I was having trouble with my lights flickering, then the power went out totally. I checked the main breaker inside, and it was not tripped so I went out to the disconnect at the meter and found that it was tripped there.

I reset the breaker, and the power came back on.

The next day some circuits were dead but others still worked, so I checked the disconnect again and saw that one side of the the prong the breaker attaches to for hot was loose and not on the frame. When I tried to seat it, the breaker felt loose so I shut it off and called the maintenance guy.

They changed out the box and the 100 amp disconnect. While doing so they arced the hot wire to the box almost starting a fire, but they were able to get the box replaced and the power back on.

The problem is that now I only have one hot 120v leg in my mobile home. The outside disconnect has 240v across both legs, 120v between each hot and neutral. I noticed that it only has 3 wires, which go underground and come out under the house as 4 wires: red, black, white and green.

Inside, the panel has a 100 amp breaker. Red and black are hot, white and green go to neutral and ground which are joined together.

I show 120v from each leg to ground and 240v across both legs with the main on.

With the hot water heater breaker off and the main on I show 120v from one hot leg to ground, 0v from the other leg to ground, and 120v across both legs. Resetting all breakers has not helped.

I am concerned that the wires may have shorted between the point that the 3 wires leave the outside disconnect, and enter the house with the 4th (ground) wire.

The ground seems okay in the disconnect, and there is 240v across the hot legs. If there was a problem with the neutral or the ground, wouldn't I have problems with both legs?

Right now I have all the 240v breakers off and show no signs of trouble. The 120v circuits that are on the remaining leg shows 120v in all the plugs that are hot, and the lights seem fine. Is there something I am missing, or anything else that could have caused one leg to be dead?

  • picture would help a lot. Is it possible that when they "fixed it" they burned up one of the main breakers and your only getting one HOT into the panel? I also suspect the wrong type (brand) of breakers have been installed in the stabs and dont fit properly. again, pics will tell this story too.
    – mark f
    Nov 11, 2020 at 15:28
  • The breaker they installed was used but it shows that 220 on the the the lines leaving the outside disconnect
    – John Minks
    Nov 12, 2020 at 15:10
  • Check right b4 they get buried in your home if you’re getting 120v on both legs, your can turn your main breaker off too and you should see what leg is faulty probably a rotten wire by pole or home, currently with the same problem
    – user141838
    Sep 22, 2021 at 1:45

1 Answer 1


To me it sounds like one of your hot leads to the mobile home was damaged. Turn every breaker off but leave the main on and you will probably see one leg is dead.

My guess is with the smaller breakers on there was enough pass through to provide a voltage, remove the opportunity for this to happen and the bad leg shows up.

How can this happen? I’m my experience it is usually the water heater turning on or trying to so there is voltage on both legs but no potential difference. Open or turn all breakers off and that will usually provide the dead leg.

Someone working with a live circuit like that should have the training and gear to do it safety it is obvious they don’t and should not have done this.

  • With all the breakers off and the main on I show 120 on one side and 2 on the other now with that side dead what should it show across the two hubs I show 121 with the breakers on I show 120 on one side and 115 on the other and 5 across
    – John Minks
    Nov 13, 2020 at 1:47
  • That is what I expected. Turn the main off and check at the disconnect. If one leg is dead at the disconnect the bozos may have burned/ blown the line fuse on the pole , and you will need to call the power company. If the leg is good the wiring is damaged usually at the connections but I have seen cables blown apart mid run in conduit but more often direct burial. Let’s hope it’s just the line fuse and the power company can replace it call them and tell them that you have a power failure. To protect your stuff turn all 240 breakers off (double pole) at that point the one good leg should work.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 13, 2020 at 14:12
  • What should the voltage reading be across the 2 with a dead leg it depends what is on the 240v loads I have seen 360v but that was a transformer that caused that, this is why I say turn off 240v devices. Most residential units will read about what you are but there are many factors that can swing the voltage including the quality of your meter. Resistive loads like a water heater you may see the same voltage to ground on both sides or close but across them anything is possible from 0 to 360v
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 13, 2020 at 14:23
  • I am not sure but last time we had problems I took readings on at main and would get like 120 on both sides to neutral and 0 across with the breaker on with it off I would get 120 on the good side and 0 across and 0 to neutral on on the bad side now I'm getting 120 to 125 on each side to neutral and 120 acr
    – John Minks
    Nov 13, 2020 at 22:36
  • Did you open the main in the house? Or turn off all the breakers and then take the measurements at the disconnect? If when you do this you don’t have 240v call the power company you cannot fix it. If there is 240 call your handyman because when they shorted the service the feeder was damaged between the house and the disconnect, I would bet it took out the line fuse on the pole again that is the power company’s responsibility if it’s been windy tell them you have an outage and they usually replace the fuse for free . Don’t tell them about the work or they may require a inspection.
    – Ed Beal
    Nov 13, 2020 at 23:08

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