Another Mobile Home

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Esthy

Senior Member
Yesterday, I told the lady to move from this MH until I fix this thing, she agreed and moved with her sister. I am pulling a permit to get ready of this "time bomb" and do the right thing, I am a worrier and the last 2 weeks had been a nightmare worrying about those people lives. All the post about this MH is because I was trying - been new in this job, this State and in MH
repairs - "save the money that she doesn't have" Where I come from, I never repaired those panels, I replaced them (this is why I have a lot of those breakers for emergency repairs). My apologies to david about the "grandfather" thing as it was no my intention to misinterpreting things, but only looking for an easy way to solve this MH problem.
 

jxofaltrds

Inspector Mike®
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI, PI, RBO
Lets be clear it has never been compliant to install a three wire feeder as a supply to a mobile home.

No the installation is not safe. I have actually gotten blasted when walking up mobile homes with metal siding. In those instances an underground feeder conductor is lost for whatever reason someone concludes to use only three wires to supply a mobile home, Remember if correctly supplied the equipment grounding is isolated from the distribution panels neutral.

By removing the equipment ground a fault goes to the metal siding and as I did with wet grass you get blasted when you touch the siding.

Your picture is unclear but I Inspected a mobile home if not the exact panel one very similar. Though the equipment ground bus and the neutral bus look to be the upper and lower sections of two buses tied together when I looked closer the upper (neutral) bus was isolated from the lower (equipment ground Buss). I?m not saying it is but if that is the case with yours from the picture it appears that the black and white conductors are line one and line two. The green conductor appears to be the neutral.

If these are two separate busses (equipment ground and neutral) buses than you are making a connection to the neutral bus somewhere that the equipment ground is making contact with a neutral terminal. Perhaps at the dryer or the range or any branch circuit that the bare equipment ground is making inadvertent contact with a neutral terminal

When you lost say line two 240 /120 system and turned the knob on a 240 range line one could pass through the load (range element) and energize the line two half of the panel. Turning on a light circuit in the half of the panel where you lost line two. Though you might expect the lights to be dim depending on the resistance.

To be perfectly clear this was never grandfather in as code compliant, and in my opinion from someone that was nailed by one of these old mobile homes this cannot be considered safe.

550.11(A) and 550.32(A) were added in the 2005NEC. That said where am I prohibited from treating this like any stick built home on a perm. foundation? See 550.32(B)


It appears to me the 'green' wire is the grounded conductor.

Lastly getting permit and inspection (Original Poster) is a GREAT idea.
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
550.11(A) and 550.32(A) were added in the 2005NEC. That said where am I prohibited from treating this like any stick built home on a perm. foundation? See 550.32(B)

Mike you could start here.
Part 3280 Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards
; 3280.803(Interpretative Bulletins to the Standards
3280.803(k)(3)
Service equipment installed on the manufactured home in accordance with Article 230 of the National
Electrical Code NFPA No. 70 2005; and 3280.803(k)(3)(i)
The installation shall be completed by the manufacturer except for the service connections, the meter
and the grounding electrode conductor.

And when you choose to supply a manufacture homes distribution panel by a feeder a stick built house doesn?t have the requirements found in article 550
? When a manufactured home is supplied by a feeder the manufactured home distribution equipment ground bus is required to be supplied by a insulated green colored conductor .
SER cable has an un-insulated bare equipment ground. SER cable is not allowed to be used as a feeder to supply a manufactured homes distribution panel.
550.16 Grounding. (B) Equipment Grounding Means.
(1) Supply Cord or Permanent Feeder. The green-colored insulated grounding wire in the supply cord or permanent feeder wiring shall be connected to the grounding bus in the distribution panel board or disconnecting means.
If provide a permanent foundation for a manufactured home have the service disconnect in the basement feed with a service entrance cable. According to 550.16 the feeder to the manufacture home distribution panel still needs a wiring method with a green insulated equipment ground.
I would say that there are several instances you cannot treat a manufacture home the same way you would a stick built home even if provided with a permanent foundation

Mike let?s not confuse the OP though and pull away from the original subject presented in this thread
 

jxofaltrds

Inspector Mike®
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI, PI, RBO
Mike you could start here.
Part 3280 Manufactured Home Construction and Safety Standards
; 3280.803(Interpretative Bulletins to the Standards
3280.803(k)(3)
Service equipment installed on the manufactured home in accordance with Article 230 of the National
Electrical Code NFPA No. 70 2005
; and 3280.803(k)(3)(i)
The installation shall be completed by the manufacturer except for the service connections, the meter
and the grounding electrode conductor.

And when you choose to supply a manufacture homes distribution panel by a feeder a stick built house doesn?t have the requirements found in article 550
? When a manufactured home is supplied by a feeder the manufactured home distribution equipment ground bus is required to be supplied by a insulated green colored conductor .
SER cable has an un-insulated bare equipment ground. SER cable is not allowed to be used as a feeder to supply a manufactured homes distribution panel.
550.16 Grounding. (B) Equipment Grounding Means.
(1) Supply Cord or Permanent Feeder. The green-colored insulated grounding wire in the supply cord or permanent feeder wiring shall be connected to the grounding bus in the distribution panel board or disconnecting means.
If provide a permanent foundation for a manufactured home have the service disconnect in the basement feed with a service entrance cable. According to 550.16 the feeder to the manufacture home distribution panel still needs a wiring method with a green insulated equipment ground.
I would say that there are several instances you cannot treat a manufacture home the same way you would a stick built home even if provided with a permanent foundation

Mike let?s not confuse the OP though and pull away from the original subject presented in this thread

Please read 550.32(B). Note what I highlighted in red.

I didn't pull away from the OP. I think that he is good to go. After his AHJ approves it.
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
Please read 550.32(B). Note what I highlighted in red.

I didn't pull away from the OP. I think that he is good to go. After his AHJ approves it.

Mike,
Lets look at what you highlighted in red as strictly dealing with the service equipment.

I?m not sure but I have the feeling that you are only considering the installation when the Manufacture Home s distribution panel is also the service equipment.

550.16 refers you to 550.32 (B) when that is the case.

I gave you an example to consider when that is not the case, the service equipment is installed in the basement wall when the manufactured home is setting on a block foundation for example.

When the service equipment is in the basement and you supply the manufacture home with a feeder from service equipment that is not also the distribution equipment you get no relief from the insulated equipment ground requirement in 550.16 (B)(1).

Every reference to a feeder in article 550 requires a insulated equipment ground.

The only reference to any bare supply conductor to the manufactured homes manufactured installed distribution panel is when that panel is also the service equipment as allowed in 550.32. (B)

Do you have a reference that allows a bare equipment ground in any feeder in article 550?I only pointed this out to you when you asked for an example when article 550 rules differ than a stick built home when the manufactured home sits on a permanent foundation
 
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david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
Lets be clear it has never been compliant to install a three wire feeder as a supply to a mobile home.

550.11(A) and 550.32(A) were added in the 2005NEC. That said where am I prohibited from treating this like any stick built home on a perm. foundation? See 550.32(B)

550.11 (A) and 550.32(A) where not added to the NEC in 2005 there was a change 550.11 (A)
The disconnecting equipment shall have a rating ?suitable for? the calculated load. (NFPA 70 2002)
550.11 (A) was change to say
The disconnecting equipment shall have a rating ?not less than? the calculated load. (NFPA 70 2005)
550.32 (A) used to say, a disconnecting means ?suitable for? service equipment (NFPA 70 2002)
550.32 (A) was changed to say, a disconnecting means ?suitable for use as? service equipment (NFPA 70 2005)


Mike
Existing mobile homes today and back when they were being manufacture, as far back when they had 40 amp and 50 amp supplies through plug and rec. configurations, where always required to be supplied with a 4 wire feeder with an insulated equipment ground.
Your 550.32(B) reference does not apply to mobile homes it only applies to those that are designated manufactured homes
 
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Esthy

Senior Member
The lady is out of the MH. I will pull a permit for this repair. Because it is my first MH ?new installation? and the inspectors are not very cooperative, I think I will need a little, well big, help from you. Note the first photo, the disconnect was change to a j-box and there are only about 6? of (3) conductors in a conduit. HERE, is what I am planning to do, please correct me: If the disconnect requires to be elevated to 24?, then I think, legally, that I can add a 24? of conduit with a nipple and pull new wires, ?hoping? that it is a full conduit from the disconnect to the meter disconnect.

1st question: What method to use to secure this new pedestal to the ground? 4 x4 embedded in concrete? One or two steel angles bars in concrete? (I never installed one of those and I don?t want mistakes because of the uncooperative inspector)

Okay, assuming the new 100 amps disconnect (pedestal?) is in place, I will run the 2 rods from there to the ground and 4 insulated (ground green) to a new 100 amps service panel inside the MH and, of course separate neutral and ground and install the bonding conductor to frame.

2nd question: What type of feeder conductors should I use if there is not a conduit from the disconnect? Or should I install conduit? Any 4 wires for MH that I can run underground without raceway?

3rd question: This bonding conductor to frame should be bare or insulated?

I will replace all receptacles and switches as they are all wear out. Any input regarding the above?

When you posted that the service should be installed a the manufacturer ... it is only when new, but we are allow to replace/repair ... Do we?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
The lady is out of the MH. I will pull a permit for this repair. Because it is my first MH ?new installation? and the inspectors are not very cooperative, I think I will need a little, well big, help from you. Note the first photo, the disconnect was change to a j-box and there are only about 6? of (3) conductors in a conduit. HERE, is what I am planning to do, please correct me: If the disconnect requires to be elevated to 24?, then I think, legally, that I can add a 24? of conduit with a nipple and pull new wires, ?hoping? that it is a full conduit from the disconnect to the meter disconnect.

1st question: What method to use to secure this new pedestal to the ground? 4 x4 embedded in concrete? One or two steel angles bars in concrete? (I never installed one of those and I don?t want mistakes because of the uncooperative inspector)

Okay, assuming the new 100 amps disconnect (pedestal?) is in place, I will run the 2 rods from there to the ground and 4 insulated (ground green) to a new 100 amps service panel inside the MH and, of course separate neutral and ground and install the bonding conductor to frame.

2nd question: What type of feeder conductors should I use if there is not a conduit from the disconnect? Or should I install conduit? Any 4 wires for MH that I can run underground without raceway?

3rd question: This bonding conductor to frame should be bare or insulated?

I will replace all receptacles and switches as they are all wear out. Any input regarding the above?

When you posted that the service should be installed a the manufacturer ... it is only when new, but we are allow to replace/repair ... Do we?


1. NEC doesn't specify what material to use for such purpose - it does sort of indirectly give the AHJ the opportunity to evaluate it for suitability though in 110.3, along with securing and supporting rules associated with whatever equipment you are dealing with.

2. You don't have to use a cable assembly, type SE cables are out because of the non insulated EGC, if no raceway you can use direct bury rated conductors or cables. Keep in mind the cover requirements are deeper for direct bury conductors then for conductors in raceway and though RMC may at first seem expensive - the fact it can be as little as 6 inches deep makes it still worth consideration in places where it may be hard to achieve proper depth for other methods.

3. I didn't look it up, but I don't recall ever seeing a bond conductor from the home manufacturer that was not bare - so I'm assuming it is acceptable and don't see any logic to why it can't be either.

4. Correct, no comment other then it only needs to be green if smaller then 4 AWG. If 4 AWG or larger it can be identified with green markings.
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
When you posted that the service should be installed a the manufacturer ... it is only when new, but we are allow to replace/repair ... Do we?

The mobile home distribution panel is installed by the manufacture, and you are correct that is at the factory and you should reasonably be allowed to do the repairs or replace that panel. In this state you have to have certification renewed every three years by PA Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) certified.

That started out only being the initial installation from the dealer to the first lot. Now that certification requirement is reaching out to any work being contracted, the contractor has to be DCED certified, not shore if that regulation made it all the way through yet it was supposed to. I have a recertification class coming up on April 8th. You need someone familiar with your states laws to comment if their is any certification required in your area.
 

jxofaltrds

Inspector Mike®
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI, PI, RBO
Prior to the 2008 NEC you could set a home as in the picture and run a 3-wire in conduit and up into the home and use the interior (factory) panel as the first means of disconnect.

I may have seen that performed only once or twice because, at that time 2007, installers thought that they were ALWAYS required to have a disconnect within 30' outside.

Edited - poor spelling

550anchor.jpg
 

jxofaltrds

Inspector Mike®
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI, PI, RBO
Must be getting old. Forgot about the exception.

550.33 Feeder (A) Feeder Conductors. Feeder conductors shall comply with the following: (1) Feeder conductors shall consist of either a listed cord, factory installed in accordance with 550.10(B), or a permanently installed feed er consisting of four insulated, colorcoded conductors that shall be identified by the factory or field marking of the conductors in compliance with 310.110. Equipment grounding conductors shall not be identified by stripping the insulation. (2) Feeder conductors shall be installed in compliance with 250.32(B).


Exception: For an existing feeder that is installed between the service equipment and a disconnecting means as covered in 550.32(A), it shall be permitted to omit the equipment grounding conductor where the grounded circuit conductor is grounded at the disconnecting means in accordance with 250.32(B) Exception.
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
I know you understand that there are different rules for mobile homes that are not classified as manufactured homes.

And I know you know there are mobile homes that carry the manufactured home classification

Prior to the 2008 NEC you could set a home as in the picture and run a 3-wire in conduit and up into the home and use the interior (factory) panel as the first means of disconnect.


No you could not for unclassified Mobile homes, (my term) not now, not then, not ever

installers thought that they were ALWAYS required to have a disconnect within 30' outside.

They were correct then, they are correct now, for the unclassified Mobile home (again my term)

Must be getting old. Forgot about the exception.

550.33 Feeder (A) Feeder Conductors. Feeder conductors shall comply with the following: (1) Feeder conductors shall consist of either a listed cord, factory installed in accordance with 550.10(B), or a permanently installed feed er consisting of four insulated, colorcoded conductors that shall be identified by the factory or field marking of the conductors in compliance with 310.110. Equipment grounding conductors shall not be identified by stripping the insulation. (2) Feeder conductors shall be installed in compliance with 250.32(B).


Exception: For an existing feeder that is installed between the service equipment and a disconnecting means as covered in 550.32(A), it shall be permitted to omit the equipment grounding conductor where the grounded circuit conductor is grounded at the disconnecting means in accordance with 250.32(B) Exception.

That does not give you permission to supply the mobile home / Manufactured homes distribution panel (main panel) with a three wire ?feeder?

Any feeder that was required to include an equipment ground (4- wire ) was required to have an insulated equipment ground.

Because of the residential application ( un-expecting public) and the metal structure and the potential shock hazard mobile homes including manufactured homes distribution panels mirror the same rules for feeders that you find today in article 680. (swimming pools) .

If the mobile home / manufactured home is supplied by a feeder you must utilize a insulated not covered equipment ground.

The main difference is you are only allowed to supply a mobile home with a service if it is a manufactured home and has a permanent foundation system . 550.32 (B)

Look at the feeder requirements for mobile and manufactured homes 550.10 (H) (1.) even if the feeder was brought to a mobile home through an over head mast you must supply it with 4 insulated supply conductors
 

jxofaltrds

Inspector Mike®
Location
Mike P. Columbus Ohio
Occupation
ESI, PI, RBO
I know you understand that there are different rules for mobile homes that are not classified as manufactured homes.

And I know you know there are mobile homes that carry the manufactured home classification




No you could not for unclassified Mobile homes, (my term) not now, not then, not ever



They were correct then, they are correct now, for the unclassified Mobile home (again my term)



That does not give you permission to supply the mobile home / Manufactured homes distribution panel (main panel) with a three wire ?feeder?

Any feeder that was required to include an equipment ground (4- wire ) was required to have an insulated equipment ground.

Because of the residential application ( un-expecting public) and the metal structure and the potential shock hazard mobile homes including manufactured homes distribution panels mirror the same rules for feeders that you find today in article 680. (swimming pools) .

If the mobile home / manufactured home is supplied by a feeder you must utilize a insulated not covered equipment ground.

The main difference is you are only allowed to supply a mobile home with a service if it is a manufactured home and has a permanent foundation system . 550.32 (B)

Look at the feeder requirements for mobile and manufactured homes 550.10 (H) (1.) even if the feeder was brought to a mobile home through an over head mast you must supply it with 4 insulated supply conductors

I could 'use' 3-wire to a new set manufactured home (inside panel) and be code compliant today. PS it does not have to be on a permanent foundation. Please see my above example.

FYI - I performed over 1000 'sets', foundation, electrical and final set (C of O) inspections, after the Federal Regulations went into to effect in the late 2000's.

The OP was asking about an existing installation. He may very well be code compliant however he is obtaining a permit so that the AHJ can make that call. Hopefully the AHJ understands 550 and his State allows existing SAFE installations to remain.
 

Esthy

Senior Member
Whoa! You don't find anywhere else the professionalism of this forum. Thank! It will take me the whole weekend to digest this, but I am really happy. As I said before I never worked in Mobile Homes, and this input is really appreciated. I hope "my inspector" is reading this.

Sorry to ask, but is there any already manufactured bracket for the outside disconnect, instead of 4x4s or steel angles?
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
Sorry to ask, but is there any already manufactured bracket for the outside disconnect, instead of 4x4s or steel angles?

There are "pedestals" but they may be a little pricey compared to 4x4's.

One thing I have found that works well and is usually reasonably priced is used railroad ties if you can find a place that sells them - though some places may not let you use them because they are creosote treated (for health hazard reasons).
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
I could 'use' 3-wire to a new set manufactured home (inside panel) and be code compliant today. PS it does not have to be on a permanent foundation. Please see my above example.

FYI - I performed over 1000 'sets', foundation, electrical and final set (C of O) inspections, after the Federal Regulations went into to effect in the late 2000's.

The OP was asking about an existing installation. He may very well be code compliant however he is obtaining a permit so that the AHJ can make that call. Hopefully the AHJ understands 550 and his State allows existing SAFE installations to remain.

It has never been my intention to define what is a permanent foundation in your area. I agree that it does not have to sit on a CMU (block) foundation to be a permanent foundation. Each state may have their own codes that will except what criteria defines a permanent foundation.

And I agree with you that a manufacture home that meets the states criteria does not need to be supplied by a feeder, and 550.32 (B) would apply
 

Little Bill

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee NEC:2017
Occupation
Electrician
I can't for the life of me understand an Electrical inspector that could get Article 550 so wrong. It has never been allowed (as far back as I can read) to feed a mobile home with a 3-wire feeder. It doesn't matter if the installation was pre 2008 or not. You can't treat Article 550 the same as 250.32 used to be.
Plus the OP doesn't have a manufactured home, it is a mobile home.

As far as 550.32(B), no one has mentioned that All the conditions must be met for the service to be on the home. Not just permanent foundation but all. In particular, the Mfg has to have this permission in their written installation instructions.


B) Manufactured Home Service Equipment. The
manufactured home service equipment shall be permitted to
be installed in or on a manufactured home, provided that all
of the following conditions are met:

(1) The manufacturer shall include in its written installation
instructions information indicating that the home
shall be secured in place by an anchoring system or
installed on and secured to a permanent foundation.
(2) The installation of the service shall comply with Part I
through Part VII of Article 230.
(3) Means shall be provided for the connection of a
grounding electrode conductor to the service equipment
and routing it outside the structure.
(4) Bonding and grounding of the service shall be in accordance
with Part I through Part V of Article 250.
(5) The manufacturer shall include in its written installation
instructions one method of grounding the service
equipment at the installation site. The instructions shall
clearly state that other methods of grounding are found
in Article 250.
(6) The minimum size grounding electrode conductor shall
be specified in the instructions.
(7) A red warning label shall be mounted on or adjacent to
the service equipment. The label shall state the following:
WARNING
DO NOT PROVIDE ELECTRICAL POWER
UNTIL THE GROUNDING ELECTRODE(S)
IS INSTALLED AND CONNECTED
(SEE INSTALLATION INSTRUCTIONS).

So Esthy,
You can't have the inside (distribution panel) as your first means of disconnect. That has to be outside the home. Run a 4-wire (color coded) to the inside and wire it as a sub panel, grounds & neutral isolated.
Also, where is the pole that the meter is on? Some areas allow the disconnect/service to be on the pole with the meter. It gets a little crowded sometimes but it may be allowed. You would have to check with the POCO and your AHJ.
What I see if the service is on a separate structure, it is either on a single 6x6 pressure treated post or two 4x4 post with some type of back board, usually 5/4" decking boards between the 4x4s.
 

kwired

Electron manager
Location
NE Nebraska
I can't for the life of me understand an Electrical inspector that could get Article 550 so wrong. It has never been allowed (as far back as I can read) to feed a mobile home with a 3-wire feeder. It doesn't matter if the installation was pre 2008 or not. You can't treat Article 550 the same as 250.32 used to be.
Plus the OP doesn't have a manufactured home, it is a mobile home.

As far as 550.32(B), no one has mentioned that All the conditions must be met for the service to be on the home. Not just permanent foundation but all. In particular, the Mfg has to have this permission in their written installation instructions.




So Esthy,
You can't have the inside (distribution panel) as your first means of disconnect. That has to be outside the home. Run a 4-wire (color coded) to the inside and wire it as a sub panel, grounds & neutral isolated.
Also, where is the pole that the meter is on? Some areas allow the disconnect/service to be on the pole with the meter. It gets a little crowded sometimes but it may be allowed. You would have to check with the POCO and your AHJ.
What I see if the service is on a separate structure, it is either on a single 6x6 pressure treated post or two 4x4 post with some type of back board, usually 5/4" decking boards between the 4x4s.

That disconnect can be on the same pole as the meter- but the disconnecting means for the home must be within 30 feet of the exterior wall of the home served. You could have four homes served by one pole with four meters/service disconnects - but most likely the pole would need to be in a central location and all four homes must be within 30 feet of it. More then four homes likely puts them too close together for fire or other zoning codes.
 

david

Senior Member
Location
Pennsylvania
IAs far as 550.32(B), no one has mentioned that All the conditions must be met for the service to be on the home. Not just permanent foundation but all. In particular, the Mfg has to have this permission in their written installation instructions.

And to your point, Even though the NEC allowed a mobile home to be supplied with an overhead 4- wire feeder mast, I never seen one supplied that way. You would have had to order it that way from the manufacture. And the installation instructions would of addressed that.
 
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