Question How does a Surge Protector work?

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We elected to install a transfer switch with a surge protector in the CanyonStar. Surge Guard 40350. Good protection and convenient, was my thought.
The higher end surge protects check for all manner of miswired, odd current, and other miscellaneous electrical issues. All good things.

However in my case, if the surge protector that is built into my transfer switch has to protect against a surge in voltage, the fuse in the Surge Protector will fail. This protects my RV electrical equipment by stopping the current.

Once the fuse fails, no electricity will pass through the transfer box until it is replaced or rebuilt. This could be a major issue if we need generator or park power on an extended trip.

Does it now makes sense to purchase an additional surge protector to put inline with the 50 amp cord to protect the transfer switch? Or is this just too many layers of defense.

A Belt and Suspender guy.

 
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If there is someone with too many surge protectors that is me. I have the Progressive SSP-50XL at the pedestal which I like because is gives me colored lights that tell me if the pedestal is wired properly and also first line of defense before it messes with internally mounted protection. This hopefully protects the cord reel as others have had them fry. After the cord reel is a hard wired Progressive HW50C. I didn't realize my ATS had the surge guard in it, had I known that I probably would not have installed the HW50C but I guess it can't hurt. I also have the Hughes AutoFormer installed in the cord reel bay but I don't think it's the model that has the surge protection.
 
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@JoeHogan @redbaron … All I have is the Progressive Industries HW50C Hardwired EMS installed ahead of the transfer switch. The EMS has the by-pass switch incase it gets fried. I do understand that my 50 amp cord back to the pedestal is not protected which is my weak point. The one thing I try to do is not spin the cord reel once I have power going through the cord. I think that action is one of the things that has caused cord reels to go bad because the electrical contact points/tabs in the reel short out. Think I remember redbaron posting that once.

FLSteve
 
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When a pole in RV park was hit with lightning the surge hit my Progressive 50 EMS at the pedestal and arched about 18 inches from the case of the Progressive back to the pedestal leaving. a large burn spots. I will always use some sort of surge protector at the pedestal hoping the arching will at the pedestal and not inside my coach in my electrical bay right next to a fuse box and transfer switch.
 
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When a pole in RV park was hit with lightning the surge hit my Progressive 50 EMS at the pedestal and arched about 18 inches from the case of the Progressive back to the pedestal leaving. a large burn spots.

That’s scary to think about. I had assumed that my interior direct wired Progressive would just ‘absorb’ it or something. Hate to have to spend more money to put something on the pedestal. I wonder if there is a cheap sacrificial thing I can connect, and still leave my Interior Progressive connected?
 
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While it is a lot more convenient to have the surge suppressor mounted in the electrical bay, there are enough down-sides to keep me from doing so. Regardless of what you use and how you use it, there needs to something effective at the power post. The PI SSP 50XL linked by JoeHogan (above) is the minimum I would use at the power post. And, at just over a hundred bucks, it won't break the bank.

As for lightning strikes, NOTHING will soak up a nearby strike; just too much power. When I notice lightning anywhere in the area, I ALWAYS unplug the power cord.

TJ
 
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Out of curiosity, @TJ&LadyDi , will you run the Genset in place of shore power until the lightning subsides?
 
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Out of curiosity, @TJ&LadyDi , will you run the Genset in place of shore power until the lightning subsides?
If I need to, but most lightning events only last an hour or two and we are an all-electric coach, so can run a full day on the batteries/inverter (with a little common sense) before needing to use the generator.

I disconnect to get away from any direct connection to the power grid. A lightning strike on a power pole 5 miles away still has the potential to deliver a huge surge at the park power pedestal.

TJ
 
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I can vouch for that. Lived in an old house many moons ago and a car hit an electric pole nearby and knocked out a transformer. According to my insurance estimator, the resultant surge ended up frying the high limit switch on my furnace and later that night I had to get out of the house fairly quickly as the furnace overheated, chard my floor joists that were over it and eventually tripped the fire alarm with the resultant smoke. Scary stuff. Electricity finds the path of least resistance.
 
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Don't rely on knowing when lightning will occur. You could be away, you could be caught by surprise. If a cheap surge protector at the pedestal can save you a lot of money and hassle consider it. Mother Nature is not predictable.
 
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Thanks all... learned something new. That is what makes this forum so great. Guess my fingers will be walking to Amazon shortly for a pedestal surge protector.
 
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Let me say again a nice thing about this progressive surge protector at the pedestal is you can plug it in without your coach being plugged into it and the lights will tell you if the pedestal is wired correctly. Then you can plug in your coach to the surge protector. I don't do this as I leave mine plugged in but do check the lights once the surge protector is plugged in but it is an option to verify the pedestal wiring. I have had a few bad pedestals in my 2-1/2 years so far.
 
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@Neal makes a couple of excellent points above.

First, if you will be away from the coach for an extended period, unplug it. You never know what might happen while you are not present to deal with the after-effects.

And, the PI surge suppressors provide a wealth of information BEFORE you connect the coach. I, too, have found a number of bad power pedestals over the years and having that information at hand up front prevents a lot of headaches.

TJ
 
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Here in Florida we have several levels of surge protectors on the house. One supplied by FPL, the electrical utility which includes appliance insurance, at the power meter, then inside for each sensitive electronic item. Also attached to the computers are UPS, uninterrupted power source, units to avoid the common power interruptions that turn the power off and on in rapid succession as the line workers or accidents move power sources around.
The last couple of years we have had the power turn off and on in rapid succession, very annoying and potentially damaging to sensitive appliances and electronics.
This has me thinking about installing some sort of buffer, a Tesla power wall or similar, to avoid these spikes. Or moving away from the lightning capital of the world. :)
 
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Something of interest that most folks do not think about, a surge protector life span is measured in Joules. During the lifespan of a surge protector it will absorb all those spike events that go unnoticed by the user turning the event into heat. Eventually the Joule limit will be reached and the surge protector, hopefully, fail. Note that in the attached article a dumb power strip may end up not protecting at some point. Hopefully our more expensive surge protectors will fail or give some other indication that they are not working correctly.

 
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When I took the lighting strike it took a hammer and pry bar to get my Progressive unplugged from the pole. There were burn marks on the cord between the pedestal and the progressive and on the case and no visible damage of the cord between progressive and the coach. I did have several circuit breakers tripped in the coach but everything still worked. A couple of months later my Furion Surround sound amp quite working which could be results of the strike.
I have Surge Guard 40100 transfer switch that I thought had surge protection but after chasing down the specs I found that it doesn't. I will be looking for surge protection only for inside the coach and still use the progressive 50 EMS at the pole.
 
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