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electrifier, Master Electrician
Category: Electrical
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Experience:  Electrical contractor and electrical inspector for over 24 years with phone and networking expertise
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Question. I have a mobile home with a double 50 amp breakers

Customer Question

Question. I have a mobile home with a double 50 amp breakers coming in to the main panel. I have 7- 15 amp breakers and 3- 20 amp breakers with one double 30 amp for the ac. i have tested all the circuits and none of the exceed the 20% usage of the circuit they are on when all appliances are on. I would like to add a spa to this panel and they are requiring a 50 amp single phase 230v breaker which with in turn run a sub panel for the spa with a 20 amp breaker and a 30 amp breaker. how do i determine if this will over load me main service?

I understand by the spa company that for 90% of the time the spa will only be using the 20 amp breaker for the heat and circ pump the only time it will rarely use full demand is when its cold out and i have all jets turned on at the same time.

but when its cold out i will not be using the A/C in the house so would this be like a swap in power usage as rarely the two largest power using items in the home will be used at the same time.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Outside of your mobile home where is your service disconnect located and how many amps is it?
Do you have extra space in this box?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The disconnect is a double 50 amp

yes in the panel i have two open spaces available
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Are you saying this is a 50 amp 2 pole breaker? Is there a 100 amp main breaker anywhere in the panel?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
no its just two 50 amp breakers with a bar in between attaching them. so im assuming its a two pole 50? this is in the main disconnect box on the meeter
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Yes, that is a 2 pole 50 amp breaker.
Can you describe the box with this 50 amp breaker in it?
Does the home plug in with a cord or is it hardwired to this panel?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
the house is plugged into the bottom side of the box
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Ok, this must be an older home then since it plugs into a 50 amp receptacle.
Is there room for more breakers in the box with the 50 amp breaker on the pole?
What is this outside box with the 50 amp breaker rated?
Please answer all 3 of these questions.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The house is a 1997
yes two extra spots in panel
main connection box is model 2-s-50
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
This 1997 mobile home requires a 100 amp service disconnect but it sounds like someone just installed a new home with the old cord.
Where are you located?
Did you buy it this way or have it installed new 12 years ago or so?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I bought it new. it was installed in an older park. all wiring is new with the home. the cord was installed from the panel by the manufacture . of the home. nothing was changed.
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Where are you located?
Why didn't the park do the proper service upgrade at the time the home went in?
Is the plug in panel a "Boyle Power Outlet" with a 50 amp plug and a 120 volt duplex?
Cords are NOT factory installed. They are installed illegally by dealers to "just get by".
Now you want to install a hot tub and you can't do it. You don't have enough power to do so.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
All the homes in the park are all on the same power. two 50 amp breakers even the new ones being put in currently,   as for the up grade i have no idea. most likely comes down to money.

the plug in the panel has no label. so i dont know if it is a boyel outlet or a 50 amp plug and a 120 volt duplex

so would there be around this? possibly wire in a sub panel one for the mobile home and one to go to the spa? instead of installing another breaker into the house panel?

on the circuit i know there is about 6 homes on this leg for the park.
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
It is a code violation to install anything new to the panel in the mobile home. It must be connected to the service panel outside the home.
I once inspected a trailer park like this and they had a fit when I made them do the services correctly. You're right it's all about money. You must connect your hot tub to the panel outside the house. If there is just a single pole breaker available then you can't do it. The plug and cord is only appoved for 50 amps and your tub requires that from what you've said.
Where are you located? Some states have different codes, some cities have their own code. It all depends on where you are located.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i live in alpine CA

what is the difference between a single pole and a double pole breaker? i do have two 50 amp breakers is that not considered a double pole breaker?

the spa actually gets wired into a sub panel that the spa company provides with a gfi and thin splits the 50 amp into a 20 and 30 amp breaker the spa actually runs 120 volts not 230.
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Your breaker is a double pole breaker, it is not 2 breakers at all.
GFCI protection for a hot tub is very important. These "spa pack" sub panels that get fed with a 50 amp feed, 4 insulated conductors, no cable with bare ground, must go within site of the tub, etc. Your service is not code compliant in the first place. If you contact your local electrical inspector about the problem I'm sure the park will have to bring things into compliance code wise. I can tell it's on older park based on pre 1976 homes when they were 50 amps and cord supplied. Over the years they just haven't ever done any upgrades to anything. I'm sure there is never a building permit to put in a new home in the park, no permits of any kind. now they are so far out of compliance it will take them thousands of dollars to bring everything up to the proper code for what they have. You on the other hand are being screwed by the park because you only have 50 amps available to your site total and you are restricted with what you can do. It's not fair to you in any manner.
electrifier and other Electrical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Well thin i dont know how they are getting passed i do know the new homes have all passed inspection and were properly permitted as i have talked to the mgr who was in charge of setting the homes. and have seen the inspector out here. I guess its no spa for me. but i dont know how i can run an a/c with a 30/30 when in realty the spa will draw less than the condenser and fan together.

thanks for your help.

Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
Are you in Alpine Oaks?
All I can tell you is the legal way to do your electrical project. If someone installed a sub panel next to the panel on the pedistal and powered the spa from there it would not be associated with the home wiring at all. This could make it work but it could possibly cause other problems down the road in other parts of the electrical system. All an electrician can do is install it by the code using the loads provided by the manufacture when the spa/hot tub is built. We can't do anything else. Lots of things can be cobbled together and they will work but we as licensed contractors can't suggest doing things that way, I could never live with myself if I did that type of thing.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes i live in alpine oaks

so if i went the rout of installing a sub panel right off of the main disconnect and connect the house to it and thin the 50 amp breaker needed for the spa and go out from there to the disconnect gfi the spa company provides. will that be to code?
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
You could make it just as safe if not safer then you have it now but what you currently have is nowhere close to code compliant. To do the house to code it must have a 4 wire conduit feeder from a 100 amp breaker just for starters. Everything in front of the house must be rated for 100 amps, you don't simply take out the 50 amp breaker and stick in a 100 amp breaker. This would normally have to be done by a licensed electrical contractor as it is not a single family dwelling. It's a commercial mobile home park. Every question you ask will bring up 2 or 3 more questions. This is quite complicated when you get down to it.
I'm in Michigan so I'm not sure of all the legalities of administrative requirements for the code in California. It takes me a bit of investigation to get the answer sometimes but I am resourceful and can get your answer for you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I just opened up the the main disconnect and it has 4 feeders into the disconnect box two black one white and one ground. but the breakers are not 100 they are 50. could the wiring be up to code but the just dont have the appropriate breakers in the disconnect box?
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
No, for years the requirement has been a 100 amp service for every dwelling. Your mobile home is HUD approved and 100 amps. It requires a hardwired feeder from a 100 amp breaker, not a 50 amp cable that plugs in. It sounds like SD County doesn't pay too close attention to this if everything is inspected that goes into your park. This leaves you as the loser because you can't add electrical devices that should be able to be added if you had the required 100 amp service.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
i went into the parks breaker room were the hole park service comes in and thin goes out. my street is serviced buy a two poll 240 volt 100 amp breaker that leg comes to my home. at my house the disconnect turns into the two pole 50 were the home plugs in
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
The whole park must be upgraded. Your home requires a 100 amp service. How many trailers on your 100 amp leg?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I believe 6
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
6 Mobile homes have a 29% demand factor. In other words 6 trailers at 100 amps must be fed with a 174 amp circuit. 6 X 100 X .29 = 174 amps
For the old 50 amp homes it would be 1/2 of 174 amps or 87 amps for the 6 homes.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
is there any law making the owner to upgrade the park?
Expert:  electrifier replied 7 years ago.
In order to install a hud approved house the service must be upgraded. When you increase the load on your "street" the 100 amp feed is not enough. etc etc etc. Yes they can be forced to upgrade IF the local inspectors make them do it. If the locals don't make them you must go to the State of California depending on how the electrical code is written in California. Here in Michigan it would be required quite easily but I don't know about California. I've never seen how the codes are written and adopted there. There are just too many states to learn them all.

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