Surge protector

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.
I have this exact unit. It is great and gives peace of mind. If you get this one, read the directions (which I have to admit I did not do initially). You plug the unit in and then need to wait a few mins until the unit cycles through a series of tests to determine if the power source is safe. Then you can plug it in as long as the power source is good to go.
 
I have the portable Watchdog. Reading this thread, I began to consider having a hardwired unit for ease of setup, one less connection, etc.
However, just this morning on another RV forum, a member was looking for a solution after having a power surge in a campground that fried his hardwired Watchdog. His RV is pretty much dead electrically.
Now, I’m sticking with the portable.

Re-read my last or I'll just re-type
Look up a Hughes Autoformer Install kit.
I did basically the same thing with my surge guard.> here is what you need to do it.
Two proper size RV outlets (50 amp in my case)
One short proper size cable Like 1 foot should be enough
Two "pigtails" with plug Same siz

Access to either the ATS or Power panel IF a Class A with generator I trust the generator so put it in the Shore line to the ATS.

Procedure
Remove shore line from ATS and connect to one of the outlets
Replace with one of the Pigtails
Other pigtail goes to the Surge Guard (Note this is specific for that brand)
Short cable connects Load slde of Surge guard to other outlet
(note you may be able to get an outlet type Pigtail less work)

Plug ATS into Surge guard.. Plug Surge guard into shore line.

IF IT GETS FRIED.. unplug and plug in ATS to shore line (original hookup)

For Progressive Industries

You need a longer proper size cable or a longer pigtail as this unit is "Wired through" if I'm not mistaken Plug and Outlet.. Otherwise same idea.

NOTE> on the Surge guard the terminals are exposed. I did insulate them so as to insure I never made PERSONAL contact.
 
You plug the unit in and then need to wait a few mins until the unit cycles through a series of tests to determine if the power source is safe. Then you can plug it in as long as the power source is good to go.
The PI unit is set by default to delay the closing of the contacts by 136 seconds. It only takes a couple of seconds to determine if the voltage, cycles, hot/neutral/ground are all proper, but the time delay is there in case the power drops and comes back on. The A/C unit will try to come on before the pressures have dropped if power is restored too quickly. If you have a newer A/C unit that has its own built in time delay, an internal jumper change on the circuit board will reduce the time delay to about 5 seconds.

My PI EMS has a bypass switch which allows me to function even after my surge protector is cooked..
The EMS units will function even with a blown surge protector, however you have no surge protection. The bypass is to force the contactors closed to give you power even if the unit says you should not, such as high or low cycles, high or low voltage or crossed neutral/hot or crossed hot/ground (the units are unable to differentiate between ground and neutral so if they are crossed, you won't know it. The only reason to use the bypass is if you have measured all of the above mentioned parameters and found them OK and have determined the EMS is WRONG.

It's either Progressive or Southwire's EMS. The advantage of both of these unit's is that they disconnect your RV from the pedestal when things go south.
The Hughes Watchdog is functionally the same as either of the other two EMS units you linked to above, and is also available as portable or hardwired. The Hughes unit uses Bluetooth to an app to allow you to monitor the volts, wattage draw, etc. If you are in a campground long term that meters power, it keeps track of Kwh consumption and allows you to see how close the campgrounds meter is to it. Of course we all know about apps, some work, some don't, depending on the device you are running it on and the generation of operating system. The app can be a crapshoot so you have to take that into consideration, but it does allow me to monitor the device out on the pedestal.

The Progressive Industries units will protect against accidental 240v across the plug, without damage. I have found thru personal experience that the Hughes unit, when powered with 240 via an accidental miswiring of a TT-30 receptacle, will BLOW UP the MOVs in the surge protector. The Hughes technician could not explain why it did this, but they did send me a new unit. No, I did not miswire the outlet, someone who supposedly knew what they were doing did that for a neighbor, and I got caught in the trap with the Watchdog. That won't happen again.

Also, the Hughes units have a illuminated face, and I do mean illuminated. It is BRIGHT, and screams "steal me". I am not particularly concerned about theft, I think it is extremely rare, but having the face illuminated is not cool. Hughes SELLS a stick on face that DIMS this, but I simply opened up the unit and unplugged the wire connector for the LEDs in the face, from the circuit board. Hughes claims that the illuminated face is to inform you that the unit is working. I hear it clunk when the contactor closes, and I can look at either the app, or at a Kill-a-watt meter I keep plugged in, inside the trailer to verify the function. I don't need the face lit up.

If you desire the hardwired PI unit, get the one with the remote display, so you can install the display somewhere inside the RV. The hardwired units with the display in the top of them are not too handy to look at. I installed my remote just below the control panel inside my MH. It uses a standard phone cord, and the one provided is quite long.

Charles
 

Attachments

  • EMS HW30 remote installation.jpg
    EMS HW30 remote installation.jpg
    189.7 KB · Views: 2
Last edited:
Ran across this one. It says if you have a power surge you don't have to throw the whole unit in the trash. It has a replaceable module. Might be a better option since these are so pricey.
 
41iwHNdkdJL._AC_SL1000_.jpg

Here is the picture I forgot to insert. Couldn't figure out how to edit my post.
 
The Hughes unit pictured above is the type I was commenting about that has the lighted face. I have the 30 amp version of this and it also has Bluetooth to an app you can put on your phone to monitor the power.

The progressive units also have replaceable surge suppressor boards. Its actually rare that the suppressors will blow, you would need a lightning strike nearby to blow one. The problem is, they actually don't have a lot of absorption capability measured in Joules of energy and maximum clamping voltage.

Note that none of the RV surge suppressors on the market today meet the IEEE standards protective devices for surge suppression. If you want some real surge suppression, it may be necessary to install a device such as This Siemens whole house surge suppression device. After having three WIFI units in my shop blown by surges plus a TV, I finally installed one on the shops main circuit panel last summer. If I am home and a bad storm is coming my way, I still shut down and disconnect the WIFI in the shop, the TV, speakers and unplug the RV, but I depend on this when I am not around. (the shop is metered separately from the house and is fed from a different transformer)

Note that new construction is required to have a whole house surge protections unit, such as this one, required by current National Electric Code.
 
You plug the unit in and then need to wait a few mins until the unit cycles through a series of tests to determine if the power source is safe.
All of the EMS type units that I'm aware of have that same process but the wait time varies. It is probably one of the most valuable aspects of the units. While I have used one for about 25 years and I suspect that it has prevented problems over the years, it is very difficult to prove when a problem is avoided. Many of the things that it avoids are things that might not cause an immediate failure but the effects of such things are cumulative and shorten the lives of many RV appliances. I would compare exposing your RV to power line issues to the case of people smoking. Not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer but most would have lived longer if they had not smoked. That same thing is true for RV appliances that are exposed to voltage or other power line issues. In the electrical service industry, we call that bruising in that each time your appliances are exposed to high or low voltages it does a small amount of damage so that appliance my last only 5 years where most last 10 or more.
It says if you have a power surge you don't have to throw the whole unit in the trash. It has a replaceable module.
I can't attest to all brands, but I do know that both the Surge Guard and the Progressive devices can have the surge protective items replaced in the event that a surge does happen. I have done that work, once for my own Surge Guard and two other times for someone I knew who had Progressive.
 
There are two types of things the good ones protect against
The real surge guard units do both Surges and Spikes.
The MOV's do the spikes and the computer stuff that measures voltages handles Surges. What's the difference? A Spike generally lasts less than 1/30th of a second. a Surge can be much much longer.. A true surge the MOV's tend to sound like firecrackers and need replacement.. MANY Spikes can also damage them (should you live that long) ... But the comptuer parts will shut you down on a real surge (Sustained high voltage) (They also shut down on low)

Spike suppressors are sold as "Surge guards" but well I had about half a dozen of those when I got hit with a genuine surge due to a power company error. How I know they sound like firecrackers when they explode.

That surge took out a computer power supply and the blower motor on my furnace.

The "power on" Delay is exclusive to the Good ones. the cheaper Spike suppressors" do not have that feature. and generally no "Display" other than a few LEDs. The good ones either a roughly 3 minute delay or a selectable (Progressive Industries HW units) 30 second or nearly 3 minutes. I choose the longer delay.. Why delay.?

Power Blinks. (LIke an eye blink) Where power goes out for like 1 second or two.

Your A/C is not trying to start with a full head of pressure.. Not happening. So is your next site neighbor's and his next site and ... well you get the idea.
All those stalled compressors are going to make for some fun power swings and spike/surges for a couple minutes.. You get to sit there and relax. finally after a couple of mintues their compressors having finally gotten around to starting.. Yours kiks in and avoids all the "Hard Start" issues and damage.
 
There are two types of things the good ones protect against
While I do not disagree with your description of the two issues, it is important to state that the name Surge Guard is a registered trademark from the first product marketed to supply power line protection for RVs. The other point that I would mention is that most, if not all of the electricity supply monitoring products do much more than those 2 things. They first check for open grounds or neutral lines, for both under and over voltages, for reversed polarity, and some for frequency variations and line noise.
 
I like "Energy Monitors" and yes the Surge Guard brand did detect some park side issues with power like a lose screw (What can I say some parks have a screw loose) Made diagnosis of issues way way way easier when there was problems due to the status of the device.

Those six outlet strips you find at your local Store are also called "Surge Guards" they are not even close to the Better RV products. the term is like Band-Aid (I prever Curad or Compeed, Band aid bought Compeed) yes it's a brand name but it's also used as a generic.. Improperly in most cases.
 
Back
Top Bottom