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Old 06-11-2019, 09:47 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by napabill View Post
It can happen anywhere at any time. A co-worker in San Diego was slumbering peacefully in his split-level S&B when the televisions in the upstairs bedrooms came on, along with the stereos and alarm clocks and the blow drier in. the bathroom. Virtually everything on the second floor went on at full blast, then went out in a puff of smoke. Like many houses, it had a single 240V electrical circuit running to the second floor that was split into two 120 lines with outlets on one leg and lights on the other. A hot wire in one of the outlet boxes came loose and contacted the other terminal, sending 240 volts to all the wall outlets. Everything plugged in upstairs was cooked before the breaker snapped.
Indeed it can. At home I had a neutral failure at the pole, put 240 on my 120 and fried all electronics that were not on a UPS or surge suppressor. I was sitting in the kitchen, recognized the symptoms and got the main breakers tripped before refrigerator was damaged. Utility found a broken neutral at the base of the pole and reimbursed me for most of my costs. Had some other damage that I did not identify until years later. Some utilites sell whole house surge suppressors, mine does not.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:11 AM   #58
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My wife and I are conflicted about the need for a surge protector when hooking up to shore power. Many say yes. Many say no. Thoughts and comments please on the need and if needed which one.
I can't think of a single reason not to use one every time I plug into a pedestal.
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Old 06-11-2019, 02:31 PM   #59
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The most likely problem is probably lightning, but a storm may come while you are asleep and really not wanting to go out and attach the surge protector. Or, the storm may be miles away and send a jolt along the lines to your trailer and you'll never know it was lightning because you never heard thunder. Of course, all sorts of other things can happen—someone hits the pole and shorts the wires sending more volts towards your trailer. Someone mentioned a careless lineman can short the wires. A systemic problem with a bad generator or a failing transformer may reach you. Breakers in the power line system may fail to trip or trip fast enough when a jolt comes down the line.

In our Airstream I mounted a surge protector inside because I was worried about theft. It was really difficult because there is no easy place to mount it and since all the Romex was under the bed at one corner, I mounted the surge protector on the outside of the bed frame. I used a lot of electrical tape at the places where the Romex had to be attached to the surge protector. There is not a lot of space for a senior citizen with old legs to work on that, so it was a chore. I mounted an electrical box inside the bed frame for the various connections between the wiring, breaker panel, converter and the surge protector. If you have no experience with electrical work, don't do it yourself. When we bought another trailer, I went for the outside surge protector at the pedestal. There was no place to mount one inside with major modifications anyway and the point about the possibility of a fire at the surge protector is well taken. I never thought of it when I put one inside the Airstream.

I never bought a lock for the for exterior surge protector. So far, no one has appropriated it. An easy way to discourage theft (though not stop it entirely) is to use a cable tie around the surge protector and pedestal post. If a thief has a wire cutter or sharp knife, they could cut through it fast, but most thieves are not all that bright and may not carry those tools with them.
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Old 06-11-2019, 08:29 PM   #60
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Also, most thieves aren't likely to know or care much about an EMS/surge protector device. Think about it. How would they hock one for cash at a pawn shop or through a fence? Nobody wants a used one, right? Once you hook an EMS / surge guard to a pole it's useless to anybody else, because a used EMS in an unknown electrical state has zero value, at least in my book.
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:38 PM   #61
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I love all the positive comments. Was at the Moraine View rally this past weekend and noticed a fair amount of folks using the older Progressive equipment. Looked a lot like the EMS-PT 30C which is now out of production.

Kept thinking about it all weekend, especially because we took a ground strike very close to my home a couple of weeks ago. You know the kind where the flash and boom are almost instantaneous. TV set in my bedroom started turning itself off and on constantly. Got up looking for smoke, it scared me that much. Talked to the neighbor next door and he lost his garage door opener and a couple of other appliances. FYI, the entire subdivision has underground wiring so that's obviously not going to save you.

Did my research Monday and this morning made my decision and I ordered an EMS-PT30X, made by Progressive. Will have it before my next outing at the end of the month.

I was watching the voltage at my campsite bouncing around this weekend as the trailers rolled in Friday and we dropped as low as 108 volts. Quite honestly there is a lot of peace of mind knowing that if I'm away from the trailer and we get a voltage drop, I won't be replacing an air conditioner that was laboring while I was gone.

There is some pretty nice EMS equipment out there and I was spending a lot of time on whether to go with Progressive, Surge Guard, or a Hughes Power Watch Dog. Each had their own benefits. One of the most confusing issues was the ratings on each of these brands were the surge protection Joules number, and then the amps listed under surge protection. For example the EMS PT 30x was rated at 1,790J / 44,000A. The competitive Surge Guard unit was rated as 2,450 J/6,500 A per MOV, and the Hughes Power WatchDog was rated at 2,400 /with no maximum spike current rating published.

The WatchDog was interesting because the surge protection board is user serviceable if it ever dies and is only $30. Problem was the entire unit was only warranted for 2 years. Surge Guard warranty was unlimited but the wording noted that the surge protector doing its job and then failing voids the warranty with the owner being responsible for replacing the unit. I ended up going with Progressive based on the warranty did not exclude the unit if a surge rendered it inoperative, and positive word of mouth the industry.

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Old 06-12-2019, 01:12 PM   #62
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Thanx for your input
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Old 06-12-2019, 01:18 PM   #63
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Thank you everyone for your valuable insight. We took your advice and had a Progressive Industries EMS-HW50C installed by an electrician. We for two will sleep much better now that our investment is protected.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:00 PM   #64
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A side benefit of going with the hard wired EMS from Progressive is that the remote monitor version has a Bypass switch. This eliminates the need to install a Ground-Neutral bonding jumper when using inverter generators.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:15 PM   #65
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Surge Protector

Although bypassing it does open you to some risk of over/under voltage situations.

Myself, I rather always put the bonding plug in the generator...cheap enough accommodation for occasional generator usage. And keeps me out of a potentially bad habit.
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Old 06-12-2019, 03:48 PM   #66
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I wish thieves were smart enough to not take a surge protector from an RV park, but many thieves aren’t very smart. And a neighbor may want one. The only thing I have had stolen at a CG was at a park in Fairbanks. The wheel lock that costs about $50 was taken because I was too cheap to buy a padlock for it. But at least they didn’t take the trailer, so perhaps in some convoluted reasoning, it did the job, though I was only using it to prevent the trailer from moving rather than wheel chocks.

Lightening will strike the ground where there is a better ground or something that extends upward. From there travels just about anywhere it wants including underground wiring. If someone has a lightening rod, it will follow the cable from the rod to ground and may follow a cast iron sewer line, water pipe or something that acts as a conductor like wet soil sometimes, and may find a buried power line or even an old telephone line, though that wire is so fine it probably would burn it to ash.
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