"Surge Suppressor Question"

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by BankShot, Feb 1, 2017.

  1. BankShot

    BankShot
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    We experienced a couple of power shutdowns on the coach that last time times we were out and about. Both only lasted a few minutes. We use a portable TRC "SurgeGuard 30 amp suppressor and when I have gone out to check the pedestal the unit shows it is on and all is okay. After that few minute period of time the power comes back on and all works fine from there on. I've always thought that if the power at the pedestal goes off or has a problem, etc. that the suppressor would shut down and/or show an indication that there is a power problem but this isn't so it seems. The suppressor shows power going into it just fine but it is not sending power on to the coach. I did read a few reviews on it and found that others have experienced this same problem. Evidently there is a circuit inside the unit that fails from time to time and that it will show the power at the pedestal to be fine but it's not sending it on. Just curious if any of you folks on the forum have also experienced this weird happening? We have had the coach hooked to shore power at the house since we returned a couple of months ago and all has been working just fine. I am thinking perhaps in both instances there might have been a "blip" power outage that has caused this to occur? I haven't called TRC as yet but probably will to ask them what might be going on. I know some weird stuff like this can and does happen but in this case it has me scratching my head. Thanks for any input on this..................

    Regards, BankShot............(aka Terry)
     
  2. docj

    docj
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    Don't be so quick to assume that the surge suppressor is at fault. I did that recently and it cost me several hundred dollars!

    We had the hard-wired TRC 50A surge suppressor/power management system and a few months ago it started exhibiting EXACTLY what you are reporting. I was on a business trip and my wife called to say that power was dropping out for a couple of minutes at a time. Even over the phone I was able to diagnosis the problem as being the TRC.

    As soon as I got home I bypassed the device and ordered a new one from Progressive (for a lot of reasons, including a better warranty). It took a few days for the new one to arrive and get installed. During that period we had no perceived problems.

    However, within an hour of installing the new unit the power was switching off again, just as before. However, the readout on the Progressive retains the PREVIOUS fault even after power is restored. So we could see what was causing the device to cut out. With the Progressive, the delay before power came back on was only 15 seconds because that's its built-in delay. With the TRC it was 3.5 minutes.

    To make a long story shorter, both the TRC and the Progressive were reacting to the same problem, but with the TRC it was too transient for us to diagnosis it. With the Progressive the fault indicated was "high voltage" on one of the lines which means voltage > 132V.

    I called the power company and its technician came and opened up every connection between the pedestal and the 7kW feed to the transformer. Since it was our ownership park we took the matter seriously and so did he. What he found was a slightly "floating neutral" due to a number of connections that weren't tight enough. After the "repair" the voltage difference between Line 1 and Line 2 displayed as <1 V compared to 3-4V initially.

    In summary, don't assume the TRC is faulty. It could be indicating a transient fault as it was in my case. I ended up selling my old TRC to someone for a few $$ since there was clearly nothing wrong with it!

    Joel (AKA docj)
     
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  3. BankShot

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    Hey Joel - Thanks for the info on this subject. Greatly appreciated! I was at the point of scratching my head over this problem and was blaming it on the suppressor. Something however just didn't seem right due to the suppressor still reading all was okay at the pedestal when there was no power going to the coach. I know when I first plug the suppressor into shore power it takes almost 2.5 minutes for it to go thru its thing to determine all is okay before sending power on to the coach but what threw me was that it was still reading all was okay and yet we had no power. That to me was saying something must be wrong at the coach and not the pedestal. I was also under the impression (probably wrong impression) that if there had been a spike or power drop, etc., that the suppressor would be in shut down mode and that the little red light would come on and not turn green again until all the power checks had been completed in its startup mode it would go thru again. I am letting it go for now as all seems to be, and has been, working just fine but will be watching things very carefully on our upcoming trip. Again, thanks for the info and great explanations of what is more than likely happening. I'm feeling a tad mo betta about it all now....................

    Regards, BankShot.............(aka Terry)
     
  4. docj

    docj
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    From our experience this is definitely NOT what happens with either the TRC or Progressive. The units react to something like a voltage spike and then recover when things are normal. We've seen the same thing happen with low voltage situations.

    I trust you understand that the "turn on delay" has litle to do with "going through checks" prior to turning the power on. The checks are essentially done within a couple of power cycles (at 60 Hz). The delay is primarily for air conditioner compressors that might not have built-in protective delays. It's designed to ensure that A/C power isn't removed and reapplied too quickly. Because most A/C's these days contain their own protection for this issue, the Progressive's default setting is a 15 second delay which can be increased if the A/C being used does not have adequate protection of its own.
     
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