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Thread: Modular Homes

  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Modular Homes

    I got a call from a customer about wiring a modular home to be honest I have never done one of these. He was going to send me over the plans. Does anyone know what is included and what of the electrical I am responsible for.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm1470
    I got a call from a customer about wiring a modular home to be honest I have never done one of these. He was going to send me over the plans. Does anyone know what is included and what of the electrical I am responsible for.
    The terms of modular homes, prefab, mobile, manufacturered are often used loosely so it would be hard to tell. The modular home I did was all wired except for tying in a jb in a closet where the two sections came together. We also had to put the service on the house and wire the a/c unit.

    That was a long time ago and I think they were called modular homes. :smile:

  3. #3
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    Most times, if there is a basement, that will need to be wired by the electrician as well.
    Instructor, Industry Advocate

  4. #4
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    A true modular home comes in sections on a flatbed trailer, unlike what the salespersons try to say that a doublewide or triplewides are. If it has a frame with axles attached, it's a trailer. They usually have connection points where each module ties together. The one I done the factory sent a crew out with it to tie everything together, and all I had to do was build the service to feed their panel.

  5. #5
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    Modulars are pretty easy, from an electrician's standpoint. The list of things you need to do are normally as follows:
    • mount interior and exterior lighting fixtures and fans, since they are normally shipped sitting on the floor under where they go.
    • Build a service, with disconnect, and pipe to the already installed subpanel.
    • Wire any wells, septic pumps, outbuildings, etc.
    • Completely wire any basement that the home might sit on, however the homeowner wishes it to be done. A 3-way is already factory wired at the top of the basement stairs with a tail (or empty ENT) hanging down.
    • Connect the outdoor a/c unit
    • Plug together any of the Tyco/Molex connectors, if the house installers didn't do that already.
    • Pull the battery tabs on the smokes. Wire in a basement smoke to existing upstairs smokes. There's a factory tail hanging for that purpose.
    • Connect the CATV and Phone home runs. There's normally just a tail hanging for each, under each jack.
    • Do the service and water line grounding and bonding.
    • Troubleshoot everything. Almost never will the factory wiring on any of them be "perfect".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdshunk
    Modulars are pretty easy, from an electrician's standpoint. The list of things you need to do are normally as follows:
    • mount interior and exterior lighting fixtures and fans, since they are normally shipped sitting on the floor under where they go.
    • Build a service, with disconnect, and pipe to the already installed subpanel.
    • Wire any wells, septic pumps, outbuildings, etc.
    • Completely wire any basement that the home might sit on, however the homeowner wishes it to be done. A 3-way is already factory wired at the top of the basement stairs with a tail (or empty ENT) hanging down.
    • Connect the outdoor a/c unit
    • Plug together any of the Tyco/Molex connectors, if the house installers didn't do that already.
    • Pull the battery tabs on the smokes. Wire in a basement smoke to existing upstairs smokes. There's a factory tail hanging for that purpose.
    • Connect the CATV and Phone home runs. There's normally just a tail hanging for each, under each jack.
    • Do the service and water line grounding and bonding.
    • Troubleshoot everything. Almost never will the factory wiring on any of them be "perfect".
    Good list Marc. Also, in Alabama the POCO will allow the service drop on the side of the modular, but not on a mobile home.

    I did two modulars and they both had problems at the feed to the water heaters. The factory guy failed to install the wirenuts properly and they melted and shorted to the shell.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohm
    Good list Marc. Also, in Alabama the POCO will allow the service drop on the side of the modular, but not on a mobile home.
    Same here, but 9 times out of 10, the factory wired panel is sufficiently far enough inside the home that you need to subfeed it. They seem to wire them as a subpanel, regardless, but do normally ship the bonding jumper inside the panel in case you need to use it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdshunk
    Same here, but 9 times out of 10, the factory wired panel is sufficiently far enough inside the home that you need to subfeed it. They seem to wire them as a subpanel, regardless, but do normally ship the bonding jumper inside the panel in case you need to use it.
    True, don't know why they place the SE panel on an inner room. Makes you have to place a MB near the meter. But all in all these were tight as a drum and very high quality. My inspector was very impressed.

  9. #9
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    Modular gas stations are quite simular too, the two halves are tied together with a piece of flex with all of the circuits for the other half in it. I actually wired a couple for a factory that makes them. The local inspector comes out and checks them at rough in and trim out. Both halves are temporarily connected together and every thing is tested. Even the service is already built since each of them are custom ordered. The only thing that is not prewired was the power and controls to the pumps.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    new york
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    I love doing modulars. They are quick neat easy money. The panel full of breakers is usually supplied with the service but noone ever deducts that from the price of the service change. Everything is an extra and as Pierre said the basement usually needs to be wired. After doing the service , Basement, oil burner,tweaking problems I usually walk away for about 8k. Quick easy clean work.
    The tail does NOT wag the dog.

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