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Surge Pro / Transfer issue


Gary Petersen

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Help,

Sitting with 105 degree outside temperature, and running our three AC's here in Yuma, AZ. on 50 Amp shore power, as we Shelter in Place.

Then, Bam! everything shut down and I found the coach was now on inverter mode. Thus, no AC was available until I started the 12K Generator. The Generator ran all three AC's without issues. Then, I went outside to check out the issue.

Investigating, I looked at the Leviton Surge Protector and found that the two, normally green indicator lights were dark.  Since I did not see a reset button on the protector, I decided shut everything down in the coach and also shut off the pedestal breakers. 

After shutting down the Generator, I waited 5 minutes and then restored the pedestal power. After a few more minutes I heard a click and found that  One  of the green Surge Protector indicator lights was fully illuminated but the remaining green light was also illuminated but was noticeably dimmer.  

I phased in the 3 AC's but after 15 minutes, Bam! everything shut down again. 

I then went through the same shut down sequence and was able to restore power but this time I am only running the two rear AC's  and it has been handling the load just fine for the past two hours. We expect to leave for Seattle tomorrow and try to make repairs in my shop.

Electrical is not my strong suite. Any suggestion as to how I can pin point the problem  as possible Transfer Switch or is it a Surge Protector issue (or is it just a 105 degree issue) and then any recommendation for sizing, and any quality brand names if parts need to be replaced.

Thanks,

Gary 

2002' Signature

 

IMG_4497[3268] surge.JPG

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Did you happy to check the Voltage at the plug on the pedestal. With a dim light I’m wondering if one leg is low voltage. Sometime the plug at the pedestal (female)  is bad from over heating ( heavy use like running three A/C) I would check the plug on the end of the cord for signs of over heating as well.  With just 2 A/C running the amp drew is lower, the plug may work because not as much heating on the terminals.  Just something I would check. Rich 

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Probably shutting down due to low voltage. This is to protect things like the compressor on your air conditioners. This is a common problem in campgrounds when the weather is hot because a large number of air conditioners are running at the same time.  If your pedestal is at the end of the distribution line the situation is exacerbated . I had to move camp sites once down in Florida because we were at the end of the line. Those that do not have a power line protector do not even know they are operating on low voltage but if you have a Progressive or like system it will shut the power off when the voltage drops below a preset value.

 

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I agree w above. Start at the pedestal first.  I have seen mine shut off for both low and high voltage.  Mine gives a code telling me why it shut down.  Does yours have that?  Flashing lights, numbers, etc?

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Starting at the pedestal is a great suggestion but getting measurements while plugged in can be difficult. You can measure any adjacent outlet holes of course.

Finding your transfer panel is a good idea for general maintenance and getting to know it before problems is helpful. Taking measurement there will tell you a lot in a hurry. 

Take pictures first and print them out. Then write the readings down for future reference. 

When not in the troubleshooting mode remove all power and tighten everything up in the transfer panel.

 

 

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My vote is low pedestal voltage because of the huge campground load because of the torrid heat.  Your protector is doing what it is designed for. I  would just run on fewer AC's to get at least partial relief. I don't think there is a fault in your RV.

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Your surge protector is doing the job it is designed to do.

Call the Campground and have them check the voltage at the Pedestal. It is more than likely the Receptacle in the Pedestal that is going bad.

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It sounds like low voltage and could be a CG issue or your cord plug. If you could have measured the voltage at the pedestal or inside (both legs) that might offer a clue. Can't really tell where the power got interrupted. 

Your surge/transient protector is just that - SURGE/TRANSIENT DETECTION ONLY. It is NOT a power protector, it does not shut down power. This is in contrast to the more common RV Energy Management System (EMS) which detects high/low voltage, miswired pedestal, open neutral and other faults and disconnects the power. Your unit is very expensive and may be quite good for surge/transient (pure surge if you like).

I also recommend the PI HW50C. My remote is inside and I can observe voltage/amps and faults. HIGHLY recommed this unit as it also protects against an open neutral which if that occurs on 50A will let the smoke out of your electronics. I bought mine in 2004 and it's now in the second RV so I like to say it's free.

I've never had a surge that caused the HW50C to fail but have encountered all of the other faults. Low voltage is rather common on 30A pedestals and less common in my experience on 50A, only happened to me once - hot summer day, older full park with many AC's running and I had 3 cranking. 

FYI Parks like homes are NOT wired to provide full power to every pedestal at the same time. Instead they are wired assuming full power will not be needed to every pedestal at the same time due to appliance usage/cycling. Normally the total power available is about 40-50% of the CB ratings.

 

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I want to let all of those who responded to my plea for suggestions regarding my Surge / Transfer question, how much I appreciate you all, and just to be a member of such a helpful group. We are continuing our daily travel trip north towards home and I look forward to using these suggestions later next week to resolve the issue.

Thanks,

Gary

2002' Sig

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