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Old 08-12-2019, 02:09 PM   #1
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Does a surge kill the surge protector?

Have you ever had a power surge from shorepower and if so, how did you know that? Does it damage the surge protector so then you have to buy another one?
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Old 08-12-2019, 02:39 PM   #2
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It really depends on the make and model surge protector you have. Some die when they protect you during a surge, more sophisticated EMSs protect and reset ready for the next event.

What are you using?

I have a Progressive Industries which seemed a bit expensive, but in reality cheap insurance. It has already paired for itself.

https://www.amazon.com/Portable-RV-S...95213024&psc=1
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:13 PM   #3
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I have had to replace my portable Progressive Industry surge protector twice. Don’t know if it protected me from a surge or simply died. So can’t really answer your question but I suspect they only last so long and are destroyed in a surge. Good thing is they are guaranteed for life either way
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:58 PM   #4
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Southwire/TRC---Surge Guard are throw aways after being hit by a surge




Progressive Industries....
Serviceable. Parts can be replaced
Surge is NOT covered by warranty
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:02 PM   #5
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A surge guard is just that, it stands guard & sacrifices itself to protect your RV. Whether it it toast after a surge seems to depend on them mfr. We have a Progressive Industries & as Old-Biscuit stated, it can be repaired.

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Old 08-12-2019, 08:04 PM   #6
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My surge protector like my insurance policy to date is a total waste of money. I feel confident that someday they will pay for themselves but hope they continue to go unused.

Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:12 PM   #7
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I have the combination Progressive EMS/transfer switch combo. I decided to protect the system by adding a $100 Surge Guard at the pedestal. If it gets hit with a surge, it will be sacrificed, but my system will still work.
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Old 08-12-2019, 08:36 PM   #8
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The deciding factor is electrical charge. No equipment man has invented can survive a direct lightning strike. NLOVNT is correct.
As old-biscuit said, some may be repaired from a simple over-voltage surge; however the repair cost vs new replacement then enters the decision.
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:09 AM   #9
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Let me ask a question. If a surge will destroy the surge or EMS protector, do you all carry a extra surge/ems protector? I have the Progressive Industry EMS and if I have to send it in to be replaced that means I will have to go for up to a week without protection.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:27 AM   #10
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No, I don't carry a spare. But then, we're not full-time (or even part-time), so being without protection for a while is not an issue for us.

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Old 08-14-2019, 08:09 AM   #11
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Most RV surge protectors use MOVs to absorb surges. Every time the MOVs take a hit, they get damaged a little. Big surges hurt more than little surges and eventually the MOVs will incur enough damage to fail. Everybody assumes it died from one big surge, but that is not the typical case. More likely a "death of 1000 cuts".


The other potential killer is a sudden failure of the neutral connection in a 50A hook-up. That can cause the line voltage to skyrocket almost instantly and it becomes a race to see if the EMS can get power disconnected quick enough to avoid internal damage. Some models may do better than others, depending on the exact timing and nature of the event. YMMV!
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:41 AM   #12
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It depends on the design of the device and what you call a surge.

Lightning is the most dangerous because of the high voltage and the short duration that transfers through components. Just a note if you get a close or direct lightning hit everything can smoke.

The simplest and cheapest device has only a MOV that basically acts as a short when the design voltage is reached. They will either absorb the current for an extremely short time limited by the ability to shed the heat or literately burn out. Part of the process is the speed and ability for a fuse or breaker to trip before it burns out. The better units will provide for a trip to be used another day. Buying a higher "joules" ratting helps to trip breakers or fuses.

Also very damaging is a longer period of high voltage caused by a electrical grid failure or accident. The MOV will certainly burn out unless the fuse blows or a breaker trips.

More expensive protection devices use a combinations of MOVs and electronic circuits to monitor the line voltage and disconnect with fast acting relays when voltage is too high or low. These are far better in protecting your stuff and do not burn out. Remember low voltage can also damage your stuff.

A uninterruptible power supply (UPS) is your best protection and provides power during the event and is recommended for computers and TVs

Adding--
RV line devices can also protect you against incorrect wiring. To do this a relay connects power once proper line conditions are met.
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Old 08-14-2019, 10:56 AM   #13
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Carefully designed, constructed and installed man made equipment can and does survive (multiple) direct lightning strikes. The key is to avoid the sensitive equipment from being the path that the energy takes to ground. Bonding at the service entrance is an effective element of good lightning protection. If the grounds for the telephone, television and radio antennas, the cable ground and the AC power ground are all bonded together at the service entrance with a good ground rod (typically 8 ft into the earth) then almost none of the energy goes THROUGH the equipment. The potential difference (voltage) across any of the equipment connections is maintained close to zero. The voltage at the power ground may transiently reach 10,000 volts, or more. If all inputs are tied together then all are at the same voltage and there will be no current flow through the equipment because there is no voltage difference across it.
If a ground rod were installed at the power post and the neutral line were grounded to it, that would help. If a post mounted surge suppressor ground were bonded to that ground, then much of the energy would flow to ground before it went into the surge suppressor or RV.
There used to be (1993) a book published by Polyphaser titled “The Grounds for Lightning and EMP protection” that provides an excellent handling of the topic. They sell suppression devices.
Some of this can be applied to an RV. All input grounds, such as AC and cable can have their grounds tied together with frame ground even without a ground rod being used. Some good practice is better than none. The principle is to avoid having a path through equipment.
I knew a ham that had three direct strikes on his 100 foot tower. The first one destroyed his ham station and various appliances in the house including TV, VCR, microwave, telephones, etc. Insurance paid for the damage. He got the book from Polyphaser and went to work. His ham station survived the second strike, but other devices in the house were damaged. He had not included some of the inputs in the bonding scheme. The third direct strike did NO damage inside the home, but destroyed the antenna that was hit, by vaporizing a section of the aluminum tubing.
An 8ft ground rod may be sunk into the ground by HAND if water is used to keep the hole WET. Keep pushing the rod into the earth and removing it again to pour water in the hole. When you don’t have enough rod to get a good grip, you will have more the 7 foot of it in the ground. This hard to believe until you try it, or see it done. A gallon of water is likely enough. If you hit a rock, move it laterally and try again.
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