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Old 06-23-2015, 03:06 PM   #1
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Surge protector working, I guess...

We just finished a 9-nite outing at a Michigan state park where our portable 30A power source was uninterrupted to my knowledge, EXCEPT for the afternoon of Day #5 when my Progressive Industries surge protection (model 30C, I think) was working overtime. In a period of around 4 hours, our power supply shut down about 6 times. After a couple of the events, I switched my surge protector to another 30A service on the same pole, just to see if it was just the one I'd chosen, but the problem persisted at that location, too. Each time there was an error code E-1 (Reverse Polarity). Eventually it quit doing it, and did not occur again during the last four days. I don't know much about electricity, so I'm not even aware of what reverse polarity is, or what would cause it. Others in the campground experienced some interruptions during this time. There was no known construction work, no bad weather, and no other suspect conditions which would cause power interruptions, and it was only 67 degrees out, so nobody was running any A/C that day. Any thoughts about what was likely going on?
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:14 PM   #2
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Not sure what the problem may have been, but reverse polarity does not come & go. It is a physical wiring error that is either there or not there. Have you checked your surge protector since returning home?
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:23 PM   #3
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You sure that was the correct error code (could it mean something else?)
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Old 06-23-2015, 04:43 PM   #4
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E1 definitely reverse polarity.
http://www.progressiveindustries.net...read-more/chva

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Old 06-23-2015, 05:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa GLS View Post
Not sure what the problem may have been, but reverse polarity does not come & go. It is a physical wiring error that is either there or not there. Have you checked your surge protector since returning home?
Papa GLS - I thought that was likely the case...which is part of what was confusing to me. I asked myself "how could I have 'reverse polarity' one minute and not the next?" For the rest of the week, nothing happened and normal operation was observed. I hooked it up again upon returning to my home 30A RV power and everything seems normal. It was just that one afternoon (when others I spoke to without surge protection reported they were "experiencing outages").

Herk - Yes, I am sure that was the code it showed. I am now wondering if the surge protector might use that code as a default when mere power interruptions occur or something like that.
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Old 06-23-2015, 05:38 PM   #6
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See progressive saved your stuff by shutting down the power, works like it suppose to. Reverse polarity sounds odd but the power company could have been making repairs up stream from the camp ground which caused the issue with your site and everyone else's site.
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Old 06-24-2015, 10:50 AM   #7
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I asked myself "how could I have 'reverse polarity' one minute and not the next?"
Easy. But first one must understand how reverse polarity is detected.

To appliances, polarity is irrelevant since both hot (black) and whilte (neutral) wires constantly reverse polarity. Polarity is simply another layer of human protection. Polarity is determined by measuring voltage between those two wires and the safety ground.

So what voltage constitutes a reverse polarity? Normally safety ground and neutral are exactly same with no load and a few volts difference with a load. Reverse polarity is determined, for example, by a higher voltage difference. A failing or undersized neutral incoming to the pole might explain it. Or some problem with the pole's earth ground such as not fully conductive or, for some reason, is carrying current. (Earth ground and safety ground are electrically different.)

You know that reverse neutral was reported due to changing voltages. Many different voltages exist simultaneously on the same AC service - not just 120 VAC. That design of surge protector was apparently detecting one of those other voltage changes which, to a better informed electrician, implies something is slowly getting worse in local power districtuion.

Reverse polarity does not threaten appliances. It is simply one layer of human protecxtion that has been compromised.
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Old 06-25-2015, 05:48 AM   #8
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Thanks, westom. I am (slowly) digesting that.

Since a couple of other campers who I spoke to (as far as 20 sites away from me) reported experiencing power interruptions at the same time, now I'm wondering whether reverse polarity can exist in the larger system (i.e., not just at my pole) and whether reverse polarity can cause power interruptions (or power interruptions can cause reverse polarity). Perhaps I was wrong to link what they reported to what I experienced.
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:27 AM   #9
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Lee I am Glad you reported this! Other Members have replied that the (S/P) has (Saved their Butt)! When you talked to the Other Campers who had Issues also that Day,Did any of them (Crash & Burn) because of the (R/P Issue) or were all of them (Protected with a S/P System of their own also)? Where there (Converters/Refers/TVs/M/Ws) laying Everywhere in the C/G? Youroo!!
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Old 06-25-2015, 06:57 AM   #10
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westom - Thank you. I appreciate the time you took to produce such a clear explanation for those of us still in the learning curve.
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