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Old 03-30-2016, 12:36 PM   #31
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I have a hardwired Progressive EMS surge protector for the RV after plugging in. I just wanted a quick test for the site itself BEFORE I go to the trouble of setting up camp so I can move to a different location if needed.
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:43 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by rogerkathy View Post
I have a hardwired Progressive EMS surge protector for the RV after plugging in. I just wanted a quick test for the site itself BEFORE I go to the trouble of setting up camp so I can move to a different location if needed.


Yep, exactly the same here.
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Old 03-30-2016, 02:14 PM   #33
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Ok, just got back from purchasing a 3 light receptacle tester. Decided to try it out in my home. Boy, was I surprised when it showed the hot and neutral were reversed on the first outlet I checked! Other outlets tested OK. I guess I better check ALL my house outlets.
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Old 03-30-2016, 06:53 PM   #34
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I recommend Michael Sokol's book "No-Shock-Zone". It is an easy read and will point out some very important and potentially deadly situations to be aware of. He covers the use of inexpensive test tools, and which ones to get. Explains some of the Do's and Don't's of troubleshooting the pedestal and your rig. I plan to laminate the provided charts in the appendix, include a simple step-by-step process w/meter settings along with the test tools into a bag and it should be just a 5-10 minute test ...before dropping the landing gear.

For example, a 3 light tester nor an EMS will detect a RPBG (Reverse Polarity Bootleg Ground).
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Old 03-30-2016, 08:51 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by rogerkathy View Post
I guess I better check ALL my house outlets.
Appreciate what was discovered. Polarity is one of many 'layers' for human protection. Polarity is irrelevant to appliance protection; is only one of many features for human protection.

Other human safety defects can exist - a three light tester cannot detect them.

Back to the camper. Some (first) faults will not be apparent when using a meter. Others become apparent after drawing power from a pedestal. A properly designed protector will not connect power until first checking for those (first) faults. And will continue checking when other (second) faults can be detected - after a camper draws power. Checking (ie with a meter) before connecting power dies not detect all anomalies since some may only be apparent after a camper consumes power.

Best protector disconnects when either (first or second) anomaly is detected. Meter only detects a fault. As oldtool2 so accurately notes, human cannot disconnect fast enough.

Cost should always be secondary to solving an unacceptable problem Especially when a properly designed protector is so inexpensive.
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:38 AM   #36
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I know first hand the danger of faulty wiring (RPBG, but didn't know it had a name). I dodged the bullet and could have been killed. What got me was a situation where only when the water heater was on, was the skin or frame at a 120 VAC potential.

It is important to be aware that surge protectors and simple testers cannot determine faulty in some cases. Earth ground is expected to be 0 volts, but it might not be.

After dodging the bullet I made it a practice of testing a trailer frame to actual earth (dirt - with screw driver) with a good meter set to read high ohms. If I read anything, I don't touch it. If it is mine, more testing and a fix would be necessary.

Maybe we should test our trailer skin (frame) before assuming we are safe.

For you DIYers out there, understand that if a device has a ground lug, run a separate wire to frame ground and don't be tempted to strap neutral to it; neutral is the return path functionality and protection ground is there to protect us so when something goes wrong the skin or housing isn't at the potential of the supply or hot.
WW
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Old 03-31-2016, 03:24 PM   #37
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Yep, it's more than just frying your electronics when all it takes is 10 to 20 milliamperes (=very small amount) to stop your heart. Doing things like opening a mis-wired pedestal with one hand and while plugging in the cord with the other (breaker on) or something else like touching your metal step frame while standing on wet ground can be do it. Awareness of this is important.

Happy and safe camping to all.
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Old 04-03-2016, 10:08 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by boondocking View Post
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.
The OP asks "Is there a simple item you can just plug into the campground electrical boxes to test if they are good or bad without using a meter or an expensive surge protector? ". The simplest way is an inexpensive meter. You can get one for under ten bucks. I do think the best way though is to plug in a PSI portable surge protector and use a meter, then you can cover everything.

I know many prefer the hardwired unit because of theft protection but you are going to need a very good set of bolt cutters to cut the lock and chain I use to fasten my portable unit to the post.

Jim
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:24 PM   #39
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he simplest way is an inexpensive meter. You can get one for under ten bucks.
The problem is- many of us aren't comfortable with a meter and stuffing probes in dangerous sockets. The idea scares the beejeebees out of me.
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Old 04-05-2016, 12:54 AM   #40
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I use this when I'm at campgrounds.




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