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Old 04-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #1
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Portable surge protector hookup process

I just got the Progressive Industries portable 30-amp model. When I plug the PI unit in at the pole and turn the power on, it gives me the all-clear lights. THEN should I turn the power back off before plugging in the camper? Or is it okay at that point to go ahead and plug into the hot PI unit? Want to make sure my procedure is correct. Thanks.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:28 AM   #2
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IFF you have a Progressive Industries "EMS" unit, just plug the camper into the PI unit and, with the pedestal breaker off, plug the unit into the pedestal. Then turn the pedestal breaker on. The PI unit will control power to the RV as appropriate.

If you have a Progressive Industries "SSP" unit, do not plug the RV in first. With the RV unplugged and the pedestal breaker off, plug in only the SSP unit and then turn the pedestal breaker on. If the PI unit gives the "all good" indication (as shown with the lights), then turn the pedestal breaker off, plug your RV into the PI-SSP unit, and then turn the pedestal breaker back on.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
Just plug the camper into the PI unit and, with the pedestal breaker off, plug the unit into the pedestal. Then turn the pedestal breaker on. The PI unit will control power to the RV as appropriate.
Thank you. That makes sense, but I thought I read in the PI owner's manual that the camper should not be plugged in until the proper lights are showing.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:17 PM   #4
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I just read (on-line) the manuals for both EMS-PT units and don't see that anywhere.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:25 PM   #5
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I just read (on-line) the manuals for both EMS-PT units and don't see that anywhere.
Yeah, it's the portable 30-amp unit. You may have been looking at the hard-wired version. Again, thanks for looking into this. Here's what it says:

1. Plug Smart Surge into AC power. DO NOT plug in your RV at this
time.
2. Verify that Number 1 red indicator light is lit to reflect power source is
wired correctly.
3. Verify green surge indicator light is lit.
4. If proper red and green lights are lit, (Refer to diagram below), plug in
RV at this time.
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Old 04-23-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Ahhh. So sorry. You have the SSP unit rather than an EMS unit. That one does not control power to your RV, so my instructions are all wrong.

So to answer your original question, yes, you should turn the pedestal breaker back off before plugging your RV into the PI-SSP unit. It's already verified that the pedestal is wired correctly at that point and that won't change when you power it back on. Plugging your RV in before its done that verification could damage your RV.

I edited my earlier post to give correct procedure for both types of units.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
Ahhh. So sorry. You have the SSP unit rather than an EMS unit. That one does not control power to your RV, so my instructions are all wrong.

So to answer your original question, yes, you should turn the pedestal breaker back off before plugging your RV into the PI-SSP unit. It's already verified that the pedestal is wired correctly at that point and that won't change when you power it back on. Plugging your RV in before its done that verification could damage your RV.

I edited my earlier post to give correct procedure for both types of units.

Great. That makes perfect sense. Thanks so much for helping me clear that up. They skip the step about turning it back off again, but I think your idea makes a lot more sense. Even if the surge protector is giving protection, I'd still rather plug my camper into it when it's not hot. Thanks again for taking time to help.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Even if the surge protector is giving protection, I'd still rather plug my camper into it when it's not hot.
It's only protecting against lightening strikes, so yes, you need to be protecting against surges by turning the breaker off for plugs/unplugs. Glad to help (even of it took me a while to get there).
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryD0706 View Post
It's only protecting against lightening strikes, so yes, you need to be protecting against surges by turning the breaker off for plugs/unplugs. Glad to help (even of it took me a while to get there).
Since we are on the subject of lightning strikes, surge protectors do not protect against direct hits of lightning. Nothing will. A bolt of lightning may carry an electric current of 300 THOUSAND Amps and the potential at the top of the cloud may exceed a billion volts. A billion volts of electricity will blast through any protective device.

Lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What they DO protect against is induced voltage in power lines from weather related electrical discharges close by. Current flow from a lightning strike creates a magnetic field around the core of the strike. The flow lasts only a small fraction of a second, but the field generated is quite powerful.

Any conductor that lies within that field will have a current flow and voltage (though MUCH lower than the strike) "induced" by the magnetic field. That field's strength is reduced by the distance of the conductor from the strike.
This voltage "rides" on top of the existing voltage in the wires.

That is why lightning strikes far away do no or little damage and those much closer do. Surge suppressors are designed to "bleed" off that excess voltage quickly to prevent damage to your electrical equipment.

How fast they can accomplish this trick is measured in the power being bleed off. That power is measured in Joules. The higher the Joules; the better able to handle energy surges.

When comparing Surge Protectors, the NUMBER ONE thing to look at is the Joule rating. Bigger is better.

Also look to see if MOVs are the only source of surge protection. Since they are "one shot" devices, any surge powerful enough to smoke an MOV means the surge device is ruined and you will need to buy another one. Worse yet, many times there is a "return stroke" on the lightning strike and if the MOV is smoked on the way down, you will be defenseless on the return stroke (or subsequent spikes). Most devices have some kind of warning to let you know the device will no longer "supress" (surge strips have a light that will not come on if the MOVs are shot).
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herk7769 View Post

Since we are on the subject of lightning strikes, surge protectors do not protect against direct hits of lightning. Nothing will. A bolt of lightning may carry an electric current of 300 THOUSAND Amps and the potential at the top of the cloud may exceed a billion volts. A billion volts of electricity will blast through any protective device.

Lightning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

What they DO protect against is induced voltage in power lines from weather related electrical discharges close by. Current flow from a lightning strike creates a magnetic field around the core of the strike. The flow lasts only a small fraction of a second, but the field generated is quite powerful.

Any conductor that lies within that field will have a current flow and voltage (though MUCH lower than the strike) "induced" by the magnetic field. That field's strength is reduced by the distance of the conductor from the strike.
This voltage "rides" on top of the existing voltage in the wires.

That is why lightning strikes far away do no or little damage and those much closer do. Surge suppressors are designed to "bleed" off that excess voltage quickly to prevent damage to your electrical equipment.

How fast they can accomplish this trick is measured in the power being bleed off. That power is measured in Joules. The higher the Joules; the better able to handle energy surges.

When comparing Surge Protectors, the NUMBER ONE thing to look at is the Joule rating. Bigger is better.

Also look to see if MOVs are the only source of surge protection. Since they are "one shot" devices, any surge powerful enough to smoke an MOV means the surge device is ruined and you will need to buy another one. Worse yet, many times there is a "return stroke" on the lightning strike and if the MOV is smoked on the way down, you will be defenseless on the return stroke (or subsequent spikes). Most devices have some kind of warning to let you know the device will no longer "supress" (surge strips have a light that will not come on if the MOVs are shot).
I guess its a good thing the EMS has a lifetime warranty!
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