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Old 03-30-2016, 05:40 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by rogerkathy View Post
I have also noticed most of the testers are for regular 110/ 15 or 20 amp outlets. I am not (yet) convinced that just adding a 50 amp adapter would allow the tester to accurately test the outlet. Comments?
The link that Doug provided in post #10 shows how to build a plug-n-play tester for a 50 amp outlet.

You must first understand what a 50 amp RV is and how it utilizes a 120/240 volt split phase outlet. In basic terms, the 50 amp outlet is comprised of TWO separate 120 volt hot legs (called L1 and L2), each at 50 amps. The RV uses each of these legs separately so they always remain only at 120 volts. Everything in your RV is 120 volts whether on the L1 or L2 side of your RV.

If you combined the L1 and L2, you would have 240 volts, but your RV does not combine them and uses them separately.

You can use the 120 volt circuit testers to test the L1 side, and it's neutral and ground....and then use one to test the L2 side with it's shared neutral and ground........since they are being used only as 120 volt. This is what everyone is pointing out to you.

These links may help better than I can explain it:

Electrical Tutorial - Chapter 3 - 30 Amp versus 50 Amp

AC Electricity

This site below has a left hand tab on outlet testing, that shows how to build the one in post #10, as well as how to use a multimeter for same.

RV Electric

Once you understand how the 120/240 volt split phase service works, it'll be easy to see how the link in post #10 works.

Hope this helps
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Old 03-30-2016, 05:49 AM   #22
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Please be careful with these little testers they have limitations and have seen two of them (different brands) explode when the voltage was off......... .. They will not show high or low voltage they just show voltage is there. They will not show quality of a ground.......

Also they must be tested before use on a know proper source as the bulbs do burn out.

They are meant for home use standard 110V outlet only to show voltage, reversed polarity, and a ground . Will not show quality, quantity


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Old 03-30-2016, 09:18 AM   #23
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Thanks for all your valuable input! I think I will just get a multimeter since it seems to be the most versatile, and a receptacle tester with the 3 lights that I can plug into the trailer outlets for a quick check on them also. I can purchase the receptacle tester at Harbor Freight for under $7, plus I have a 20% off ANY item purchased, AND a FREE multimeter with any purchase. Looks like a win win for me!
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Old 03-30-2016, 10:56 AM   #24
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That outlet tester cannot report only report a few anomalies. It can even imply a good receptacle power when some defects exist. It cannot report defective earthing, excessive voltages, or other more common problems in a campground. In some cases, it cannot even report a floating neutral.

Even a digital meter for $5 or $14 provides more useful information.
Yes, if you know what you are doing. I am guessing the OP doesn't or he would not be asking this question.

He is looking for a cheap way to do what a good PSI surge protector can do. Without the good background there isn't one. Even with a good meter and a good background there isn't any way to constantly monitor the pole outlet, unless you want to stand there all day and night.

Jim
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:05 AM   #25
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Even with a good meter and a good background there isn't any way to constantly monitor the pole outlet, unless you want to stand there all day and night.
And that is the point; isn't it. Does not matter what a three light tester reports when conditions change and nothing is done to avert potential damage. A protector not only detects an anomaly and reports it. It also makes an appropriate change to avert damage.

Meter is a powerful tool. But it cannot, for example report large voltage changes (L-N, L-G, N-G) that occurs later as campground loads change dynamically.
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:37 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by oldtool2
Even with a good meter and a good background there isn't any way to constantly monitor the pole outlet, unless you want to stand there all day and night.


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Originally Posted by westom View Post
And that is the point; isn't it. Does not matter what a three light tester reports when conditions change and nothing is done to avert potential damage. A protector not only detects an anomaly and reports it. It also makes an appropriate change to avert damage.

Meter is a powerful tool. But it cannot, for example report large voltage changes (L-N, L-G, N-G) that occurs later as campground loads change dynamically.
And that is why the only recommendation I would make is a good surge protector. No they are not cheap, but can be much less expensive than the damage that can be caused by not using one. This is not to mention the ruined vacation or trip.

Jim
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:38 AM   #27
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While a good EMS is the way to protect yourself while you are plugged in, there is merit in using a tester/meter before you plug in.

I for one would like to know if the site's wired wrong before I back in and start setting up. Once I know it's wired ok and safe to setup, I then depend on the surge guard to handle changing conditions like voltage, etc...


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Old 03-30-2016, 12:01 PM   #28
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He is looking for a cheap way to do what a good PSI surge protector can do. Without the good background there isn't one.

Jim
Not really, if you read the original post he is wanting to know if the pedestal is wired correctly before plugging in, he is not looking for voltage protection.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:05 PM   #29
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While a good EMS is the way to protect yourself while you are plugged in, there is merit in using a tester/meter before you plug in.

//snip//
Seems you make a good argument for a PORTABLE device like the SurgeGuard versus a hard-wired one.

With the portables you can plug it in to the pole and test before plugging in your camper.

Then it will continue to protect while camping.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:10 PM   #30
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Seems you make a good argument for a PORTABLE device like the SurgeGuard versus a hard-wired one.



With the portables you can plug it in to the pole and test before plugging in your camper.



Then it will continue to protect while camping.

That's exactly what I do, since I have a portable. But for those with the hardwired, which provides it's own benefits in both theft protection and the ability of inside monitoring, an additional check of the pole before accepting the site is usually a good idea.


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