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Old 12-22-2013, 05:31 AM   #1
3 Rivet Member
1976 31' Sovereign
Springfield , South Carolina
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 235
Potential Fire Hazard + better safer lighting

The front overhead light in our 76 Sovereign did not work and I began to check it out. The rotary switch had frozen up so I took it out and figured out the hot wire and touching the hot and a ground wire together the lights still failed to come on.

I noticed I believe it was three or four wires coming together and secured by a small wire nut I backed off the wire nut and found corrosion had formed in the twisted together wires which would have made a great scenario for arcing as the incoming hot wire is constantly hot but fortunately the rotary switch had siezed stopping the power from going through to ground.

I immediately stripped the corroded part of the hot wire off and taped it with electrical tape so as not to ground and then ran a piece of 14gage wire that I removed insulation from in 1/2" sections and the wires from the individual bulbs also had the corrosion removed from them, stripped off about 5/8" at the ends and wrapped around the stripped section and SOLDERED them and taped them.

What has be worried now is that in the main hot wire ciruits running in the overhead are they also wire nutted or are they soldered? Does anyone know?

On ebay I found some 1156 bulbs with 18 LED under the following:

10X Car Pure White 1156 BA15S 18 SMD 5050 LED Tail Brake Interior Light 12V drUS

If you search this heading you will see they are like $15.00 for 10 of them but if you keep searching you will see ten of them sold and delivered for only $4.98. The trick is to look for the dealer's name which is dretee 19 which is visible without opening the box. They arrived in South Carolina 7 days after I made the order and I ordered 30 of them. I caught them listed again and ordered another 20.

I replaced all the bulbs in the first overhead and hooked the hot wire to the new 14 gage wire and the amount of light these gave off was amazing. Thusly I am going to start replacing all the factory 1156 bulbs with the LED lights and they will also change out the tail lights when I get to them.

I am not going to replace the rotary switch but install a shallow 120 volt rough box directly on to the ceiling and running the hot wire and the new 14 gage wire to the terminals and thusly power will be controlled by a switch rated for 120 volts.

I have already changed out the lights on the bulkhead at head of the beds with the above which makes for more light as well.

With the covers on these lights they give the impression of florescent lighting.

On the remaining overheads I will pull the covers and remove the wire nuts, clean the ends, twist tightly and solder them all together. I will replace the original wire nut with one for 14 gage tape the wire nut connection tightly with electrical tape.

FACT: I am a firefighter and I have been in multiple attics in the middle of the night where arcing was occuring in junction boxes because the electrician that wired the houses did not pre twist the connection, then apply and tape the wire nuts.

When we restored our old house (1855 vintage) there are only two sets of wire nuts in the entire house and they are stripped, pre twisted, soldered and wire nuts taped tightly in place and the -/+ are bent back away from each other and taped so they can never get together. I have also seen multiple instances of no pre twisting wires before nuts installed on other houses that have burned. A wire nut is no better than the nut that installed it if not done properly.

One of the wall switches next to hatch door controls the work light over the sink. Those bulbs will be changed as well and new strips of LED Module lighting will be installed to brighten up the work area even more.

On ebay put in LED Module lighting 12V and thousands will come up. You can get like ten foot sections for around $10.00. This is the bright strip lighting you see on convenience stores that are mounted on the metal window frames. Most have adhesive backing. The best part is you don't need a power supply as you have the on board battery.

When we got the Sovereign in 2010 first thing I did was install a smoke detector.

Also if you put LED Panel 1156 into ebay you will find you can replace the rear single bulbs with as many as 48 LED lights which will give brighter tail lights. There are adaptor sockets that pop into the 1156 receptors.

I am also thinking of when my rear clearance lights go out replacing them with red 3 LED modules which are good for like 3000+ hours. It will be a little labor intensive soldering the wires but once done, should be good for many years.
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