# Modular home wiring - unconventional???

G

#### Grass roots

Jan 1, 1970
0
We just moved into a new modular home.

I went to change a couple of light switches in the bathrooms, to put in
dimmers instead, so we don't have to have bright lights if we get up at
night.

I thought all I had to do was remove the switches, then wire in the
dimmers, like you do in every other home but it turned out to be
impossible.

It seems they don't put conventional wiring and switches in modular homes?

When I unscrewed the switch, I discovered it was also glued in with some
REALLY strong glue, so I had to break that loose. Then when I finally got
the switch out, I discovered unconventional wiring too. There are these big
white cables that appear to be running through the switches, that you can't
even access.

What the heck is this? Do they make it so you can never change a light
switch if you want or need to?

How can I put my dimmers in, does anyone know?

Help!

P

#### Palindrâ˜»me

Jan 1, 1970
0
Grass said:
We just moved into a new modular home.

I went to change a couple of light switches in the bathrooms, to put in
dimmers instead, so we don't have to have bright lights if we get up at
night.

I thought all I had to do was remove the switches, then wire in the
dimmers, like you do in every other home but it turned out to be
impossible.

It seems they don't put conventional wiring and switches in modular homes?

When I unscrewed the switch, I discovered it was also glued in with some
REALLY strong glue, so I had to break that loose. Then when I finally got
the switch out, I discovered unconventional wiring too. There are these big
white cables that appear to be running through the switches, that you can't
even access.

What the heck is this? Do they make it so you can never change a light
switch if you want or need to?

How can I put my dimmers in, does anyone know?

Not quite the same problem - but the need to dim one light out of
several controlled by the same switch, without ripping up floorboards, etc.

I use plug-in IR-controlled dimmers. They Plug into a standard light
socket and takes a standard lamp. They even memorise its setting so,
when switched on at the wall, illuminates to the remembered setting.
They can be turned up and down using a standard TV remote. Each can be
programmed to respond to a particular button on the remote, so you can
heve several, all independently dimmable, in the same room.

By using a pygmy-sized 40W lamp in a 100W light fitting approved for
zone 1,2,3 (UK) - I fitted these in the bathroom and they dimmed fine
through the spherical glass shade enclosing lamp and dimmer. You can lay
in the bath, dim the lights and chill out with a bit of Mussorgsky..

S

#### SQLit

Jan 1, 1970
0
Grass roots said:
We just moved into a new modular home.

I went to change a couple of light switches in the bathrooms, to put in
dimmers instead, so we don't have to have bright lights if we get up at
night.

I thought all I had to do was remove the switches, then wire in the
dimmers, like you do in every other home but it turned out to be
impossible.

It seems they don't put conventional wiring and switches in modular homes?

When I unscrewed the switch, I discovered it was also glued in with some
REALLY strong glue, so I had to break that loose. Then when I finally got
the switch out, I discovered unconventional wiring too. There are these big
white cables that appear to be running through the switches, that you can't
even access.

What the heck is this? Do they make it so you can never change a light
switch if you want or need to?

How can I put my dimmers in, does anyone know?

Help!

Possibly time for a call to the factory or people issuing permits.
Here they use boxes in modular homes, now. They used to do what you
describe.
Sorry I am not clear about the situation, there for will not comment on how
to change out the switches

G

#### Grass roots

Jan 1, 1970
0
SQLit said:
Possibly time for a call to the factory or people issuing permits.
Here they use boxes in modular homes, now. They used to do what you
describe.
Sorry I am not clear about the situation, there for will not comment on how
to change out the switches

S

#### SQLit

Jan 1, 1970
0
Grass roots said:

From the view it looks like a typical wiring plastic box and romex (the
sheathed cables). Just what the inspector would want to see. The plastic
boxes I use are usually blue.
Removing the box from the wall was a mistake. I can see one screw on the top
of the box/switch that has to be removed to get at the wiring behind. There
should be one more screw in the bottom. Better turn off the power before
going any farther.

Some electronic dimmers will toast if installed hot.

J

#### John Gilmer

Jan 1, 1970
0
From the view it looks like a typical wiring plastic box and romex (the
sheathed cables). Just what the inspector would want to see. The plastic
boxes I use are usually blue.

It doesn't look like the "white" version of the "blue box" to me.

It looks like the switch "snapped" into the box. (I saw a slot and tab at
the side. I can see where such construcition would speed thing up in an
assemply line: no screw for the switch, just push it into the box.

If my observation is correct, see if a dinner knife blade slipped into the
side either inside or outside the box) will release the tab. Also see if
there are screw holds to hold conventional switches.

Since the wallboard is damaged anyway, it might be a good idea to replace
the box with a square box and even find the nearest piece of wood in the
wall to hold it into place. There is a LOT more room in the square boxes
and you can close it with a "mud ring" with positions for one or two
devices.

It's time to get one of those little voltage sensors to ensure that
everything in the box is "cold" before you stick in a knive blade.

G

#### Grass roots

Jan 1, 1970
0
SQLit said:
From the view it looks like a typical wiring plastic box and romex (the
sheathed cables). Just what the inspector would want to see. The plastic
boxes I use are usually blue.
Removing the box from the wall was a mistake. I can see one screw on the
top of the box/switch that has to be removed to get at the wiring
behind. There should be one more screw in the bottom. Better turn off
the power before going any farther.

Some electronic dimmers will toast if installed hot.

Is the romex running into it or through the switch? How do I access it? I
only have experience with regular screw terminl switches.

S

#### Sonco

Jan 1, 1970
0
It looks like you took the box out of the wall, instead if the switch out of
the box.
That strong glue you were referring to looks like paint.

I would call a pro before you hurt yourself.

M

Jan 1, 1970
0
in uk wall mounted dimmers or switches are not allowed in bathrooms
anyhow.has to be a pull cord switch

G

#### Grass roots

Jan 1, 1970
0
Sonco said:
It looks like you took the box out of the wall, instead if the switch
out of the box.
That strong glue you were referring to looks like paint.

No, there appears to be no box, only the switches that were glued into the
wall.
I would call a pro before you hurt yourself.

I'm an ASET electronics technician, which does not make me knowledgeable
with NEC but I do have a respect for higher voltage and have been careful.

I should normally be able to change a switch myself, without paying $500 to some union electrician to come out, IF they had put conventional switches that could be changed, in the house. C #### Charles Perry Jan 1, 1970 0 Grass roots said: No, there appears to be no box, only the switches that were glued into the wall. Actually, it appears the actual switch snaps into the plastic box that was glued into the wall. It is not a single part. The wires are terminated inside the plastic box. Charles Perry P.E. G #### Grass roots Jan 1, 1970 0 Charles Perry said: Actually, it appears the actual switch snaps into the plastic box that was glued into the wall. It is not a single part. The wires are terminated inside the plastic box. Yes, exactly. I managed to get the work done tonight but it wasn't easy, it took me 3 hours and trips to home depot. I had to get a blue 2 gang box with flippers, and a fan switch to replace that one too. ( the screws wouldn't have worked ) Then I had to cut the hole larger for the blue box to fit, and pull all the wires ( yes, with the breaker off ) then find out where everything went and rewire it with wire nuts. It's done now, but what a job. I have the one in the other bathroom to do, when I get the time and energy to go at it again. Thanks to y'all for your help, it helped me figure it out! And HAPPY NEW YEAR! R #### Roy Q.T. Jan 1, 1970 0 shucks that shouldn't have been so hard. glad you got through it and sorry i found the post so late, I think I have some of those boxes, seem that the (decora) switch was spackled over, you could probably change all of them terminating with incandesant bulbs ito dimmers., just scrape a bit where the switches screw is normally found on your replacement, you should find it's screw, otherwise; Leave those Plastic Device Boxes alone, For what I saw in the jpeg, they are just Fast Mount convenience boxes for drywall and thusly badly covered in plaster.The screws should have been left exposed for removal of the device. Re-attach all Ground & Green wires and that should keep it coded. sorry I didn't find your post earlier. Happy Holidays G #### Grass roots Jan 1, 1970 0 Phil Scott said: nice pic. The modular home folks obviously found a way to eliminate vast chunks of hand fitting and field labor... they went to factory strung modules made in china no doubt...then a minimum wage worker can slam the entire house wiring set up in, in couple of hours. that allows them to be competitive, and in the end drives modular home prices down.. The price you pay is what you see. Was it worth it? Probably. Now you just need to find work arounds for these occasional issues. Not such an easy deal though from what I can tell looking at the picture. Enough to piss a man off actually... but the house price was no doubt lower because of such tactics. What would I do? Id snip the wire off at the box. strip the ends, fit an overize plastic switch/ recepticle box... wire nut on some extensions and fit standard switches in the areas I wanted... so you send two days max doing that. So you still saved many thousands on the modular home. Not really, it's cost us$280k so far and was just appraised at $217k. Stay away from them. K #### keith Jan 1, 1970 0 Not really, it's cost us$280k so far and was just appraised at \$217k. Stay
away from them.

That may just say that you built too much/wrong house for the market. You
likely still saved many thousands over the same house were it stick built.

J

#### John Gilmer

Jan 1, 1970
0
That may just say that you built too much/wrong house for the market. You
likely still saved many thousands over the same house were it stick built.

Just from my observations in the area, there are a FEW places where modular
homes make sense. These "best" case would be where the manufactured home
has features and design that are exactly what you want (the manufacturers
definitely can offer a LOT a variety within the basic constraints that the
pieces must ship by road) and the local builders have a waiting list. If
you do things right, you had put the foundation and underground plumbing in
while the home is being built. You can go from vacant lot to custom home
ready to move into with 30 days or less.

G

#### Grass roots

Jan 1, 1970
0
John Gilmer said:
built.

Just from my observations in the area, there are a FEW places where modular
homes make sense. These "best" case would be where the manufactured home
has features and design that are exactly what you want (the manufacturers
definitely can offer a LOT a variety within the basic constraints that the
pieces must ship by road) and the local builders have a waiting list. If
you do things right, you had put the foundation and underground plumbing in
while the home is being built. You can go from vacant lot to custom home
ready to move into with 30 days or less.

No way! It took us 90 days just to get the modular out of the factory, then
another 13 months for the damned incompetent builder to put it on the lot
and almost finish it, and he's STILL not done!

I'd bet that the only ones propagating the myth of the fast modular home
that people can make a profit on, are the modluar dealers! Everyone who
tries it must loose their asses, which explains why the industry is in the
dumpster!

C

#### Charles Perry

Jan 1, 1970
0
Grass roots said:
No way! It took us 90 days just to get the modular out of the factory,
then
another 13 months for the damned incompetent builder to put it on the lot
and almost finish it, and he's STILL not done!

I'd bet that the only ones propagating the myth of the fast modular home
that people can make a profit on, are the modluar dealers! Everyone who
tries it must loose their asses, which explains why the industry is in the
dumpster!

Odd. I know of two people who have purchased modular homes and from order
date to move-in date was approx. 60 days. Sounds like a bunch of "change
orders" to me.

Charles Perry P.E.

J

#### John Gilmer

Jan 1, 1970
0
No way! It took us 90 days just to get the modular out of the factory, then
another 13 months for the damned incompetent builder to put it on the lot
and almost finish it, and he's STILL not done!

What can I say but that you are now a Poster Child" for "stick built" homes.

If you can't get the house you want on a short schedule, there just isn't
much reason to go modular.

I was driving by a neighborhood when a modular home was being put together.

In was a "H" floorplane. The ends were single wide and the center was a
double wide. I didn't watch from start to finish but it could not have
taken more then two working days to have everything in place. The roof
already had singles. There was a little field labor to complete the roof
and some internal finishing but ...

I'd bet that the only ones propagating the myth of the fast modular home
that people can make a profit on, are the modluar dealers! Everyone who
tries it must loose their asses, which explains why the industry is in the
dumpster!

Can't say. We used to live near some modular home makers but I don't know
how well they are doing.

Year ago when I ran the numbers the modular homes just didn't make any sense
for us. But than as now, I just look for the most square feet for the
buck. Folks who want "style" might be better served by the modular
approach. One advantage is that once the designed is approved the place is
built before anyone has a chance to change his (HER) mind.

R

#### Roy Q.T.

Jan 1, 1970
0
~ { |TLTLTLTLTLTLTLTLTLTLTLT| } ƒµ

any how: Aware as of Now The Concrete Domes may present the same
controversy and troubles, On Mars.

Minding The System you've sampled {the Item} Switch = Highly
Unconventional., OR/NOT, more knowing this þµ¬¬§¥|† could
be very expensive to maintain.

given that, AGREED. you did shop righteously on the housing product.

do you know who designed it again ???

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