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Old 04-08-2011, 09:55 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bertscampers View Post
David, I would love to see that mod. I never even thought that I needed a surge protector. Thanks guys for all the info. I just keep learning. Cheers
The "hard wired" 30A Surge Guard within my Seasonal site TT looks like: http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w...e/100_2043.jpg

Within Canada, many RV Dealers sell this same device from $400 - $525 (+ 13% taxes). No kidding!!!!

If you travel into the states or trust e-bay or private "cross border" sales, do purchase the same product States side. If wondering, I purchased this "used" Surge Protector for $225 Canadian. If into brand new products, Camping World often has them listed as "member price" for $209. Thus, saving huge amount of dollars. The cost savings alone is worth a camping trip into north states.

Surge Guard is good (install it and leave it product) but I find its dummy lights (re: Off/On lights) very limited. Without an LED "Amps Usage" display, I'm now "on the hunt" for an affordable AC Meter. For example: http://www.modmyrv.com/wp-content/ga...r-analog-1.jpg Thus, showing both highs and lows - before the Surge Guard does its protection.

Next time around, I'd spend a little more dollars and buy the Progressive Industries 30A hard wire unit (that has an LED display). For example: http://www.dyersonline.com/progressi...nt-system.html

Regardless of what specific Surge Protection product one uses, Surge Protection on dirty power CG grids is mandatory in my books as well. IMO, Surge Protection should be mandatory base build. But, that's a topic for a different thread.

Hope this helps in your research....

.
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Old 04-08-2011, 11:27 AM   #12
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We brought home our new 22FB yesterday, which gave me a better chance to examine the converter and read its manual. The trailer has a PD4000 series converter made by Progressive Dynamics. This converter already has a good surge protection circuit on the shore power input. Also, since we are starting the 2 year warranty period, any modifications would void the warranty. For these reasons, I see no need to add any home brew surge protection - it's already designed into the converter.
David - are you sure the PD4000 has a built in surge protector? I didnt see it anywhere on the specs.
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:36 PM   #13
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In the converter manual, read page 3, troubleshooting guide as follows;

Problem: No Output

Possible Cause: Unit has shut down due to overvoltage

Action: Converter will shut down if input voltage exceeds 132 volts

===========
This is how a properly designed surge protector works. The MOV is wired in parallel with the load side of the main breaker. During a surge, the MOV clamps in nano-seconds and draws MUCH current for the duration of the surge, which is supposed to trip the main breaker ASAP. The MOV is much faster than any fuse or breaker. Designed this way, you have the protection you need for the converter and the circuits it powers. So, the next question would be, which needs to be looked into, what about protection for the 120 volt section of the TT wiring. The same solution applies, just need to look if there is an MOV wired in parallel with the load side of the main breaker. I need to look deeper for that.

Note: very short duration voltage spikes would just be clamped, and would not trip the main breaker.
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:30 PM   #14
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Well cool...you got a bonus! Wish every converter included that!
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:15 AM   #15
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David, I will check my book tomorrow. Thanks for the post.
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:57 AM   #16
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I have the new PD-4000 power control center. My understanding of the unit is that it has basically two functions...AC/DC distribution and DC converter/charger.

The 45 amp DC converter has a great charger with AC Over/Under voltage protection. The over/under voltage protection is for the DC converter only. I don't think it does anything for the AC side at all, meaning no protection for TV/AC/Microwave etc. It has protection for itself but not for the other AC appliances.

I went ahead and installed a Surge Guard unit.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:48 PM   #17
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This is how a properly designed surge protector works. The MOV is wired in parallel with the load side of the main breaker. During a surge, the MOV clamps in nano-seconds and draws MUCH current for the duration of the surge, which is supposed to trip the main breaker ASAP.
Problem is that circuit breakers take tens of milliseconds or seconds to trip. Surges are done in microseconds. A circuit breaker would easily conduct 300 consecutive surges before it even thought about tripping. MOV does not trip breakers.

MOVs are for massive current events that seek earth ground. Either the MOV makes a short connection (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth. Or it does nothing useful. The surge uses appliances to obtain earth destructively. If anything tries to stop a surge (ie circuit breaker), then voltage increases as necessary to blow through that circuit breaker. A second reason why breakers do not provide electronics protection.

Surge Guard is not a surge protector. It is for voltages that might exceed or drop below normally acceptable ranges by a small amount. For voltages that might be harmful to motorized appliances. MOVs typically do nothing - stay inert - until 120 VAC voltages well exceed 300 volts. Are typically for voltages that might otherwise exceed 1000 volts. A surge protector and Surge Guard are for two completely different electrical anomalies.

All electronics work ideal normal even when incandescent bulbs dim to less than 50% intensity. That same low voltage can be destructive to motorized appliances. Surge Guard is for protecting the latter.

Only useful answer to the OP's questions means numbers for each anomaly. A summary of numbers that define a difference between a Surge Guard and surge protector. Demonstrated is confusing or useless answers when numbers are not provided, demanded, or ignored.

Best place for a surge protector is as close to the pedestal (earth ground) as possible. A superior solution from Lowes (and Home Depot) was (I believe) defined by David472 only from Cutler-Hammer. Has a dedicated wire for that always short connection to earth. Plug-in types are ineffective. And in rare cases create a fire threat.
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Old 04-11-2011, 12:09 AM   #18
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I am learning about electrics today. I will have to read that last post a couple more times to get a better understanding. I am not an electrical guru by any means.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:45 AM   #19
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Best place for a surge protector is as close to the pedestal (earth ground) as possible. A superior solution from Lowes (and Home Depot) was (I believe) defined by David472 only from Cutler-Hammer. Has a dedicated wire for that always short connection to earth. Plug-in types are ineffective. And in rare cases create a fire threat.
Now I'm really confused... what kind of surge protector can be had from Lowes and Home Depot? Also, are you saying that the plug in types from CampingWorld, etc, are no good?

I wasn't even aware that I needed a surge protector.....................
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:29 PM   #20
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Now I'm really confused... what kind of surge protector can be had from Lowes and Home Depot?
What anomaly are you trying to protect from? This is layman stuff. Your pedestal provides 120 VAC. That means that electronics works ideal perfect at any voltage from about 90 VAC to 130 VAC. That also means motorized appliances want voltages somewhere between 110 and 130.

Surge Guard is a switch. It cuts off power if voltage drops below (I don't have actual spec numbers - read them from specs that come with Surge Guard) maybe 100 volts or exceeds 132 volts for tens of seconds or hours. That is not a surge. That is minor voltage variation unacceptable from any utility. Surge Guard is to protect from a utility that does not carefully regulate voltage.

Surges are currents that (if something tries to stop it) create thousands of volts. That occur for microseconds. And that find a destructive path to earth via appliances. Completely different anomaly.

A power strip does nothing for the first anomaly since the strip may say it ignores anything below 330 volts. A power strip that tries to stop the second anomaly will simply create high voltages. Does not even claim to protect from destructive types of transients. Read its specs. Where is a number for protection from each type of surge? Does not exist.

Which is causing damage? Which problem must be solved? Surge Guard is only for the first event - tens of seconds or hours. Surge protector is for the second event - microseconds. A typical example is lightning. Which means it connects short to earth or does nothing.

All of this is layman stuff. But if new (and if you are like me), then multiple rereads are required. If unlearning popular myths, then grasping these simple concepts are even harder.

Surge Guard and surge protector are two completely different items for two completely different anomalies. First acts like a switch to 'disconnect' AC power. The second is useful only if 'connects' microsecond transients short to earth ground.
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