Manufactured Homes

For years the term for a mobile home has varied.  First they were trailer houses.  (Often that term was shortened to “trailer.”)  Then they were “mobile homes.”    Now we refer to them as Manufactured Homes.

As far back as the early 1900s Sears, Roebuck, and Co. had a mail order house.  It came shipped in sections on a railroad flat car.  My father bought one and set it on his homestead.  That building is still being used.

For awhile there was a home built locally which was another form of manufactured home.  It was a pre-built structure.  These pre-built structures were completely furnished and came in two sections and sat on a foundation.

Because they were being transported, they had extra bracing in the attic.  As the electrical contractor we had to install a service when they were set up on the site.  The pre-built company would install junction boxes in the attic so that the wiring for the two sections could be spliced.

Sometimes there was extra work involved because the houses would be set with the wrong end toward the electrical service supply pole.  If the home owner also wanted a garage, then there would be more work in wiring the garage after it was added to the home.

For awhile these homes would be shipped in from Canada.  Since Canada and Washington State have different electrical codes, there were times when the home would sit at the border while changes were made to the wiring so that it could be imported into Washington.  Sometimes the delay was several days.

On one of the locations where a pre-built structure was being set up, there were already a number of buildings on site.  We had to make adjustments in the wiring for the entire site.

Installing what I refer to as mobile homes, I personally did the work on about 400 homes; about half of them I did alone.  Doing so called for good co-operation between the owners, the haulers, the other crafts and the inspectors.

I don’t think I ever did two that were alike.

One Comment

  1. Tom says:

    I am working on a manufactured home I bought and I needed to put a GFCI in the kitchen. I found that the receptacle had romex? wired in and out of the plug, but they were not in a box and the plug and switch had wings on the sides so they worked like a reworked box when you tighten the screws on the corners. My question is, are these special receptacles and switches and wiring?

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