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Old 07-28-2021, 01:34 PM   #1
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Surge Protector Advice.

After an incident with a circuit breaker on my CG pedestal, that somehow failed and under load only let 37v come through one line. Long story about what it took to diagnose it but I'll skip that. It took out the capacitors and control board on my Colman Mach 6535 basement AC. 1 new 50 amp breaker and $850 later all is good, but it has pushed me over the edge to go ahead and buy a surge/voltage protector.

I want one that has the replaceable module, reads of course the voltage and correct orientation of the incoming lines, open neutral, ground etc.

Now I also have one other situation involved. I winter in Mazatlan Mx, and Mexico in general is not known for power grid stability. 30 amp only is available and my beloved beach "trailer park" as they call it.

To handle the fluctuations in voltage I use a "self regulating voltage transformer" No you will not find one in the US. This is nothing more than a transformer in a box with some electronics that monitor the incoming voltage. In the trailer park, I have seen it as low as 109 and high as 139. Yes, the sola 4000 works. They use them all over in Mexico. No matter if the voltage is high or low it puts out a steady 117 to 121 volts. It is wired in a 30 amp RV extension cord. Plug the plug end in just like any 30 amp, cut it in the middle and install the transformer. You just cut it, run the hot leg in, hot leg out and the neutral and ground get wired straight through. Then at the outlet end, use a dog bone to plug the 30 amp into the 50 amp RV cord. So it is just like using a dog bone on a 30 amp service except it has a transformer in the middle.

My question is this. If I buy a good 50 amp surge protector, can I just plug it in the dog bone between the 50 amp outlet and plug? Do you use your 50 amp surge protector on a 30 amp service by just using a dog bone, then putting the surge protector in the 50 amp line? We never have had surge or lightning problems there, just the wide swing in voltage.

I'm not immune to buying a 30 amp and a 50 amp for when I am in the states, but if I plug a 30 amp into the receptacle, then the transformer, would that not shut all my power down if the voltage made a big swing?

I'm thinking the best way is to put it in after the transformer, but a 30 amp or 50 amp surge protector?


And I know everybody has a favorite, but how about a recommendation on brand and model.

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Old 07-28-2021, 01:51 PM   #2
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You say that the transformer is in a 30 amp cord.

You should place the surge protector after any transformer device.

Thus the input to the surge protector is 30 amp. Buy a 30 amp EMS unit otherwise with a 50 amp EMS you'll be adding another dogbone or two.

In our 5th wheeler that is setup for 50 amp I have a EMS unit hard wired inside the RV. Never a question if it is being used or not. And it does not matter if I plug into 30 amp service using a dogbone, 30 amp to 50 amp. In reality I have a 30 foot power cable that functions as a dogbone. 30 amp male, 50 amp female to RV connection. I also carry a 50 amp main power cord plus 30 foot extensions for both and every adapter known to the RV world.

Even with a built-in EMS I always use a simple plugin power tester before I connect the RV's power cord. I may use a stack of adapters to go from 30 or 50 amp feeds to the 120 20 amp female needed for the tester.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:51 PM   #3
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If you go up to the Google search box & type Progressive Industries, you'll get more reading material on the subject than you ever need to know.
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Old 07-28-2021, 02:21 PM   #4
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I would recommend the Progressive Industries EMS series 50A protection devices, either the HW50C hardwired or the PT50X portable! You can't go wrong with either of those!
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Old 07-28-2021, 08:24 PM   #5
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A 50amp EMS will protect everything on down, ie 50a, 30a or 20a with the appropriate dogbone connection(s). A 50a will just cost a bit more. Wonít regret having one!!
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Old 07-31-2021, 09:31 PM   #6
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I too recommend Progressive Industries
Our RV park in NC took a lighting hit - fried the Progressive unit , but saved MH electronics
Progressive replaced unit for free
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Old 08-01-2021, 04:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by britcon View Post
I too recommend Progressive Industries
Our RV park in NC took a lighting hit - fried the Progressive unit , but saved MH electronics
Progressive replaced unit for free

I would also highly recommend Progressive Industries! When I bought my Progressive EMS 4 years ago, it stopped working the first month that I had it. I donít know what went wrong but I contacted Progressive and they said that they would send me a replacement. Since I was headed south from VA the next day, I said I would come to their office in Apex, NC and pick it up. When I arrived, they did not have any of the same model that I had purchased so they gave me an upgraded model instead. No issues since then and I will never connect to shore power without it!
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Old 08-02-2021, 05:41 AM   #8
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Progressive EMS...yes....another vote!
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