EPDM Coatings
rvupgradestore.com Composet Products
RV Life Magazine RV Park Reviews RV Trip Wizard

Author Topic: Surge protector/open ground  (Read 1023 times)

clockdrfla

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Surge protector/open ground
« on: December 18, 2017, 04:19:07 PM »
My surge protector is showing that I have an open ground.  What causes this?  Is there a broken wire in my 50 amp cord?  Any danger in staying hooked up?  I am electronically stupid.  Thanks for your help.

Lou Schneider

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 8182
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 04:46:33 PM »
The ground wire connects the exposed metal parts of your rig or appliances with a 3 prong plug to earth, or ground.

This protects anyone who touches those parts from the slight chance of getting a stray voltage shock.  If there is a severe short, the ground provides a path to earth to trip the circuit breaker.

You could have a broken wire in the plug or cord, but there's also a good chance the problem is in the park wiring.  If this is the first time you've seen the fault, try plugging into another outlet before blaming your rig.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 04:51:45 PM by Lou Schneider »

clockdrfla

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 05:10:23 PM »
So if I plug into 3 or 4 different boxes and still get open ground reading, are you saying good possibility I have a broken wire in my cord?  Is it possible surge protector might be faulty?  It is less than 18 months old.

jatrax

  • ---
  • Posts: 32
    • Zigzag Mountain Art
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2017, 07:11:57 PM »
Yes if multiple pedestals show open ground the cord would be the most likely problem.
Surge protector might be faulty but unlikely.  What brand?
You could test the cord by unplugging it completely and testing each wire for continuity with a multimeter.
2017 Phoenix Cruiser 2552 on Ford E-450
2017 Jeep Cherokee towed behind

VallAndMo

  • ---
  • Posts: 548
  • Vall and Mo, a married couple getting ready for FT
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 11:25:05 PM »
Hi ClockDrFla,

Not much experience with RV electrics, but some with electricity in general, so I will try to help.

"Open ground" means discontinuity between the ground wire arriving at the surge protector and the Earth (which behaves as a large electrical "sink" where excess current can be dumped in case of malfunctions to protect the user, etc), so it's something important that you should investigate and fix.

Whether it's the CG pedestal or your cord or even the surge protector itself depends on many factors.

It would help knowing the brand/model of your SP, as Jatrax has asked. But, if it's a "dog bone" model and you are connecting it directly to the pedestal, then the cord cannot AFAIK be the culprit.

It could be the pedestal, even many of them at the same campground, because often CGs have wiring errors throughout their installations, and because often all the pedestals have their grounds wired to a single grounding rod whose connection, or even the rod itself, can be corroded. Oftentimes the CG just keeps chugging along with those faults because many (most?) customers have no SPs or have them but ignore their warnings.

There's a procedure for testing the ground pin on a wall plug using a multimeter and a light bulb in a lamp socket, but it's somewhat involved and if you are not comfortable with electricity in general, it's not something I'd suggest that you try.

Some SPs have a self-test procedure, which usually runs automatically when you plug it, so you.might try to observe it (check the SP manual).

You could also try complaining with the CG people and see what they say (perhaps they are aware of the problem and will tell you so), or you could also call your SP manufacturer and ask for support.

Good  luck and please keep us posted.
--
   Vall.


« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 11:26:52 PM by VallAndMo »

clockdrfla

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 04:36:01 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  Will try and figure it out and post results.

clockdrfla

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 06:10:42 PM »
Took surge protector and plugged it in at 2 different vacant campsites.  Display said open ground both places.  Called manufacturer and explained problem.  They stated unit was defective.  Good news is unit has a life time guarantee and they are replacing it at no cost to me.   :)

Rene T

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 11535
  • Every day is payday and every payday I have off
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 06:40:04 PM »
Took surge protector and plugged it in at 2 different vacant campsites.  Display said open ground both places.  Called manufacturer and explained problem.  They stated unit was defective.  Good news is unit has a life time guarantee and they are replacing it at no cost to me.   :)

Is it a surge protector by Progressive Industries?
Rene, Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 63713
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 08:41:20 PM »
I hope that replacement works, but I've seen campgrounds where multiple pedestals had identical problems. It's common for nearby site pedestals to share wiring and a bad ground in a section of campsites could easily go unnoticed for awhile.

Just for grins, use an adapter and plug that surge protector in a wall outlet in the campground office, bathroom or laundromat. If it's defective, it should show Open Ground there as well.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

  • ---
  • Posts: 20873
  • ^My New Home^
    • Diabetics Forum
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2017, 07:04:47 AM »
I also carry test lights and volt meters. I'd have double checked the park outlet.

Open ground at multiple park outlets **IS** possible.  I have seen it.

Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

TonyDtorch

  • Guest
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2017, 07:34:51 AM »
There sure is a lot of surge protector failures.


Gary RV_Wizard

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 63713
  • RVer Emeritus
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2017, 07:44:19 AM »
Failure reports do seem to be coming more often, but it's hardly surprising with so many RVers now using them. They get bounced around, handled roughly, and are often exposed to weather, not to mention the risk of being in the path of all kinds of shoddy electrical systems.  We used to get numerous reports of electrical system damage, so maybe the surge units are getting sacrificed instead. After all, that's there basic purpose, even though they try to avoid self-immolation.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

TonyDtorch

  • Guest
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2017, 08:02:34 AM »
Maybe you should use a surge protector to protect your surge protector.  ;)

I'll bet they are all made in China with typical Chinese quality parts.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 08:06:21 AM by TonyDtorch »

clockdrfla

  • ---
  • Posts: 147
Re: Surge protector/open ground
« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2017, 04:52:41 PM »
Is it a surge protector by Progressive Industries?
Yes it is.  Model SSP-50X