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Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Since it's the boring winter months, and we are not travelling yet, I thought I would do some repeats of my most-read blog posts on RV repairs.  This one had almost 1,000 views when I first posted it. We installed our Progressive Industries EMS Surge Protector in June of 2012 and it works just great! 


Ahhhh a whole Saturday in front of us with NO plans other than working on our own projects.  Wheeeeee

First up on our list of items was installing our Progressive Industries EMS LCHW50 which is an Electrical Management System.  It protects our sensitive electronics inside of our motorhome from spikes, surges, low voltages or even mis-wired posts in campgrounds.  (which happens more often than you think!)

In the past, we usually didn't camp much in places with hookups, instead we rely on our solar or at last resort, on our generator.  We did have some smaller Surge Guard portable surge protector units that just plug onto the cord. These work okay for spikes, but have no protection for low power, (brown outs) which can be just as bad.  The little units do not reset either.  So we decided to go with a hard-wired inside unit.   They are more expensive, but worth it. 
You can buy a 50 amp surge protector EMS that just plugs onto your cord at the post, but we hear of those walking away.... even with the little clip locks. Sad that people in campgrounds steal things.  So we decided to get the one that gets hard wired inside the compartment, as safe as we can get it.

We ordered the EMS unit from Camping World where they were having a sale for $250.00 .. that was the best price around when we placed our order.  This is a hard-wired unit that needs to installed carefully, with attention to each little step.  One mishap and we can ruin our electrical system.

We read the directions from front to back, and Steve set up his work area.  I was his "gopher" for fetching tools, as his knee is giving him grief again.  Love his stool, eh?  He already attached another section of 4 strand heavy wire to the unit in preparation to install.  (I think it's number 6 wire)

First, we made sure the power was unplugged from the rig! ...   then Steve removed the cover from our Automatic Transfer Switch.   He decided to install the EMS on the upside of the Transfer Switch to protect that, rather than downstream of the Transfer Switch (which would leave the switch vulnerable, but would protect the input from the generator)   We don't often run the generator, so didn't think it was as important to locate it there. 

Careful connections were made, with me double checking over his shoulder as he attached each wire.  Sometimes it helps to have two sets of eyes on a project as important as this.  Once the connections and ground was made in the Transfer Switch, then we wired up the connections and grounds in the EMS unit.  

Once the connections were made in the EMS, the actual digital readout device gets plugged into place.    We also had to determine if our air conditioners had a "delay" in restarting if they ever get turned off mid-cycle (they don't have that built-in feature) ...  so the EMS has the option of either a 6 second delay (default setting)   or a 2 minute delay (by removing a jumper pin from the control board)   to allow a delayed restart to protect the air conditioners if a shut down and restart ever happened.   Now we are all set. 

We doublechecked everything again and compared it against the diagrams in the instructions.  We stood back to admire our work.   Now it was time to plug it in!  We ran a "test" ... sure enough, it worked!   It read each leg of the 50amp connection and tested for any errors.   All is fine and our garage power is clean.  (we already knew that)

We mounted it up into place on the side wall of our electrical bay.    Don't it look "purty"????   (the black box on the left is what we are gabbing about)   It had to go to the left of the Transfer Switch, as the wall on the right had incoming and outgoing wires for other items.

We put all of our other electrical gear back into the compartment.  We carry our main 50 amp cord --- a.k.a. The Snake.   Then a 25ft 50 amp extension, and a 30ft 30 amp extension, and even a plain old orange 10 gauge longer cord to use in a pinch.  Also a few dog bones (recognize that one, Dee and Jim?) and some adapters for various campground hookups.
There... all back together, good as new.       Or better than new!!!

We are comforted by the fact that we have done what we can to protect our electronics.  Having everything in your rig blasted out by incorrect wiring is NOT fun, and has happened to two people we know of.  Mis-wired power posts and outlets can destroy everything in your rig.  When you start adding up the cost of replacing tvs, laptops, cell phones, control boards in all the appliances, light fixtures, etc. It is not something we want to ever have happen to us. 


1 comment:

  1. Great information. I'm glad you warned me about this being a past post, otherwise my brain cells would have fallen out of calibration.


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