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Old 04-07-2018, 09:07 AM   #1
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Electrical protection, 30amp

Ok, scratching my head on this one. Was all set to get progressive industries 30a EMS until I can across Hughes autoformers. So, which is better protection for my travel trailer and best value for the dollar?
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:25 AM   #2
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Ok, scratching my head on this one. Was all set to get progressive industries 30a EMS until I can across Hughes autoformers. So, which is better protection for my travel trailer and best value for the dollar?
2 different things. Autotransformer will step up low-voltage. let's say from 108 volts to 120 volts. Some have surge protection. EMS will read the circuit and shut off the power because of low or high voltage. Ems will also check for miswired pedestal or missing voltage and or neutral and grounds. EMS will protect your equipment by shutting it off power in the event of high or low voltage. Autotransformer will not. Autotransformer will keep the voltage up so the EMS won't have to turn it off.

The best system is to use both. EMS if fine for all-around protection. I, on the other hand, use only the autotransformer because I am on permanent site that has low voltage. I don't even have a surge. but then, my rig is 16 years old and doesn't have all the electronic dodads in it. EMS will be just fine for all around camping.
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Old 04-07-2018, 09:43 AM   #3
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EMS saved my skin multiple times from low voltage. From 10 alterts/shutdowns 9 are related to low voltage and 1 to a miswired pedestal or something else.
For me this means an EMS is a must have and a Hughes Autoformer is near the top of the list.
Low voltage is IMO one of the main causes for premature appliance failure.

Think of it this way, your AC needs 1800 Watt to run, which means 1800 Watt divided by 120 Volt equals 15 Amps which is fine but to get the same 1800 Watt out of 100 Volt means the AC unit has to pull 18 Amps which means it has to work so much harder and it gets so much hotter which in return causes premature failure.

This is why some of us have an EMS for all around protection, some have an autoformer to make up for low voltage and a few have both because the autoformer only protects from low voltage and nothing else, AFAIK.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:03 AM   #4
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You’ll have to read the documentation to tell if the Hughes AutoFormer protects against miswirings like an EMS does.

I know it has some kind of checks as the front of it has a variety of lights and codes. But I don’t know if it is as comprehensive.

I typically start with just my hardwired EMS. If I’m showing or shutdown due to low voltage, I’ll add the AutoFormer in the mix.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:11 AM   #5
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Really good advice here. I have the EMS units on both my 30amp Lance & my 50 amp Cedar Creek. I wouldn't even think about plugging in without them.
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:24 AM   #6
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Thanks for some great advice. I'm still did on the EMS and will pick up one and hardwire out in. Just got confused a little sheet seeing the autoformers... If I'm feeling with a lot of low voltage I'll add on an autoformers to boot... Can't be too safe...

Thanks again for all the best advice!
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Old 04-07-2018, 10:58 AM   #7
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Can you use a generator with these if you go the hardwire route?
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:11 AM   #8
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Can you use a generator with these if you go the hardwire route?


For portable generators, you need some kind of “floating neutral bonding” plug (aka an “Edison Plug”).

For built-in generators, my dealer installed it so that the EMS wasn’t in play. I’m not entirely enthusiastic about it, but hey- it’s done.
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Old 04-07-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
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For my take on using a EMS with a generator. Most portable generators don't have fuel pumps. They take the fuel from a low area of the tank. If you happen to get fuel with water in it then the water can get into the carburetor and cause surging of the motor. When this happens then your EMS will sense the variation of the voltage and shut down preventing damage to your sensitive appliances. Generators with a fuel pump and pick-up are not as prone to getting water unless you get a lot. On top of this, if your generator develops any kind of problem that cause the speed to fluctuate, then those fluctuations are transferred into the voltage output.

Granted, most who use generators run them just long enough to charge their batteries, run AC's or microwave my thinking is the generator is a machine and they do break down. Sometimes when your not near enough to hear it or have time to get to shut it down. Just think about if your in the library doing your business when it happens.

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Old 04-07-2018, 04:04 PM   #10
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There is a switch on the remote display that allows you to bypass when using the generator. You need to get the EMS HW 30C or the HW50C that has the remote display.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:26 PM   #11
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Ok, scratching my head on this one. Was all set to get progressive industries 30a EMS until I can across Hughes autoformers. So, which is better protection for my travel trailer and best value for the dollar?
I use both. I've had a PI EMS for about 5 seasons. I got tired of having the EMS shut off power because of low voltages, so I added the Autoformer.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:31 PM   #12
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The Edison Plug is not only required to fool the EMS but also some of the appliances when on generator power.
I'm not sure, so please don't quote me, I read some inverter type generators are neutrally bonded internally and don't need the Edison Plug.
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Old 04-07-2018, 04:42 PM   #13
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per Azdigs post.

Yes there is a switch on the remote display to the EMS to bypass, but that still doesn't help if the generator develops problems. BTW, I have the EMS-HW30C.
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:18 AM   #14
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Ok, scratching my head on this one. Was all set to get progressive industries 30a EMS until I can across Hughes autoformers. So, which is better protection for my travel trailer and best value for the dollar?
I use both. got tired of the EMS shutting off for low voltage so purchased a Hughes autoformer. Best investment to date. It comes with a ditigal Volt meter and I can see when the autoformer kicks in. Now never see voltage drop below 114. Highly recommend. They say you can just use the Autoformer, however the Progressive EMS also provides a delay when power comes back on to allow AC time to vent down. The autoformer does not. Bottom line no more power shut offs, because I no longer see low voltage. We're in a seasonal site with some low power issues at times.
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