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Old 06-23-2016, 06:56 PM   #1
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Low Voltage-what is too low?

When running AC at current campground, voltage is sagging to below 104v, where my surge/voltage protector shuts off the power. Really need the AC for the dogs. No info in manuals about acceptable range. Take a chance and bypass the protector?
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:29 PM   #2
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103 is the critical voltage level so your surge protector is doing it's job.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:32 PM   #3
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Most protectors will shut off at + 10% or - 10% of normal, or 108 and 132. Higher or lower than that may begin to cause issues. 104 is very low, have you spoken with the campground ? You risk working your AC hard at that voltage which can lead to motors overheating or worse. I would never bypass a safety device that is working as designed.
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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I've seen this enough times that I decided to solve it with an autoformer. It's an expensive solution but rather that than a burned up AC. Some campgrounds don't have adequate infrastructure to handle a bunch of ACs running at the same time so the line loss causes the voltage to sag.

I'd be really concerned at 104VAC. I've been known to run my generator during those low voltage periods.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:10 AM   #5
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I was staying at a park with voltage like that. A good friend was parked next door. He had no protection for low voltage and his compressor fried. Low voltage = More current = More Heat. I purchased one of those (step up) auto transformer it was mostly useless other than acting as a isolator. I suppose if you purchase a super duty unit that's costly you'd see improvement.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:17 AM   #6
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If you are going to bypass your surge voltage protector why have one? DONT DO IT your dogs will be even more disappointed when you fry the A/C unit and have to replace it
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:13 AM   #7
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I'm not sure what the cutoff is, but I have a EMS30 installed in my camper. We were camping at a beautiful state park last weekend and the power kept shutting off due to low voltage, and it was around 103-104 during the day.

Towards the evening when people's AC's were cranking as hard, the voltage came back and my EMS allowed the power to stay on. Its not worth destroying my air conditioner with low voltage for me, so I am very pleased with my EMS unit... money well spent in my opinion!
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Old 06-24-2016, 08:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seann45 View Post
If you are going to bypass your surge voltage protector why have one? DONT DO IT your dogs will be even more disappointed when you fry the A/C unit and have to replace it
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Old 06-24-2016, 09:31 AM   #9
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Thanks all, as I suspected, but hoped otherwise...the EMS trips off, then resets. AC starts up, then the EMS cuts it off again. So far, if I run water on propane, don't use microwave, etc., volts don't drop below 109 and AC stays running. CG sent their maint. guy over, who verified, but no solution. Only other sites open are ones we can't get in to. Will monitor closely today. Bummer, as we gave up prime State Park no-power site, in favor of a much more expensive private CG, just to be able to have the power!
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Old 06-24-2016, 11:52 AM   #10
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I had this problem many years ago at a county park in Blythe, Ca on Labor Day weekend. My motorhome would not accept anything below 106 volts. AC would trip the breaker, and we would have no power at all. Ended up having to sleep in a friend's RV, because it was still 100 degrees at night and sweltering in our RV. Yes, 104 volts on a 115 volt motor causes it to draw way more current, which creates way more heat, and the compressor motor will eventually fail. We got a tip from the ranger to take a spot much closer to the park's transformers, and it kept the voltage more like 108-109 volts, which made the compressor motor happier. This is the reason I always carry at least one volt meter with me everywhere in the RV.
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