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|Checking for Reverse Polarity|
Checking for Reverse Polarity
Inexpensive test can make all the difference
Starting with its next iteration in 2020, the NFPA 70 (National Electric Code) standard will require all newly-manufactured RVs to come equipped with a reverse polarity detector, but in the meantime, issues involving reverse polarity continue to challenge RV park owners and operators.
What is reverse polarity?
In a position paper requesting the standard, the RV Industry Association (RVIA) said “In a situation of reverse polarity, power is "fed" to the neutral conductor and a short in the wiring could energize the exterior skin or other metal parts, creating a shock hazard that could cause severe burns or possibly death.”
Because of this potential safety hazard, most RV manufacturers are not waiting until 2020, however, and have already started installing reverse polarity detectors in current new models.
How do I check for reverse polarity at my park?
“If you check for it at the beginning of the season, it just helps isolate the issue quicker if it does present itself,” says Wade Elliott, president of Utility Supply Group. “If you’ve identified that the park’s wiring isn’t the problem, you’ve isolated the issue to a visiting RV.”
Reverse polarity easily can be detected using an inexpensive tool—there are models specific to 30 amp and 50 amp services. If detected, it’s best to call a certified electrician or maintenance man to fix the issue.
For products and information to help with reverse polarity or other electrical issues at your RV park or campground, contact Utility Supply Group at www.go-usg.com.