Using Surge Protector For the First Time: What's Proper Sequencing

I need some "pretend I'm a 6-year-old" advice on the sequence of steps when hooking up to shore power using a surge protector (one is on its way to me so haven't seen instructions).   I've looked through a bunch of YouTube videos and they skip the basic steps and then I got some conflicting info.  It comes down to:  do I attach the cord to my [email protected] first...or do I do all the stuff at the pedestal first and THEN plug into [email protected]?  Here are the steps as I understand them.  Am I doing them in the correct order?
1.  Turn OFF breakers at pedestal.
2.  Plug in surge protector at pedestal.  (Am I waiting for some kind of signal on surge protector telling me it's OK to turn breakers on??)
3.  Turn ON breakers (I guess after I have the ok from surge protector)
4.  Plug in cord to [email protected]
5.  Attach cord to plugged in surge protector.

Break Down
1.  Turn off breakers.
2.  Unplug from shore power.
3.  Unplug from [email protected]

Is this correct??

thanks!
Aggie/2019 [email protected]; Alde Compact 3020 HE/2019 Toyota Rav4 Adventure AWD/ Rockville, MD (a D.C. suburb)

Comments

  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,838Moderator
    1.  Turn off pedestal breaker
    2.  Plug in surge protector or EMS 
    3.  Turn on pedestal breaker - wait for the surge protector or EMS to indicate no fault
    4.  Plug in TaB power cord into the TaB
    5.  Plug in TaB power cord into the surge protector/EMS 

    Break down - I would add- make sure everything is turned off inside the TaB (especially Alde).

    When you graduate first grade you can move onto use of a NCVT (Non-contact voltage tester).  It lets you know if the pedestal box and outlets are grounded.  We have added this to our check list before we hook up our EMS.  

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
       
                                           
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,301Moderator
    This may be overkill, but I've gotten into the habit of plugging into a receptacle with the breaker off, then flipping it on once the plug is secure. Otherwise, I often get a little spark as I plug in--probably the result of the [email protected] converter drawing a little juice on contact.

    I have no idea if there is any detriment to that spark--or if a surge protector would mitigate it--but it's slightly unnerving and it doesn't happen if you flip the power on once everything is firmly connected.

    I'm not disagreeing with Sharon's process, just suggesting one more cycle of the breaker.
  • ChanWChanW Posts: 2,450Member
    edited July 12
    I test the pedestal with an outlet tester before connecting anything to it (using this tester), then I shut the pedestal power off and connect everything.

    Then switch the pedestal back on.

    The Progressive surge protector has an automatic one or two minute 'delayed start' to it that I depend on to power up the Tab cleanly when the pedestal is switched on. That way the arc-spark that @ScottG referred to in handled by the surge suppressor's circuitry, which I figure is why it's there!
    Chan       --         Buffalo NY (Beau Fleuve)
    2014 'S' Maxx - 2011 Tacoma 4cyl Access Cab
  • BaylissBayliss Posts: 381Member
    edited July 12
    I agree with both @ScottG and @ChanW.  I have attached a helpful checklist for connecting to a campground pedestal.  It is not unusual for those pedestals to be mis-wired or poorly wired.  Once you have tested the pedestal to be sure it is properly wired, turn off the circuit breaker before making your EMS and shore power connection to the camper.  THEN, turn on the circuit breaker at the pedestal.  That "spark" created when connecting a plug to the pedestal (with the circuit breaker turned on) can eventually damage your power cord/plug.  It is much safer to have the circuit breaker turned off before making your power connections (i.e., EMS/surge protector and power cord) to your camper.  ALSO, when breaking down camp and packing up, it is very important that you turn everything off in the camper (i.e., ALDE, lights, water pump, stereo, etc.) before switching off the pedestal circuit breaker and disconnecting your EMS and power cord.
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


  • Sharon_is_SAMSharon_is_SAM Posts: 4,838Moderator
    Just went back and looked at the Progressive Industries Manual.  They don’t say anything about powering the pedestal on or off.
    They say to plug the RV cord to the TaB and EMS, then plug it into the pedestal - assumed the pedestal in turned on.

    1) Plug RV power cord in to the EMS-PT50X (EMS) then plug EMS in to park power. If no Error Code of E 1 through E 9 then wait 136 seconds Time Delay to cycle power to RV.

    Sharon / 2017 [email protected] CSS / 2015 Toyota Sienna Minivan / Westlake, Ohio
       
                                           
  • JohnDanielsCPAJohnDanielsCPA Posts: 220Member
    This is what I do.

    For power on:

    1.  Make sure all appliances (Alde, refrigerator, etc.) are in the off position.
    2.  Plug [email protected] plug into the EMS.
    3.  Make sure the pedestal breakers are turned off.
    4.  Plug the EMS into the pedestal.
    5.  Turn on pedestal breakers.
    6.  After about two minutes, 120 volt power will be available.  You can check by pressing in the battery monitor above the sink.  It should show a voltage of around 13.5 volts (versus 12+ volts while on just the battery).

    The EMS is already designed to retain power until all possible errors have been checked.  Then it powers the [email protected] electrical.  If there is a problem, the [email protected] electrical will not be powered.  Also, the EMS is going to provide a gentler power connection to your [email protected] versus any surge that could occur by plugging into a live circuit.

    For power off:

    1.  Ensure ALL 120 volt appliances are turned off, including (and especially) the Alde, refrigerator, A/C, etc.  A sudden disconnect of power has a tendency to blow Alde fuses and just isn’t good for any electrical system.
    2.  Turn off the pedestal breakers.
    3.  Unplug the EMS from the pedestal.
    4.  Unplug the [email protected] plug from the EMS.

    I do this for both my fifth wheel and [email protected] and have never had any problems.
    2017 [email protected] Max S
    2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
  • ZippyAZippyA Posts: 27Member
    Oy -- this is what makes my head hurt.  So many different ways to do this!
    John -- two questions for you:
    1-  For step 2 to turn power on:  Am I reading it correctly?  You have the power cord plugged into the [email protected]  Then you plug the other end into the EMS.  Right?

    2 - For powering off:  I've not yet used the Alde.  I'm assuming turning it off is just turning the on/off power button off, right?  I haven't turned it on so I guess it's OFF, right??

    thanks!
    Aggie/2019 [email protected]; Alde Compact 3020 HE/2019 Toyota Rav4 Adventure AWD/ Rockville, MD (a D.C. suburb)
  • ScottGScottG Posts: 3,301Moderator
    Yeah, @ZippyA, you gotta' be careful what you ask here as seemingly simple questions often lead to myriad complex explanations and suggestions.  ;-)

    Ultimately, neither your power cord--nor the electricity that runs it--cares which end you plug in first. The fact that you are using an EMS puts you way ahead of many owners, myself included.

    I don't have the newer digital version of the Alde control, but I believe you are correct. Alde manuals are available here.
  • BaylissBayliss Posts: 381Member
    edited July 13
    @ZippyA,

    1.  Yes, attach your 30A cord (female end) to the camper and attach the EMS to the other (male) end of that cord.  THEN, with the pedestal circuit breaker "OFF," attach the EMS cord to the pedestal.  THEN, flip "ON" the pedestal circuit breaker.  Basically, you want all your electrical connections in place before you flip on the pedestal circuit breaker.  My EMS is hard-wired inside my camper and has a brief time delay to protect the camper, but I assume the model you have also has a built in time delay before power becomes available inside your camper.  ONE ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE:  To avoid tripping a circuit breaker, or blowing one or more fuses, whether you are connecting or disconnecting power to your camper, best practice is to be sure everything electrical inside the camper (e.g., Alde, air conditioner ("A/C"), refrigerator, lights, water pump, television, stereo, etc.) is "OFF" before you make the final electrical connection to a campground pedestal or an outlet at home.  It's not required, but my personal view is that it is a better way to do things.

    2.  You are correct.  You power the Alde "on" or "off" at the digital display panel.  Depending on the display settings you have selected (see the Alde manual), the screen may go dark and give the impression that your Alde is "off," but there is a small green light visible on the power button when the Alde is "on."  That light however, may be hard to see if you are looking at the display panel from an angle.
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


  • JohnDanielsCPAJohnDanielsCPA Posts: 220Member
    ZippyA said:
    Oy -- this is what makes my head hurt.  So many different ways to do this!
    John -- two questions for you:
    1-  For step 2 to turn power on:  Am I reading it correctly?  You have the power cord plugged into the [email protected]  Then you plug the other end into the EMS.  Right?

    2 - For powering off:  I've not yet used the Alde.  I'm assuming turning it off is just turning the on/off power button off, right?  I haven't turned it on so I guess it's OFF, right??

    thanks!
    Yes, power cord is plugged into both the EMS and into the [email protected]

    Yes, hitting the off button on the digital display turns off the Alde.  I don’t know how the manual controlled Alde works.
    2017 [email protected] Max S
    2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
  • JohnDanielsCPAJohnDanielsCPA Posts: 220Member
    Bayliss said:
    @ZippyA,

    1.  Yes, attach your 30A cord (female end) to the camper and attach the EMS to the other (male) end of that cord.  THEN, with the pedestal circuit breaker "OFF," attach the EMS cord to the pedestal.  THEN, flip "ON" the pedestal circuit breaker.  Basically, you want all your electrical connections in place before you flip on the pedestal circuit breaker.  My EMS is hard-wired inside my camper and has a brief time delay to protect the camper, but I assume the model you have also has a built in time delay before power becomes available inside your camper.  ONE ADDITIONAL IMPORTANT NOTE:  To avoid tripping a circuit breaker, or blowing one or more fuses, whether you are connecting or disconnecting power to your camper, best practice is to be sure everything electrical inside the camper (e.g., Alde, refrigerator, lights, water pump, TV, stereo, etc.) is "OFF" before you make the final electrical connection to a campground pedestal or an outlet at home.  It's not required, but my personal view is that it is a better way to do things.

    2.  You are correct.  You power the Alde "on" or "off" at the digital display panel.  Depending on the display settings you have selected (see the Alde manual), the screen may go dark and give the impression that your Alde is "off," but there is a small green light visible on the power button when the Alde is "on."  That light however, may be hard to see if you are looking at the display panel from an angle.
    Spot on!
    2017 [email protected] Max S
    2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara
  • BaylissBayliss Posts: 381Member
    Below is a link to a quick, on point, and worthwhile read about attaching your plug to a campground pedestal without first turning off the circuit breaker.

    https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-electricity-just-ask-mike-burned-shore-power-plugs/
    2019 [email protected] 320 S Boondock Lite; Alde Compact 3020 Boiler; 2007 Toyota Tundra TRD (5.7L V8)
    Greg & Marlene (Tucson, AZ)


  • ZippyAZippyA Posts: 27Member
    Thanks @Sharon_is_SAM, @Bayliss, and @JohnDanielsCPA!  I've got it and revising my checklist to reflect your very-understandable steps.  My EMS came in from Amazon yesterday so I'm ready to go.  
    Aggie/2019 [email protected]; Alde Compact 3020 HE/2019 Toyota Rav4 Adventure AWD/ Rockville, MD (a D.C. suburb)
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