Progressive Industries EMS-LCHW30 Review - FAIL

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JayArr

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So after hearing for the last year how these units protect the RV and let you know when the campground is wired wrong I pulled the trigger and bought one. Not Cheap but if it saves me once that's all I need and since I will be recharging batteries from a generator while boondocking I thought some monitoring would be appropriate.

This has been a disappointment from the start. The biggest problem is that it doesn't fully work. The current reading never goes above 1 Amp even with my AC on so that's not right. I grab the installation instructions and they are for the 50A unit and I guess I'm expected to extrapolate for the 30A unit. The picture for the 30A unit shows the current sensor just sitting on top of the display board uninstalled - not helpful.

Here's what ticks me off, the instructions specifically state that the current sensor is to be installed with the arrows pointing at the contactor.

My current sensor has no arrows!

I'm going to suppose that they changed supplier and are using different current sense transformers abut they could have either marked them or changed the manual. Giving me a manual that doesn't match the product they shipped is very unprofessional!

So I tried the current sensor in both directions but don't get a correct reading either way.

Lastly - and I'll admit this is nit picky - would it have killed them to include two split ring washers for the ground connections? Was that a cost they couldn't afford?

Let me add that I am an Electronics Engineering Technologist with 25 years of experience repairing power circuit boards. If I have trouble with this kit then I can easily see that DIYers with less experience could also run into problems.

I would NOT recommend this to anyone without a high level of electrical/electronic experience.
 

JayArr

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Take a look at the pictures of my current sensors. Do you see any arrows?
 

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Rene T

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Have tried giving them a call. I called them once in mine and they responded much better than I thought they would. They gave me a new unit.
 

JayArr

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It's installed below my oven so the trailer is all apart with the oven and furnace out, even if they offer to send a replacement I would have to leave the trailer all apart until it arrives or take it all apart a second time. That's a lot of extra time and effort on my part to compensate for a defective product on their part.

I really don't want to wait. I'll probably just write off the money I paid and use it without the overcurrent protection.

They've really shot themselves in the foot here. I repair RV inverters for a living and unless they come up with a really good solution I'll be hard pressed to ever recommend their products to any of my customers.

Some of the comments I read were that this was a Made in the USA product with high standards but mine says Made in Mexico so it looks like they've sold out and given up on Quality Control.
 

Rene T

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You’ve given up on them without even giving them a shot at making it better. In all the years I’ve been on this forum and the countless posts about the Progressive Industries surge protector, I believe you are the first one who’s had an issue so I think they have a pretty good batting average.
 

JayArr

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Maybe I'm just the only one that's being vocal about it. I went on Amazon where I bought this and a lot of the reviews are negative, I should have paid attention before I bought it.

It's possible that for years they built quality products in the USA and had a great reputation. Perhaps this is a new level of quality that is related to them outsourcing the assembly to a Mexican outfit that isn't building them as well as the American plant used to.

The design looks good, the build quality 'looks' good but it doesn't work.

How did this leave the factory when it doesn't work? The only thing I can think of is that they aren't testing them.

I'll happily post up if they replace it, I have sent them an email. It appears from Amazon's perspective that I waited too long to install it and a return is no longer an option.

Even if they replace it, what about the hour or two of my life that got wasted, and I just supposed to pretend that didn't happen? It ticks me off that sometimes big companies act like they think my time isn't worth anything.
 

johnhicks

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Well....I've had one installed in my MH since 2013 and yes, it's save me a few times.

Did you buy it from the Progressive Industries store on Amazon? It's rated four and a half stars from that source and has only two critical reviews. I vaguely recall something several years ago about Progressive having trouble with grey market imports but I have no idea if that's applicable.

The installation/operation manual on the Progressive Industries website clearly states that the current sensor can go either direction. Your unit may have a problem; I suggest that a call to Progressive Industries is in order.

800-307-6702​

 

JayArr

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Since I'm in Canada I purchased it directly from Amazon.ca, The reviews are probably different on the Amazon.com and Amazon.ca sites.

The installation/operation manual on the Progressive Industries website clearly states that the current sensor can go either direction.

That's not the manual that came with my unit! It appears to be updated.

I found what you are talking about, in the section for the 50A unit on page 4 step 7

The current sensor(s) can be oriented in either direction.

So now I'm 99% sure this is a defective unit straight from the factory, obviously no Quality Control when Hecha A Mexico.
 

JayArr

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I just thought of a way PI could make things right. They could send me a new one with the remote display. That would be an upgrade and it would compensate for my lost time. I'll see if they'll go for that or if they think my time isn't worth anything.

Stay Tuned.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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PI doesn't make it very clear that wiring in the EMS-LCHW30 is a tad more than just plugging in a couple wires. They could do a better job of explaining for those who may be novices at electrical power. That said, the wiring diagram for the 30A model seems clear enough that the black (hot) wire goes thru the single current sensor used in that model. It also shows the terminal connections for black & white wires, in & out.
 

JayArr

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Here are pics of the manual they sent with the unit. The last page has a date code of (08/19)

Notice how it keeps telling me to orient the arrows? Confusing as heck when there are no arrows.
 

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Gary RV_Wizard

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Those instructions must be for a previous model - the current version is much different (although it still fails to distinguish 50A vs 30A wiring except by diagram). Compare what you have to the document linked in my previous reply. I'm guessing you received one of those gray-market units, apparently with mismatched documentation.

Notice the instructions quoted below say nothing about arrows and explicitly states that the sensor is not directional.

The cable that came from the transfer box connects to the output side of the EMS
control box in the same manner. Next slide the black wire through the current
sensor containing the green mark and connect to T1 and then connect the white
wire to T2. Now slide the red wire through the other current sensor and attach to
T3. The current sensor(s) can be oriented in either direction.
Next, attach the green
ground wire to the ground screw on the side of box (see visual references on page
9). Make sure the conductor’s colors match up across from each other. Torque
down the set screws and ground nut to secure connections
 

JayArr

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I see that now Gary, it is possible it is a grey market unit, I don't know how to tell.

I bought the unit directly from Amazon, no third party seller. It is listed as:

"Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca."

I thought Amazon was more careful about their suppliers so that buying directly from them would avoid the fakes and the knockoffs.

My gut tells me this is a genuine unit but has QC issues

The manual that came with the unit has a date code on the last page 08/19 the one in your download says 12/21.

It could be that Progressive Industries just got sloppy and is shipping old manuals with the new units, maybe they had too many of the 08/19 manuals printed and they are too cheap to throw them out and have new ones printed.
 

John From Detroit

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On the current senor. Is that "ring" (Toroid) that slips over the likely black wire?
If so it should not matter which way you install it It responds to the changing magnetic field as current flows BACK AND FORTH in the wire... .
If it is properly wired but never goes over one amp it is possible the unit is defective.
NOTE.. If you are color blind and slipped it over the wrong wire.....
But the black wire is HOT. White neutral. Green Ground. the Toroid Sensor goes on the black.
(Green should never carry current)

Also just the One wire through the toroid.
There should be no RED wire on 30 amps.
 

JayArr

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Thanks John,

I double checked all that. One black wire is all that goes through it. No red, only 30Amps.

Either the sensor is defective or the main board is defective.

I know it shouldn't matter what orientation since it's AC - the question becomes "Why were there arrows and why did they need to point in a specific direction?"

You see in the manual they sent me that they reference them and indicate they must point at T1/T3 (contactor).
 

RNS

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OP is from Canada so the .ca. They have quite a few extensions .in, .cn, .se.
 

uchu

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Interesting that the domain name is .CA (Canada), rather than Amazon.com. I think that is a legitimate subsidiary of Amazon, but I wonder if the unit itself is totally legit.
Yes, It's the official domain for the Canadian Amazon. Like, for example, amazon.de for the German Amazon.
 
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