H, I am new here. I have a few questions about some electrical stuff. I live in a late 80s mobile home (87-89). It is a 2 bed one bath. The light switch in the bathroom is pretty worn out and gets a little hard to switch on/off. The switch is self contained, like the one in the picture. It just has one set of copper wires (meaning just one single set of copper going to it). I think it may be arcing. This switch is fed by a bd-1515 breaker. This breaker is like 2 breakers in one. The breaker has lights wired to one side and receptacles on the other. Can arcing in the switch make the breaker get hot, burn something up, or damage something on the receptacle side of it? The switch is right next to an exhaust fan switch, which looks exactly same. The exhaust fan switch has 2 sets of wires going to it. One set at the bottom and one set at the top. The bathroom is right next to the back bed room where breaker box is.

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  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. It's really hard to understand what you're talking about; would you take some time to edit your question and make it clearer, with paragraphs and sentences? Thanks. Jan 30 '19 at 10:44
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    "these can be difficult to locate unless you have a local supplier" - IMO, product recommendations are on topic for this question; I've never even seen these, or know what they're called.
    – Mazura
    Jan 30 '19 at 19:00
  • How are these switches different then a normal switch in the way in operates ? would a arcing switch harm the breaker?
    – user96423
    Mar 18 '19 at 21:38
  • Other answers cover the switch part well, but since you seem worried about the breaker as well, I'd just like to note that it's perfectly normal, modern, and safe, and it wouldn't have been damaged in any way by arcing in the switch. Feel free to keep using it.
    – Nate S.
    Dec 4 '19 at 17:31

Any type of arcing should be addressed immediately and can cause a fire. The arcing is probably caused by a loose connection or a bad switch. There is probably nothing wrong with your basic wiring. I would replace that light switch. I have worked in many mobile homes and the switches used in that industry are much different than a standard household switch. They do not have screws, they are push-to-fit connectors. There is no screw to tighten. Thereby, you have to cut the wires where they connect and re-strip the wiring. Now, you can go back with a mobile home switch. However, these can be difficult to locate unless you have a local supplier. You could buy one online but I would go back with a standard household switch. You can buy an "Old Work" single gang box, a 15 amp light switch and a cover plate. All of these are available at Home Depot for a total less than $10.

Old Work Single Gang Box single gang switch enter image description here Make sure the circuit is dead. Cut the wires on the old switch...


Cut your existing rectangular hole in the sheetrock to the size of the new box (larger). Make sure you don't cut it too large because the outer lip of the box will need to be flush with your wall. Insert the wiring into the holes on the back of the box. These boxes will work without the need for nailing it to a stud. When you turn the screws at the top and bottom, a small flapper will tighten the box to the backside of the existing sheetrock wall. Connect your two wires to the switch, screw the switch into the box and finish with a light switch cover plate.

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    I would try to remove the wires prior to cutting them off unless there is plenty of slack. Other than that I agree.
    – Ed Beal
    Jan 30 '19 at 15:01
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    Yes, snipping off wires needlessly is a bad habit. Length is precious. Wires need to be able to come fully out of the box at least 3". Casual cutting leads to this. Jan 30 '19 at 17:12
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    The push-to-fit style boxes in mobile homes are designed to hold that wire in place for good. I have tried to get them to back out but it's a real nightmare. If they are snipped as indicated in the photo, you won't lose but a few inches. I did all of the work in a nearly 300 home park and this was a routine issue and I never had a problem with this technique. I do agree that "casual cutting" is a bad idea but in this instance it will probably be necessary to cut the wires as close as possible to the connection point. Jan 30 '19 at 17:40

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