If you are considering buying used mobile homes, it is important to have an idea about the electric service to mobile homes, as it is much different from that to the site built homes. Site built homes will have electric service lines that run directly to the home, either underground or overhead, with the electric meter installed on an exterior wall and the main service panel somewhere inside the house. Site built homes may or may not use a distribution panel inside it. However, the National Electric Code (NEC) requirements for mobile homes are different from that of site built homes. The main differences are discussed below.
Main Service Panel
In mobile homes, the main service panel is not allowed to be installed in the home. The panel should be located within less than 30 feet from the mobile home. The main service panel will be typically mounted on a service pedestal for underground service and on a service pole for overhead service. In addition, the panel should have a rating of at least 100 amperes and the rating should not be less than that of the distribution panel installed in the mobile home by the manufacturer.
This should be installed in a location that is easily accessible and should not be installed in a bathroom or closet. In addition, as the distribution panel is a subpanel, it should have an isolated neutral terminal bar, meaning that it should not be bonded to the ground. The mobile home manufacturer usually installs distribution panel, so you should be very careful while inspecting the distribution panel of the mobile home that you are planning to buy.
Due to the varying configuration of mobile home electric service, the main service panel of mobile homes will be often left behind while the home is moved to a new location, but the service panel can be reused for a replacement or a new mobile home on the same location if the amperage is good enough. In addition, you may see a main service panel that may appear to be attached to the home at first, but on close examination, you will find that the panel is actually mounted on the wall of a site built next to the mobile home.