I am new to RVing and need to know which kind of EMS system is best and will that protect me with either 30 and/or 50 amps service? My rig input is for 50 amps but only one a/c so I could easily get by with 30amps and and only have the adapters with no surge protection yet. I would like to get something permanent that would eliminate this problem and provide proper elec protection? Hope you can help if not please send me in helpful direction...new on forum as well.A surge protector only protects against voltage surges and functions by clamping the excess voltage to ground and either disconnecting the incoming voltage itself or tripping the incoming circuit breaker. An EMS (Electrical Management System) also monitors and protects against other electrical defects such as low voltage (can damage motors in things like the air conditioner), reverse polarity and defective ground (shock hazards). Most will interrupt power and then restore it if conditions return to normal. It's up to you to decide if you want these extra levels of protection.
There's also another type of EMS that doesn't protect against electrical faults but instead limits the number of large appliances that can run simultaneously to avoid overloading a 30 amp connection. Such as a second air conditioner or letting the water heater operate in electric mode when the a/c is on. These are usually only installed by the RV manufacturer as they require being wired into multiple points in the RV's electrical system.
This is part of your answer. Whatever you get, make it the 50a version. A 50a RV has 2 power leads that are each capable of up to 50a and in a practice world you have about 80a of useful power available. If you buy a 30a version you will limit yourself to never be able to exceed 30a and several other restrictions.My rig input is for 50
New to trailering, is the managed system version worth the higher price and why? not sure what situations would require the managed version. Thanks!
Thank you so much for this info.This is part of your answer. Whatever you get, make it the 50a version. A 50a RV has 2 power leads that are each capable of up to 50a and in a practice world you have about 80a of useful power available. If you buy a 30a version you will limit yourself to never be able to exceed 30a and several other restrictions.
As to what is the best one, that can be a little bit subjective but I will recommend that you get either the Progressive EMS PT50X or the Southwire Surge Guard 34950 as either could be considered the best based on their long history of quality products. But there are several other manufacturers of competitive products. The two above are the most highly rated and both provide full power protection including under & over voltage, miss-wired outlet protection, missing neutral or ground, as well as power surge protection. As a retired service tech I have used one for our RVs since 2003.
Thanks John, much appreciate your input.Shot answer is yes the "managed" surge guards are better. way way way better..
But be aware that at 30 amp there are two companies that make devices they call energy manager systems.. Intelletec (NOT a surge guard) and Progressive Industries (IS a surge Guard) TRC/Southwire makes a product they call SURGE GUARD. it is.
The lower cost ones have a few lights and clip spikes.. Other than the lights they are nothing more than MOV's (Metal Oxide Varistors) Plug a 30 amp one into 240 volts the MOV's may well explode (Make noise no damage and no good after that) but they do nothing to protect your RV. Low voltage does not bother them. (NOTE many have plugged 30 amp TT-30 plugs into 240 volt and regretted it. two (well 3) ways this happens. one you have legal recourse more later.
The top end units HW-50c PTX-50 (PI models) or the 30 amp equivalent have a display (Remote on the hard wired ones) that displays Volts, Amps and other stuff (Error codes) not just lights.
First: They delay power on.. This is important because of two things. IF there is a power BLINK (off/on in less than a few minutes) it is hard on compressors like Air Condeitioners. MY Surge Guard held power off for over 2 1/2 minutes.. Progressive Industries eitehr 15 seconds or nearly 3 minutes (installer's chocie on hard wired, Longer delay on portables.. This means the A/C does a normal re-start (less damaging)
During this time it "Tests" the line. You plug a 30 amp plug into a 240 volt outlet that 2 1/2 to 3 minutes becomes forever as the display tells you of the problem
The display (and a bit of knowledge) has told me when a power issue was the park's problem. or mine, and what the problem was in a few cases.
LOW voltage is also an issue especially for compressors and guess what the better units shut down power if the voltage is too low (Same as too high)
How can you plug a TT-30 into 240 volts?
There is an outlet that is for Dryers or Air compressors, Deep fryers and the like that, though it is not designed for a TT-30, will accept one.
Once I was at an electrical supply house looking for a switch (no joy) and a professional electrician was buying a TT-30 outlet for install at a friend's house... He also purchased a standard dual ganged (240 volt)) breaker set... I pointed out to him where it said RIGHT ON THE OUTLET it was a 125 volt maximum (120 volt outlet) Yup he was about to blow all the electronics in his customer's RV (That's the legal recourse OPPS) I've heard of DIYers doing that too. (No Recourse) And in very rare cases. RV parks.
There is a way it can happen in an RV park that's accident as well.
Thank you Charles. Great infoIf you have a 50 amp RV, buy the 50 amp version, it will work fine when 30-50 adapters are used.
Three major players in the business. Progressive Industries (not to be confused with Progressive Dynamics), Hughes Autoformers, and Southwire's Surge Guard.
All three of these companies make units that do essentially the same thing. Lesser products in their line will merely indicate if there is a problem when you plug in and leave it up to the user to determine if they want to stay plugged in or not. Their top of the line units test for various problems upon initial plug in and keep checking while the unit is plugged in.
Progessive has a comparison chart of their products and the functions they perform.
Portable & Hardwired Comparisons | progressiveind
Southwire has a similar chart, scroll to the bottom of the web page to see it.
Surge Guard RV Power Protection | Southwire RV
Hughes has a similar chart also, again just scroll down the page till you get to it.
Products – Power Watchdog | Hughes Autoformers
Each of these products have good and bad points.
Hughes uses Bluetooth to an app to show what is going on, volts, amps, etc. and is also compatible with the WhisperRV system (which is a third party product that integrates information from electrical, propane and tank levels plus security and other sensors and is capable of wifi or internet communication to keep you posted if fido is getting hot due to a power failure, etc.
Progressive does not have any Bluetooth units however their hardwired units have a very nice indicator that can be mounted inside the RV and shows the volts, amps and cycles, plus error codes. (these are the only USA made units that I know of, and the only ones to show you cycles/Hz)
I am not familiar with the Surge Guard products enough to know the features they offer, but they seem to be lagging in development of their products in comparison to the others.
Thanks Lou. Great info.I am new to RVing and need to know which kind of EMS system is best and will that protect me with either 30 and/or 50 amps service? My rig input is for 50 amps but only one a/c so I could easily get by with 30amps and and only have the adapters with no surge protection yet. I would like to get something permanent that would eliminate this problem and provide proper elec protection? Hope you can help if not please send me in helpful direction...new on forum as well.
I use a Progressive EMS unit. Won't plug in without it. Here's why.
In our second season, we were in an old campground at the far end from the entrance. It was stupid hot and humid. Entered the coach a couple of times to find the AC off, and its breaker tripped. I reset it a couple of times. Eventually noticed the lights "browning out" occasionally. Turns out the circuit we were on was the oldest in the park, and hadn't yet been replaced. With the hot weather and everyone running their AC, there were frequent and severe voltage drops.
Next trip out, yup, no AC. Blowing warm. The low voltage fried the compressor. Thankfully, we were still inside the Coleman warrantee, and they replaced it.
Ever since, I only plug in with the EMS connected. We've been in similar circumstances a number of times since then, and the unit has disconnected us every time. When power returns to spec, it delays reconnecting a bit over two minutes, to give the AC compressor time to cool off and lose pressure.
Trust me, it's three-hundred-something bucks well spent.