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Old 09-29-2019, 06:23 AM   #1
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Progressive Surge Major Issue

I’m throwing this out there for anyone who has the hard wired Progressive surge protector in their camper. We’ve had ours for 3 years and it’s been flawless. I’ve told anyone who’s been in the market for a surge protector to get one. Fast forward to yesterday on our camping trip. Around lunch time I walked past the kitchen area and distinctly smelled hot electrical components. You know the smell if you’ve ever smelled it. It’s that something is wrong smell that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up moment. I call my wife over and she confirms something smells hot. Proceeding to track it down, crawling on my hands and knees, I’m drawn to the electrical center. Ours is mounted under the stove next to the sink. It’s smells fine so I move in and open the cabinet under the sink and the smell is STRONG. Ok, something is definitely hot, there is no doubt. I check the Progressive remote readout and nothing is amiss. Pulling around 13.5 amps at 119 volts so I’m guessing something small is shorted or wearing out. My only choice is to pull out the stove because that’s where all the campers wiring comes in and branches out. I pulled the stove out and the smell and heat hits me like a cloud of bad vibes. Right away I see the main box of the Progressive EMS box has a melted top lid and it’s humming. It’s so hot I can’t touch it and it’s humming like angry bees. We dash out and throw the breaker on the campsite pedestal and I throw all the inside breakers for good measure. This is what I found when I took off the lid to my Progressive unit.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:33 AM   #2
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The pass through montitor that you slide your wire through has sharp edges. There is no way to mount it anywhere so per the instructions you pass the wire through and it just ďfloatsĒ there. Well, apparently 3 years of jiggling in the camper the sharp edge slowly wore it way through the insulation of the adjacent wire and caused a direct short. It never crossed my mind that could happen, I assumed (wrongly) that someone smarter than me had made sure that wasnít possible. My electrician friend whoís camping with us was astounded that that was designed that way.

We were moments from leaving for the beach when I smelled it the first time. I canít imagine if weíd ignored it or not smelled it. Iím all but positive we were bound for an electrical fire. I donít understand how the unit was functioning shorted out this bad, creating this much heat. But, Iím no electrician so Iíll leave that for them to tell me.

This isnít a bash thread, Iíve loved this unit. This is just a design flaw that can be a major problem. If you have one of these PLEASE go pop off the lid and make sure those wires arenít rubbing on that pass through meter thing. Itís worth the look, this came out of nowhere with no indication of a problem. That wire got so hot it melted/welded itself 6-7Ē back from the connection and I had to cut a foot off my camper side connection to find good wire again. Now we are wired back together without the EMS obviously.

Be safe out there and Iíll let you know what Progressive says.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:37 AM   #3
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That is one reason I've never been a fan of permanently installed units.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:40 AM   #4
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Nope, itís been 98 and sunny here in Florida. You can see on the picture where Iím holding the pass through where it rubbed in that edge and shorted out once the insulation was penetrated. I imagine 3 years of slowly wiggling finally sawed through it. Weíd just driven 12 hours to get here and hadnít been hooked up to our site long before this happened.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:51 AM   #5
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Wow, glad you discovered that when you did. Contact Progressive, you'll need pics which you already have and proof of purchase for the warranty claim. My portable Progressive unit went out and I had a new one in 6 days. Best of luck.
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Old 09-29-2019, 06:59 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by TCNashville View Post
Wow, glad you discovered that when you did. Contact Progressive, you'll need pics which you already have and proof of purchase for the warranty claim. My portable Progressive unit went out and I had a new one in 6 days. Best of luck.
Appreciate it, hopefully they help me out. I’ll never travel without a protector in the camper and it’s been a great unit.
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Old 09-29-2019, 07:43 AM   #7
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My first thought on seeing the pictures was that the connection to the wire was loose and that the melted spot on the sensor was a result and not a cause.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:06 AM   #8
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That is one reason I've never been a fan of permanently installed units.
I agree with that too. Being that these are add-on accessories, anything can go wrong. I'd rather have it burn up attached to the pedestal, with a portable unit, then attached to my rig.
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Old 09-29-2019, 08:06 AM   #9
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My first thought on seeing the pictures was that the connection to the wire was loose and that the melted spot on the sensor was a result and not a cause.
The connections were all tight. It wasnít hooked up long enough for a loose connection to spark and build heat especially with nothing moving it to make it repeatedly connect and disconnect. On a moving object Iíd think that would be possible but a loose connection on the terminal block wouldnít have caused a direct short and welded the wires.
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Old 09-29-2019, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
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The connections were all tight. It wasnít hooked up long enough for a loose connection to spark and build heat especially with nothing moving it to make it repeatedly connect and disconnect. On a moving object Iíd think that would be possible but a loose connection on the terminal block wouldnít have caused a direct short and welded the wires.
How often in the past 3 years have you opened up the case and checked the lug screws? That looks like a loose connection. I see the same result in the HVAC industry all the time. The heating and cooling of that lug screw and the vibration of the RV couldíve caused the loose connection. I usually check the lug screws in mine once a year. Just a thought.
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Old 09-29-2019, 12:22 PM   #11
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How often in the past 3 years have you opened up the case and checked the lug screws? That looks like a loose connection. I see the same result in the HVAC industry all the time. The heating and cooling of that lug screw and the vibration of the RV could’ve caused the loose connection. I usually check the lug screws in mine once a year. Just a thought.
When I opened the case the only burnt spots were where the bare wire was touching the pass through meter on that sharp corner and where it terminated at the lug. The 1st picture was after I’d started moving things around and the insulation crumbled. The second picture is after we unhooked the wires and the insulation turned to dust, you can see the flakes on the bottom of the case. The third picture was from me turning the pass through over so you could see right where the sharp corner was and where it arced. The guy camping with me is a Master Electrician who works for IPL. I called him over from his camper to figure out what was going on once I found the source and smell. When we saw the melted top we knew there was an issue. I appreciate the loose lug screw connection theories but i don’t believe it’s the cause here. I posted this so people would look inside theirs and make sure their wire wasn’t rubbing on that sharp edge like mine had done for years and 8000 miles over bumpy back roads and highways. I followed the directions like I’m sure others have so they’d make sure to not have the same result. I wish I’d been smarter and routed it differently somehow and this never would have happened. I service commercial and residential door operators and deal with high voltage and damaged wiring a lot. I should have done better. Between he and I I’m sticking with my previous worn insulation theory from what I saw.
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:10 PM   #12
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You must fill out the Warranty Claim Form before they will take action. When I had an issue I sent them an E-mail with photos and they immediately sent me to their website. Once I filled out the form I received an E-mail within the hour stating they would review my claim. They then verified my claim and 5 days later I received a new unit. There might be a catch for your Hardwired Unit because they make this statement:


Progressive Industries will only send replacement parts directly to a qualified RV dealer for installation. The warranty does not cover labor costs associated with repairs or replacement units.


https://www.progressiveindustries.net/warranty


https://www.progressiveindustries.net/troubleshooting


https://www.progressiveindustries.ne...nty-claim-form
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Old 09-29-2019, 02:10 PM   #13
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That is one reason I've never been a fan of permanently installed units.
Ditto Grumpy. I chose the exterior pedestal model and very happy with it.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:44 PM   #14
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I know about when I bought ours, and did register it with them, but the proof of purchase part is impossible. The paperwork was lost in a move. I wonder if I have a legit claim in the future, they'll deny it.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:50 PM   #15
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Where did you buy it? Possibly the seller could give you a duplicate. I bought mine from Amazon and they have every item I have ever bought on file since 2010. Just printed my invoice and that was good enogh.
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Old 09-29-2019, 03:59 PM   #16
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Being in the HVAC world for the last 32 years I can tell you, without any doubt, that all started with a loose connection as seen in the first picture.

I highly doubt you will get any warranty with that type of failure. Not Progressives fault.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:02 PM   #17
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It was just long enough ago, that I truly don't even remember. It's one of the old, big square portable ones. So far, it's still going strong, and it really doesn't owe me a dime. I was just curious about the 'proof' thing.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:17 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Scott_Trailer_Newbe View Post
Being in the HVAC world for the last 32 years I can tell you, without any doubt, that all started with a loose connection as seen in the first picture.

I highly doubt you will get any warranty with that type of failure. Not Progressives fault.
Looking at picture where the lug that the burnt wire was attached to... that is burnt / oxidized right along with that wire. Overheated conductor lost it's insulation that allowed the conductor to touch the amp-meter coil.
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Old 09-29-2019, 04:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Scott_Trailer_Newbe View Post
Being in the HVAC world for the last 32 years I can tell you, without any doubt, that all started with a loose connection as seen in the first picture.

I highly doubt you will get any warranty with that type of failure. Not Progressives fault.
DITTO. I see it all the time.
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Old 09-30-2019, 04:07 AM   #20
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I agree with that too. Being that these are add-on accessories, anything can go wrong. I'd rather have it burn up attached to the pedestal, with a portable unit, then attached to my rig.
Exactly why I have two PT50X's. One full time use and a spare so I'm never not protected.

Theft concern? After 9 years full time use (PT50C's initially) my unit has never even thought about walking off and I have never talked to someone who knew someone's brother in laws cousin that had one stolen.
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