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EMS does its job


Jimalberta

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For those of you who dont have an EMS yet. (Electrical Mangement System ) I highly recommend you get one.

 

Mine helped yesterday. We pulled into an RV park here in Nephi , Utah and went to plug into the pedestal and I firstly plugged in my portable EMS and found a code showing an open neutral. Moved to another spot. This could have caused damage to my rig if I had plugged my coach into the pedestal.

 

The RV park manager came over to see and was surprised...he had never seen an EMS . I mentioned the possiblity of a hot skin condition and another rver commented that his nieghbor was getting some mild shocks from the outside of his trailer....had to clue them in that this was very dangerous.

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Indeed, the Hot Skin situation could be hazardous to your barefoot on wet soil grandchild.......Similar, if the Neutral to Equipment Ground bond wasn't in place (happens) a hot wire shorted to the RV case/frame would NOT trip the breaker to clear the fault IE a hot wire could remain direct shorted to the RV frame !!!!!! I have been in several older RV parks where the electrical system appeared very haphazard. A tester as described above and one of those non contact proximity voltage sensors could save your life.

 

John T

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I am a believer... Couple of months ago, plugged into a City Park RV site that we have stayed in before... well ran, clean... and incurred severe voltage fluctuations. Tried several different pedestals, same result. Shifted to boondocking.

 

Our HW50C paid for itself, I believe.

Jim

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Recommend reading "No Shock Zone" by j. Michael Sokol. Discusses all the above issues in layman' language. Also SDixon747 has a schematic for a pedestal tester here for those that wish to test the pedestal before plugging in. The hot skin issue really got my attention in Sokol's book and I always test with a non contact detector prior to anyone stepping into the trailer or if DW is in before I have plugged in, she doesn't step out til I've tested. BTW I always use a Surge Guard.

 

http://www.hhrvresource.com/sites/default/files/dfiles/50_Amp_RV_Power_Pedestal_Tester.pdf

Note: Steve just posted this schematic for reference. It will not be a commercial venture and you build at your own risk.

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Hi Suite

 

Please further identify the "non contact detector" you mentioned.

 

Thank You

 

Dave O

Dave,

 

Sorry I wasn't very clear. I'm talking something like this. Couldn't think what it was called. You do touch surface with it but doesn't require metering etc. Apparently it will detect any voltage down to about 24 volts. I just wait until my surge protector kicks on, then touch various metal surfaces--pin box, legs, stair handle. If no light or beep, should not have a hot skin if you followed directions on how to test the pen.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_464286-295-40110N_0__?productId=50129720&Ntt=

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Hi Suite

 

Yep, I've got one of those, mine detects within about an inch or so. Is yours ready for new batteries, maybe?

 

With fiberglass exterior on the coach, I have never been concerned with "skin" voltages, but it is sure handy for other things.

 

Thank You

 

Dave O

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Dave,

 

You are welcome. To be honest, I was really not concerned either until I read the book and made me remember an old Layton trailer I had 25 years ago and came back in on a damp night. With one foot on the wet ground and grabbed the door handle got a tingle. We take the grandkids a lot and cheap test for me to protect precious cargo. As an aside, last summer where I live in East Tennessee two kids were electrocuted when they jumped from a boat that was connected to shore power. Some mis- wiring and when they grabbed the ski platform it got them.

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I am wondering why the EMS unit is not part of the RV build? It seems that it might help with the safety standards.

There are a few manufacturers that do put one of those into the RV in construction and a few offer one as an option. But RVs sell mostly based upon price and the typical buyer isn't very aware of such things and probably don't think it is needed. If you build something in that increases the minimum price that you can sell it for. It has been my observation that no more than 25% of the RVs around have anything of that sort in use.

 

So for those of you thinking about buying one of the two that Kirk is showing on his post ....the left one is Progressive industries and has a lifetime warranty. The right one is Surgeguard and has a 1 year warranty. Just so you know.

Before you get too excited about that difference, make sure that you understand the term "lifetime" in warranties and exactly what it really means. Progressive does not agree to take care of all needed repairs for the life of your unit, it only does so if they deem the problem to have been a factory defect. Just like TRC(Surge Guard), they will charge you for most repairs which are needed. Quoting their warranty.........

 

PII offers a 100% Lifetime Warranty on materials and workmanship for your Electrical Management System (EMS) or Smart Surge Protector (SSP) products. Products must be properly installed

And farther down in that same document.....

 

An estimate will be provided to customer prior to start of work or repairs on product. If we are unable to repair your product we will replace it with a reconditioned unit for a nominal fee or offer you a “preferred customer” discount on a brand new product. Models ending with a “B” suffix, pre-date our lifetime warranty and therefore are not covered, however, you are entitled to a special discount through our “preferred customer” program.

You can read the entire warranty by visiting the Progressive website pages.... For comparison, follow this link to read the TRC(Surge Guard) warranty document.

 

Both of those products are good and do what they claim that they will. Studying the specs there is very little difference between what each one will do for you or the support offered by the manufacturers.

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I wouldn't plug into an RV park without a EMS. They are great and if there is any type of issue it will not allow the power

to get to your RV.

Even the Progressive EMS doesn't always detect the fault that can cause a hot skin condition. Mike Sokol explains this and I know from my own experience that you need to use that non-contact voltage tester to be sure.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Even the Progressive EMS doesn't always detect the fault that can cause a hot skin condition. Mike Sokol explains this and I know from my own experience that you need to use that non-contact voltage tester to be sure.

Mike Sokol has written several articles on RV electrical safety, such as the following: http://www.noshockzone.org/rv-electrical-safety-part-iv--hot-skin/

 

He now has a book in print called "RV Electrical Safety" available on Amazon.

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While I am new to this forum (Hello!) my wife and I are setting out on our ninth year of half timing in a week. In that time I'd never heard of EMS units. After reading the discussion about potential problems I purchased a Progressive EMS.

 

The unit has a piece attached to the cord that has a hole for a bike lock, according to the package description of the EMS. The hole is too small for a bike cable lock, though I could use a padlock to secure a bike cable lock to it. My hope is that there is a means of securing this unit while it's in use that's a bit more effective than padlocking it to a bike cable lock. Any thoughts?

 

We now will drive a Volvo 730 (conversion will be completed next week). For the past four years we have driven a FL60 Freightliner built as a 5th wheel tow vehicle.

 

John McLaughlin

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I have a PT50C and I NEVER plug in anywhere without it first. This includes my home base site which is in a residential area in a small town. Two years ago it shut me down at 3:00am due to high voltage. When the power company lineman arrived he verified the voltage was over 132 due to a failing transformer that served me as well as 8 homes. No one but me knew there was a problem, but my next door neighbor did say he had lost a couple of incandescent light bulbs.

 

I turned off my main breaker after the shutdown and stayed off of shore power until the transformer was changed a couple of hours later.

 

As a former boss of mine used to say "I trust everyone, but I always cut the cards". To me, cutting the cards is my EMS.

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While I am new to this forum (Hello!) my wife and I are setting out on our ninth year of half timing in a week. In that time I'd never heard of EMS units. After reading the discussion about potential problems I purchased a Progressive EMS.

 

The unit has a piece attached to the cord that has a hole for a bike lock, according to the package description of the EMS. The hole is too small for a bike cable lock, though I could use a padlock to secure a bike cable lock to it. My hope is that there is a means of securing this unit while it's in use that's a bit more effective than padlocking it to a bike cable lock. Any thoughts?

 

 

Welcome to the forum!

 

We don't bother to lock our portable PI EMS unit and I am pretty sure not many others do. I've never heard of one being stolen, either. But I suppose it might be stolen. If an RVer can't afford one and needs one so badly that they'll resort to stealing mine then I hope it saves a kid's life and I'll either get one of the built-in models or buy another portable.

 

But I don't think a pawn shop is going to give them much money for one. You could visit a few and see if they have one in stock though. :P

 

We mostly go to SKP parks, National Parks, NFS sites, BuReclamation, BLM, etc. or we boondock. So the EMS really doesn't get plugged in except at our home base where we have 50-amp service behind the shop and the EMS is always running.

 

WDR

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