Modular homes often get a bad rep and are considered unconventional in their building. However, they adhere to many of the same guidelines that standard homes do.
Electrical wiring is no exception. Modular homes strictly adhere to the NEC and the process is very similar to a standard home with only one difference.
How are modular homes wired? What’s the difference? We’ll get into all of that and more below!
How Are Modular Homes Wired?
Unlike standard homes, most modular homes are built from the inside out. When the home is being produced, the home gets wired based on the (National Electric Code). It will also follow the layout of your home.
The NEC ensures electrical safety in your home. It’s reviewed often and was designed to keep you safe from any electrical mishaps.
Professionals must adhere to these guidelines. It’s not recommended you or a friend tamper with the wiring of your home unless certified.
Despite the wiring being completed from the inside first, the overall process is completed in the same manner as a standard home.
Process of Wiring a Modular Home
As mentioned above, the wiring is done first before the interior and exterior drywall is complete. The types of electrical boxes, switch locations, and outlets depend on the layout of your home.
You won’t have to worry about adding extra outlets or switches in your home to make up for large spaces. You will have already decided where to place them and how many you want.
Modular homes follow the NEC standards with your plans in mind. The wiring system starts at your roof area.
The type of wiring needed for your rooms gets “pulled” through the roof. Drilled holes by the electrician or builder will mark the areas where wiring is needed.
The wire is then run through electrical boxes where your switches, lights, and outlets will be located. The components are installed and connected.
Since this process happens before the interior walls are completed, nail plates are used. These plates protect any wiring from punctures.
Your main panel with the circuit breakers gets attached but not installed until your home reaches your property. Then, an electrician will set up the main panel and ensure the wiring is correct and working.
A few notes to keep in mind. If you plan to have exterior lighting at any point, it’s best to include that in your electrical plans.
Ask for this wiring to be completed at the same time as the other wiring as opposed to waiting until you get the home to your property. Why? It will cost less and won’t take any extra time to set up.
Basement or attic wiring must be installed based on your state and local code. These spaces are considered wet areas and need ground fault installation.
Larger appliances will need higher volts. Most companies will run the wiring where necessary.
However, if you plan to have many large appliances in your kitchen or laundry room, let them know. You don’t want to end up tripping breakers or using unsafe methods, like an extension cord, to run them.
Take the extra time to look over the electrical floor plans with your company. This could end up saving you money in the long run.
There’s more to wiring than just placing wires. There are components needed besides wires to get your electricity working.
Outlets/Receptacles – Typical outlets that you’d plug your phone or microwave into have 120 volts. These outlets will be placed around your modular home depending on where you want them.
You may decide to have three or four in your room instead of the standard two outlets. Heavier appliances will need a 240- or 220-volt outlet.
This outlet will be used for your washer, dryer, or electric stove. You can’t use a standard outlet for these appliances because it will cause you to trip the breaker and lose power. It’s also a safety issue.
These different outlets will require different types of wiring to the box too.
Wires – The NEC has a standard for the type of wiring used. They require home electrical wires to be protected and enclosed when installing receptacles, fixtures, or switches.
Generally, the most common type of home wire installed for electrical circuits is Type Non-Metallic (NM). This sheathed cable is made of a pair of insulated wire conductors and a bare wire for a ground conductor.
The ground conductor is bonded throughout the entire home to keep the home safe from the electrical discharge appliances release. The grounding wire/conductor connects back to the main panel or box.
The insulated wire conductors inside the Type NM cable prevent overheating and fires. Electricity flows through and naturally gets hot but the conductors limit the flow in amperage.
Other wires like THHN or THWN are commonly used for unfinished areas like basements or garages. UF cables are used for major circuit wiring and to power outdoor fixtures.
Switches – Switches are what control your lights or power a room.
Main Panel – The main panel or fuse box is usually placed near the meter. It’s the central point that distributes all the electrical current to the switches, receptacles, and powers your appliances.
Electrical Boxes – There are a few types of electrical boxes. These boxes hold wiring for lights, ceiling fans, outdoor fixtures, and more.
For example, a junction box (not actually a special type) encloses wire splices. Rectangular boxes hold switches and outlets. Ceiling fan boxes require a special box and fastening to withstand rotation and weight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does it cost a lot to rewire a modular home?
It costs the same amount to rewire a modular home as a standard home. On average, it costs around $4,000 for a 1,500 square foot home. Depending on where you live it could cost more. The larger your home, the more it costs.
Do I need to pay extra for electricity on my modular home?
Short answer, yes. You will need to pay around $2,000 to $4,000 to connect the wiring from the outside meter to your home’s main panel.
If you have additions like a garage, basement, or attic the cost can rise. The costs come from the wiring to the addition to the main panel and extra circuits or boxes may be required.
Only licensed professionals can install these electrical wires to your boxes and meter.
The electrical wiring in modular homes isn’t any different from a standard home except for the initial installation process. While you can’t perform the wiring yourself, you still play a major role in the process.
You will look over the electrical plans and decide how many outlets you need and where they’ll be located. The location and how many heavy-duty appliances you have will also affect the plans.
Once it’s decided, the modular home company can begin building your home!