Q:

How does motorhome wiring differ from standard home wiring?

A:

Quick Answer

The wiring in mobile homes typically travels directly through the walls from the circuit breaker. Unlike standard homes, mobile homes are generally wired with one-piece switches and receptacles. Standard home wiring and mobile home wiring must both meet electrical codes using approved wires and other parts, such as switches, conductors and outlets.

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Full Answer

As in standard homes, mobile home wiring consists of plastic-covered cables, electrical boxes at circuit connections, connecting wires and circuit breakers. The wiring to the outlets is secured to the wall studs and is located beneath the exterior siding. In most cases, crossover junction wiring and service outlets are located underneath double wide mobile homes. Large appliances, such as stoves and refrigerators, generally have a dedicated circuit because they use more power than other items.

Double- and triple-wide homes typically have a power distribution panel in one section of the home that sends current into the other section or sections. Generally, all the outlets on each wall run off a single circuit. Most circuits draw around 15,000 watts of electricity. New model mobile homes are often equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters, which help prevent circuit overload and reduce the risk of electrical shocks.

Older mobile homes, especially those manufactured between 1965 and 1971, are often wired with aluminum wires. This type of wire, which is cheaper than copper wire, can become a fire hazard if the terminals overheat. Some signs of overheating include the smell of burning plastic, warm switch plates and lights that flicker. Owners of older-model homes should have a professional electrician inspect the wiring to ensure that it is safe.

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