What exactly is a surge and what causes it?
- A surge is a spike or a short high voltage, typically over 300 volts.
- It can be caused by lightning, heavy equipment switching on and off, or even people a/c units clicking in and out.
- It’s damaging because electronic chips require a smooth voltage and a spike can disrupt or even permanently destroy them. That can mean needing to replace your flat screen TV, satellite receiver, Tivo, DVD player or any of your RV’s onboard electronic systems.
- So if you travel in an RV, what should you do, buy lots of the power strips?
- Unfortunately those strips only offer limited protection. You’d be much better off with a dedicated surge protector such as the Profressive SSP–50
- If I use one of those, I’m protected right?
- I’m afraid not. Although people are most familiar with spikes or surges, there are other potential dangers when you hook up, some of which are much more common than surges.
- Most common is low voltage … caused by old wiring and too much load.
- Other things to watch for are open ground, open neutral and reverse polarity.
- How do I protect myself again those?
- You can buy inexpensive circuit tester gauges to plug in which will test the line.
- Progressive Surge Protectors have circuit testers built-in.
- BUT, your voltage varies throughout the day so even if everything is okay when you hook up, you are at risk if the voltage drops.
- TechnoRV recommends the Progressive EMS (Electrical Management System). It will physically cut off the power if any fault condition exists, then continuously monitor it and reset the power when everything checks out.
- Are the expensive?
- Anywhere from $250 – $400 depending upon the model. But all it takes is one incident and it will have paid for itself.
- For example, an open neutral on a 50A service will bring 240v into your rig and can cause anywhere up $10,000+ worth of damage
- Be safe. If you travel and hook up in unfamiliar places, be sure you have the right level of electrical protection.
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