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trailertraveler

Surge Guard 34830 plug replacement

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I need to replace the female 30 amp plug on my surge guard 34830. There are four wires in the cord exiting the 34830; the standard Black, White, Green and a small blue wire (about 16 gauge). The factory plug is a molded plug and I have not been able to access it to view the connections.  My question is which terminal does the blue wire get attached to?

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12 minutes ago, trailertraveler said:

The factory plug is a molded plug and I have not been able to access it to view the connections.  My question is which terminal does the blue wire get attached to?

I have done exactly what you are planning but mine did have the blue wire and the same was true for the plug that I replaced it with. What I did was to open the Surge Guard and remove the old plug and replaced it with a new pigtail of the same type.

                        711nJ8W4bBL._AC_UL436_.jpg

You can find what I used on Amazon for $10.54 if you don't find it locally.

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11 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

I have done exactly what you are planning but mine did have the blue wire and the same was true for the plug that I replaced it with.

Kirk,

I am confused by your post. Did your Surge Guard have a fourth wire or not? Mine definitely does as I have already removed the old molded plug. I have used the premade pigtails before and none of them had four wires just the typical Black, White and Green. The product that you link to does not indicate that it has four wires?

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Can you get an ohm meter into that blue wire circuit??? If so use it to see what terminal it connects to and what if any resistance is present. It may simply be a shield or extra ground connection but if you can get connected to it you should be able to ohm it out to see where its attached. THAT IS IF YOU CAN STILL REPLICATE HOW IT WAS CONNECTED TO WHAT WAS REMOVED??? Even if you removed it you should be able to get an ohm meter onto the blue wire and see what terminal (if any) it was attached to, maybe some sort of an extra outer cable shield not on any of the terminals???

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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3 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

Did your Surge Guard have a fourth wire or not? Mine definitely does as I have already removed the old molded plug.

It did not but if you open the Surge Guard you can easily see where that extra wire goes. Since you have already cut the plug off I would think you need to open it anyway just to make sure where it goes. Or you might be able to measure with your ohm meter between it on what is left of the old plug to each of it's pins to determine what it was connected to. I have worked on several models of Surge Guard and have never seen the wire you mention. I'd be very interested to know what it is for. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Since you have already cut the plug off I would think you need to open it anyway just to make sure where it goes.

I really do not want to break the seal on the unit. I did that on a previous one of the old style and it did not last long afterward due to moisture getting into the unit despite the use of lots of sealant. I do not understand how seeing where the wire is connected inside the unit will tell me which plug terminal it should connect to. Using the Ohm meter, I get a reading when connecting the blue wire to the green ground on the output side. No reading on the black or white. When I connect the blue wire to the input side, I get readings on all three prongs of the plug.

Edited by trailertraveler

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10 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

I do not understand how seeing where the wire is connected inside the unit will tell me which plug terminal it should connect to. Using the Ohm meter, I get a reading when connecting the blue wire to the green ground on the output side.

 Good morning traveler, You say you already removed the old molded plug, and you cant hurt it anymore, so can you cut away more insulation or molding and get into the "blue wire" in question to ohm out to which, if any, terminals its connected to as I described in my post above ??

10 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

I get a reading when connecting the blue wire to the green ground on the output side. No reading on the black or white.

  That comes as no surprise to me. As I posted above, perhaps its an extra outer shield/braid/protectant of some sort used on the factory installation ?

As above I still see use of an ohm meter as one possible method to figure out what the "blue wire" is used for.

Let me know what you find, this is a mystery I'm unfamiliar with and look forward to what you discover. Were never too old to learn I figure

 John T

 

Edited by oldjohnt

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1 hour ago, oldjohnt said:

can you cut away more insulation or molding and get into the "blue wire" in question to ohm out to which, if any, terminals its connected to as I described in my post above ??

One of the problems with replacing the female plug on these units is that they do not leave much of a pigtail between the box and the plug. Unfortunately in my attempt to have as much wire as possible, I unknowingly cut/ground through the back of the ground terminal destroying the connections. I was able to access the ends of the other terminals and it appears that there is only one wire attached to each. The remains of the blue wire were closest to the ground terminal.

I do have the male input pigtail from a previous unit that sacrificed itself in a severe lighting storm. Not sure that it means anything but that pigtail also has a small blue wire which according to the Ohm meter is connected to the ground prong of the plug.

With the frequency with which plugs get damaged, I am a little surprised no one else has encountered this.

Quote

I have worked on several models of Surge Guard and have never seen the wire you mention. I'd be very interested to know what it is for.

Having had several Surge Guards over the years, I think it appeared with the generation of models that would not pass power rather than just identifying faults with a blinking light. As mentioned above, this is the second unit I have had that had this configuration.   

Edited by trailertraveler

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9 minutes ago, trailertraveler said:

Having had several Surge Guards over the years, I

Which model do you have? I was thinking of the 34830 or 34850 which is the complete line protector but if you are dealing with one of the surge protection only devices, that would explain why yours is different from the ones that I have worked on. Could the one you have also have built-in GFI?

As to opening one of them, I found that you do need one of the "tamper proof" Torx tools to open it but if done carefully the seal gasket can be reused.  I have worked on several of them over the years and know of no problems for moisture afterward. If you ship it back to TRC they do repair them. 

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

Which model do you have? I was thinking of the 34830 or 34850

As stated in the Topic's title and my first post, it is a Model 34830. The four wires are visible in this photo as is the Model #:

surge guard.jpg

Edited by trailertraveler

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14 hours ago, Kirk W said:

I have worked on several models of Surge Guard and have never seen the wire you mention. I'd be very interested to know what it is for. 

I finally got in touch with TRC Technical Services. The blue wire is for a thermocouple to detect high heat in the plug. It is molded into their custom made plugs. The tech representative said that the unit will function properly without it other than shutting down for high heat at that connection. Since the plug got hot enough to be damaged without shutting down, I am not that concerned about loosing that feature.

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1 hour ago, trailertraveler said:

The blue wire is for a thermocouple to detect high heat in the plug. It is molded into their custom made plugs.

THANKS trailer man. We all learned something that's GREAT. I'm like you I wouldn't be all that much worried without it, just keep an eye on things and you should be fine. Being black if in direct sunlight on a bright day now that can heat it up. Also, and it comes as a bit of surprise to me, if you pull say 25 + amps (heaven forbid near 30)  on those plugs for an extended period, especially on a hot day, even though they are rated for 30 amps, I HAVE SEEN THEM SUFFER HEAT DAMAGE. When I practiced power distribution after I computed the maximum continuous current I sized the conductors to have a minimum ampacity of 125% of that IE if I was using 30 amp rated wire the max continuous current would have been 24 amps. FWIW Ive seen more heat damage on the factory molded plugs then the larger after market add ons.

Best wishes, thanks again for letting us know what it was for.

John T

 

Edited by oldjohnt

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2 hours ago, trailertraveler said:

I finally got in touch with TRC Technical Services. The blue wire is for a thermocouple to detect high heat in the plug. It is molded into their custom made plugs. The tech representative said that the unit will function properly without it other than shutting down for high heat at that connection. Since the plug got hot enough to be damaged without shutting down, I am not that concerned about loosing that feature.

That must be something newer than any of those I have owned or taken apart. That sounds like a great feature if it worked. Did you ask them if you could buy a replacement cord? And did you happen to tell the TRC guy what happened to yours? I had the same issue that you have of cord length when attempting to replace the male plug on our last one and so used a pigtail. I didn't even look at the leads to the female end but now wish that I had. Since I no longer own it, I can't go and check it. 

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20 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

Did you ask them if you could buy a replacement cord?

The Tech said you can not.

 

21 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

And did you happen to tell the TRC guy what happened to yours?

Yes, along with mentioning that I was not concerned about the loss of the feature since it did not prevent damage to the plug.

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I just found a copy of the current Surge Gaurd 34830 operating manual and it does state that it has that feature. I wonder when that feature was added? The one that we have was purchased used and didn't come with a manual. It says that plug overheat shutdown happens at 200° which should be well below the melting point of the plug. I would have to say that it failed to operate properly. There is supposed to be a lifetime warranty, for what that may be worth.

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1 hour ago, Kirk W said:

I wonder when that feature was added? ...There is supposed to be a lifetime warranty, for what that may be worth...

I purchased mine April 4, 2016 so the feature is at least that old. The Warranty link states: 

Quote

The new warranty applies to all Surge Guard products purchased on and after November 27, 2017.

So mine would not be covered.

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1 hour ago, trailertraveler said:

I purchased mine April 4, 2016 so the feature is at least that old. The Warranty link states: 

 

1 hour ago, trailertraveler said:

The new warranty applies to all Surge Guard products purchased on and after November 27, 2017

Traveler, sorry to hear that. If the warranty doesn't apply and you cant purchase a replacement with the over temp feature anyway, looks like its just replace with a standard receptacle as you indicated. I think the after market units have less overheating and melting problems (versus smaller tighter molded) anyway because they are larger and have some degree of air circulation and better heat dissipation. You may be better off anyway. 

Glad you got it figured out, sorry for non awareness of that blue wires purpose, but now we all know better yayyyyyyyyyyyy.

John T

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If you want to experiment, strip back the blue sheathing. Inside should be 2 separate wires, jacketed individually. Strip the ends, and twist them together. Assemble the receptacle as usual, keeping the twisted ends closer to the 2 current carrying conductors, rather than the ground wire. If there isn't 2 separate conductors inside the blue sheath, I call b.s. on the thermocouple shutdown.

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3 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

If there isn't 2 separate conductors inside the blue sheath, I call b.s. on the thermocouple shutdown.

Darryl, we made our own at a Naval facility where I was an engineer. We used Type J Iron/Constantan if my recall is correct ??? We had lengths of the jacketed two conductor thermocouple wire and we spot welded the ends.  As you're obviously well aware but for others who may not know, a "thermocouple" is comprised of two dissimilar metal wires bonded together where temperature is measured and the voltage produced is a function of the temperature. I have no idea how his device operates ????? At "X" volts corresponding to a certain temperature some sort of a relay could be configured to open perhaps ??? darn if I know. This thread has been a learning experience for all of us.

John T

Edited by oldjohnt

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If one wanted to make the connection bullet proof, a bead of silver solder could be added to the very tip, but a good twist connection should work, too. I don't have one to open, but the electronics needed to add T/C input would be small. Given that the OP didn't say anything about 2 wires inside the blue lead leads me to cast a jaundiced eye to the manufacturer.

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15 hours ago, Darryl&Rita said:

If one wanted to make the connection bullet proof, a bead of silver solder could be added to the very tip, but a good twist connection should work, too.

As I best recall (been long ago) we had a machine to spot weld the junction of the two dissimilar metal wires (Iron or Copper and Constantan ???). Regardless, we know for darn sure it takes TWO WIRES to create a thermocouple !!!!!!!!!! and its NOT rocket science that the voltage produced is related to the temperature and voltage can be used to toggle a relay Really you say ??? lol.   

John T

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It could easily be a thermistor or some other temperature sensing device connected between one of the plug's pins and whatever that blue lead connects to. Now I'm not an engineer with a law degree, but I did make a living. 

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6 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

It could easily be a thermistor or some other temperature sensing device connected between one of the plug's pins and whatever that blue lead connects to. Now I'm not an engineer with a law degree, but I did make a living. 

 

On 5/14/2019 at 8:38 AM, trailertraveler said:

I finally got in touch with TRC Technical Services. The blue wire is for a thermocouple to detect high heat in the plug. It is molded into their custom made plugs. The tech representative said that the unit will function properly without it other than shutting down for high heat at that connection. Since the plug got hot enough to be damaged without shutting down, I am not that concerned about loosing that feature.

 

On 5/13/2019 at 7:09 PM, trailertraveler said:

I really do not want to break the seal on the unit. I did that on a previous one of the old style and it did not last long afterward due to moisture getting into the unit despite the use of lots of sealant. I do not understand how seeing where the wire is connected inside the unit will tell me which plug terminal it should connect to. Using the Ohm meter, I get a reading when connecting the blue wire to the green ground on the output side. No reading on the black or white. When I connect the blue wire to the input side, I get readings on all three prongs of the plug.

Since the OP hasn't responded, we're all throwing dust into the wind, anyways.

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36 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Since the OP hasn't responded, we're all throwing dust into the wind, anyways.

Hey Kirk,   I just happen to be "AN ENGINEER WITH A LAW DEGREE"  and am ONLY going by what the OP said, which is as follows:

 

36 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

I finally got in touch with TRC Technical Services. The blue wire is for a "thermocouple" to detect high heat in the plug. It is molded into their custom made plugs.

Not being there nor having any schematic I have no idea if its a "thermocouple" as TRC Technical Services told the OP, or not ???? Maybe he lied to the OP ?? darn if I know.   FYI  They do make passive electrical components called "thermistors" which are in simple terms resistors that change resistance with differing temperatures.

1) Darryl's understanding and postings regarding a "thermocouple" are correct, its a two wire device as I technically described above. 

2) Kirk is correct regarding how a  "thermistor" basically operates.

3) Did Technical services tell the OP the truth ??????????????????????????????????? 

4) Darryl is right, "we're all throwing dust into the wind, anyways", but hey I try to help the best I can.

God bless yall, best wishes

John T  BSEE,JD  Engineer and Lawyer but longggggggg retired n rusty so NO warranty mind you....just tryin my best to help all the fine gents and fellow campers...

 

Edited by oldjohnt

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