Mobile home wiring

Hi Folks,
When doing a home inspection on a double wide trailer with an addition and attached garage, the pole main disconnect had been eliminated and the panel in the garage appeared to be wired as the main panel,[bonded neutral and ground], but the power to the trailer sub-panel did not appear to come from this box. The grounding could not be determined due to the 4’ of snow and the access to the crawl space was blocked. I will be returning when the snow is manageable for a dye test, roof and exterior evaluation and crawl space inspection. Is there any way that this would be an acceptable electrical installation? If all power goes through the garage main panel and it is properly grounded, that is acceptable, right?
Thanks, Ralph

Hi Ralph,

I cannot see anything wrong in principle with moving the main from the pole to a panel in the garage, however if that has been done you should be able to see a feeder in the garage panel supplying the remote panel in the unit. The fact that you can’t bothers me, I see very many problems with manufactured housing wiring caused by unlicensed electrical work.

Do you have any pictures of the panels that show the breakers and connections? if not maybe you can take some when you go back later, that would help determine the issues.



I recently did a manufactured home that had some conditions that would be easy to fix like wire without proper box coneectors, missing junction box covers, etc… The one big condition was where a subpanel was installed in an addition using aluminum feeder with only 3 conductors, and the subpanel was not rated for aluminum feeder on its lugs. The potential buyer took a copy of my report to a licensed electrician and the electrician told him that his company does not touch manufactured homes because all that is remebered is the last electrican that worked on the home. The buyer did not buy the home (I inspected a regular house for him) but I think what that contractor did is wrong. To me that would be a simple thing to correct. The home did not have aluminum 120 volt wiring and otherwise looked okay. Thoughts?

Ralph -

Here are a couple of thoughts:

With a mobile home the service equipment is not to be mounted to the home itself. It (service equipment) should be 20’-30’ ft away from the home and needs to be visible. If the service is in the garage, and the garage is attached to the mobile home, it would appear as if this is incorrect. Any pic’s?

The feeder going to the panel in the home needs to be a 4-wire conductor: 3 insulated conductors (2 ungnded, 1 gnded) and a gnd. Was this visible?

Grounding should be at the service equipment (pole) in a proper installation. I’ve seen some homes that run a 2nd grounding electrode off of the gnded bus bar in the distribution panel (home). Also, the chassis should be bonded to the gnded bus.

Hope this helps

Bear in mind a manufactured home, a mobile home and an RV are 3 different animals. Make sure which one this is.