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  1. #1
    Tobias Lowder's Avatar
    Tobias Lowder Guest

    Default Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Hello!

    I came across this odd-looking electrical outlet in a couple rooms in a mobile home I inspected yesterday (located in Santa Clarita, CA)...I have no idea what it is. There is current to it; the only reason I am concerned about it is that one of them is on the wall approximately 2 feet above the bathtub, and I have no easy way that I can think of to test whether or not it is on the GFCI-protected circuit (there's a GFCI breaker in the main panel that handles other GFCI-protected outlets). There's another one on the wall near the ceiling in the master bedroom.

    Any ideas what this outlet is? I researched via google, and the only thing that came close (but not matched) was an "NEMA 20 or 30 amp" outlet...but those outlets have a little cut out from one of the holes that extends toward the center...which the ones I found do not.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks!

    - Tobias

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    It's a twist-lock receptacle, special twist-lock plugs are required for it.

    Not sure why those would be inside a mobile home, unless someone put them there for window shaker a/c units and used the matching plugs so those receptacles would not be used for some other use.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
    Tobias Lowder's Avatar
    Tobias Lowder Guest

    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's a twist-lock receptacle, special twist-lock plugs are required for it.

    Not sure why those would be inside a mobile home, unless someone put them there for window shaker a/c units and used the matching plugs so those receptacles would not be used for some other use.
    Interesting! Well, that certainly answers my question, thanks a bunch


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Did you check to see: 1. If it was HIOT, and 2. if it was 120 or 240?


  5. #5
    Robert Meier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Hard to tell from the photo but it was probably one of the twist locks from this NEMA standards chart:

    https://www.stayonline.com/reference-nema-locking.aspx


  6. #6
    Tobias Lowder's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    Did you check to see: 1. If it was HIOT, and 2. if it was 120 or 240?
    1) I'm going to assume you mean HOT (since I'm not familiar with the HIOT acronym) And yes, it was hot.

    2) There was a small stamp around the edge that was very hard to read...looked like a volt/amp range. The last set said "250v 10a". I was ill equipped to measure the voltage myself.


  7. #7
    Tobias Lowder's Avatar
    Tobias Lowder Guest

    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Meier View Post
    Hard to tell from the photo but it was probably one of the twist locks from this NEMA standards chart:

    https://www.stayonline.com/reference-nema-locking.aspx
    I thought so as well from my research, but I failed to find one that looks anything like the ones in question. However, the chart you referenced DOES have a number of them that look very similar. Thanks!


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    You don't carry a voltage tester?
    You could have tripped the GFCI breaker and checked the outlet to see if it went off.


  9. #9
    Tobias Lowder's Avatar
    Tobias Lowder Guest

    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    You don't carry a voltage tester?
    You could have tripped the GFCI breaker and checked the outlet to see if it went off.
    I agree, in hindsight I could have tripped it and then checked. D'oh!

    No, my tester was left behind at a prior inspection and I have yet to pick up another. Probably should do that soon, heh.


  10. #10
    Garry Blankenship's Avatar
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    If you have a "wiggy", VOM or neon tester, ( any voltage tester w/ leads on it ), you can test them for voltage, ( 120, 240 or both ). In that process any GFI protection would trip. Hopefully here-in is a NEMA chart link for such outlets.

    NEMA Plug and Receptacle Chart

    Your outlets look like either "L5-20R" or "L5-30R". Both are 120 volt; one 20 amp the other 30 amp. "R" = receptacle, "P" = Plug or cord cap, "L" = locking or twist lock. The only reason I can think of for them would be power for medical life support equip, ( oxygen ? ). The twist lock configuration insures that a space heater of whatever cannot be plugged into that circuit and trip it off. I installed one of these in the outlet where our TV was plugged in and kept the adapter w/ me to keep my kids from watching too much TV.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    NEMA Plug and Receptacle Chart

    Your outlets look like either "L5-20R" or "L5-30R".
    I'm thinking it looks similar to (closest to) an L5-15R, however, Tobias said that it was marked "250v 10a", which would indicate it is a 10 amp version. Possibly a no longer used configuration as it is only rated for 10 amps?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    It's a twist-lock receptacle, special twist-lock plugs are required for it.

    Not sure why those would be inside a mobile home, unless someone put them there for window shaker a/c units and used the matching plugs so those receptacles would not be used for some other use.

    It is NOT a "twist-lock" receptacle, it is a locking receptacle as it was made by Bryant & not Hubbell, Twist Lock® is a registered trademark of Hubbell Inc. . Bryant was sold to Hubbell by Westinghouse, but that is irrelevent.

    Just had to call you on that, all in good fun.

    Would be interesting to hear the story behind those receptacles....


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollie Meyers View Post
    It is NOT a "twist-lock" receptacle, it is a locking receptacle as it was made by Bryant & not Hubbell, Twist Lock® is a registered trademark of Hubbell Inc. . Bryant was sold to Hubbell by Westinghouse, but that is irrelevent.

    Just had to call you on that, all in good fun.
    Okay ... I deserved that as I make it a point to use "NM cable" and not "Romex® " for that very reason. When I typed twist-lock I originally typed it as Twist-Lock, then changed to not using capital letters as it was registered with the capital letters, but --- I should have said 'locking type'.

    By the way, "Twist Lock®" is incorrect ... ... "Twist-Lock®" is correct.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Looks like a very old style of locking plug/recepticle. 10Amp configuration a give away, also lack of lug turned either in or out. Older styles used a elongated prong that would only fit in one of the slots thereby giving a polarized type on connection. Reminds me of plugs used on "portable" coil type heaters, 220V and usually with braid covered rubber insulated cords. Very dangerous.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Feldmann View Post
    You don't carry a voltage tester?
    You could have tripped the GFCI breaker and checked the outlet to see if it went off.
    Jack, that type of locking outlet is normally not protected by a GFCI breaker, it usually is a dedicated circuit for some kind of heavy equipment that does not want its plug pulled out. Did you see any 220-240 VAC breakers in the service panel that were not accounted for equipment wise (Stove, AC unit, Water Heater, ???)?

    I wouldn't be so cavalier in saying ".....trip the breaker..." as that is all someone will see----and short something out to see which breaker it is. Watched that happen once. Someone was replacing pan heaters in a emergency generator and decided that he didn't want to walk to the service panel to open the circuit--he would just trip the breaker. Well, that caused some kind of a feed back surge (big one), killing the building UPS----took 3 hours to get everything sorted out and back on-line. A big $$$ for him after the smoke cleared!


  16. #16
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    Default Re: Odd outlet in mobile home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garry Blankenship View Post
    I installed one of these in the outlet where our TV was plugged in and kept the adapter w/ me to keep my kids from watching too much TV.
    Boy are you a spoil-sport. Gives new meaning to "No TV Tonight!"


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