How to Hook Up Electricity to a Mobile Home?

how do mobile homes get water and electricity

When it comes to powering your mobile home, a power pole and meter box are essential components that allow you access to the national power grid. These components are designed to help provide reliable and consistent power to your home, making it possible for you to enjoy all the comforts of modern living without having to worry about power outages. Whether you’re a low-income homeowner looking to save on energy costs or simply looking to increase your property value, installing a power pole and meter box can be a smart investment.

When it comes to installing a power pole and meter box, it’s important to choose the right site and make sure that it meets all local regulations and safety requirements. You’ll also want to contact a professional to ensure that the installation is done correctly and that you’re able to fully utilize the power grid

What is a Power Pole & Meter Box?

The power pole and the meter box are two essential pieces of electrical equipment without which no home can have access to the grid. The power pole or the service pole is there to bring the wire from the grid to the home. It can bring power to both a regular and a mobile home. However, the power does not simply go straight into the property. Before that, it needs to go through the meter box, with its power meter or electricity meter. 

The electricity meter is there to measure the amount of electricity used. Without it, there is no electrical service, even with the service pole installed. Although the pole and the meter box are characteristic of overhead service, such as can be found in the suburbs, more densely populated areas use meter pedestals alone. There is no need for power poles like in the overhead service, as the electricity reaches the property through the underground service. 


A power pole is a critical component of an electrical system that provides access to the national power grid for a mobile home. It is a sturdy metal, wooden, or concrete structure that is anchored into the ground to ensure stability. The power pole typically comprises a mast, crossarms, and insulators that securely hold the electrical wires and cables in place. These components are built to meet the standards set by the National Electric Code and are designed to withstand various weather conditions, such as strong winds and lightning.

The meter box is another essential component of a mobile home’s electrical system. It is usually mounted near the power pole and is responsible for measuring the amount of electricity that is consumed. The meter box contains a meter that is connected to the national power grid and provides an accurate reading of the electricity consumption. It also helps to ensure that the electricity consumption is accurately billed to the homeowner. The meter box is made of durable materials, such as metal, to ensure long-lasting performance and protection against theft or damage. Like the power pole, it is also built to meet the standards set by the National Electric Code.


There are several types of power poles and meters. As they go in tandem, it is not necessary to break them apart. In general, there are four kinds of electrical service that can be delivered to your property. If you would like to install one, you should consider the following types of power service: 

  1. Single-phase overhead
  2. Three-phase overhead
  3. Single-phase underground, and 
  4. Three-phase underground. 

Single-Phase Overhead Service

As its name implies, single-phase overhead electric service consists of a single wire, or phase, carrying electrical current to the home or business. This type of service is common, providing electrical service to the majority of homes and small businesses in the United States. Single-phase service is provided to homes and businesses by utilities at 120 or 240 volts. 

Three-Phase Overhead Service

Three-phase electric service is a type of electrical power service that uses three wires to deliver electricity to homes and businesses. It is the most common type of electrical service in the United States, and it is also used in many other countries around the world. Three-phase electric service is very reliable and efficient. It can provide a higher level of power than single-phase. 

Single-Phase Underground Service

Single-phase underground electric service is a type of electrical service that is used in some homes and businesses. It is created by running two wires, a hot wire and a neutral wire, underground to the home or business. The hot wire is carrying the current, or electricity, while the neutral wire is there to complete the circuit. This type of electrical service is different from the more common three-phase underground electric service, which uses three wires instead of two. 

Three-Phase Underground Service

Three-phase electrical service is a type of electrical power generation, transmission, and distribution system that serves industrial and commercial customers. It is the electrical standard in most of the world, even outside of the US. Three-phase service is more efficient than single-phase service and can transmit power over longer distances. In a residential setting, it is generally used to power large homes, especially those with large major appliances and/or a hot tub


The installation process of a power pole and meter box for mobile home typically involves a few key steps. First, the site must be prepared and the proper permits obtained. Next, the power pole is installed in the ground, ensuring it is securely anchored and meets national electric code standards. The meter box is then mounted on the power pole, and the necessary electrical connections are made. Finally, the electrical inspection is performed to ensure everything is up to code and working properly. It is important to note that only licensed electricians should perform the installation to ensure safe and proper operation.

Mobile Home Power Poles

There are several types of mobile home power poles available, each designed to meet specific requirements. Here are a few common types:

  • Permanent Power Pole: This type of power pole is installed into the ground and is meant to be a permanent solution. It is typically made of metal and is anchored securely into the ground.
  • Temporary Power Pole: This type of power pole is designed to be used temporarily and is typically made of wood or metal. It is easy to install and can be removed when no longer needed.
  • Portable Power Pole: This type of power pole is designed to be easily moved from one location to another. It is typically made of metal and is collapsible for easy transportation.
  • Concrete Power Pole: This type of power pole is made of concrete and is installed into the ground. It is meant to be a permanent solution and is typically used in locations where the soil conditions make it difficult to install a metal pole.
  • Guyed Power Pole: This type of power pole is supported by cables that are anchored into the ground. It is typically used in areas where high winds are a concern.

It is important to choose the right type of power pole for your needs based on your location and other factors. Consult with a professional for advice on which type of power pole is best for you.

Wire Sizes

There are several sizes of power pole wire available in the US, and the size you choose will determine how much power you can use in your home. The most common sizes of power pole wire include #2/0, #4/0, and #1/0. The larger the number, the larger the wire size, and the more power it can safely conduct. 

The size you choose will depend on the amount of power you need for your home and the distance from the power pole to your home. It’s important to consult with a professional electrician to determine the correct wire size for your specific needs, as incorrect sizing can lead to safety hazards and power outages. Additionally, it’s important to follow the National Electric Code (NEC) requirements for power pole wiring to ensure safety. 

Requirements for a Mobile Home Power Pole

  • In order to have the electric meter installed on the home, you must have a HUD-approved home from the manufacturer. 
  • If you live in a home that is mobile but installed on a permanent foundation (still not a site-built home), you could get the meter installed ON the home.
  • The service equipment and meter cannot be further than 30 feet from the home. 
  • When installing a grounding rod, they must be 8 feet in length and at least 6 feet apart from each other. They can be made of aluminum or copper, but the material has to match the wiring material used to deliver power to your home. 
  • The top of the rods has to be below ground. 
  • Any outside receptacles must have GFCI protection and they have to be protected from the elements.

Electric Service: Site-Built Home vs Mobile Homes

In the United States, site-built homes typically have a main panel located in the home that distributes electricity throughout the various locations within the home. In contrast, mobile homes often require a sub-panel that is attached to the main power pole and meter box outside of the home. The subpanel distributes electricity to various locations within the mobile home. 

Additionally, site-built homes typically have more electrical power requirements compared to mobile homes, as they are typically larger in size and have more electrical appliances. The electrical service required for site-built homes and mobile homes can vary depending on the specific location and individual circumstances. However, it is important to note that both types of homes must adhere to the NEC and have their electrical systems installed and maintained by licensed professionals.


How Long is the Lifespan of a Mobile Home?

An average mobile home can last anywhere between 30-50 years. In reality, it can last much longer, with proper insulation, water insulation, and regular maintenance, such as inspection for rodents, wiring inspection, and other regular service audits. Manufactured homes and RVs are very vulnerable to these attacks, but regular inspection keeps issues at bay. 

Do Mobile Homes Use More Electricity?

Depending on how well they are made, mobile homes can actually use less electricity than regular homes. This is especially true in the summer, when smaller windows keep the heat outside, where it belongs. Mobile homes can easily be fitted with solar panels, solar boilers, and other simple tech that can reduce your power use. 

Is it Worth Fixing Up an Old Mobile Home?

Yes, fixing up an old mobile home can be worth the investment. In most cases, you will be able to recover a part of the expenses by simply living there and not having to pay the rent. Many people decide to make their old mobile homes into offices, work or workout spaces or to make them be of some kind of service. Very beaten-down mobile homes may not be worth the investment, especially if you plan on living here, especially if the structural integrity is compromised. 

How Much is Meter Box Installation?

A meter box installation cost depends on your utility company and the service equipment that may need to be installed. An electric meter is generally covered by the utility company itself, but installing cables, the box around it, and connecting it to your home can cost an additional $50 to $500. 


A power pole and meter box are crucial components of a mobile home’s electrical system. The installation process involves setting up the power pole, connecting the meter box, and running the required wiring. It is important to make sure that the panel and wiring are properly attached to meet the requirements of the national electric code. If you have any questions or concerns about your mobile home’s power pole and meter box, it is recommended to reach out to a licensed electrician. 

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