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Old 02-25-2021, 07:51 PM   #1
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Reverse Polarity/Hot-Neutral Reversed

Hi All, let me start with my location being San Felipe Baja MX. RV site in modern park, pedestal w/30amp & Surge Protector reading A-OK “until” I plug in my 30 amp MH. Now the SP reading “Reverse Polarity.” After much reading...I used a 120 volt fan plugged in to 120v adapter, plugged in to SP everything good. Now inside MH, I tested every electrical outlet, all reading “Hot/Neutral Reversed.” Went to breaker box and switched off each breaker one at a time with no change in RP reading. Getting faint electrical smell occasionally kind of like ballast burning out but I have no fluorescent fixture. Voltage meter plugged in A/C outlet shows volts running 128-132. I was told this normal for area. Finding an RV TECH around here is going to be tough. I DO NOT know how to use a Voltmeter😩 Any suggestions?? Okay to wait until next month when I’m back to Yuma?
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Old 02-25-2021, 10:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbell View Post
Hi All, let me start with my location being San Felipe Baja MX. RV site in modern park, pedestal w/30amp & Surge Protector reading A-OK “until” I plug in my 30 amp MH. Now the SP reading “Reverse Polarity.” After much reading...I used a 120 volt fan plugged in to 120v adapter, plugged in to SP everything good. Now inside MH, I tested every electrical outlet, all reading “Hot/Neutral Reversed.” Went to breaker box and switched off each breaker one at a time with no change in RP reading. Getting faint electrical smell occasionally kind of like ballast burning out but I have no fluorescent fixture. Voltage meter plugged in A/C outlet shows volts running 128-132. I was told this normal for area. Finding an RV TECH around here is going to be tough. I DO NOT know how to use a Voltmeter�� Any suggestions?? Okay to wait until next month when I’m back to Yuma?
I'm no expert, but I would unplug that RV immediately until I could get the pedestal checked out by a competent electrician....

If I understand your post correctly..... Your surge protector is showing "hot/Neutral reversed", volt meter is at 132V (within the range of 10% for acceptable voltage, but at the very high end), and you're getting an "electrical smell" in your RV....?????

No way I would stay plugged into that pedestal, especially with an "electrical smell" in the RV.... the park must have an electrician to check out the pedestal...

If the pedestal checks out OK I suspect you have an issue with your RV... See if you can hire the park electrician to inspect your RV wiring...
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Old 02-25-2021, 11:41 PM   #3
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Its not OK and its not your RV unless you had some work on the shore cord.

https://eavensonelectric.com/2016/09...0to%20be%20off.
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Old 02-26-2021, 05:02 AM   #4
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Reversing the hot/neutral requires a physical action so unless you or someone was making changes to you rig the problem most likely a campground fault. Did you test the pedestal for a swap? When you looking at the outlet the lower left side should be hot to the upper ground.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:17 PM   #5
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The fact that a device (fan) runs "normally" when plugged into the shore power means almost nothing. You need to get a volt meter and verify as shown in the diagram above. If polarity is reversed, you run a high risk of being shocked or killed.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:25 PM   #6
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OK, couple of questions:


1. How long are you going to be there? If short time, just disconnect or pull out your volt meter and check other sites that MAY be wired correctly.



2. If long term, you CAN rewire an adapter to "reverse" polarity. Polarity is not a normal Mexico issue. So, basically 50/50 if correct or reverse polarity.


Been there, done that for over 50 k miles south of the border.
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Old 02-26-2021, 03:42 PM   #7
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All bets are off--OP says he "has no idea how to use a voltmeter!!!!!" Very easy to reverse polarity on a 30 amp RV / old style drier plug. Interesting--other than the most basic EMS/surge protector, I can't imagine a modern unit allowing a reverse polarity to go thru to the coach. Must be more to the story--time to unplug and go home.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
OK, couple of questions:


1. How long are you going to be there? If short time, just disconnect or pull out your volt meter and check other sites that MAY be wired correctly.



2. If long term, you CAN rewire an adapter to "reverse" polarity. Polarity is not a normal Mexico issue. So, basically 50/50 if correct or reverse polarity.


Been there, done that for over 50 k miles south of the border.
Wolfe10, the fact that SP reads normal BEFORE I plug MH in to SP, does this mean problem in pedestal or MH? No other site option because not a park (privately owned site), I’m here another month. Owner of site doesn’t seem to think there is a problem. You mentioned making a plug to reverse the polarity?? Or should I INSIST electrician be called?
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:31 PM   #9
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We have no idea whether your power protector checks the pedestal status before anything is plugged into it - it may not do so.


When you tested with the fan, did you plug the fan & adapter to the power protection module or directly to thee pedestal. If you plug the fan to the module and it doesn't signal reverse polarity, then it's likely the pedestal outlet is ok and the problem is in your shore cord. If you still get the fault, then the problem is almost surely in the pedestal outlet.


Another easy test is to get a cheap outlet tester and use a 15/30 adapter to plug the tester into the pedestal outlet. That will give you independent verification of the status.


Here's what you would need. You may already have the adapter, since you were able to plug in the fan.



https://www.lowes.com/pd/Kobalt-Rece...ter/5001424383
https://www.amazon.com/Camco-PowerGr...dp/B00192QB3I/
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:43 PM   #10
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Assume you are plugged into a standard 120 VAC 15 amp/standard house-looking outlet in Mexico.


In the U.S. the shorter straight is the HOT. Longer straight is NEUTRAL. Round is GROUND.


In Mexico, there are many wired with no ground. So the hot and neutral can be reversed.


Pretty easy to diagnose with a voltmeter.


IF this is the issue, you can make a "reverse adapter" from a 15 amp male to 30 amp female adapter. Just switch the hot and neutral on the 15 amp end (probably easier to just put on a new 15 amp end).


This still leaves you with likely no ground. Again, easy to verify. A "work around" would be to wire the green ground wire in your adapter to a wire you wrap around either a metal stake or metal water pipe.


Is this to code-- HECK NO.


Will this work-- yes. Worked for us in many places in Mexico over 6 winters in our motorhome.



If you are not electric savvy, please do NOT do any of this.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
Assume you are plugged into a standard 120 VAC 15 amp/standard house-looking outlet in Mexico.


In the U.S. the shorter straight is the HOT. Longer straight is NEUTRAL. Round is GROUND.


In Mexico, there are many wired with no ground. So the hot and neutral can be reversed.


Pretty easy to diagnose with a voltmeter.


IF this is the issue, you can make a "reverse adapter" from a 15 amp male to 30 amp female adapter. Just switch the hot and neutral on the 15 amp end (probably easier to just put on a new 15 amp end).


This still leaves you with likely no ground. Again, easy to verify. A "work around" would be to wire the green ground wire in your adapter to a wire you wrap around either a metal stake or metal water pipe.


Is this to code-- HECK NO.


Will this work-- yes. Worked for us in many places in Mexico over 6 winters in our motorhome.



If you are not electric savvy, please do NOT do any of this.
Electrician coming tomorrow upon my insistence. Again, landlord said this is normal, they used this same connection for years with their Allegro Bus by simply taking high end Surge Protector OFF their rig (they have since built house). My very basic Surge Protector still lets me use the connection. I will share what electrician finds...
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:31 PM   #12
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You don't state what kind of outlet you are plugged into.


Is it a U.S. style 15 amp outlet (one long straight, one short straight and one round)? If so short straight is HOT, long straight is NEUTRAL and round is GROUND.


Or, is it only a "two straight, no round" outlet?


Other?
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbell View Post
Electrician coming tomorrow upon my insistence. Again, landlord said this is normal, they used this same connection for years with their Allegro Bus by simply taking high end Surge Protector OFF their rig (they have since built house). My very basic Surge Protector still lets me use the connection. I will share what electrician finds...
From this last post, what jumps out is the landlord had to remove his "high end" surge protector off his own rig, at least that's how I interpret your post. That tells me he had a problem with the outlet as well.

Good to have an electrician check it all out.
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Old 02-28-2021, 12:53 PM   #14
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As has been suggested, RUN. It sounds as though the campground pedestal has been wired backwards, and that's not good from a safety standpoint.


FYI: Ala has finally returned to warmer weather, currently 81*.
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