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Old 08-14-2017, 07:46 PM   #1
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Surge Protector indicates Reverse Poloartiy

I just purchased a surge protector from Camping World and when I hooked it up a red light indicated "Reverse Polarity". What does this mean? What should do about it? When it comes to things electrical I am pretty clueless.
Thanks.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:59 PM   #2
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Hi

Normally "reverse polarity" would mean that the hot and neutral are reversed. Put another way, you have 120V on the neutral and 0V on the hot (both relative to ground). A multimeter or socket tester would let you dig a bit further into things.

Bob
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:36 PM   #3
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Most likely the outlet you are plugged into is reversed.

Use a plug in circuit tester to confirm .
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertheep View Post
I just purchased a surge protector from Camping World and when I hooked it up a red light indicated "Reverse Polarity". What does this mean? What should do about it? When it comes to things electrical I am pretty clueless.
Thanks.
Keeping it simple here . . .

Don't plug your Airstream into this outlet!

Report the problem to the administration of the campground ASAP, as it is possible that your defective outlet is not the only one. If you are referring to an outlet at your own home or business, have a licensed electrician fix the problem.

Good luck!

Peter
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:02 AM   #5
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Surge Protector Indicates Reverse Polarity

Ok...
I understand what reverse polarity is. I have plugged my AS into several different outlets at my home, which I know are wired correctly, and the protector still indicates reversed polarity. I thought the protector was faulty, so I returned it and got another one and it still indicates a reversal. Could it be an issue with my AS?
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:13 AM   #6
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Do you have an external surge protector, which plugs in first, before you plug in the shore power cord? Sounds like it if you could swap it out.

Just plug it in, without connecting the AS's shore power cord. Same fault reading? Is this a 30-amp surge protector and are you plugging it in to a proper 30 amp outlet?

You could buy a stand-alone polarity tester at the store.

If your outlets produce a fault, how can you be sure they are OK? Are these outlets all on the same circuit, which might be wired wrong? Are these all 30 amp outlets?

I would try other outlets in your house.

I think more specific details will help with the diagnosis here IMO.

Gotta go out . . . good luck!

Peter
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:24 AM   #7
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If this is the type of unit that you plug into an outlet and THEN your cord to the AS, there is a problem with the outlet. Don't use it.
I use 2 types of checks one one the pole or at the outlet that I'm plugging into. Big thing with red, yellow and green lights. Another inside at the outlet at the door, a simple plug into the outlet with 3 lights. They have never been out of synch. They always read the same. I was just at a campground and they both showed reversed polarity. I had to push a little on the adminstrator since the outlet was just installed by an electrical contractor and couldn't be wrong. Well it was, simple fix for the owner. Trust your tools.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertheep View Post
Ok...
I understand what reverse polarity is. I have plugged my AS into several different outlets at my home, which I know are wired correctly, and the protector still indicates reversed polarity. I thought the protector was faulty, so I returned it and got another one and it still indicates a reversal. Could it be an issue with my AS?
Can you clarify, where are you plugging this device in? Directly into the outlet, or into the Airstream which is, in turn, plugged into an outlet?
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Old 08-15-2017, 09:48 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertheep View Post
Ok...
I understand what reverse polarity is. I have plugged my AS into several different outlets at my home, which I know are wired correctly, and the protector still indicates reversed polarity. I thought the protector was faulty, so I returned it and got another one and it still indicates a reversal. Could it be an issue with my AS?
First, plug the protector into the outlet without the AS. Does it still test reversed?
Baby steps.
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Old 08-15-2017, 12:50 PM   #10
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I have an internal surge protector and used an extension cord I got from an individual and it had reverse polarity. One end of the cord was wired backward.

I agree with baby steps. Plug the surge protector into the outlet by itself and see if it comes up reversed. If if does have an electrician check the house wiring.

You can buy a simple plug in polarity tester at Walmart for $5 in the hardware section that uses 3 led lights to indicate outlet power. I use this to check the plugs in the house, trailer and pedestal. Cheap easy way to double check.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:13 PM   #11
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If you have a hard wired unit, then there could be something wrong with your air stream, or the unit could be incorrectly installed. it could be one item in your air-stream that has hot and neutral reversed.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bertheep View Post
I just purchased a surge protector from Camping World and when I hooked it up a red light indicated "Reverse Polarity". What does this mean? What should do about it? When it comes to things electrical I am pretty clueless.
Thanks.
We have an internal hard wired surge protector. I also ALWAYS manually test the power pedestal before plugging in using the techniques described in Sokol's book (also see noshockzone.org for a great explanation). In my three years and over 100 campground connections I have encountered 4 situations where the pedestal was wired incorrectly and/or worn, including one recently completed. In only one case did the management argue with me, but relented when I showed them the actual testing procedure. In one case the repaired the pedestal on the spot. In others I was moved to a safe location or simply did not connect to the power source.

My manual test procedure and the automatic test by my hard wired surge protector have always beenin agreement thus far. In fact, the protector will not even power up the Airstream when there is a fault.

This is a problem worthy of your full understanding. And this is a great resource for all of us!
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:03 PM   #13
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Hi

Basic variables:

1) 30A or 50A protector?
2) Into a 30 or 50A outlet or through an adapter?
3) Hardwired or plug in ahead of the cord?

Depending on the answers to the above, there are a whole bunch of interesting possibilities. Since you don't list a trailer in your profile, it's a bit difficult to guess all the answers.

Best guess:

You have a 30A trailer
You have a 30A protector
You are plugging in to a 15A outlet
You use a 30 to 20A adapter
You use a 20 to 15A adapter
You use the same adapter combo each time
One or the other adapter is defective.

There are maybe a hundred other combinations....

Bob
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:38 PM   #14
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Had the same thing happen to me at a campground in Ohio. Some one had got the neutral and positive wires reversed when installing the receptical. I had only purchased the surge protector 2 weeks prior and used it at home so I knew it was working properly. The campground had an electrician come out and fix it. I think the surge protectors are well worth the money.
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Old 08-15-2017, 04:34 PM   #15
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Trust your protector!

You're getting good advice from the comments about the dangers of this situation. I had this happen 2 months ago at an older KOA. My device would not allow current to the trailer. My protector is from Progressive Dynamics and costs around $300. When I informed the person at the front desk, he checked it out with an inexpensive pigtail tester. His tester showed there was current, but did not have anyway of determining if polarity was reversed. When he stated that the current was fine, I showed him that my device indicated reverse polarity. This guy responded by saying. "What's that"? After explaining the danger to both humans and electronics, he agreed to shut that site down and move me to an alternative site. My sense is that this happens with some frequency. Campground management doesn't always have qualified electricians fix problems. In an effort to cut costs it is probably common to have the guy who cuts grass pitch in to do some electrical work. As far as I'm concerned, the protector has proven to be a worthwhile investment and I never hook up my AS without it.
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:38 PM   #16
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Here are a couple of testers

The first is for 15 amp outlet $ 5
The next is an adapter so you can test the 30 amp outlet with the above tester . $ 2.50

The first 2 should be in your hook up tools.

The last one would also work with the above adapter , It also would find a home in one outlet inside your trailer all the time and you can then monitor the voltage. $ 30
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Old 08-15-2017, 08:58 PM   #17
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One of the best things you could do for your trailer is install a surge protector with polarity tester and 140 second delay either hard wired inside or plug in at the pedestal .

I went with hard wired on my Tradewind .
What's this 2 surge protectors and 2 30 amp circuits ? $ 215 each

One is for the trailer , the other is for the Washer and the Dryer .

Here's a 30 amp plug in surge protector . $ 250

A lock box for it . $ 25

Or a cable lock $10
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:16 AM   #18
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Surge Protector Indicates Reverse Polarity

Ok...I am making progress thanks to all of the advice. "Baby Steps"

I plugged the surge protector into the outlet directly and all lights are green, no
reverse polarity. So the source is ok. I checked my extension cord and it is ok as well. When I plug the AS in the red light indicates reverse polarity. I checked my EMS and have an error code E1 which indicates reverse polarity. When I turn my EMS off I still have power to the AS and the surge protector still indicates reverse polarity. Is my EMS unit faulty?
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:37 AM   #19
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You have me totally confused now. You have an EMS and you bought an additional surge protector? The EMS includes surge protection. Your EMS can be turned off? I am familiar with a bypass capability for an EMS, but not turning it off. What model EMS do you have? Are both the EMS and new surge protector indicating reverse polarity?

Larry
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:45 AM   #20
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Does the surge protector sense the EMS inline even if it is turned off?

Above my pay grade!

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