Are Surge Protectors Waterproof

Daniel Brown
• Tuesday, 08 December, 2020
• 8 min read

With an incredible range of prices and features, not to mention a barrage of questionable marketing promises, it's hard to figure out what's worth the money, and what's nonsense. Chris Monroe/CNET Power strips and surge protectors, also called surge suppressors, are different.

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(Source: www.clarionsrilanka.lk)


Typically, power strips are cheap, multi-outlet products that are merely an expansion of a wall outlet. These usually have a circuit breaker (on/off switch) of some sort, but most don't offer any real “protection” from electrical issues.

To get some answers, the Wire cutter did a massive test on surge protectors, essentially blowing them up to see how well they worked. Some surge protectors offer a warranty (up to a certain amount) on the gear connected to the protector.

For example, in the US, one Welkin model has a $300,000 Connected Equipment Warranty, and states: “If your electronic equipment is damaged by a surge, spike, or lightning strike while properly connected to this power strip, we will repair or replace it, up to $300,000.” There are a number of products on the market that claim to “condition” the power from the wall, promising improved performance in your gear.

All electronics have a power supply that takes the incoming wall current (120v in the US), filters it for noise, and converts it into whatever the device needs. If you want total protection, consider that phone and cable lines can carry power spikes too.

Many surge protectors come with USB connections, so you can charge your mobile devices without having to use a wall warts. Eve Systems While not offering much protection, a portable power strip might prevent marital friction, and/or invoke bliss from travel companions.

(Source: allamericanelectricllc.com)

Most hotels and hostels have few accessible outlets, yet everyone has multiple devices that need recharging. Most portable power strips add two to three additional outlets, plus offer direct USB charging (see number 8).

If you know you've had a serious electrical event (like lighting blew out a transformer down the street), it's probably worth replacing your surge protector just in case. If you live in an area with lots of thunderstorms, your gear is probably more likely to experience power surges.

Even if you live in the desert, your A/C or refrigerator could kick power spikes back down the lines to your A/V gear. We don't currently have recommendations for specific surge protectors, but you can find plenty of options for as little as $20 or less at Amazon.

Whether its human error, lightning, or a surge from the power plant you don’t want that blowing up your RV. Considering the investment we make in our RV rigs, a good surge protector is a no-brainer for peace of mind.

Hughes Autoworkers PWD50-EPO-H at a Glance : Style: EMS Hardwired Amp: 30 or 50 Available Features: Bluetooth Connectivity Max Surge : 4,800 Joules Right out of the gate you’ll notice that this unit has the single highest max surge rating of any we’ve looked at.

surge amp protectors
(Source: www.youtube.com)

If a problem is encountered the unit automatically shuts off, enters a self-check cycle with 90-second delay, and sends a smartphone notification. With as much or more protection that any other device on our list and advanced modern features, I think the Hughes Autoworkers lineup deserves a serious look.

This piggyback style surge protector is a basic model that gets the job done without breaking the bank. At a price that’s a fraction of many EMS-style protectors this unit is a great starting point.

One plugged in the surge protector uses a set of 3 LED lights that flash or remain solid in various configurations to represent statuses. These statuses may indicate reverse polarity, open neutral, or other common wiring issues.

If you are looking the best camping surge protector and on a budget, the Cameo is a good choice! Taking a big step up we’ll move into the world of EMS/ surge protector combos.

If you want the maximum protection at a reasonable price you’ll be looking in the right place here. First off, note that this unit is also available in 50A rating so if you’ve got a bigger RV power draw check that out.

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(Source: www.mediabridgeproducts.com)

Progressive Industries does include a Lifetime Warranty on this product though I can’t say how good their customer service is. If you like the corded style surge protector but want to stay on a tight budget, check this out.

It’s a simple LED-style circuit checker with a built-in surge protector at a price that will blow away dedicated EMS systems. If your budget can’t support a dedicated EMS unit with digital circuitry, the simpler LED status lights of this piggyback plug make a good choice.

With a max rating of 2,100 Joules it’s got more protection than many high-end EMS units. During the 10-second startup sequence this unit checks and analyzes everything about the circuit it’s plugged into.

Note: Security ring on the cord allows you to lock the unit. Best for total protection on big rigs with tons of power draw.

Progressive Industries HW30C at a Glance : Style: EMS Hardwired Amp: 30 or 50 Available Features: LCD Max Surge : 1,790 Joules With a price comparable to mid-range piggyback EMS units, this hardwired model packs most of the same features.

fuse amp line solar holder waterproof pv 30a mc4 protective rv
(Source: www.rvelectricalsystem.com)

Protection from open ground/neutral, reverse polarity, voltage, and frequency detection. Upfront there is more work since you’ll have to wire it into your RV’s existing main power line.

If you’re looking for a second option on hardwired RV surge protection, check out this South wire model. With a max rating of nearly 2,500 Joules it’s a step up in total power protection compared to the Progressive Industries model we looked at earlier.

That said, however, it does use the simpler LED light readout to indicate statuses instead of the remote LCD. Like other South wire units it shuts down when detecting a problem and enters a 128-second cycle to automatically turn the power back on if it’s safe.

Amperage is a measure of the total amount of power all the devices in your RV can draw. If that happens a surge protector or circuit breaker steps in to kill the power.

Therefore, it do you no good and, in fact, is very dangerous to plug a 30-amp rated RV into a higher amperage circuit. Probably the best way to ensure your surge protector is protected itself is to look for something called an IP rating.

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(Source: www.dvdoverseas.com)

Whatever the case, a surge protector can save you from blowing out wiring, starting a fire, or damaging appliances in your RV. Because surge protectors are more sensitive and, in the case of EMS units, “intelligent” than the breakers at the pedestal they can save you precious milliseconds when the power jumps.

It’s all too common for unsavory folk to snatch a piggyback plug right off the pedestal. Unless you’re very confident with your electrical skills I’d advise taking it to a certified dealer to have these installed as any small mistake can fry your RV.

Additionally, they’re usually installed inside the RV and bolted down, so it’s very unlikely anyone would run off with your multi-hundred dollar surge protector or EMS. Solutions range from a simple padlock around the cord clipped to a chain around the pedestal all the way to advanced cable lock systems for expensive models.

If your surge protector doesn’t have a built-in cable lock slot then try the padlock and chain. Naturally here we want the fastest time possible to protect your valuable electronics and electrical equipment.

In this case, most surge protectors will be listed in Joules as it’s the common unit of energy used for this measurement. RV surge protectors can be rated for a wide range of max surge protections.

protector surge choose
(Source: www.davidgrayelectricalservices.com)

At a basic level, the higher the number of Joules a surge protector is rated for, the more energy it can handle without being overwhelmed. If a surge protector is hit with an amount of energy greater than its max rating it may fail.

Commonly a max rating of 1,000 – 2,000 Joules may be found on a wide range of surge protectors for the home. To let you know the status of your RV power every Em or surge protector has some display type.

These will flash or stay steady in some combination of colors to indicate the current status. It allows units to connect to your phone wirelessly and send you status updates in real time about what’s happening with your RV power.

Don’t take a chance with an RV surge protector that is not certified by Underwriters Laboratory or (UL). This seal of approval by Underwriters Laboratory tells you the surge protector passed rigorous testing, so you can trust that it’s going to perform the way you expect.

Due to the power demands of an RV, these beasts must be made from much larger components than in-home devices. This is achieved with heavy-gauge wire and the standard 3-prong angled plug style found on your RV mainline.

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(Source: www.ebay.co.uk)

Note that in some cases and with a good surge protector you can also be guarded against drops in power that can cause damage to appliances. Any properly designed power box at the RV park should have a dedicated 30-amp or 50-amp breaker.

To protect your RV from rapid and extreme changes in power you’ll want to use a surge protector. Inside your RV you’ll also want to make sure that any relevant plugs have a FCI outlet.

A: If you’re worried about someone running off with your piggyback style surge protector, it might be worth spending the extra money on a lockable one. Some models feature a sturdy padlock hole allowing you to add security.

Some surge protectors can be wired straight into the electrical system on your RV so there’s no external plug-in device. Of course, wiring the surge protector wrong means more problems than you started with, so contact a service department if you’re unsure.

It’s not unheard of (though rare) for Rivers to find faulty wiring at the panels on their sites. Try to limit your use of devices if you’re plugged into 30-amp service otherwise you’ll overload the circuit.

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(Source: www.ibestten.com)

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