electrical outage in my mobile

I live in a 1972 mobile home and half my power comes off and on. It seems to be one circut breaker but it does not trip the circut breaker. Help

turn that breaker to the fully off position and then to fully on.

if you still have a problem then some one with experience and knowledge needs to take the front panel off the breaker box. there is a deadly amount of electricity in there even with the main breaker shut off. if a person touches the wrong spot in the box they could die.

connections for the hot and neutral for the circuit need to be checked for quality. the breaker may need to be replaced. this should only be done by some one with experience and knowledge, even if they wouldn’t kill themselves, you don’t want to create future electrical or fire hazard by doing the wrong or poor job.

using caution with electricity is important especially in mobile homes.

Amen, Brother, but why particularly mobile homes?

Because if they are aluminum, and the entire structure can become live if the ground becomes disconnected.


Does it do it on windy days? While the power is alive, trace the circuit breakers that do lose power. See if there’s a pattern.

IANAE and I don’t know that much about housewiring, but my WAG (wild assed guess) is that you have 220V feed and a neutral, and one side is loose/erratic somehow. Once in a while, that loose side disconnects and power goes out for half your panel - probably breakers down one side of the panel are ok, breakers down the other side are the ones where the service disconnects from time to time. Something happens, you lose power - something happens, and it comes back. It could be the feed from the power pole to your “house”. Or it could be inside the electrical panel. At least if a whole side is losing power, it’s between the panel and the power pole.

I had an issue with an old house where the connection was bad on one wire. The wires for the main feed connected with s screw-down connection; one screw was loose (the copper wire deformed over time?) Each time the electric furnace kicked in, the master breaker popped. Over time, it took less and less load to pop the breaker, until a dryer or oven did it.

So first thing, check the screws at the top of the panel(?) that connect your main power feed and master breaker. CAREFULLY. If you don’t know what you are doing, hire an electrician. Or write your will first, check your life insurance…

Or, you could have a loose connection somewhere on the feed, and wind swaying the wire to the pole makes and breaks the connection from time to time.

Once you establish that the problem is one half of your panel cuts out, get a real electrician to check the actual power line.

or, I may be completely wrong about all this… IANAElectrician.

maybe not enough easy exits. materials used in the home, as well as furnishing, can produce toxic gases with in a smaller space.

that will always have power on it and is a deadly hazard unless the house is disconnected by the power company.

I will also add you may have Aluminum wiring, it gets loose over time, this problem requires an Electrician, do not wait call one now. If your power is intermittent there is probably arcing, arcing causes fires. Please do not fool around with this, Call a licensed, bonded and insured electrician asap

Capt Kirk

Foo! It will have 220V (or 120V each way from neutral) and can be fiddled with using an insulated screwdriver. It’s about as dangerous as any exposed household wire. If you screw up and touch ground, you will just get a giant spark, likely need a new screwdriver and possibly plastic surgery or new eyes. (Always wear safety glasses when monkeying with ANYTHING!!)

I changed all the outlets in my old house from 2-prong to 3-prong without turning off the power, and I only blew up 2 of them… :smiley:

I will reiterate - if you KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, you can try some test and fixes yourself. If you don’t know, all by yourself with 220V is NOT THE TIME TO LEARN - unless you really want to leave all that insurance money to your heirs.

Certainly you can deduce which breaker(s) seem to have the problem and which don’t which can tell you where the issues are. This does not require uncovering the panel, and if you can tell the electrician this info, it will save you a few bucks since he does not have to do these tests himself (and the problem may not be happening while he is there). You can check which breakers control which outlets simply by turning them of and on (with a loud radio in the outlet) If one breaker on that side of panel is the problem, but another on that side is not, the problem is with one breaker. If the whole side of the panel dies when the problem occurs, it’s probably one half of a 220V feed.

When the problem recurrs, run around to every outlet in the place and try every appliance and check to see exactly WHAT is losing power.

Changing breakers - that I WOULD LEAVE TO A PRO unless you know what you are doing…

Yep, call an electrician ASAP. Not tomorrow, not next week, NOW. An intermittent connection is the worst kind of problem you can have since a lot of current through a poor connection makes a lot of heat, and this is what starts fires and burns your mobile home down.

Most likely you are losing one phase somewhere. The problem could be outside of the mobile home, it could be the breaker, it could be the wiring, it could be a lot of things. Somewhere along that big long path, something is loose and is making a bad connection. Which means it is probably getting hot, maybe arcing a bit, and is just a major disaster waiting to happen.

It’s also possible that you’ve got a bad neutral connection, though usually when that happens the neutral “floats” and while the voltage on half of your stuff drops (seems to shut off) the voltage on the other half goes up by the same amount, and your light bulbs get brighter and often burn out and you have some other symptoms as well. The overvoltage can also cause fires and can break electrical stuff.

Did I mention that you need to call an electrician ASAP?

Don’t go mucking around in panels unless you know what you are doing.

One suggestion I saw - use an old AM transistor radio - hold it near each electrical connection - outlet plugs, breaker. If you get an inordinate amount of static as you get closer, it indicates a problem with the connection.

Yes, for aluminum wiring from the 70’s, get professional help. It’s been a while since I’ve heard of loose aluminum wire burning down a house, but I suspect it still happens from time to time.

Is that legal if you don’t replace the wiring with three conductor?

Just re read your OP, you are in a mobile home. MH’s typically are metal framed although I have no idea what 1972 standards were, you could be electrifying the entire frame and every other conductive material in your house, you will not know until you or something else is the shortest path to ground. I am in no way trying to diagnose your problem or upset you, it could be something very simple and cheap but only a real elec pro can tell you for sure IMHO

Thanks for weighing in, you sure helped with my problem cheers
Capt Kirk

often that connection is not done with a screw head.

working that close to that much current is a hazard for even an experienced person.

In the good old days (1962), the groundwire was connected to the metal box. I had to add a wire from the metal box to the outlet, although I suspect the whole unit including the attach screws are all part of ground. Good old 2-prong allowed you to ground by screwing a C-connection to the outlet’s centre plate screw. Remember those?

Yeah, if I had only 2-wire, I would have had more interesting problems.

i just got tired of using a power bar with the ground prong clipped off,or that stupid 3 to 2 adaptor plus a green wire with C-connector. Actual grounded outlets somehow seemed like such a better idea and computers seemed to want them.

Ah, one of my electrician acquaintances mentioned another guy who was a practical joker, he would hold the live wire and grab someone walking by to give them a shock. That sounds a bit much for me…
Another fellow I heard of in one place, almost died when he backed into a grounded structural steel while operating a furnace electrode with 600V on it. By the time they broke him loose, the back of his leather jacket was smoking. An object lesson for everyone else who worked in the area…

As others have mentioned, it could be any one of a large number of things. I agree that you should call an electrician. You may be able to get a free estimate on the repair.

Two things which I haven’t seen posted here yet:

  1. Check to see if you have a Federal Pacific panel (breaker box). Many mobile home builders used these, because they were built to a specific price point (low). This site has information on how you can determine if you have a FPE panel by looking at it without removing any covers. If you have a FPE panel, it needs to be replaced. If the electrician you use says you can get by with just replacing the breakers, get a new electrician (and panel).

  2. Many mobile home parks have pedestal meter bases and disconnects somewhere other than on/in the home itself. The pedestal may serve more than just your home (multiple meters). Occasionally, the park maintenance people drive into them with their lawnmowers and damage them. If that happens to be the case here, you should probably try to get the park to pay for any needed repairs, since it isn’t “your” property.

Depending on the maker of your main panel, it may be every-other breaker that is out, rather than all one side.

In any case, this is serious – call an electrician now!