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Old 11-08-2013, 01:48 PM   #1
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Surge Protector vs Voltage Regulator

Another thread has convinced me of the need for protection of the expensive electrics and electronics in the Interstate. But there are two aspects of dirty power that can damage electrical and electronic equipment, power surges, and brownouts. All of the protection discussion so far has only addressed power surges but some of the most potentially expensive damage such as A/C burnouts are more likely to be caused by brownouts. The surge protectors that have been discussed provide zero protection from brownouts. There are voltage regulators using toroidal coil transformers to maintain a constant output voltage through a range of +-10% input voltage but the ones I have found so far cost twice what a surge protector costs and do not provide surge protection.

By the way all of my computers are protected with a battery backup, voltage regulated surge protectors. So yes I am a bit of belt and suspenders kind of guy where my toys are concerned.
  1. Does anyone know of a reasonably priced 30 AMP voltage regulator with surge protection.
  2. Am I being overcautious?
  3. Which problem is more likely, a power surge or a brownout?
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:59 PM   #2
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This one, discussed a lot, protects against surges, low or high voltage, rapid re-starts when power flickers or comes back on,

Surge Guard RV Power Protection | Technology Research Corporation

The third tab is a voltage regulator.
I am unaware of a surge and voltage regulation unit in one.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:41 PM   #3
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Now I am not a electrician and hoped by installing the EMS-HW30C from Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C would do this all. At least that what I understood from the website.
I installed it permanently but easy to remove with blocks in the back by feeding it with either the shore power or the generator which if either one is acting up I am covered.
If I install my office I will also put a back up in it for any power failure as the EMS will shoot everything down when it detects a disturbance.
Hopefully we never will need it.
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Old 11-08-2013, 03:52 PM   #4
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Considering all the LED's & modern day electronics (and who knows what dirty power is located at these Parks) I highly recommend this --> Amazon.com: 30 Amp Surge Guard Portable Model For RV Power Protection Automatic Power Shut Off: Everything Else TRC's RV purposed Surge Protector
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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John, the one you're recommending costs $370. The one I'm looking at costs $232:

Progressive Industries 30 Amp Portable Electrical Management System - Surge Guards - Power Protection - Electrical

Can you tell me how they compare? I'm in the market for one and want to get the best bang for the buck - or maybe in this case the least bang for the buck.

Thanks,
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:59 PM   #6
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After reviewing the Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C/PT30C and the TRC unit in post #2, it appears that the former provides not only surge protection (1,790 joules) but also protects against over/under voltage while the latter only provides surge protection (1,050 joules). But since the TRC unit referenced doesn't seem to show a model number, I may be wrong. Also while the TRC is made overseas w/ 1 year warranty, the Progressive unit is USA made w/ lifetime warranty. And the TRC seems to be more expensive.

That being said, does anyone know if it's possible to put the hardwired unit in the circuit so it protects whether you are on shore power or generator?
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #7
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Question

.......snip..."Another thread has convinced me of the need for protection of the expensive electrics and electronics in the Interstate. But there are two aspects of dirty power that can damage electrical and electronic equipment, power surges, and brownouts. All of the protection discussion so far has only addressed power surges but some of the most potentially expensive damage such as A/C burnouts are more likely to be caused by brownouts. The surge protectors that have been discussed provide zero protection from brownouts."

I do believe a 'brownout' or drop in voltage will also cause a frequency variation.
Same would apply for a voltage spike…..If my lectrikly challenged brain synapse are firing.


EMS-PT30
AC Frequency Protection:
If AC power frequency deviates +/- 9 hertz from 60 cycles per second, the EMS will shut down power. An error code of E-7 will be displayed when the frequency is high; and an error code will be displayed when frequency is low

Bob
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Old 11-09-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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Hi, Maybe you don't need anything. I had a brown out in my house with a portable air conditioner and a window air conditioner running. My Fluke meter said that I was only getting 88 volts at the time. My air conditioners stopped cycling and the compressors would not re-start. I turned them off. refrigerators and other appliances had no failures. When I have a power outage, my biggest concern is my desk top computer since it runs directly off 120 volts. My lap tops are powered through transformers [low voltage] so I'm not too concerned about them. Sometimes I think people are too concerned about things that might never happen. My Airstream air conditioner was supposed to burn out because it was running on a 20 Amp house outlet and my Yamaha 2400 isn't supposed to be able to run my Airstream air conditioner either. So far nothing in my house or trailer has been damaged.
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:08 AM   #9
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We've got a 30 amp from Progressive and just ordered a 50 amp for our new AS. A friend of ours who just bought a new 5th wheel camped without one and the first month he was out he blew out 3 flat screen TV's during an electrical store.

As the ad goes, "We don't leave home without one."
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Old 11-09-2013, 07:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
I do believe a 'brownout' or drop in voltage will also cause a frequency variation. Same would apply for a voltage spike…..If my lectrikly challenged brain synapse are firing.
Bob
A brownout may but would not necessarily be accompanied by a change in frequency. IMHO
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:15 AM   #11
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I do not know what a toroidal coil transformer is. Are they light enough to carry? I have used voltage regulators that had stepping transformers to regulate voltage. Very heavy and not something you would want to mount in an Airstream. Computers and stuff like that tends to work on low voltage. An alarm for low voltage should allow on to turn off the AC.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:36 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73shark View Post
After reviewing the Progressive Industries EMS-HW30C/PT30C and the TRC unit in post #2, it appears that the former provides not only surge protection (1,790 joules) but also protects against over/under voltage while the latter only provides surge protection (1,050 joules). But since the TRC unit referenced doesn't seem to show a model number, I may be wrong. Also while the TRC is made overseas w/ 1 year warranty, the Progressive unit is USA made w/ lifetime warranty. And the TRC seems to be more expensive.

That being said, does anyone know if it's possible to put the hardwired unit in the circuit so it protects whether you are on shore power or generator?
Yes I did it you have to go after the power transfer switch which leaves this exposed but protects form anything coming from the generator. I installed it with plugs so I can quick disconnect it if I have to as i installed it on the wall to the water heater.
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Old 11-09-2013, 11:59 AM   #13
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Thanks for lots of good feedback. A couple of observations of my own…
  • There is no direct relationship between voltage and frequency except possibly in the case of inexpensive generators.
  • Toroidal coil transformers are not lightweights coming in at the 25 to 30 pound level — which is a disadvantage.
  • What appears to be the same $370 surge protector JFSCheck mentioned is on sale at Camping World for $222. That is probably the way I will go for now.
  • It does not appear that what I am looking for, surge protection with brownout prevention is currently available and I am going to have to settle for brownout protection — at least until I get ambitious enough to build my own unit.
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Old 11-09-2013, 08:48 PM   #14
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This is the unit we also use.
EMS-PT30C
It has worked well for us, as we have never had any electrical damaged. I can recall one issue of reverse polarity that it protected the motor coach from damage. That justified the expense of the unit.
Road Jager
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