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Old 06-14-2021, 02:03 PM   #1
MaxwellD
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Intimidated by electricity

I am in a park in Western Montana. My surge protector said L1 = 110 v and L2-= 113 v. Somewhere I learned that low voltage can damage appliances that need to draw 115 v. So, I requested we move to another spot and there the readings were 118 L1 and L2, so we moved over there. Question: what is minimum voltage I should see to not have this be an issue (or is it an issue?)
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max
 
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:30 PM   #2
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Lots of discussions regarding this topic if you search through the forum. In a nutshell, < 114V can be both bad for the equipment onboard as well as dangerous if sustained over a long(er) period. Similarly, too high a voltage must be avoided - too high being 127V and up, with >130 sure to do damage. You'll find that many of us have added a Hughes Autoformer to our electrical supply system in order to avoid the under-voltage conditions that you are experiencing.
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:47 PM   #3
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You did well by moving. Power companies are required to supply 120 vac +/- 5%, or voltage between 114 and 126. So the 110 vac you saw was likely a park problem.

Most things will be ok down to 110 vac, but I would not go lower. Motors particularly don’t like low voltage. They will begin to run hotter than they should. So your air conditioners would not like that. Or a residential refrigerator.
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Old 06-14-2021, 03:48 PM   #4
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I’m a retired electric utility lineman, and our voltage standard, which is common throughout the USA, is 5% above or below 120 volts at the customer panel. That means, 113 to 127 volts delivered, but that also allows even lower voltage by the time it gets to a customer’s appliances. Our Progressive EMS-HW50C manual says it shuts down power if voltage goes below 104 volts or above 132 volts, so they have determined those voltages to be critical that can damage equipment.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:51 PM   #5
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Your EMS will protect your camper and shut down when the available power is too high or too low. A few weeks ago we plugged in and our Progressive came back and said 106 volts and would not turn the trailer on. I checked the next post over with my Progressive and it read just fine. No matter what I did, I could not get power to the camper, and using the 30 amp was not an option for us. I reported it to the park office and they sent someone out. They replaced the 50 amp breaker, and everything worked perfectly fine then. We stayed for 2 weeks, and never had a problem again.

So, if you are using an EMS, the EMS will shut you down when the power gets into the danger zone for your camper. You will very, very seldom ever find exactly 120 volt. Even at home, it's sometimes less than 120 on one leg or the other.
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Old 06-14-2021, 04:59 PM   #6
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You did the right thing. If more people show up in the park and particularly if some have three AC's like us the voltage could drop even lower without warning.
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Old 06-14-2021, 05:14 PM   #7
MaxwellD
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Intimidated by electricity

Thank you all for the replies. I knew there was a reason I bought the Progressive EMS but I forgot what it was. I feel a lot better knowing all this!
PS: Beartooth Pass in MT is amazing and good margaritas at Bogart’s in Red Lodge!
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:21 PM   #8
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think greater than 105vrms and lower than 130vrms is ok. Generally speaking Lower voltages will cause motors to run less than 95% of thier rated rpm and therefore will shorten their life. Appliances that don't have motor will not be affected with low power, but are effected when power is above 130v which shortens thier lives.
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:59 PM   #9
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The 5% plus or minus is called ansi standard range A which is the 'happy path' for power delivered to a meter.

But... there exists an ansi range B which describes a broader range of voltages which are 'ok' but not desired over a long duration (basically down to 104 and up to 127).

Keep in mind, these are voltages at the 'meter'. RV parks will absolutely not have the same voltage at the individual poles were we plug in due to unbalanced loads, line loss, wire damage, all sorts of reasons and reasons which can change real time.

At the end of the day, the power you are getting at the pole is going to vary by the millisecond for a pile of reasons that you can't control. Your best best is to have an active power device inline which will kill power to the rv if the voltage goes to high or low. But yes, 118volt better then 110v, but did moving lock you into 118v power, maybe. Or maybe it dropped to 107v the second you plugged in and added load, hard to say.
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxwellD View Post
I am in a park in Western Montana. My surge protector said L1 = 110 v and L2-= 113 v. Somewhere I learned that low voltage can damage appliances that need to draw 115 v. So, I requested we move to another spot and there the readings were 118 L1 and L2, so we moved over there. Question: what is minimum voltage I should see to not have this be an issue (or is it an issue?)
Thanks,
max
All the voltages you mention are ok. Normal is between 110 and 120 with 117 being the 'normal'. My EMS will automatically disconnect if the voltage gets too low or too high in addition to all the other checks it makes. You mention a surge protector, but that won't do much if it isn't a proper EMS like Progressive Industries makes or Southwire, or Power Dog. Get one of those and let it take care of monitoring the line voltage. This is one of those cases of what you buy matters, don't expect a $20 surge protector ro do the same as a $400 EMS.
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Old 06-23-2021, 03:47 PM   #11
steiny93
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Originally Posted by bcrvman View Post
don't expect a $20 surge protector to do the same as a $400 EMS.
yup,
It will cost some $'s to have the RV disconnected during low/high voltage situations.
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Old 06-25-2021, 12:21 PM   #12
richeyb
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I’m currently have similar issue at music festival, not enough power for all campers. My EMS system seems to. cut power every 10 min due to V drop yo 104v . AC drops off. Then after a short while Volts stabilize and AC cycles back on. Question. Am I harming my AC by letting it cycle on and off all day??
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Old 06-25-2021, 01:43 PM   #13
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...Question. Am I harming my AC by letting it cycle on and off all day??
I know having power cut and then come back on over and over, causing the air conditioner to shut off, and then power back up seems a bit unnerving, but I don't think it hurts the AC. Now, the start up for these AC pulls a hefty amount of electricity. If this happened at home, your electric bill would be affected as each start up pulls more energy than running. But, your AC is designed to automatically cycle on and off based on your thermostat setting. So is there really any difference between the thermostat telling the AC to stop, or a power outage making it stop? (Personally, I don't think so) ... It's just a bit annoying and concerning every time you hear the AC kick on!
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Old 06-25-2021, 01:51 PM   #14
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richeyb - Can a power outage really ruin your air conditioning system? The short answer is yes– a sudden loss of main power can have an effect on a system, especially if you are in a situation where the power goes on and off repeatedly. With constant power available the internal circuitry knows how to start up and shut down the system without placing the unit at risk. Repeated on/off power outages robs that circuity of the opportunity to perform its normal function. (This is why all manuals state the the A/C unit should be off when first connecting to shore power or starting the generator.) I'd strongly suggest that you shut the A/C down when you have the power to do so and not turn it back on until the external power has stabilized. (And, as I have posted a few times, give serious consideration to acquiring a power conditioner - it's a lot cheaper in the long run than repair/replacement to damaged electronics.)
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