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Old 01-27-2022, 09:00 PM   #1
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50 Amp Surge protector

Just curious if it makes any sense to use my surge protector when at home plugged into normal home current.
Basically, I would be reducing down from 50 amp to 30 amp and then down to house current. Thanks!
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Old 01-27-2022, 09:47 PM   #2
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You don't think a power surge can't hit your house?
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Old 01-27-2022, 11:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by NavyLCDR
You don't think a power surge can't hit your house?

There's a reason why almost no homes have whole-house surge protectors; they are so very rarely needed they make no sense.

A "surge protector" protects against surges so that begs the question of "What is a surge?"

A surge is a momentary massive increase in the voltage lasting in the low milliseconds and reaching voltage peaks of 600 volts or more. That's all a surge protector handles. Nothing more and nothing less.

The electrical grid has a massive amount of surge suppression built in so it takes something like a lightning strike to the wiring in your immediate vicinity to cause a surge.

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Old 01-28-2022, 10:14 AM   #4
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Then why use one at a campground? What is going to cause a a momentary massive increase in the voltage lasting in the low milliseconds and reaching voltage peaks of 600 volts or more at a campground any more than at home? Voltage drop, maybe, but voltage surge?
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:32 AM   #5
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Why not use it?

We have an outside 30amp receptacle so we can plug in the camper when it's at home, and we always use a surge protector, just like at a campground. It only takes a second to have that peace of mind/protection, even if the chances of needing it are remote. Just like any type of insurance -- it's better to have it and not need it, than not have it and need it.
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Old 01-28-2022, 10:52 AM   #6
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https://www.statefarm.com/simple-ins...ur-electronics

Why not use it at home? And why not install service entry point protection at home? I have one in my main circuit panel.

Why is there more need for one in a campground than at home?
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Old 01-28-2022, 11:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkemnitzer View Post
Just curious if it makes any sense to use my surge protector when at home plugged into normal home current.
Basically, I would be reducing down from 50 amp to 30 amp and then down to house current. Thanks!
I won't get into the whether you should/shouldn't use a surge protector at home. (or anywhere else as there are thousands of threads already on that subject with seemingly even more opinions) If it makes you feel more comfortable, go for it.

I will address you comments about power.
There really is no such thing as R/V current and house current.

A 50a R/V shore power supply is simply normal 240v electrical power. Same as in your house.
Your R/V's breaker box keeps the TWO 120v feed legs that make up the 240v SEPARATE, so no where in the R/V can you have 240v. (under all normal operating circumstances)

A 30a R/V shore power supply is the same normal house current as above but fed with only ONE 120v leg. A 30a to 50a dogbone or adapter ties the ONE leg of 30a 120v to BOTH legs of the 50A shore cord.

A 15a circuit (commonly found in a duplex outlet in a wall of your home) is the same current and circuitry as that of the 30a shore power outlet EXCEPT it is fed with smaller wire and protected by a 15a breaker. A 15a to 30a adapter simply allows the 30a shore power plug to be fed by a 15a outlet.
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Old 01-28-2022, 12:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkemnitzer View Post
Just curious if it makes any sense to use my surge protector when at home plugged into normal home current.
Basically, I would be reducing down from 50 amp to 30 amp and then down to house current. Thanks!
This is exactly how mine is hooked up when parked next to my house. I have mine plugged into a 20Amp circuit, but that does not change the fact that I do use my watchdog before I plug into my trailer, no matter where I am.
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:42 PM   #9
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If people would not use the phrase "surge protector" for any type of electrical protection device it would be easier to understand. My canned response to this discussion:

A plain old "surge protector" is almost 100% worthless, period.

Why? Because the electrical grid has a tremendous amount of surge protection built in. That's why you almost never see a whole house surge protector; they're not needed.

People are talked into buying surge protector outlet strips to protect their home PC and because they do not have a failure they think it's because of the surge protector. Nope. Those are just "feel good" devices.

A true "surge" is a momentary voltage spike to 600 volts or higher that lasts just a few thousandths of a second. You will probably only see a true surge if there is a very nearby lightning strike to the power wiring.

There's a reason why manufacturers offer warranties when surge protectors are used up; they almost never are during the warranty period. It's a cheap up-sell point.

The actual surge protection is provided by a single device called a Metal Oxide Varistor or MOV that gets soldered across the power wires. The MOV sees the high voltage spike and momentarily short circuits the spike to ground. It happens so fast that a circuit breaker or fuse do not have time to react.

An MOV is CHEAP, less than a dollar apiece. If you want double the surge protection, just solder two into the circuit in parallel instead of one. An MOV is so cheap that many electronic items have them included from the manufacturer.

What is needed to protect the expensive electronics and appliances in a 50-amp RV is a true EMS (electrical monitoring system) that also provides automatic power cut-off in the event of a fault.

Why? An EMS that automatically protects not only provides additional surge protection, it constantly monitors for wiring faults in the pedestal and the campground wiring. The most devastating wiring fault for a 50-amp RV is called an "open neutral" where the electrical neutral wire becomes disconnected or has a poor connection. When an open neutral occurs in a 50-amp RV, every appliance and piece of electrical equipment gets up to 240 volts AC applied to it, double the normal 120 volts AC that they are designed to use. $$$$$ now leave your wallet, multiple thousands of dollars usually.

An EMS also protects against other wiring faults and when any out-of-tolerance condition occurs, such as too low a voltage, or a wiring fault, the EMS automatically cuts the power off to the coach.

Some cheapo devices just light idiot lights instead of cutting the power off. When a fault occurs after you're already plugged in, you smell smoke, see the lights go way bright, or similar, go outside, and the idiot lights are telling you to "UNPLUG NOW!", after it's way too late.

Consider spending the extra money and have a true automatically protecting EMS permanently installed inside the RV. It will be connected 100% of the time with no extra work on your part and it will be protected from the weather.

I have the hard-wired Progressive Industries unit with the remote display but if I were buying today, I would buy the hard-wired Hughes Power Watchdog with EPO (emergency power off). I think the Bluetooth is more convenient and the prices are about the same.

I *thought* that RV's built in 2020 or 2021 were supposed to have "open neutral" protection built in per a new RVIA spec but I cannot find any info about that anymore.

BTW, at a campground last winter, the campground had converted the entire back row from 30-amp only to 50-amp and 30-amp over the summer. During our stay, I noticed a Georgetown had moved from the back row to the next one over.

I asked why and learned there was an underground wiring fault that resulted in an open neutral. His EMS cut the power off so he was just relocated. Several other RVs, mostly fifth wheels but some motorhomes, had their stuff fried and were now trying to get things fixed and find parts.

One RV owner had been plugged in for six weeks and just had the "idiot light" surge protector. They were gone for the day when the wiring fault occurred. They came back to their surge protector screaming UNPLUG NOW but it was way too late for them.

Ray
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Old 01-28-2022, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker
I won't get into the whether you should/shouldn't use a surge protector at home. (or anywhere else as there are thousands of threads already on that subject with seemingly even more opinions). If it makes you feel more comfortable, go for it.

I will address you comments about power.
There really is no such thing as R/V current and house current.

A 50a R/V shore power supply is simply normal 240v electrical power. Same as in your house.

Your R/V's breaker box keeps the TWO 120v feed legs that make up the 240v SEPARATE, so no where in the R/V can you have 240v. (under all normal operating circumstances)

A 30a R/V shore power supply is the same normal house current as above but fed with only ONE 120v leg. A 30a to 50a dogbone or adapter ties the ONE leg of 30a 120v to BOTH legs of the 50A shore cord.

A 15a circuit (commonly found in a duplex outlet in a wall of your home) is the same current and circuitry as that of the 30a shore power outlet EXCEPT it is fed with smaller wire and protected by a 15a breaker. A 15a to 30a adapter simply allows the 30a shore power plug to be fed by a 15a outlet.
It's not often that you read an RV electrical description that gets every point made exactly perfect but this is it.

The only thing I'd add is the formula VOLTS times AMPS = WATTS

120 volts x 1 ea. 30-amp circuit = 3,600 watts of power availability.

120 volts x 2 ea. 50-amp circuits (for a total of 100 amps) = 12,000 watts of power availability.

That's why a 50-amp RV circuit can run so much more that a 30-amp RV circuit. It's not 20 amps more, it's 70 amps more.

Ray
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Old 01-28-2022, 04:51 PM   #11
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Do ya need one at home , kinda depends on how reliable the power company is . Our power company came out and installed one under most meters in their service area , as I had two meters I had to pay $ 80 for the second one !
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:09 PM   #12
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Smile Hughes just sold one on your advice

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if I were buying today, I would buy the hard-wired Hughes Power Watchdog with EPO (emergency power off).
Ray, Call Hughes for a commission on their sale to me. $316 marked down from $399. My research backed your info.

Thanks
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Old 01-28-2022, 06:29 PM   #13
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There's a reason why almost no homes have whole-house surge protectors; they are so very rarely needed they make no sense.
Ray
We recently had our breaker box replaced. When I asked about whole house surge protection, the electrician said that code now requires the boxes (at least in our area) have built in surge protection. The reason we didn't have a whole house surge protector installed in the old box was due to the age of the house. They didn't offer them way-back-when.

To the original poster, if you already have a surge protector, why not use it? There are many electronics in todays rigs and it pays to protect them.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:11 PM   #14
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There's a reason why almost no homes have whole-house surge protectors; they are so very rarely needed they make no sense.
My current house has whole-house surge suppression. I've lost electronics in houses without, and this house before I installed it. I haven't lost any since installing it many years ago.

Experience, and the relatively cheap insurance angle, mean I will continue to use and recommend surge suppression devices.

Edited to add that by "surge suppression" in relation to RV's, I'm talking about a EMS, not a basic surge suppressor.
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Old 01-28-2022, 07:47 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by NXR View Post
If people would not use the phrase "surge protector" for any type of electrical protection device it would be easier to understand. My canned response to this discussion:

A plain old "surge protector" is almost 100% worthless, period.

Why? Because the electrical grid has a tremendous amount of surge protection built in. That's why you almost never see a whole house surge protector; they're not needed.

Ray
Then why does the 2020 NEC now require them?

https://www.electricallicenserenewal...ectionID=843.0

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Old 01-29-2022, 09:50 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by NXR View Post
There's a reason why almost no homes have whole-house surge protectors; they are so very rarely needed they make no sense.

A "surge protector" protects against surges so that begs the question of "What is a surge?"


A surge is a momentary massive increase in the voltage lasting in the low milliseconds and reaching voltage peaks of 600 volts or more. That's all a surge protector handles. Nothing more and nothing less.

The electrical grid has a massive amount of surge suppression built in so it takes something like a lightning strike to the wiring in your immediate vicinity to cause a surge.

Ray
Our home has one, as did out previous home because I installed them.

When lightening hit the Pecan Tree 20' in front of our previous home, there was bark blown all over our Veranda, there were 4 steaming squirrels in the yard but Nothing in out house was damaged.

They are like the house insurance, You buy it hoping you NEVER need it. Most never do, those that do are VERY glad they had it!
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:35 AM   #17
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I'm on my second whole house suppressor in the current home. First one got used up. As far as I know, we never got a really big surge. From what I understand, even smaller surges are damaging and the small ones just chip away at what they hit until you get a failure in your 60" tv or other electronic device.
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Old 01-29-2022, 10:40 AM   #18
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So, I must be completely paranoid then.

I have a whole house surge protector on the meter base; the first two spots in the panel have surge suppression breakers in them; and my expensive TVs and computer systems are plugged into Monster Surge Suppressors.

Then again, I have never lost any equipment due to surges.

https://www.kenick.com/images/spec/K...SS320-LB25.pdf
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:16 AM   #19
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Thank you everyone!
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Old 01-29-2022, 11:50 AM   #20
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If you are running an extension cord to your RV from the house. You have the possibility of a nearby lightning strike getting into your RV thru the cord. So it can't hurt.

Nothing will save you from a direct strike though.
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