Replacing a light/plug receptable in old 60s mobile home

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Old 11-14-18, 05:00 PM
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Replacing a light/plug receptable in old 60s mobile home

I think I have a good understanding of wiring until I see this stuff.

So this 60s mobile home has some foreign-to-me wiring at times.

The neutral/white is HOT. The two black wires arent. It seems completely backwards.

After much testing, the "new setup" is the working setup. Light switch works. Outlet works.

1. Why would the neutral be HOT? No black wires are hot.
2. On the new setup, which black wire goes to the light?

Can anyone maybe explain whats going on here?

 

Last edited by texasdude; 11-14-18 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11-14-18, 05:17 PM
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We don't know what was done in your mobile home but white is not a current carrying conductor.
Based on your picture..... it should not be hot.

Is that what's there...... two black wires and one white wire ?
 
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Old 11-14-18, 05:38 PM
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Yeah thats whats there. Two blacks, one white.

The white is HOT according to my voltage tester

P.S. "original outlet" is how it was set up when I opened it.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 05:47 PM
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I've never seen anything other than cable used in a mobile home. A cable would have a white and black wire in it. That would mean two white wires and two black wires. It will be very hard for us to figure out what was done there.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 08:05 PM
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The white is HOT according to my voltage tester
If you mean a non contact tester it is not a reliable indicator. You need a multimeter or test light.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 09:07 PM
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I understand.

On the breaker the wire is black.

i maybe made it more confusing in the diagram. Basically, everything is normal except the white is hot and black is neutral. It's just reversed, so it has to be wired accordingly to work. The original receptacle was wired the same way.

​I just can't figure out the scenario for why this is......without tearing down the walls

The breaker controls 3 outlets and all seem to work independently whether this one is wired or not.

It seems like original wiring too. Doesn't look like anyone added this outlet or light. Looks like it came like this with the mobile home.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 09:13 PM
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Ray,

When the wiring is done properly by their wire colors (black to brass, white to silver) only the receptacle works and the switch doesn't. Which I believe is because the "hot" isnt isnt able to transfer power via the cross bar to the switch because it's on the neutral side. Basically reverse polarity
 

Last edited by texasdude; 11-14-18 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 11-14-18, 09:59 PM
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Use a polarized extension cord plugged into a correctly wired receptacle as a reference point. Using a multimeter measure (disconnected) white to the narrow slot of the extension cord. Does it read ~120v?

P.S. Give that non contact tester to your kid to play with.
 
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Old 11-14-18, 10:52 PM
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To be sure I'm understanding. You're saying plug in a polarized cord into a properly wired outlet. Then, touch the troubled outlets' white wire and cross over to the hot of the extension cord?
 
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Old 11-14-18, 11:59 PM
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You're saying plug in a polarized cord into a properly wired outlet.
Yes

Then, touch the troubled outlets' white wire and cross over to the hot of the extension cord?
No. I'm saying measure the voltage with a multimeter. Touch one meter probe to white and the other to the narrow slot of the extension cord. White should be disconnected first.

If you need to buy a multimeter a cheap, $8-$15, one is all you need. Get an analog not digital, Digitals can give strange readings due to induced voltages.
 

Last edited by ray2047; 11-15-18 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 11-15-18, 07:31 AM
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120 on normal outlet

​​​​​​120 on mystery outlet
 
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Old 11-15-18, 07:35 AM
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f between white and narrow slot that is a neutral not a hot.
 
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Old 11-15-18, 07:44 AM
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then why is it functioning as a hot?

In the picture, it shows exactly how its set up. Everything works 100% this way. If I flip the white to the silver/neutral screw, and put the black where it normally should go, only the receptacle works, not the switch

 
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