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Old 11-08-2014, 08:29 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by gljurczyk View Post
I'm sure you are answering my post, Frist of all I plugged in my EMS and it said revised polarity, I then called the CG host and showed him. We then plugged into two empty spaces and showed him they were wired right. He said well I don't know how to fix that. And we do not have any other spaces and I can't get an electrician tonight. I said all you have to do is switch the hot and neutral on the plug. He said can you do that and I said sure he said well go ahead, I did it and stayed the night. How many campers do you think didn't even know that and plugged in before me? It's not a big thing and that's how you change it. Then My EMS worked fine. Really I probably saved someone down the line...... When I was traveling to different countries mostly 3rd world by sail boat I must have done it 25 x's or more. Use to have a light that came on the panel when it was wired wrong warning me, That was before the fancey EMS systems.
So, many thanks Paul Harvey for the rest of the story. Couldn't resist.
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Old 11-08-2014, 08:47 AM   #22
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I made one of the 50 amp testers. Much better than just a $10 polarity tester as it will tell you actual voltage, reverse polarity, whether you have true 50 amp service, etc. I plug it in as soon as I get out of the truck, sometimes before I back the rig in to the site. It has saved me a couple of times from having to get parked, change sites. I do have a SurgeGard hardwired unit in place for total protection using the camp power.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:51 AM   #23
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Just checking for voltage and a ground connection with a voltmeter or colored-light plug-in tester won't detect every wiring fault. The tool that will detect the potentially fatal condition will only cost $20-30 and should be added to every RV tool box. I've posted this info on multiple RV boards and every time I get at least one post soon after from someone who tests their RV at home or on the road and says they found a deadly condition.

Before getting to that, I first want to demonstrate how important it is to check every time - even at home. Because I didn't, 2 years ago I nearly killed both of my kids and myself.

I've known since I was a kid why ground connections are important, but as with most people, it wasn't until something affected me personally that I finally paid attention. Last summer I set our R-pod up in our backyard so I could clean the roof and the A/C coils (easy access from my raised deck). I've never needed my 30 amp extension cord to reach the 30 amp outlet in my garage, usually the pod is close enough. I needed to run the A/C, so this time I did. I had my kids get in their bathing suits to wash the rest of the pod, water went everywhere, the ground was soaked, and they had some summer fun while they worked.

Long after they were done, I had to get into the pod, so I did what all of us have done hundreds of times - I grabbed the door handle while I stood on the wet ground. I received a noticeable shock, and with my electronics/electric hobby background I immediately knew something wasn't wired right. Worse, I knew that the entire time my kids were washing our pod they could have been killed. They were far more conductive than I was; I was wearing rubber-soled shoes and my hand was dry, they were soaked all over, deep into their skin, and were in bare feet. I don't know how, but only by extreme luck did a nice summer day in the backyard not turn into an awful day at the morgue. I tracked my problem down to a bent ground pin on my 30 amp extension cord.

Hopefully you understand now that a shock isn't something you can ignore. It is just a lucky warning that a deadly problem exists and you need to get it fixed. Next time it could be an electrocution. Slightly different conditions and you are dead. Saltier water (think beach trip) is more conductive, slightly higher voltage at campground A vs. campground B (amps kill you, but higher voltage makes it more likely), or you get the shock through both arms and not both legs (amps through your heart is what usually kills you). My shock was across my heart (1 arm and 2 legs) so I was just as lucky that day as my kids. I'm sure because the measured voltage on that fault was only around 60 volts and not the full 120. That probably saved all of us.

Check out these links, especially the article at the first link, which explains the right way to test for ground issues. The 2nd link explains how voltmeters, plug- in testers, and intelligent surge protectors can report on some faults - but not all. What you need is a Non Contact Voltage Tester, which detects if your camper is currently lethal. Keep it in your camper and check every time you plug your pod in. My SOP now is to check with the NCVT and the lighted plug-in-tester immediately, then leave a Kill-A-Watt plugged in inside to keep an eye on the voltage condition for the rest of the stay. You can even take a NCVT to your neighbor's camper to check. This past summer near Great Sand Dunes in CO I found a ground fault on a whole string of power poles that way.

http://www.noshockzone.org/rv-electr...iv-–-hot-skin/

Are “Little” Shocks OK? | No~Shock~Zone

RV Safety | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:10 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techntrek View Post
Just checking for voltage and a ground connection with a voltmeter or colored-light plug-in tester won't detect every wiring fault. The tool that will detect the potentially fatal condition will only cost $20-30 and should be added to every RV tool box. I've posted this info on multiple RV boards and every time I get at least one post soon after from someone who tests their RV at home or on the road and says they found a deadly condition.

Before getting to that, I first want to demonstrate how important it is to check every time - even at home. Because I didn't, 2 years ago I nearly killed both of my kids and myself.

I've known since I was a kid why ground connections are important, but as with most people, it wasn't until something affected me personally that I finally paid attention. Last summer I set our R-pod up in our backyard so I could clean the roof and the A/C coils (easy access from my raised deck). I've never needed my 30 amp extension cord to reach the 30 amp outlet in my garage, usually the pod is close enough. I needed to run the A/C, so this time I did. I had my kids get in their bathing suits to wash the rest of the pod, water went everywhere, the ground was soaked, and they had some summer fun while they worked.

Long after they were done, I had to get into the pod, so I did what all of us have done hundreds of times - I grabbed the door handle while I stood on the wet ground. I received a noticeable shock, and with my electronics/electric hobby background I immediately knew something wasn't wired right. Worse, I knew that the entire time my kids were washing our pod they could have been killed. They were far more conductive than I was; I was wearing rubber-soled shoes and my hand was dry, they were soaked all over, deep into their skin, and were in bare feet. I don't know how, but only by extreme luck did a nice summer day in the backyard not turn into an awful day at the morgue. I tracked my problem down to a bent ground pin on my 30 amp extension cord.

Hopefully you understand now that a shock isn't something you can ignore. It is just a lucky warning that a deadly problem exists and you need to get it fixed. Next time it could be an electrocution. Slightly different conditions and you are dead. Saltier water (think beach trip) is more conductive, slightly higher voltage at campground A vs. campground B (amps kill you, but higher voltage makes it more likely), or you get the shock through both arms and not both legs (amps through your heart is what usually kills you). My shock was across my heart (1 arm and 2 legs) so I was just as lucky that day as my kids. I'm sure because the measured voltage on that fault was only around 60 volts and not the full 120. That probably saved all of us.

Check out these links, especially the article at the first link, which explains the right way to test for ground issues. The 2nd link explains how voltmeters, plug- in testers, and intelligent surge protectors can report on some faults - but not all. What you need is a Non Contact Voltage Tester, which detects if your camper is currently lethal. Keep it in your camper and check every time you plug your pod in. My SOP now is to check with the NCVT and the lighted plug-in-tester immediately, then leave a Kill-A-Watt plugged in inside to keep an eye on the voltage condition for the rest of the stay. You can even take a NCVT to your neighbor's camper to check. This past summer near Great Sand Dunes in CO I found a ground fault on a whole string of power poles that way.

http://www.noshockzone.org/rv-electr...iv-–-hot-skin/

Are “Little” Shocks OK? | No~Shock~Zone

RV Safety | No~Shock~Zone
Thanks for info. I always test before I plug in with my PI surge suppressor, but I've never tested the camper itself. I threw a NCVT in my truck after reading your post.
More importantly, I'm glad your situation wasn't worse.
Shinny
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:18 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Ham_Bone View Post
Just purchased one of these.
When I read about the dangers of bad electrical supplies on this forum I bought one of those too. (PI Surge protector). Found out later that they do nothing to help with low voltage. That is almost as destructive as a voltage surge.

The lights do tell if the post is wired wrong but the LED lights are hard to read in bright sunlight.

Should have done more research.

Bill
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:34 AM   #26
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My Surge Guard protects against low and high voltage states. It will shut down if voltage is not between 102-132.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:37 AM   #27
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But those surge protectors won't detect the condition discussed in the articles I linked to, above.
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Old 11-10-2014, 11:37 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by bend302 View Post
When I read about the dangers of bad electrical supplies on this forum I bought one of those too. (PI Surge protector). Found out later that they do nothing to help with low voltage. That is almost as destructive as a voltage surge.

The lights do tell if the post is wired wrong but the LED lights are hard to read in bright sunlight.

Should have done more research.

Bill
You're absolutely correct. It does nothing for low voltage.
I only bought the surge suppressor because money was tight. I use a plug in volt meter and stare at it constantly until I can get the PI EMS. The LED's are tough to see.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:27 PM   #29
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For the electrically challenged, can you describe how to check this with a multi-meter?
I'm Mike Sokol from The No~Shock~Zone electrical safety blog linked to above. Thanks for posting these links. Here's a video I produced on how to use an inexpensive Amprobe PK-110 test kit to check campground pedestal outlets for proper polarity, voltage, and grounding.

And here's a video of me using a NCVT (Non Contact Voltage Tester) to check a 40 ft RV for a hot-skin condition. I create RV hot-skin conditions for these demonstrations all the time in order to better understand how to test for them.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions on outlet and hot-skin testing.
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Old 11-10-2014, 07:55 PM   #30
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FIRST, I want to thank Mike Sokol for helping me solve a very hard to troubleshoot hot skin issue. My Power monitor was perfectly happy because my problems (2) were between the power monitor and the frame.

I still LOVE my Franks Autotransformer.
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