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Old 06-30-2020, 01:35 PM   #1
Carrottop
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Open Ground

Hello All,

When I was leaving the campground at our seasonal site on Sunday our Progressive Surge protector was showing that there was an open ground. The trailer still had power and everything was operating normal. I informed the owner and he had his electrician come out today and stated the pole is fine and is grounded correctly. He told him there is nothing to worry about. Do I assume the surge protector is bad or could it be the cord on the trailer. It does not show any signs of wear and looks fine. I have attached a photo of the pedestal wiring that the owner sent me. I am not good with the electrical stuff and just wanted to get some advice here.
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:39 PM   #2
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Just because the ground wire is connected to the receptacle does not mean it is connected at the point of origin. Is your surge protector hard wired inside your Passport? Are you comfortable using a volt ohm meter?
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:10 PM   #3
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No it is a portable unit that plugs into the pedestal. I am assuming by OHM tool you mean this. Click image for larger version

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I would have no idea though what I would be looking for or how to use it properly.
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Old 06-30-2020, 04:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Carrottop View Post
No it is a portable unit that plugs into the pedestal. I am assuming by OHM tool you mean this. Attachment 28377
I would have no idea though what I would be looking for or how to use it properly.


Carrottop, yes, that is an "ohm" tool, better known as a VOM or multimeter. Many decades ago we just called it a "meter" or "Simpson" since that is the brand we generally carried.

I would encourage you to take the time to work with it and learn it. A VOM is as handy and useful as the pocket on a shirt or one of my Leathermen. I would never trade what I've learned from a VOM.

That said, just because the "ground" wire is tied down at the ped means absolutely nothing. It has to connect to something, somewhere, to make it a ground. That happens many times in a campground and the "electrician" that came by only gave it a cursory glance and said it looked good....bad on him. Then again, it might be like the "electricians" I've seen used in several parks; the handyman in the park that bakes donuts in the morning.

When you mention "surge protector" is your Progressive a "surge" protector or "EMS"? I think there was a post about one the other day that just showed lights to alert to a fault but did nothing. If so, you may want to look into the EMS.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:19 PM   #5
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Exactly the same meter I have. Set it on the OHM scale. Touch your two leads together and you should read " 0" on the meter. Then, see if the green wire (ground) on the 30 amp receptacle measures "0" between it and the one on the 20 amp. If it does not then the open is between the point of origin and the receptacle. You can check the cord by metering between the ground lead on the plug and same lead on the other end of the cable but I'm pretty sure your cord is OK. Let us know what you find out.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:30 PM   #6
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Just so I understand I put I lead on the 30amp green wire and the other on the regular receptacles green wire and I should get 0. Is there any chance the surge protector is bad?
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:39 PM   #7
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Do yourself and possibly your family a favor and do not use that meter or do any electrical diagnosing or work until you get some training. It can kill you.

I'd suggest you get a 30 to 15 Amp dogbone and a plug in outlet tester. It won't cost that much (less than burning up the meter) and you will have it in your toolbox for the future.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:46 PM   #8
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I have a 30 to 15 amp dog bone. I have an outlet tester as well. I will start there and see what it tells me. Is it possible the surge protector is bad?
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:54 PM   #9
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I have a 30 to 15 amp dog bone. I have an outlet tester as well. I will start there and see what it tells me. Is it possible the surge protector is bad?
Possible. In any case I would toss it and get an EMS. Portable or hard wired, your choice. I’m not convinced the pedestal is OK.
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Old 06-30-2020, 05:55 PM   #10
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Yes, it is possible the surge suppressor is bad, but I suspect a loose ground wire somewhere.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:09 PM   #11
Carrottop
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I will try the dog bone down to a 15 amp with the outlet tester this weekend when I get back to the trailer. Thanks everyone for the advice.
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:33 PM   #12
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I believe that a basic surge protector is just a circuit tester with built in surge protection.
Open ground, open neutral, reverse polarity etc. I also believe in erring on the side of safety. If not comfortable doing a continuity test with the meter then you should get someone with experience to help/show you how to safely use the meter. That meter is well insulated and fuse protected and not likely to cause any problems if incorrectly connected.
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Old Yesterday, 05:35 AM   #13
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There lots of YouTube videos for learnin'.
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Old Yesterday, 07:46 PM   #14
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I will try the dog bone down to a 15 amp with the outlet tester this weekend when I get back to the trailer. Thanks everyone for the advice.

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