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Mobile home caravan electrical  hookup (C) Daniel FriedmanElectrical System Diagnosis & Repair FAQs
Mobile Homes, Double wides, Trailers

  • MOBILE HOME ELECTRICAL WIRING FAQs - CONTENTS: diagnostic questions & answers about manufactured or mobile home electrical system defects, troubleshooting, repairs, codes. Mobile home electrical panels, wiring, lights, switches: inspect & repair. Safety and building codes for mobile homes
  • POST a QUESTION or READ FAQs about how to troubleshoot & fix problems in manufactured home or mobile home electrical systems: service entry wiring, electric meter, main panel, wiring, outlets, lights, switches.
  • REFERENCES
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Electrical wiring FAQs for manufactured & mobile homes:

This article contains questions & answers that assist in electrical diagnosis & repair for mobile homes, manufactured homes, doublewides, trailers and RVs. We include diagnostic questions & answers about manufactured or mobile home electrical system defects, troubleshooting, repairs, codes. Mobile home electrical panels, wiring, lights, switches: inspect & repair. Safety and building codes for mobile homes

This article series describes How to Inspect Mobile Homes or Manufactured Housing Electrical Wiring, Electrical Panel, and other Electrical Components for Defects: detailed procedures, defect lists, references to standards.



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Electrical System Troubleshooting Questions & Answers for Campers, Mobile Homes, Doublewides, Manufactured Homes

Mobile home caravan trailer doublewide electrical hookup (C) Daniel Friedman

These questions & answers about mobile home electrical systems were posted originally at MOBILE HOME ELECTRICAL DEFECTS or otherwise possibly at the bottom of this very article.

Reader Question: intermittent electrical power loss in our 1994 Redman doublewide

Jan 1 at 2am I lost power in a bedroom and 2 plug outlets in the living room(adjoining wall) then on Jan 3 @4:20 am it came back on only to go back off that night. Where do I start lookin. I live in a 1994 Redman doublewide. - Cindy 1/5/12

Reply:

Cindy, what worries me is that circuit breakers or fuses in residential buildings do not automatically reset themselves. So your symptom sounds like a loose connection or worse, a connection that is burning up or arcing. The age of your home suggests we should not find aluminum branch circuit wiring, which if present would make the problem more widespread.

Typically we track down a loose connection by tracking the bad circuit beginning at the panel, examining every connector and device.

Meanwhile, for safety, just turn off that electrical circuit until it's repaired, and MAKE SURE you have working smoke detectors in the home.

Reader Question: loss of power at a electrical outlets in a mobile home or a doublewide

I have an outlet that went out in a bathroom, the light fixture still works there. The light fixture in the adjacent hallway no longer works. I have a 2001 Spirit Double Wide. I also have two light fixtures that the lights go out about a week after I replace them.

(Jan 21, 2013) Payne said:

My grandfather has a 1978 Connor mobile home he lost power at the kitchen one receptacle in the living room and middle room all completely out any ideas? Or where I can find where the main power comes in cause it just suddenly went out

(Jan 24, 2013) Kristy said:

We are renting an old single wide mobile home. Recently we were trying to put plastic over windows so we were plugging the blow dryer into several different outlets. While doing this, we noticed if we plugged it into a certain outlet that was also where the ceiling fan is plugged in, we lose power in one bedroom, bathroom, and the porch light.

If we unplug it and wiggle the fan plug the power will come back on? Also when we plugged up to a different outlet it tripped the breaker for part of the house. When we reset the outlet in the bathroom quit working and hasn't worked since? Any ideas? Is it unsafe for us to be staying there? The landlord is a real peach!

4/30/2014 Theresa Dunn said:

We bought a used 1985 Columbia double wide. 3 bd room 2 bath. We have power in the kitchen, dinning room, and masterbedroom all in one front of the home. In the livingroom we have 2 plugs with no power getting to them.

We also have in the area where the fireplace is no power in that room at all and then no power in the two bedrooms in the back of the house but between all those non working rooms is a bathroom where we have lights the recepticle for the electrical plug did work but it now has stoped working. It worked when all those other places do not.

Any help appreciated. We are trying to get our grandkids from cps and this is why we bought the home in the first place and the people we bought it from said it was working when we bought it and it was a as is purchase, There was no way for us to check the power on the lot it was sitting

Reply:

Tammy, sometimes a loose electrical connection causes arcing that can indeed affect bulb life. I've also seen bulbs fail quickly in light fixtures that were overheating, either because a too-large (too many watts) bulb was installed

(WATCH OUT THIS IS A FIRE HAZARD) or because the fixture was improperly installed or insulated (also a fire hazard).

It is worth having an electrician check the wiring in your home not just to get the hall light working but to be sure there is not a fire risk. Meanwhile, be sure that you have working smoke detectors in the home.

Payne, it sounds as if the two receptacles are on the same circuit and that the fault is either inside one of those electrical receptacle boxes or upstream (electrically) from them. But before starting to tear things up, look in the kitchen or bathrooms for a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) on the same circuit that has tripped. Try pressing the re-set button and check for power at the other receptacles.

Watch out: if elecrical wires have come loose, been burned, torn, damaged, this is an unsafe condition risking fire or shock.

Kristy: you are describing loose electrical wiring or a damaged receptacle - which is unsafe, and you might also be describing an electrical circuit that is overloaded - when the breaker trips it's trying to preventy a fire that might be started by overloaded and thus over-heated wiring.

Kristy - The only way you would need to move is if the peach of a landlord does not get a licensed electrician out there as soon as possible to get the short figured out. To have a loose connection is one thing but to have a short is worse. if it is tripping the breakers think of it like this. that breaker is the only thing that has kept it from catching on fire yet!!!

These are normal electrical repairs that should be performed as soon as possible. It'd be smart to shut off an electrical circuit that is acting oddly until it has been repaired by a licensed electrician. Notify the property owner in writing and orally of these unsafe conditions.

Watch out: because electrical hazards are also fire hazards, be sure that you have working smoke detectors properly installed and that the fire exit doors on your home are operable.

Theresa: re 1985 Columbia doublwide with no electrical power at many devices

You describe loss of electrical power in what sounds like multiple circuits in the home. If these circuits were really working before the home was moved to its present lot it's still possible that the movement of travel loosened connectors in some of the circuits. You'll need an electrician to sort out and repair the trouble. Often s/he can identify the circuit and by noticing which devices still have power it may be possible to find the connection problem quickly.

Watch out: be alert for discovery of burned wiring, unsafe wiring, improper connections, damaged receptacles or light switches: fix or replace those at the same time rather than paying to call the electrician to come to your home repeatedly.

Reader Question: electrical code references for a mobile home?

is there a list of codes to follow so when I re-wire my 1965 mobile home so as not to run into any set backs at the inspection? I already know about get rid of the aluminum wire,and use plastic not metal switch boxes and junctions, use 12/2 copper I just want to touch all bases so I don't have any more re-work than what is planned. - David East 5/24/12

Reply:

David, specific electrical code regulations for mobile homes and manufactured homes originate in the U.S. in the National Electric Code but are in many if not nearly all instances further specified in state regulations that vary among the states. Below are some examples and citations. If none of these is your state let us know and we'll research it further.

Note that for the purpose of electrical wiring guides, just about every one of the documents I reviewed below assert that unless otherwise indicated (whatever that means) the term "mobile home" includes "manufactured home" - that is, for the purpose of regulating electrical wiring installation.

Definitions: Typically a "mobile home" or "manufactured home" wiring guide does not regulate electrical wiring specifications for modular construction. More about these definitions of types of housing and their differences can be read
at DEFINITIONS of MOBILE HOME, DOUBLEWIDE, MODULAR, PANELIZED CONSTRUCTION

In the article above and also at REFERENCESwe include links to electrical codes and other electrical information sources for mobile homes and manufactured homes and campers.

Reader Question: sudden power loss after a short circuit

I lost power to my 1965 trailer when i accidently shorted out the power to the house

Reply:

Short circuit may have damaged wiring - this sounds unsafe, I'd trace out the circuit

Reader Question: is electrical conduit required between the park fuse box and my trailer breaker box?

I live in a mobile home park . Do i have to run conduit from the park supplied fuse box outside the trailer to my breaker box in the trailer. or can i just run conduit from the park supplied box to under my trailer as long as its burried . then just cable to my breaker box with out conduit the rest of the way

Reply:

The cable needs to be rated for outdoor exposure if above ground, and for being buried if underground; also we often find dangerously damaged electrical wiring outdoors where it is close to ground and not protected by conduit - hit by mowers, for example.

Reader Question: trailer window air conditioner keeps blowing fuses

window air conditioner keeps blowing fuese's

Reply:

Check for an overloaded circuit or a failing window air conditioner compressor

Reader Question:

I woud like to know if there are electricians who understand modular home wiring because this repairman said it ws easier to go without electricity in 3 rooms than it would be to fix the problem, and I'd just like to know if this is accurate - Pamela O'Conner 6/15/12

Reply:

Pamela, electrical wiring for a modular home must meet the same local, state, or national electrical code requirements as a stick built home or other residential buildings.

What's different is that each section of the home is wired at the factory. In a two-story Colonial modular we expect the home to be built of four sections, two for each floor. As the sections are set in place, the local builder, OR the modular company's set crew simply have to join up gangs of wires for the four sections, and then, usually, the main electrical panel is a separate installation in a garage or basement, to which all of the modular section circuits are ultimately connected.

What can stump an electrician not familiar with modulars is that s/he may not know where or how to find the connectors that someone forgot to plug together as the sections were being set in place.

Call your modular manufacturer for help. Someone who knows the unit's plan and how it was wired should know exactly where the missing connectors are located - that way we don't have to cut large openings to go looking for the mistake.

I have seen connectors hanging loose, not connected, on occasion by loooking down between the front and rear interior partition walls from the house attic.

In the worst case someone will have to make a strip cut of about 12" of drywall along one or more walls or ceilings to find the missing connectors and take those circuits to the panel. Drywall is dirt cheap to buy and not expensive to install. Though it's a mess in a finished house to have to cut walls, then repair, tape, and re-paint.

That's why I'd start with the modular manufacturer.

Keep us posted, what you find will help other readers.

Reader Question: dummy electrical boxes in doublewide ceiling, used surface mount conduit - adding a ceiling fan

I bought a '98 Fleetwood Doublewide and found, in the living room, and all three bedrooms, that the lights / fans appeared to have been removed by previous owner. However, on inspection, it appears there's actually no wire in the ceiling, the shallow pie pans even had the knockouts still intact, and no wire ever run to the boxes. Then I noticed 6' tall basic surface raceway installed on the wall directly over a switched outlet in each room.

I'm guessing but, looks to me like previous owner rigged some lamp cord wiring of some sort run through the surface raceway over to suspended fixtures. My Reader Question: Is this factory arrangement? Did '98 code permit exterior raceway? I noticed in the owner manual ceiling fans were an "Option"...does that mean that if the option was not purchased those rooms would not have been conncected to the electrical distribution (i.e. not even a drop in a box in each room)? I took the boxes out and looked up into the space in the trusses but I don't see any wires at all so I can't really tell if there's a wire coiled up there or not. Sure would appreciate any help. Oh yea...if exeterior raceway and a suspended fixture was an option, is there an approved fixture (fan or light) to use in that configuration? - Mike 7/30/2012

Reply:

Mike F.

Good grief what a disappointment. Or worse.

As you saw that all of the knockouts were in place in the ceiling electrical boxes indeed it appears that no wire was ever run to those locations. And your observation of the presence of surface mount conduit confirms that theory - and shows how the prior owner addressed the problem of missing electrical wiring.

But running lamp cord through conduit is not safe and not acceptable. Electrical conduit is designed to carry properly insulated and rated electrical wiring. Using lamp cord risks a short and a fire.

Exterior or surface mount electrical conduit can be perfectly legal but not if it is wired with the wrong wire type.

You can add a ceiling fan if there is sufficient overhead space and the fan gives enough clearance not to whack someone in the head when the fan is running. But the trouble and cost of routing wire through a manufactured home ceiling is too high - I figure you'll want to use surface mount conduit as was done for other circuits to get power to the overhead fan.

You will want to look closely at how the existing ceiling boxes are secured to the ceiling structure. If the box is screwed to structural members it's probably fine and a ceiling fan mount kit will adapt the fan to the box. If the box is not firmly secured to the structure the risk is that the whole shebang falls down on someone while running.

Reader Question: getting electrical power to an Airstream Trailer Home

(Dec 13, 2011) Rob said:

I have a 1967 Airstream International planted in the backyard and want to run an extension cord out to it to run basic electric. It has 5 amber running lights and a porch light on the outside that runs on DC. It is completely gutted and I have access to the single wire from each fixture. What do I need to do to hook up the outside running lights to a power strip.

Reply:

Rob,

At your local electrical supplier or auto supply store or even at Radio Shack you should be able to pick up a small External AC to DC power converter (aka AC to DC Power Supply). What you need is a converter that will have high enough Amps output for the few trailer lights that you cited.

I used the term "External AC to DC Power converter or power supply because you don't want to have to buy a separate cabinet or case and do assembly. When shopping don't rule out existing computer or other electronic power supply "bricks" - just take a look at the DC Wattage output that the supply can provide. If it's big enough you'll be OK. For just a few running lights and a porch light, most likely you won't even be drawing 10 watts, but to be on the safe side and to allow for expanded use of your power supply once you figure out how useful it is, I'd look at a unit with 35 watts or larger output.

Take a look at our ELECTRICAL home page (links at page top or page bottom) and you'll see an article titled DEFINITIONS of ELECTRICAL TERMS for help with AC, DC, Amps, and Watts.

Run a weather-resistant outdoor-rated extension cord from an outdoor GFCI protected receptacle over to the Airstream and inside it where it will be weather protected. To that 120V (probably 15A) circuit, you'll plug in your AC to DC Converter. You'll then wire the DC output terminals to your Airstream lighting circuit.

If you're going to use this electrical supply system frequently you might want to put together a suitable plug connection feeding the DC powered circuit and a suitable connector on the wires that you run from the AC-DC converter.

For more permanent power conversion of an older Airstream or other mobile home or trailer, I'd look at what's offered by RV suppliers. Certainly I had no trouble retrofitting an AC to DC connector and power supply on an old slide-on pickup truck camper, thus allowing us to "plug in" to any 120V DC power source and run all of the DC devices in the camper.

Reader Question: electrical wires too short at the box

(Sept 3, 2012) brent said:

I have a trailer previous owner took out the breaker box and cut wires to short what are my options besides completely rewiring it.

Reply:

Brent, If the short-wire problem is on just one or two circuits usually you can use a metal junction box to safely contain an electrical wire splice so that you can extend the length of the too-short wires.

If the too-short electrical wire problem is for all of the wires it might be possible to move the electrical panel or breaker box enough so that all of the wires can reach it. If not you're going to need to install a large raceway or "bus" = basically a large electrical junction box to contain spliced-on additions to the wires to reach into the new panel.

Reader Question: locating the mating plug for two halves of a double-wide

(Jan 14, 2013) tim ferguson said:

can you tell me where the plug is on a double wide for plugging each half togather again after being moved?it is a 1989 fleetwood mobile home

Reply:

Tim, usually I find the mating plug under the unit near one end and near the mating beam. In some construction the mating connector is in an accessible attic space. Electrical connectors should never be completely buried or made inaccessible.

Reader Question: 98 Colony singlewide, breaker trips immediately after being re-set

(Feb 18, 2014) Roy Clark said:

Have a 98 Colony single wide, the master bedroom and master bath trips the breaker immediately after being set. You cannot reset it, I put a new one in, still does the same thing. I took every plug in and light switch out to try to figure out where the problem is, it does the same thing. How can I troubleshoot for a bad wire without current running to wires. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Reply:

Roy,

WATCH OUT: you may have a dangerous situation that risks a fire or shock. If an individual breaker trips immediately most likely there is a dead short somewhere - as you suggest. But when the MAIN breaker trips that suggests that there is a large overcurrent inside the panel which in turn is not being detected and shut off first by one of the individual circuit breakers.

The safest thing to do is leave power off and call a licensed electrician. The electrician will probably start by a visual inspection beginning outdoors at the meter, continuing indoors at the panel and panel interior looking for obvious overheating or damage.

It might be helpful to know the brand of panel and breakers installed - use the CONTACT link at page top or bottom to send me some photos if you can.

There are some brands like FPE Federal Pacific Electric and Zinsco that have main breaker failures and burn-ups as well as individual breaker failures.

As I'm trying to explain, when the main breaker trips, unless the fault is in that breaker itself, the suggestion is that one or more individual breakers in the panel is not tripping when it should - or that there is an internal short or damage in the panel. Since you say you already installed a new main breaker (I can't imagine how you did that safely unless the utility company dropped power for you outside) the suggestion is that there is an individual breaker or panel or bus failure.

But for a non-electrician, even opening the panel by removing its cover can be quite risky. If you're not trained & experienced it would be safest to leave that alone.

Please keep me posted, and send along photos if you can. Stay safe.

Reader Question: Southern Breeze mobile home, loss of power, can't find the problem.

(Mar 9, 2014) Erika said:

I live in a 1991 Southern Breeze mobile home, a few days ago, in my master bedroom, the bedroom light, closet light, one of the 2 bathroom lights, one bedroom outlet, the GFCI plug in the bathroom, and the outside plug have all quit working, we can't seem to find the problem, help us please!

Reply:

Erika because this is a fire and shock safety hazard it makes sense to ask an licensed electrician to trace out the circuit to find the problem; meanwhile I'd leave the circuit OFF.

I'm assuming you tried pressing the re-set button on the GFCI once, right?

Reader Question: tripped main fuse when changing a light, neutral wire found to be "live"

(Mar 13, 2014) Mike Smith said:

I've managed to trip the main site fuse box while changing a ceiling light. All my trips were OFF and wiring safe when checked with a circuit tester & (stupid I know) by touching each wire. When the site electrician came he touched the neutral wire to the metal shed wall & there was an audible discharge & the trip activated. WHY?

Reply:

Mike,

If touching neutral to ground causes a short then the circuit to which the neutral is connected was live (and, happily, the shed is grounded)

This is a dangerous condition. The short needs to be found and repaired. Leave power off until that's been done.

Reader Question: electrical problems in a 1985 Columbia Double-wide

(Apr 30, 2014) Theresa Dunn said:
We bought a used 1985 Columbia double wide. 3 bd room 2 bath. We have power in the kitchen, dinning room, and masterbedroom all in one front of the home.

In the livingroom we have 2 plugs with no power getting to them. We also have in the area where the fireplace is no power in that room at all and then no power in the two bedrooms in the back of the house but between all those non working rooms is a bathroom where we have lights the recepticle for the electrical plug did work but it now has stoped working. It worked when all those other places do not. Any help appreciated.

We are trying to get our grandkids from cps and this is why we bought the home in the first place and the people we bought it from said it was working when we bought it and it was a as is purchase, There was no way for us to check the power on the lot it was sitting

Reply:

Theresa

This article ought to help you out:

ELECTRIAL CIRCUIT ID, MAP & LABEL - though you will most likely need help from an electrician.

Reader Question: Loss of electrical power in a 1971 Royal Embassy Singlewide

(June 5, 2014) Maurice anderson said:
I live in a 71 royal embassy single wide with pop out. Last night everything stopped working in the spare bedroom, bathroom and half of the living room. That's everything on one breaker. I shut down the breaker and tested it and appears to have continuity between the hot and neutral. In searching I discovered one melted receptacle which I removed but still get cont. I guess my question is can I safely replace all of the alum. Wiring 12 awg.with 14awg. Romex + new switches & receptacles without going all the way back to the breaker. The alum. Wire appears to be good up until the junction at the pop out?

Reply:

Maurice, it sounds as if you are reporting an aluminum electrical wiring failure in a mobile home - which leaves me especially thankful that the failure didn't result in a more catastrophic fire.

Yes #12 AWG solid conductor aluminum wiring would be replaced by #14 solid conductor copper wiring - both are rated for 15 Amp circuits.

Proper repair methods for aluminum electrical wiring are described at

inspectapedia.com/aluminum/Aluminum_Wiring_Repair_Methods.php

Watch out: making an improper repair, such as leaving the aluminum wiring in place and using connectors not recommended by the US CPSC can actually increase fire risk. Replacing the circuit wires entirely is the safest course, but is more costly than using copper pigtailing and approved, recommended connectors such as the AMP TYCO Crimp connector or the King Innovations AlumiConn connector.

Reader Question: isolate ground from neutral at manufactured home separate electric disconnect?

(June 23, 2014) Renee said:
Hi, Regarding Mobile Homes:"Electrical meter & disconnect separate from the home, with own grounding electrode; therefore the panel in the home must be wired like a sub panel (isolate ground and neutral in the panel) with a 4-wire conductor that separates ground and neutral"

Reader Question: Are the ground and neutral required to be isolated if there is a separate/additional ground rod for the home panel?

Reply:

Renee

Ground and neutral are always kept isolated in sub panels. Otherwise the ground circuit, not intended to carry current in normal conditions, becomes a current-carrying conductor in normal use - an unsafe situation.

Reader Question: Electrical problems in Redman Bonanza mobile home - Aluminum wiring?

(June 26, 2014) Anthony said:
I bought a 1989 Redman Bonanza mobile home about a month ago. The power connected about a week later and all plugs and switches worked every since. Yesterday, apparently a wire shorted to the duct work that runs down the center of the home and burned about a foot of the insulation off the wire. This started a fire in the insulation beneath the floor and also burned a quarter size hole in the duct work. My question is why did the breaker not trip immediately and prevent the fire? The breaker did trip at some point. Luckily I was there, able to locate the source of the fire(about a 4" flame) smoke and get it under control with no real damage. Has anybody else had a similar problem?

Reply:

Anthony,
Thanks for the important electrical fire report. Need I'm glad no worse catastrophe occurred.

I suspect your home may have defective circuit breakers (is the panel an FPE or Zinsco brand?) or your home may be wired with aluminum.

Let me know.

Reader Question: electrical switch and receptacle not working in 1988 Double wide

(July 2, 2014) Sherry said:
We bought a 1988 double wide in December we have pretty much redone everything. It is on a full foundation with a two car garage underneath. Anyway our problem is we have a switch (which is in a double switch box) that does not work the one next to it does though. The outlet below the switches does not work all other outlets in living room do work. One of the five outlets in our master bedroom also does not work. We can't figure out what else to do or try.
Thank you
Sherry

Reply:

Sherry, you can guess that there is an open wire connection or broken switch or receptacle electrically "up-stream" from the switch or the switched wires could be disconnected in the light or other fixture or receptacles that it's supposed to switch.

Our article on how to trace electrical circuits may be helpful:

inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_Circuit_ID.php

Basically you follow the wiring to find the defect. If you know what's supposed to be switched look in that junction box too.

Reader Question: Finding the mating plug for double-wide homes

(July 29, 2014) Valerie said:
Where can I find the mating plug in a 2001 Clayton double wide home

Reply:

Valerie:

If you are asking about replacing a defective mating plug check both electrical supply houses and online mobile home parts suppliers.

If you are asking where the mating plug is located from time of assembly, it must be left in a visible, accessible location, usually at one end or in the center of the crawl area near the mating beams or similarly in the attic space.

Reader Question: 1978 Field & Stream RV loses electrical power to lights

(Sept 4, 2014) Mr. K said:
My 1978 Field & Stream RV has electricity when hooked up to RV electrical, but no inside lights. The breaker box is located in a cabinet above the kitchen sink. Is there a fuze problem? And if so, where is the fuzes located? Thank you in advance for any assistance you may offer

Reply:

K
You may be lucky and just overloaded a circuit an tripped a breaker or blew a fuse. Look under sinks, in cabinets, to find the main electrical panel for your RV or contact the manufacturer for a tip on its location.

Field & Stream RVs were made by Fleetwood RV, Inc., who also produce American Revolution Brand motorhomes. Those folks can probably assist you with a wiring diagram and manual for your Field & Stream RV that shows where all of its electrical components are found.

Contact the company at Fleetwood RV - http://www.fleetwoodrv.com/

Question: 1972 Coleman doublewide breaker popping, shooting sparks

(Mar 12, 2016) (mod) said:
RE-Posting:

AUTHOR:jack (no email)

COMMENT:My sister has a 1972 colman double wide 2 be. 2 bath Mobil home breaker keeps poping and shooting out sparks.no juice in some outlets in kit,Lr. and no lights in kit,and porch light,Lr light.trying to find out why breaker keeps poping as soon as u reset it.problem started thru out the night while she was sleeping can you help?

Reply:

Jack

LEAVE the CIRCUIT BREAKER OFF - as you are risking fire, shock, injury or efen dath. I can't say where the problem is but it sounds like a short circuit in the system.

Call an electrician for diagnosis and repair. She or he will trace the circuit, find and fix the problem, and confirm that the wiring and breaker are safe to continue to use.

BE SURE that your sister has working CO (Carbon monoxide) and smoke detectors properly installed and located in her double-wide and that all of the exits and exit doors are working.

Question: lights flicker and go off but when I turn my oven on they turn on

(Mar 12, 2016) Phil said:
My lights flicker and go off but when I turn my oven on they turn on. It's a single wide older house trailer and I have replaced all my circuit breakers?

Reply:

Phil:

This sounds dangerous to me and risking a fire or shock or property loss or injury. I'd leave the oven circuit off at the main panel until the circuit is inspected and repaired. You may have replaced circuit breakers but not all connections may be proper or you may have aluminum electrical wiring or wiring connections failing at the oven. Leave the circuit off.

Question: doublewide trailer with leaks at the breaker box

(Mar 13, 2016) Jay said:
I have a double wide older trailer and a leak in my breaker box. I have sealed the mast and everything is dry outside... Roof has dust on it even after the rain storm s we are having, mast and wires are dry also yet water is dripping down into the breakers .drip loops are in place. Not making any sense of this.. Any suggestions would be great thanks.

Reply:

Jay

Water will also enter an electrical panel THROUGH the service entry cable or AROUND it - for example a frayed service entry cable can pick up water and act as a pipe conducting it to inside the electrical panel, or leaks at the point at which a cable enters the meter box or electrical panel can send water inside of those enclosures.

See inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_Panel_Moisture.php
and also
see inspectapedia.com/electric/Electrical_Panel_Rust.php

for details about diagnosing and fixing water entry problems in electrical panels and meters

Question: can I use the neutral as a ground when hooking up an electric stovetop and oven?

(Mar 25, 2016) Mark. said:
I am putting in a stovetop and oven that is separate.. the oven and the stove both have grounds but the cable running to them does not can I use a neutral as a ground?

Reply:

No, Mark. Don't use the neutral wire as a ground - doing so is unsafe. I have several worries:
- any 120V circuits in the system (not all of the components are necessarily running at 240V) rely on the neutral wire
- ground wires should not normally carry current - only when there is an electrical fault.
- sending current on a wire used as a neutral and a ground means that at times the grounding system and grounded components (like a metal stove top part or oven part) become electrically live. THat means someone touching the stove could be killed.

I'd run a dedicated wire used only as ground wire. Check with the manufacturer's wiring instructions.

And as I"m obligated to say, if you are not trained and qualified to do wiring, you could get fried or burn the house down - those are reasons to hire an electrician.

Question: how to hang a ceiling fan in a mobile home

(Mar 29, 2016) Dale Loftis said:
Is there somewhere I can find the way to hang a ceiling fan in a mobile home

Reply:

Dale:

Even though the roof structure of a mobile home is thinner than a conventionally-framed building, there will be roof supports. The fan bracket needs to mount to one of those structural members.

Watch out: if the ceiling in your home is not high enough to keep the moving fan parts well above anyone's head, a ceiling fan installation would be unsafe.

When choosing a fan, look for models that mount close to the ceiling and that do not include a light fixture: thus choosing a lighter fixture and one that might meet the headroom safety clearance requirement.

Question: hang a ceiling fan in a mobile home

(Mar 29, 2016) Dale Loftis said:
Is there somewhere I can find the way to hang a ceiling fan in a mobile home

Reply:

Dale:

Even though the roof structure of a mobile home is thinner than a conventionally-framed building, there will be roof supports. The fan bracket needs to mount to one of those structural members.

Watch out: if the ceiling in your home is not high enough to keep the moving fan parts well above anyone's head, a ceiling fan installation would be unsafe.

When choosing a fan, look for models that mount close to the ceiling and that do not include a light fixture: thus choosing a lighter fixture and one that might meet the headroom safety clearance requirement.

Question: can't reset circuit breaker in a York mobile home

(May 1, 2016) Jenny said:
I have a 1965 york mobile home I blow A breaker can't get it back on so bought a new one and still nothing need help please thank you

Reply:

If the breaker does not reset that means that either the electrical circuit is UNSAFE and should be LEFT OFF, or the breaker itself is defective. Since you tried a new breaker, it sounds to me as if the circuit has a short circuit and is unsafe.

LEAVE THE CIRCUIT OFF as you are risking a fatal fire. Ask your electrician to check for the presence of aluminum electrical wire in your home as that's a particularly serious fire hazard if it has not been completely and properly repaired. If there is no aluminum wire the fault is probably a short circuit in the wiring itself or in something you've plugged into the circuit. Unplug everything and try re-setting the breaker again.

Switch it first to OFF then back to ON. If the breaker trips again leave it OFF and ask for repair by a licensed electrician.

Question: lost power in some rooms of our mobile home

(May 7, 2016) Pamela Kline said:
We have a 1991 mobile home,it lost power in living room and front bedroom

Reply:

Pamela:

Check the circuit breakers (or fuses) in your main electrical panel. If the breaker has tripped you can try re-setting ONCE. If it keeps tripping something is wrong with the circuit or with something pugged into it. LEAVE THAT CIRCUIT OFF since repeatedly turning it on risks a fatal fire.

If the circuit breakers are all already ON (if you're not sure, switch the breaker to the OFF position and then back to ON), and the circuit still has no power, then a wire connection has been lost (has opened) or a wire has been cut or broken in that circuit. Leave that circuit switched OFF for safety and ask for help from an electrician who can find the fault and repair it.

Question: why did we lose power in our Fleetwood mobile home: the breaker isn't tripped!

(May 16, 2016) Renee said:
I have a 2001 Fleetwood 14x70 mobile home. We lost power to our master bedroom, master bath and kitchen stove. We have power everywhere else. The breaker isn't tripped and we checked for loose connection, we even bought new breakers still no power.
What could be causing this?

Reply:

Renee
I suspect either a tripped GFCI breaker (for example in a nearby bathroom or kitchen) or an open connection in the wire for circuit - one that you didn't find.

Question: effects of flooding on Charlotte mobile home wiring

(May 22, 2016) Anonymous said:
Charlotte what happens to the electrical wiring under a mobile home after flooding waters?

Reply:

In any home, electrical wiring that has been under water is unsafe until it has been inspected and perhaps had several types of components replaced. For excample even if plastic-covered wiring itself appears un-damaged, electrical connections, splices, junction boxes, electrical receptacles, light switches have been wet and are at risk of corrosion.

Question: trouble shooting a doublewide GFI

(June 16, 2016) Bsc2016 said:
I've been stumped trouble shooting a double ide, gfi is tripping , I know I have continuity between the hot and neutral between the second D and third, I cant seem to find the third, I think they may have something crossed with the lighting bc when I put my circuit tracer on I get back feed to the gfi in the beginning, any ideas?

Reply:

BS If you have continuity between hot and neutral then the wires are shorted together somewhere and that will certainly always cause the GFCI to trip off promptly whenever it's switched back on. Start by tracing the circuit and disconnecting things. Remember that if the GFCI is a receptacle (rather than a circuit breaker) anything wired downstream from that device can also cause it to tripo; also search InspectApedia for SHARED NEUTRAL WIRE CIRCUITS as those make trouble for GFCI's too. Let me know what you find.

Question: right breaker size for an air conditioner

(Aug 2, 2016) Tom said:
I was just informed by my hoa that the max size beaker allowed in my panel for the air conditioner is 40 amp. I looked andmy breaker is 50 amp. Is this a code violation? I live in a double wide mobile home.

Reply:

Your HOA and you both could be risking a fire by following a general rule about air conditioner breaker size. A safer and more correct approach, in my opinion, is to select a circuit breaker size that is recommended by the manufacturer of your specific air conditioning equipment. YOu'll see the the required breaker size in amps given on the data tag attached to your air conditioner.

At OPERATING CONTROLS, A/C & HEAT PUMP you will see some rules of thumb for sizing AC and heat pump circuit breakers. I found this article by searching InspectApedia for AIR CONDITIONER CIRCUIT BREAKER SIZE

inspectapedia.com/aircond/Air_Conditioner_Operating_Controls.php

Question: lost electrical power in 1981 Homette mobile home

(Aug 17, 2016) Jason said:
Hello, I really appreciate your thoughts on this matter, I recently purchased a 1981 14*70,homette mobile home, when removing everything out of home to replace flooring the second I simply unplugged dryer I lost "power" to whole home except central a/c n water heater, all of which have there own dedicated breakers in panel, but when I check receptacles with voltage tester it set I have power but won't even light up lights, probably ground issue but where? I've even changed dryer receptacle n still same issue, dryer plugged in, power, unplugged no power...?

Reply:

Jason,

Given that you lost power simply by unplugging an appliance I can only speculate that there is a combination of wiring mistakes at the home such that circuits were receiving power through an improper and maybe coincidental pathway.

From your e-text alone and sitting a thousand miles away I can't guess at the exact problem here nor bet your safety on a prescribed repair. From what I read, it sounds as if someone did some DIY amateur wiring that has made the home unsafe. I know it sounds stuffy to say so, but the right and safe thing to do is to hire a licensed electrician to examine ALL of the home's wiring and to give you a list of repairs needed and a bid to do so.

The problem is that when someone has been doing amateur wiring we just don't know what else they did besides the one thing that brought the wiring to our attention. A mistake risks fire, shock, injury, death, so it's not something to take lightly.

Question: why do we have power outages from seconds to minutes?

(Sept 3, 2016) theresa said:
How come ive been having power outages some lastin a few seconds sme lasting ten minutes could it be caused from water damage since the wiring seems to be under the home

Reply:

Theresa, Please see MOBILE HOME ELECTRICAL WIRING FAQs where we answered this question moments ago. Also see MOBILE HOME ELECTRICAL DEFECTS

 

Question: no power in half of a 1979 double wide

(Sept 5, 2016) John davis said:
I have a 1979 double wide. I have no power to half the home. The problem exist on both sides of house. Changed all plugs and switches but still no power. I'm lost as to where else to look.

Reply:

Your electrician will look first in the electrical panel to see if one side has lost power.

Question: where's the electrical panel box in a mobile home?

(Sept 12, 2016) Renee Foust said:
Location of panel box in a mobile home

Reply:

Usually inside near the heating system or water heater. A separate main power switch may be outside at an electric meter or pole.

Question: faulty electrical supply line to a mobile home

(Sept 14, 2016) Bunny said:

Need help :-) please. I live in a mobile home on a rented lot and the main supply line was faulty under the ground coming into my home. They replaced the line yesterday but today, I'm trying to run the weedwacker and it keeps blowing the gfi outlet. I also found a few other outlets that don't seem to work.

My dryer now works but overheats before even drying one load. ( the 220 line was also faulty.) I never had any electrical problems before the line went bad and I need to know it the flucating current could have created theses issues? ? I am disabled and on a very limited income so cannot afford to fix these things if it was caused by the bad main line.

Ps..according to the electric comp. the 220 line was reading 17 and the 110 line had flucuating numbers. When I originally notified the prop mgt company about the inital problem, they insisted that the electrical problem was on my end but thankfullly, the electric company was able to convince them, that the first problem was the main supply line.

That line was temporiarly installed yesterday but today I have more problems.

Reply: very unsafe, leave power off, stay away from the property, call for expert help

Bunny,

Watch out: I would turn off the main power and also stay away from the lot until you have a licensed electrician diagnose and repair the system.

I'm afraid that a damaged underground service entry cable can leak current or short hot to ground, risking killing someone EVEN if power is turned OFF at the PANEL. If you cannot get an electrician there promptly, call the electric utility company and ask for their help.

Question: ceiling fan runs faster after an electrical "POP" sound

(Oct 30, 2016) Allison R. said:
Hi, I live in a 1970 double wide mobile home. Heard a loud pop coming from front bed room then smoke from TV area.and burning smell. The strange thing is in that part the mobile power is out except the ceiling fan/light is twice as bright and the fan is going faster!! Help?

Reply: turn power off, risk of fire, get out

Allison:

I would turn power off to the home at the main breaker;

Watch out: If signs of smoke or fire continue I would immediately get everyone out of the home and I'd call emergency services or your fire department.

Question: 1989 mobile home with no power in some rooms - meeting current codes?

(Nov 1, 2016) Tammy said:
I live in a 1989 mobile we r having issue with the outlets in the front of home in master bedroom and both bathrooms not working we have changed all the outlets and still no electricity. One outlet outside in the back of home not working either. All other outlets work. Can anyone help

(Nov 9, 2016) Stanley said:
Do wires must be in the pipes in mobile homes to meet today's codes and requirements?

Reply:

Tammy:

If the wiring problem is elsewhere in the circuit than at the receptacles that you changed, such as at splices, in runs of wire that may be damaged, or in the electrical panel itself, then changing the receptacles won't fix the trouble. An electrician would start right at the main electrical panel, finding the circuit involved, confirming that it is being given power at the breaker or fuse, and then tracing the circuit through the home to find the problem.

A simple test or two by a homeowner can sometimes find the trouble: check that the circuit breakers in the panel are all in the "on" and operating position, and if your home's electrical receptacles ("outlets") include GFCI type receptacles, check that all of those have been reset as one might have tripped off.

Stanley,

Local code compliance requirements are enforced by your local code officials. In most communities existing work in or on a building, PROVIDED it met-code at the time it was performed, is not required to be amended to meet building code improvements, changes, or updates, but new work IS required to do so.

Still, if your home's piping is unsafe or not functional then it should be corrected, regardless of building code enforcement. To fail to do so is to leave health and safety hazards in your home.

Question: Palm Harbor double wide GFCIs

No GFCI and mis-wired electrical outlet in bathroom over sink in house trailer (C) Daniel Friedma(Dec 11, 2016) Chris said:

Im working on a 1998 double wide 3 bedroom 2 bath, palm harbor manufactured home.

How many GFIC Outlets are on this model from factory? Please I can't find any wiring diagrams for this trailer. And I have a ceiling fan on 2 separate wall plugs for lights and fan.

The lights work good but the fan doesn't turn. How the heck does that work ??? I think it's the switch on the wall. Any suggestions on these answers. Thanks

Reply:

Chris:

A GFCI electrical outlet can protect any electrical outlets (receptacles) that are wired downstream from it. So it's not just the number of GFCI's you need.

Trip off the GFCI you can see and check to see what else lost power.

Question: lights flicker or get brighter then dimmer when appliances run

(Dec 29, 2016) Rebecca said:

Anytime my furnace, dryer, or washer comes on my lights get brighter and then when they go off they get very dim, like there is no power going to them. We check all of the voltage with a multimeter and everything was in the 120 found one plug that was burnt up and removed it and turned that breaker off, but everything is still getting brighter and dimmer, help

Reply:

Sounds like an overloaded circuit, Rebecca.

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