Issues An Electrician Should Investigate Before You Invest In A Used Mobile Home

Posted on: 9 March 2015

Are you considering buying a used mobile home? Are you hoping that a used manufactured home could meet your needs, but are concerned about troubleshooting any potential electrical problems? Here are some issues an electrician can investigate before you invest in a manufactured home: 

Power loss on one side:

When doing your preliminary walk-through, make sure to turn on the power in every room. Some used mobile homes will have full electricity in one side, but no power in the other half. The lack of power could be caused by several issues. For example, it could be wired in a straight line, so that if the first outlet is broken, the power path to the rest of the receptacles is disrupted. It might be that a ground-fault circuit interrupter was tripped and requires a simple reset. Or there could be a loose connection in the junction box, causing the entire circuit to be without power. A professional electrician can assess the situation and let you know the cause of the power disruption. They'll give you an idea of the depth of work needed, so you can factor it into your purchase decisions. 

Amateur wiring: 

A manufactured home leaves the factory with electrical wiring that's been installed according to government safety standards. However, once the home is set up, some owners make amateur attempts to modify the electric distribution panel or add extra circuits. The main service panel, usually placed on an exterior power pole near the home, should be examined by a professional electrician. They'll be able to tell you if there are any open holes in the panel box, if the wiring matches for the breaker's rating, or if there's any unsecured cables. They can also check any after-market additions such as an enclosed porch or laundry room, to make sure the wiring is up to current codes. 

Damaged underside:

Not only is skirting designed to be aesthetically pleasing, it also serves as protection for the base of the mobile home. Missing or damaged skirting might have allowed small wildlife to gnaw or tear the plastic sheeting on the underside of an unoccupied mobile home. This would have allowed them to infiltrate the home, chewing any electrical wiring in their way. They could have pulled away the insulation for nesting, and infested the flooring and walls of the home looking for a warm place to live during the winter. Much of this harm isn't visible on a surface-level inspection of the property. Your electrician will look for evidence of animal infestation through holes in the skirting or flooring, and then examine the circuitry and wiring for any damage.