Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Surge Guard Worked. 

The last few days here in Palm Beach County we have been racked by strong afternoon storms.  Very heavy rain, wind and plenty of lightning and thunder.  We were visiting with my dad yesterday afternoon when we experienced one.  After the rain let up we headed back to camp and were deciding what to have for dinner when I noticed that it was getting warm in the front of the coach.  The thermostat confirmed it.  I went to look at the 120 volt breakers and sure enough, the front A/C was tripped.  I reset it and the A/C came back on. 

We then noticed that the light under the microwave flickering and the A/C tripped again while the rear A/C was still working.  We were watching the weather channel on the TV but the TV was having no problems.  We also began to hear some random thumping noises similar to the slide toppers or window awnings being assaulted by the wind.  We went out to look around and I got my volt/ohm meter and continuity tester out to check the electricity at the post.  I was not getting good readings then behind me I heard more and louder thumping coming from the electrical bay.  I opened it and found the source of our mystery sound: the Surge Guard was making the noise.  Lights on the surge guard indicated low voltage and sporadic electrical service.
I immediately shut off our 50 amp plug at the post and called the camp office.  They had just lost power and had called in the problem to the power company.  A neighbor was out looking at his coach at the time we were and said he too was having problems.

About 40 minutes later I noticed the park street lights on so I flipped our breaker switch and we were soon charging the batteries again and running the A/C.  It never got uncomfortable inside the coach but if it had we could have always run the generator to get the A/C working.

Until we heard the noise we were not aware of the electrical problem because the coach batteries were seamlessly kicking in to provide light (which is all 12 volt) and the invertor was giving us 120 volt power from the batteries for the TV and microwave.  Other than the A/C breaker tripping, we had no damage.

The Surge Guard does not come as a standard piece of equipment on most RVs but it should.  The problem we experienced could have done a lot of damage to our converter/inverter or to our appliances if it had not been for the Surge Guard.  I suspect the storm had brought down a tree branch onto wires supplying the campground and was causing intermittent power disruptions.

So the newbie full-timers had another learning experience.

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