By Mike Sokol
Welcome to my J.A.M. (Just Ask Mike) Session, a weekly column where I answer your basic electrical questions. If you’re a newbie who’s never plugged in a shore power cord (or ask – what’s a shore power cord?), or wonder why your daughter’s hair dryer keeps tripping the circuit breaker, this column is for you. Send your questions to Mike Sokol at mike (at) noshockzone.org with the subject line – JAM
A company with the name “Pal” in it produced a tester that plugged directly into a 50-amp pedestal outlet that allowed you to check both legs of power. I can’t find them online and wanted to know if they are still available. Do you know of them and have you ever tested one? THANKS, Bob
That’s an easy one, but I don’t have a happy answer for you. This product was called Power Pal, and it was a pretty slick tester that plugged into a 50-amp pedestal outlet. I did a little research on them years ago and found that this was a one-off project and only a single product run was produced. Once they ran out of product they didn’t do another run and no more were available for sale.
While their website is no longer live, I was able to use a neat web utility called the Wayback Machine to find an old webpage and grab the screenshot below. I do think there was a real need for this sort of product 10 or 15 years ago, but once EMS/advanced surge protectors with a built-in voltage meter became available there was not much need for this kind of tester. This was a product ahead of its time that just didn’t catch on quickly enough to be profitable to manufacture and sell.
OK, everyone. Remember that electricity is a useful and powerful force, so we all need to pay attention to safety precautions while using it.
Let’s play safe out there….
Mike Sokol is an electrical and professional sound expert with 50+ years in the industry. His excellent book RV Electrical Safety is available at Amazon.com. For more info on Mike’s qualifications as an electrical expert, click here.
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