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  1. I bought my Model S P85D in March 2015. Along with it I ordered the $750.00 wall charger.
    I had an electrician hook it up and since he had #2 copper cables he gave me a price break (instead of the smaller #3, recommend as minimum by Electrical code for maximum amperage).
    He placed it less than 10 feet from my 200 Amp service panel, using a 100 Amp breaker. He torqued down all the connections according to specifications.

    Since I get free electricity at work, I never used the home unit, until last month. I came home later one Friday night around 1 AM. As I was planning to go out the next morning and wanted a full charge, I plugged in the wall unit and let it auto set to 80 Amps.

    The next morning I awoke to find that very little charging took place. After I investigated the problem I found the wall unit no longer would charge. The house breaker was not tripped.

    I opened the unit to find a lot of fire damage, and the internal fuse (100 A) was burnt out.

    When I contacted Tesla, they said they would send out their electrician. After his investigation, he told me he could not see any reason for this small fire. He said they will probably replace the unit and he would be glad to “re-install it” for $500.00.
    The Tesla people told me it was a “Loose Connection Problem” and they would not replace the unit.

    I have not made up my mind if I want to spend another 750 dollars on something that will only charge at 50 amps. Larry Stringfield
     
  2. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

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    I charge at 80A all the time and have no issues whatsoever. My HPWC was installed using the proper gauge of wire needed for a 100A fuse under 80A continuous load, and it is located within 5 feet of my main panel. I had the charge cord replaced recently due to elevated heat, but now it's fine.
     
  3. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    A loose main connection will cause excessive resistance and high heat. Tesla is not responsible for you're electrician's inability to properly torque those lugs. The HPWC has proven time and again it is properly designed for a full 80A load.
     
  4. I am thinking I just got a defective unit?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I tested those connection myself. I am 6 foot 2 inches and weight 250 pounds and I could not get them any tighter.
    Even their own electrician said he saw no problem with the connections.
     
  5. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    yea i'd say. and since the fire was inside they unit, i'd make then replace and install the whole thing on THEIR DOLLAR, not yours.
     
  6. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    If this was the case, there wouldn't be many problems with HPWC's. Since there are quite a few problems compared to the Clipper Creek 80A units, I take issue with your statement.
     
  7. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    There has been one other report of a very, very hot unit inside and it seemed to be the failure of a wire crimp or internal connection torque. The device is UL listed and tested - perhaps you received a bad one.

    As for whether there are "many problems" with HPWC's or not, I don't think there's enough evidence to suggest there is a high frequency. There are a few cases/anecdotes that have been raised here, yet at the same time there are many, many units that are happily chugging away without problem. The biggest issue seems to be that over time, the pin-sleeve connections in the car coupling wears, resulting in high handle temperature and eventually failure - Tesla has replaced my cord set 2 times in 2 1/2 years.
     
  8. Kalud

    Kalud Member

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    I'm charging daily at 80A since november 2013, things gets warm after a little while, but nothing out of the ordinary. Your issue suggests a bad unit or improper install, not the norm.
     
  9. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Two cord replacements in 2.5 years doesn't exactly scream reliability........
     
  10. aaronw

    aaronw Member

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    I'm on my original cord with no problems and regularly charge at 80A. Any high-current electrical device will overheat and fail if the connections are not properly torqued down since a poor connection will get hot. It sounds like the electrician that installed the unit did not tighten things down properly. The only problem I had was that I had to get the fuses replaced since mine was one of the early units that had problems at 80A. Since then I've never had a problem.
     
  11. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

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    These two things make no sense to me. Tesla sends their electrician to inspect the damage, who finds no issues with the installation. Subsequently, Tesla blames the installation? Is that not the exact reason they sent an electrician to take a look?

    That sounds like cause to complain louder to me. Tesla should be replacing the HPWC at a bare minimum, in my opinion.
     
  12. wk057

    wk057 Senior Tinkerer

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    I have two HPWC installed both on 100A breakers / 80A charging which are used regularly at 80A. So, I'd be inclined to say that something wasn't installed correctly, except that I do believe there have been a few cases here on the forum where there was a loose connection on the factory installed components that have caused an issue.

    Have any pics or know where the mini-fire started? Seems like if the fuse is blown that the issue would be on the Tesla side, since the fuses are beyond the install side of things.
     
  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    No, and I'm concerned about it. That said, to the thread's title - it's not a potential fire hazard, but it's awful damn hot to handle. To address the original post, the HPWC hardware itself is sturdy and relatively safe and stable. Are the Clipper Creek units built better? I'd say yes, but they cost 3x the HPWC's price.

    Then again, the ergonomics of the Model S connector are a hell of a lot better than those of the J1772 or Roadster connectors.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Hi Larry,

    Can you provide pictures of the inside? I'm curious as to whether it was a fire, or simply melting - and where the melting came from. In the other case that was posted here, you could see that it wasn't the supply terminals that generated the heat, but rather the internal terminals to the contactors. The location of the hot spot makes a big difference in determining whether it was a bad HPWC, or a potential installation challenge.
     
  14. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    I wonder if the fuse holder didn't have the fuse properly seated, or maybe it was a bad fuse. The things that tend to go wrong with EVSEs getting melty would be thick metal things.

    I agree that pictures would be great to see, here.
     
  15. Compression VS mechanical connectors

    Those very small one screw connectors seems very weak to me. They should have used double hole compression type connectors. If I install a new one this is the connector I will use.
    I have been in the power installation business for 45 years. I used to work for Western Electric and then Lucent Technologies for AT&T. AT&T specs are some of the best in the world, and they do NOT allow and mechanical connectors at all. They require compression fitting. I still own a 12 ton press with dies.

    If Tesla wanted to build it RIGHT, they would insist on this type of connectors as well.:cursing:

    http://ecat.burndy.com/Comergent/en/US/adirect/burndy?cmd=catProductDetail
     

    Attached Files:

  16. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Can't tell what happened now. But I would never trust a random tradesman to do it right. Charging should be tested at 80A while monitoring temperature of all the components in the circuit.
     
  17. natto fire

    natto fire New Member

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    Being a "random tradesmen" myself, I hate being on this end of the line. In my 10 years in this trade, my installs have come under the gun several times, and it has always been a manufacturing defect I have eventually proved the cause. At first, it was kind of hard to convince people that Chinese laborers did not pay as much attention to their work as I did. It became easier, but it did not change the fact that I had to get out of bed to help a customer who cheaped out on their light fixtures, which unsurprisingly, failed because of poor design.

    Not sure what you folks are paying to have these circuits installed to a HPWC, but 80 amps is no joke, and is not something do be done by craigslist handyhacks. A true professional would use copper conductors, sized for voltage drop, and would probably over-tighten the lugs. There are many ECs who could promise correct torque and would torque the connections, but they would probably charge more than you care.

    Funny how a 120K car is no big deal, but spending an extra 1-2K for a proper charger installation is annoying, and is obviously just the man fleecing you.
     
  18. I also own an infrared camera and I do heat testing, problem is it is very hard to test this unit as the cover has to be installed before it will work. I will take some photos tonight. I still content that anything requiring #3 copper cable should have a better connector PLUS the little metal tab that goes from the mechanical connector to the internal fuse is a flimsy little piece of metal.
     
  19. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    The instructions may say to install the cover before operation, but I do not think that there is an interlock. I believe that the HPWC will operate with the cover off.

    Of course be careful of the live, 240-Volt risk involved in operating the HPWC with the cover off, but it's no worse than operating a circuit breaker cabinet with the cover off. Be careful...
     
  20. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    It will work without the cover. You just have to be careful removing it. Undo the two Torx screws on the bottom and pull it forward a bit just enough so you can reach in and detach the ribbon cable feeding the green lights on the face of the cover. Then swing up further and unhook from the top.
     

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