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Surge Guard


spindrift

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Currently staying long term at this campground. First week, had no electrical problems whatsoever. We had an opportunity to move to a site with more shade so we took it. The new site is located within a different section of the campground. The power pedestal which now serves our FW has one (1), 50A and one (1), 30A receptacle. Our coach has had a permanently installed Surge Guard for over a year.

 

Within 24 hours (yesterday) of being hooked up to the new site, I noticed our Surge Guard dropping power to our fifth. It became most noticeable yesterday afternoon and was somewhat frequent but with no regularity. Last night and this morning, no problem. My wife and I got back to the fifth at 2pm this afternoon and all was fine. About 1/2 hour ago the power interruptions began with some frequency; Surge Guard cutting off power every few minutes. I just now opened the 50A breaker on my pole, removed the plug, closed the breaker and read 257V, leg to leg. I measured 127V at the 30A breaker. I measured voltage at various power pedestals adjacent to our site and they were the same as my site's readings. BTW, I called the office this morning while we were out to tell them about my problem. I was told that the office sent someone to check out our power pole and that nothing was/is wrong.

 

Since I had the Surge Guard installed, I've never had a power interruption. I'm scratching my head wondering how I might conclusively determine where the problem lies; my side or the campground side. Just for giggles, I just now took the 50A male end of my shore power cord and plugged it into a 30A adapter, then plugged my shore power cord into the 30A connection of my power pedestal. With one (1) A/C operating, and assorted minor loads, there has been no power interruption for the past fifteen (15) minutes.

 

I'd surely appreciate any advice. I don't want to move to another site only to learn that I'm the problem.

 

Thanks ya'll.

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The electrical management systems I am familiar with provide a digital read out code that tells you why power to your RV was shut down. Does your :Surge Guard" tell you this info as other above mentioned? You should measure the voltage from neutral to each leg, (not from leg to leg) one leg might be within limits but the other too high or too low, Our Progressive Industries EMS system shuts down if the voltage on either leg exceeds132v or drops below 102v. (Even when you measure the voltage it might be OK at that moment and fail later) Campgrounds will almost always tell you they are OK because no one else had a problem there. Well, that's because most RVs do not have an electrical management system.

You can use the 30a outlet and hope that leg is OK and it's the other leg that's at fault. Greg

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You should measure the voltage from neutral to each leg, (not from leg to leg) one leg might be within limits but the other too high or too low, Our Progressive Dynamics EMS system shuts down if the voltage on either leg exceeds132v or drops below 102v.

Agreed. My TRC SurgeGuard has tripped several times on 50a hookups when a subsequent multi-meter test will show very high voltage on one leg and very low on the other, added together totaling 240-250. This is most often during to a bad common on the circuit. The problem only becomes evident when the circuit is under load, and may test just fine when there is no load. My SurgeGuard shuts down at the same voltages indicated for the Progressive unit.

Campgrounds will almost always tell you they are OK because no one else had a problem there.

Yep ...even had one park owner tell me, "There's nothing wrong with the power. It's only you guys with those surge things that complain."
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No digital read-out on mine. 127V leg to neutral. One other thing i noticed is that this site is first site off the utility line...don't know if that matters. We're moving to another site.

I would start planning for an upgrade. Having a trouble code makes diagnosis pretty straight forward.

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Paul could be right, although it is hard to say at this point. To trouble shoot further you need to measure from hot to hot, and the from each hot leg to the neutral and also from each hot leg to the ground and record all of those readings. Ideally the readings from L1 and L2 to ground should be equal and the same is true L1 & L2 to neutral. Measuring the 30A outlet tells us that one of those two legs is at 127V but we have no way to be sure which one it is. If we assume it to be from L1 that would seem to say that L2 must then be 130V since they should add up to the reading you got from L1 to L2 so subtracting the 127V you got from the 257V you read between L1 & L2 should tell us the voltage of the other leg. a difference of only 3V is not enough to be alarming, nor would it cause the SG to shut down your power. It might hint of a floating neutral and if that is the case that would be possible for the voltages to get low enough or high enough on one leg to shut down the power. You really need a recording meter to know for sure what each leg is doing.

 

Since you had no problems before you moved, there is a high probability that the problem is the power pedestal and that you could move back where you were and the problem would go away.

 

One other thing i noticed is that this site is first site off the utility line...don't know if that matters. We're moving to another site.

That could mean something, but might not. If the park has some old wiring with bad connections and poor splices that are starting to age, then it is very possible that being physically close to the power source is supplying power which varies less because bad connections induce a resistance at each one and so each poor connection is also a voltage drop. In such case your first site may be between the problem connections and the power source and so not be impacted by it. It is also possible that your previous site is not on the same circuit that you present one is on.

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I'm kind of in Kirks camp on this one. As an electrical engineer (we notice those sort of things) who has been to a ton of RV parks, especially older ones, I wonder how modern sensitive EMS systems and surge guards work at all. Things such as loose resistive connections (especially Neutral),,,,,,,,,,,long wire runs,,,,,,,,,,,worn loose receptacles,,,,,,,,,,too small wire,,,,,,,,,all contribute and add up to voltage drops and power problems, especially if you're the last pedestal on a long circuit.. Sure, the RV park owner can stick a meter into your pedestal receptacle and say ALL FINE HERE but that's an unloaded (so no I x R voltage drop) reading. Once loads are in place the voltage readings (line to line, and line to Neutral) provide more useful information. GFCI can add safety provided you don't get so many nuisance trips (RV wiring and loads) you cant stay powered up. One of the most important safety considerations is that the RV Frame/Skin is well bonded to the RV's Equipment Ground Buss (which is separate, isolated and insulated off Neutral Buss) and its continuous back to the RV parks adequate Neutral to Ground bond.

 

John T coming to you live SW of Steubenville Ohio at a Family Church Camp where were doing volunteer work

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Update. I moved downstream of the power pedestal that was giving me fits. All is well. Folks in the campground have been asking us why so many moves. :) When I mention my EMS system, I get a deer in the headlights look. I'm not surprised as I didn't learn about these electrical issues well into my camping years.

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When I mention my EMS system, I get a deer in the headlights look. I'm not surprised as I didn't learn about these electrical issues well into my camping years.

The fact is that poor power very seldom destroys the appliances and things in one exposure. What happens is that each time it happens there is some small but hidden damage that takes place and in most cases it simply shortens the life of the equipment exposed to the degraded power. When I was in field service there were many well documented studies that showed that equipment which fails early in its life is usually equipment that has had repeated exposure to power issues. Those folks who do not use one are probably the same people who complain that their air conditioners are failing after only 3, 5, or whatever number of years of moderate use. Electric motors powered by 120V-ac run far too hot with voltages that are significantly high or low and heat is the #1 enemy of most electrical equipment.

 

A major part of the work which kept me well paid was due to people refusing to believe that there was any need for the line monitoring equipment. It is readily available for office and industrial use, but just like RV owners, if the people are not electrically well educated, they tend to doubt the need for the equipment. It is very difficult to prove that something didn't happen because you took preventive measures. :rolleyes:

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Update. I moved downstream of the power pedestal that was giving me fits. All is well. Folks in the campground have been asking us why so many moves. :) When I mention my EMS system, I get a deer in the headlights look. I'm not surprised as I didn't learn about these electrical issues well into my camping years.

 

Invest in a voltage regulator.

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No digital read-out on mine.

 

I have the same Surgeguard and you can use the LEDs on the front of the device to get pretty much the same information as is provided by the LCD display on newer models. I've attached a copy of the trouble codes represented by the lights. The device doesn't distinguish between high and low voltage faults, but there is an LED display that corresponds to those conditions.

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Paul could be right, although it is hard to say at this point. To trouble shoot further you need to measure from hot to hot, and the from each hot leg to the neutral and also from each hot leg to the ground and record all of those readings. Ideally the readings from L1 and L2 to ground should be equal and the same is true L1 & L2 to neutral. Measuring the 30A outlet tells us that one of those two legs is at 127V but we have no way to be sure which one it is. If we assume it to be from L1 that would seem to say that L2 must then be 130V since they should add up to the reading you got from L1 to L2 so subtracting the 127V you got from the 257V you read between L1 & L2 should tell us the voltage of the other leg. a difference of only 3V is not enough to be alarming, nor would it cause the SG to shut down your power. It might hint of a floating neutral and if that is the case that would be possible for the voltages to get low enough or high enough on one leg to shut down the power. You really need a recording meter to know for sure what each leg is doing.

 

Since you had no problems before you moved, there is a high probability that the problem is the power pedestal and that you could move back where you were and the problem would go away.

That could mean something, but might not. If the park has some old wiring with bad connections and poor splices that are starting to age, then it is very possible that being physically close to the power source is supplying power which varies less because bad connections induce a resistance at each one and so each poor connection is also a voltage drop. In such case your first site may be between the problem connections and the power source and so not be impacted by it. It is also possible that your previous site is not on the same circuit that you present one is on.

 

 

I'm kind of in Kirks camp on this one. As an electrical engineer (we notice those sort of things) who has been to a ton of RV parks, especially older ones, I wonder how modern sensitive EMS systems and surge guards work at all. Things such as loose resistive connections (especially Neutral),,,,,,,,,,,long wire runs,,,,,,,,,,,worn loose receptacles,,,,,,,,,,too small wire,,,,,,,,,all contribute and add up to voltage drops and power problems, especially if you're the last pedestal on a long circuit.. Sure, the RV park owner can stick a meter into your pedestal receptacle and say ALL FINE HERE but that's an unloaded (so no I x R voltage drop) reading. Once loads are in place the voltage readings (line to line, and line to Neutral) provide more useful information. GFCI can add safety provided you don't get so many nuisance trips (RV wiring and loads) you cant stay powered up. One of the most important safety considerations is that the RV Frame/Skin is well bonded to the RV's Equipment Ground Buss (which is separate, isolated and insulated off Neutral Buss) and its continuous back to the RV parks adequate Neutral to Ground bond.

 

John T coming to you live SW of Steubenville Ohio at a Family Church Camp where were doing volunteer work

 

 

The fact is that poor power very seldom destroys the appliances and things in one exposure. What happens is that each time it happens there is some small but hidden damage that takes place and in most cases it simply shortens the life of the equipment exposed to the degraded power. When I was in field service there were many well documented studies that showed that equipment which fails early in its life is usually equipment that has had repeated exposure to power issues. Those folks who do not use one are probably the same people who complain that their air conditioners are failing after only 3, 5, or whatever number of years of moderate use. Electric motors powered by 120V-ac run far too hot with voltages that are significantly high or low and heat is the #1 enemy of most electrical equipment.

 

A major part of the work which kept me well paid was due to people refusing to believe that there was any need for the line monitoring equipment. It is readily available for office and industrial use, but just like RV owners, if the people are not electrically well educated, they tend to doubt the need for the equipment. It is very difficult to prove that something didn't happen because you took preventive measures. :rolleyes:

 

I do not have a big RV I have a 30ft. Jamboree 26Q. It has a 30Amp system. I had problems and am really lucky that I didn't ruin my Electrical System I switched from a Surge Guard Unit to a Progressive Industries Surge protector. I went to an Elks Lodge and moved 4 times before I found a pedestal that was working correctly. I have to agree Kirk.

I also got the Deer in the headlights look when I went to the camp host and told them about the error messages I got, and pointed out the pedestals that were bad.

Good Luck.

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I do not have a big RV I have a 30ft. Jamboree 26Q. It has a 30Amp system. I had problems and am really lucky that I didn't ruin my Electrical System I switched from a Surge Guard Unit to a Progressive Industries Surge protector. I went to an Elks Lodge and moved 4 times before I found a pedestal that was working correctly. I have to agree Kirk.

I also got the Deer in the headlights look when I went to the camp host and told them about the error messages I got, and pointed out the pedestals that were bad.

Good Luck.

This last part was added into the quoted post and was no part of the quote.

 

That can happen when folks put their replies into the quote box of someone who they are responding to. :D

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I have a Surge Guard on my 30A setup. It is permanently wired in with the remote display, so it is impossible to not use it.

 

I know of at least one occasion where it saved me from plugging in to a 30A that was incorrectly wired 240 instead of 120. You only need to have that happen once to pay back your investment in the system.

 

I like the peace of mind it gives me.

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I have a Surge Guard on my 30A setup. It is permanently wired in with the remote display, so it is impossible to not use it.

 

I know of at least one occasion where it saved me from plugging in to a 30A that was incorrectly wired 240 instead of 120. You only need to have that happen once to pay back your investment in the system.

 

I like the peace of mind it gives me.

 

 

Isn't that the truth

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If you see your quotes are messed up either in preview (hit more reply options) or after you post them (select edit from the bottom menu) you can switch the edit mode to plain text with the little switch looking button at the far left of the controls above your post. That puts you in a mode where copy/paste works like copy/paste and your other keys act right too. Once there you will see the tags and text and can move stuff to the correct locations.

Here is the plain text of the following block that is in BBS code mode:

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BBS Code Mode:
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Plain text mode also works well to clear up any posting insanity that comes from getting your formatting tags mixed up and switched in order.

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