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  1. #1
    Michael Hofbauer's Avatar
    Michael Hofbauer Guest

    Angry GFCI receptacles and Manufactured houses

    I recently inspected a Manufactured home, and found a GFCI receptacle in the master bath, that was wired normally and showed proper polarity with my 3 bulb plug-in tester (i.e. the two yellow lights on the tester were on). The GFCI tripped when tested, as normal. The main hall bathroom had a normal receptacle that was downstream from the master bath receptacle, but showed an open neutral on my 3 bulb tester. The master bath GFCI did trip when I tested it with the button on my 3 bulb tester. I reset the master bath GFCI, made sure that the two yellow lights were on at the master bath, and went back to check the main hall bath receptacle, which still showed an open neutral, so I wrote it up. Later the selling realtor called and said that this is normal and okay for a manufactured home. I disagree, but want to make sure. Is an open neutral on a end-of line GFCI protected receptacle okay in a manufacured home? I cannot find anything saying it is. By the wa,y the realtor is representing the seller and buyer and may be the seller herself.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: GFCI receptacles and Manufactured houses

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Hofbauer View Post
    Later the selling realtor called and said that this is normal and okay for a manufactured home.
    Agents always say that, and if you buy into it, they win one for the seller.

    I disagree, but want to make sure.
    Good. You are correct.

    Is an open neutral on a end-of line GFCI protected receptacle okay in a manufacured home?
    Nope. Not good anywhere.

    There were many bad batches of GFCI which would trip properly, then reset incorrectly, many resetting to reverse polarity. Resetting to anything by properly wired is not right.

    HOWEVER ... your description leads my to believe you are using a "night light" tester (one of the el cheapo three light testers), which are know to fail and be unreliable.

    First recommendation is to replace that with a good quality tester.

    Second recommendation is to carry a multi-meter just for cases like this.

    If there is a question in your mind of 'Man, I wonder if this is really happening, this is strange.', you pull out your multi-meter and test voltage between hot and neutral, between hot and ground, and between neutral and ground. That will answer your question of 'is this really happening'. If it is, there is a problem, and don't let the agent bluff you. If that is not really happening, well, you now have another night light to use at your house.

    Someone asked not too long ago "Do you really mean that all home inspectors should carry multi-meters?", and I answered yes, they were incredulous, like 'You got to be kidding me.'

    Well, here is just one example of why carrying a multi-meter is *necessary* for home inspectors, and why you should not hesitate to pull it out and confirm your findings. Goes a long way to backing up your other equipment and gut feelings.

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

  3. #3
    Michael Hofbauer's Avatar
    Michael Hofbauer Guest

    Smile Re: GFCI receptacles and Manufactured houses

    Jerry,

    Thank you for your reply and affermation. I do have a multi meter and have put it in my bag. Sorry it took so long to respond, but I didn't know what I was doing with this site. I don't think the realtor will be using me again, but since she puts her own interests above the safety of the client, I won't loose any sleep.


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