the old receptacle out, run the wire into the new box, attach a new outlet to the wire, but don't screw it tight to the box.
6. Pull all the battens off that wall gently, & pull or hammer in the brads or staples
7. Install sheet rock right over the paneling. Install sheets vertically. Crown stapler is best.
8. Tack the battens back over the joints, screw the new outlet into the new box, buy a can of aerosol texture, mask/texture/prime/paint right over the battens and rock.
9. When dry, remove masking and install new outlet cover and shut breaker.


User avatar
Greg S
Posts: 541
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 10:13 am
Location: Kingston Ontario Canada

Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:48 am

I have a simple fix that usually improves the situation. Spray foam insulation, The type that the home building stores sell for insulating around new install windows.
Purchase a spray can of the non expanding spray foam.
Turn off the power to the outlet.
Remove the cover plate and outlet.
Insert the spray tube through the holes in the sides and rear of receptacle box (drill holes if none exist) and fill cavity around receptacle box.

The spray foam will stick to the receptacle box and all wood surfaces including the back of the wall panel.
(Do not use expanding foam or the wall panel will bulge.
An individual must enforce his own meaning in life and rise above the perceived conformity of the masses. (Anton LaVey)

Posts: 368
Joined: Sat May 19, 2007 7:57 am
Location: Murrells Inlet,SC

Sun Apr 21, 2013 4:41 pm

Greg S,
This post is what I'm considering after watching a few videos.
I also looked at the link on the Articles and that gave me more ideas.

Steve WA's idea is good also, but this would require what would end up as, redoing the entire one living room wall with Sheetrock.

If I screw up the spray foam and it blows the paneling off the wall THEN I'll go with Steve's idea.

Considering that the wall is only 2 x 3 thick I considered pulling the old box, spraying some slow expanding foam straight in and then popping the new box right into the foamy MUSH.

We'll see what happens.
Thanks all.
1987 Craftsman Double Wide 42x28,w/attached 28x12 foot enclosed porch/ re-shingled 2 yrs ago. Original exterior vinyl w/no sheathing.