Mobile home electrical outlet installation is much like that of standard homes, unless the building is dated before 1971, which often features aluminum wiring that is prone to overheating and fire. If the home has a later date, it is safe to consider adding a new outlet to improve functionality in any room.
Turn off the power to the outlet by shutting off the breaker or removing the fuse. Use an outlet tester to ensure that there is no power to the outlet. Remove the top and bottom screws that secure the outlet in place and pull the receptacle from the wall. Examine the wiring and outlet, thoroughly looking for burn marks, loose wires and other faulty signs. At times, you may only need to tighten the wires and screws. It is always best to check for small problems before assuming the outlet is bad and beginning major repairs.
Never hesitate to call an electrician for help. Electrical repairs can be dangerous, and saving a little money with a DIY project does not compare to saving your family from devastating injuries.
Checking the Outlet
With the power still on, use a neon tester and touch the probes to the wires on both sides of the outlet. The tester will light up if there is power coming to the outlet. If it does not light up, that means the outlet itself is fine and the wiring and fixtures before the outlet needs inspection. If the tester lights up, it is a simple matter of removing the existing outlet and installing a new one.
Replacing the Outlet
Take note of how the wires attach to the outlet before removing the fixture. The white or hot wires should connect to the silver contacts, the black or cold wires to the brass contacts and the bare ground wire attaches to the green screw on the outlet. Simply reattach the new outlet in the same manner as the old and turn the power on to test the outlet.
Adding an Outlet
To add an outlet to an existing current, determine the amount of amps running through the circuit by looking at the fuse or breaker for that room. For 15 amps, use 14-gauge wire and 12-gauge for 20 amps. Electrical codes restrict the number of fixtures and outlets to eight for a 15-amp circuit, so know the number of fixtures attached to the breaker or fuse before installing a new one.
Outlets have two sides with screws or contacts, incoming and outgoing power. The easiest way to run power to a new outlet in the middle of a circuit is to remove the wires from an existing outlet and attach those wires to the incoming power screws on the new outlet. Run new wires from the new outlet’s outgoing power screws to the next outlet in the circuit to complete the current. If the outlet is at the end of the series, you need only to attach the hot, cold and ground wires to the appropriate screws to direct power to the new outlet.
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