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#172477 - 12/20/07 05:48 AM Modular Homes  
jdo1942  Offline
Junior Member
Joined: Nov 2005
Posts: 31
st. louis, mo. usa
I just looked at a modular home being installed and we are to simply install a service. But when looking at the structure it has the worst wiring I've seen in ages. They use some sort of end butt splice device for romex that is not in a j box, they bundled wires, this is not allowed in our area, the wires are not stapled incorrectly and heaven knows what else that you can't see.

I called the factory and their explaination is that state codes superceed any local rules and they are doing the work accord to state rules. I did find out that they use the International Electrical Code but I don't believe its that much different.

Also the local authorities unless they find something bad they will let this trash go. It appears that the manufacturers of modular homes have politically passed laws that favor them and the main stream electrical industry has ingored this type of construction, I won't say these home are unsafe but they look like Homer the Handyman wired them.

I think is sort construction should be forced to have quality or has to made to comply with local ordinances.

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#172494 - 12/20/07 10:23 AM Re: Modular Homes [Re: jdo1942]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
It is something of a sore point ... how can they justify following a different set of rules?

Yet, to be fair, mobile homes / modular homes / etc. are something of a different product than a site built home. Depending upon the details of the installation, they may not be considered 'homes' at all, simply trailers, exempt from all building codes.

The manufacturers have been able to make a pretty convincing case for their methods being as good, or better, that 'the usual' methods. A major element of this is the testing and inspection done at the factory.

Recently, I was under such a pre-fab building. I was impressed by the construction; I'll take that welded steel frame over I-joists any time.

I will also concede that their design, and the materials that they use, make any future repair or changes almost impossible. I suppose they learned that trick from Detroit ... When such buildings do have problems, it is almost always the result of someone's attempt to 'improve' the design - or simple old age.

#172495 - 12/20/07 10:48 AM Re: Modular Homes [Re: jdo1942]  
sparkyinak  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,328
Welcome to the world of trailer wiring. Brings a whole new meaning to trailer trash. The trailer manufacturers has a "loop hole". Trailers are built in a "factory" therefore they fall under a different set of rules. If the manufacturing process to includes the wiring is under an engineering control environment, then the person doing the wiring as well as the materials do not have to meet local building codes. This is true with modular homes, buildings, and RV's as well. It is no differnt then some of the equipment we work on. Lets say we are required to bring #10 wires in for power and we land them on a lugs that have #14 on the load side. We are not resposible for the equipments wiring just connecting the power correctly. This is typical on motors.

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

#172496 - 12/20/07 10:51 AM Re: Modular Homes [Re: renosteinke]  
gfretwell  Offline

Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 9,142
That connector is the Amp Enerflex. I have even seen it suggested that they could be used in stick built homes as a way to deal with the old 60c wire ceiling box problem. 334.21 is somewhat ambiguous on this.,2299,2307&pn=020816902

Greg Fretwell

#172497 - 12/20/07 11:41 AM Re: Modular Homes [Re: gfretwell]  
sparkyinak  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,328
Those connectors are UL listed. They are for RV's, trailers, and modulars. See UL White Page

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

#172498 - 12/20/07 11:51 AM Re: Modular Homes [Re: sparkyinak]  
Jim M  Offline
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 457
Chestertown, MD, USA
Is this a modular or a manufactured home?

Manufactured homes used to be called mobile homes or trailers.

Modular homes are just stick built in a factory and assembled like Legos in the field with a crane to set them.

#172501 - 12/20/07 12:03 PM Re: Modular Homes [Re: Jim M]  
SteveFehr  Offline
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,213
Chesapeake, VA
If trailers are excempt from building codes when they're manufactured, are they excempt from codes to modify them, too? I can't see them allowing certain methods of construction, then turning around and forcing the whole thing upgraded the first time you touch a receptacle...

#172503 - 12/20/07 12:06 PM Re: Modular Homes [Re: Jim M]  
sparkyinak  Offline
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 1,328
To keep it simple, if it was wired in a factory and the purpose of it is to live in it, these connecters can be used as NEC allows in 545, 550, and 551 and 336. Keep in mind the AHJ and local codes may say otherwise

"Live Awesome!" - Kevin Carosa

#172514 - 12/20/07 02:53 PM Re: Modular Homes [Re: sparkyinak]  
Theelectrikid  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 810
Levittown, PA
Reason # 1 I hate trailers. (Yes, I include modulars in that too, A trailer is a trailer is a trailer IMO), the structure, electrical, and HVAC suck, and quality is nowhere to be found.

Not to mention you need a lot of drywall compound to fill the (what seems like) millions of cracks they get traveling down the road.

Ian A.

Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?

#172580 - 12/21/07 02:39 PM Re: Modular Homes [Re: Theelectrikid]  
KJay  Offline
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 763
The last time I did a modular home hookup was several years ago, but I always cut those cheap AMP connectors off an installed 4-squares in the basement or crawl space.
The reason for this is because I had a service call at another modular previously and found that the connection in one of those cheesy AMP snap-together connectors was burnt from a poor fit. Maybe they have changed a bit since then, but I doesn't sound like it.

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