TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Any danger reported from indoor charging anywhere?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Amaieseing, Dec 20, 2013.

  1. Amaieseing

    Amaieseing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    My condo board at the Jersey shore has decreed I have to stop charging at a parking spot in the underground garage of our high-rise building. We've been charging there since late August, and suddenly they say there is a big problem. They cite "danger" and "liability" in their decision, but refuse to show me any evidence of any kind. Although a lack of incidents does not prove safety, I am very curious. If I cannot persuade them, I will have to sell the car. :mad: Area charging stations are miles and miles from home and work, so leaving the car to charge, then picking it up makes the ruling unworkable.
     
  2. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,138
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Well, yes, there have been reports. There was a fire in a garage a month ago that hit the news this week, and we've seen several reports of NEMA 14-50 sockets melting down. So there is some danger, but it's mostly danger due to faulty wiring or connections. If you're using 5-15, there's practically no danger at all.

    Did you have the permission of the condo board to charge there in the first place? It would seem to me that they can't agree to let you charge, then revoke that agreement. This causes you financial harm to which they should be liable.

    What likely happened is someone on the board who takes everything the see on TV as the truth and realized you have "one of those cars that catches fire." So began the campaign to banish it from the garage. The easiest way is, of course, to ensure that you can't recharge it.

    I'd be happy to provide a reference for you. My apartment building is 4 stories, built directly on top of an underground garage. In that garage we have three ChargePoint 208V/32A J1772 charging stations, shared by a Volt, a Fiat 500e, two Leafs, a Focus EV, a plug in Prius, and three Tesla Model S. In addition, the complex will install a 5-15 port at your spot if you pay installation (~$500) and has plans to add two more J1772s next year. I don't think they'd be making such an investment if they considered it dangerous.
     
  3. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,852
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    There have been a very small number of fires during EV charging caused by improper wiring. As long as the wiring is competently installed there is no risk.

    There are far more fires in garages caused by ICE vehicles.

    This is simply ignorance.
     
  4. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Messages:
    5,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    Pretty strange. Most homeowners with Teslas charge in their garage. Most Tesla service centers charge inside or in a parking structure. Many J1772 public chargers are in parting garages. I'd see if someone at Tesla can give you a hand on this one.

    Go through this thread and show them how many pictures are inside: Post A Picture Of Your Car Charging

    Sounds like one of the Seinfeld episodes with the rules at Jerry's parent's retirement community...
     
  5. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,937
    Location:
    NoVA
    Given that local/national electrical code should have governed the installation of the EVSE or receptacle in the garage, and the Underwriter's Laboratory is the nationally recognized organization that typically certifies safely designed electrical products, provided you can demonstrate your charging setup meets those requirements you should at least have a good argument that there's no danger above and beyond "normal". That gives you a set of documented facts against their opinions.

    I don't have my UMC handy (I'm assuming that's what you are using?) to look at to see if it carries a UL listing, and the manual for it doesn't seem to specify. I would assume it does, however. You should be able to check on the body of it for UL Certification.
     
  6. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,852
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    As an automotive device I don't believe the UMC requires a UL listing. There are different rules for automobiles. However a wired-in EVSE, such as an HPWC or J1772, does require listing.
     
  7. jamieb

    jamieb Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Sacramento
    You might also want to point out that in many jurisdictions in California, the building codes are being changed to require wiring for charging including retro-fitting garages in condos. It's only a matter of time.
     
  8. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,937
    Location:
    NoVA
    Ah good to know. When I get my car back from service I may take a look to see, as I think that some UL listing can be voluntarily done even if not required, no? (Although, I just looked at my HPWC manual, and it does list UL certification... so I suspect that lack of that in the UMC manual indicates it probably isn't)
     
  9. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,318
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I think you should try to get all gasoline cars banned from the parking garage, citing the same things. Actually, I think you can make a much stronger case for that.

    Is this a concrete structure? If so, I doubt there's much danger if the UMC adapter melts. Hopefully the wiring has all been properly permitted and inspected.
     
  10. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2013
    Messages:
    793
    Location:
    Sacramento
    At least ban all the Honda Fit's (maybe all Hondas?). Over 600,000 have been recalled twice for spontanious fires. Honda, which has insufficient parts to fix them again, recommends not parking them in garages so if/when they catch fire the structure will not be engulfed.

    What do they say about Hondas??
     
  11. Gizmotoy

    Gizmotoy Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2013
    Messages:
    3,138
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    Great. I park right next to a Fit. Looking into the reason for the recall, I had to have a little laugh. It can happen if water gets into the switchgear for putting the driver's side window up and down, causing it to short out. Done in by a window switch. That would suck. Fortunately they should all be fixed by now, assuming they have proactive owners.

    I loved my Hondas. My Civic Si goes to live with its new owner tomorrow. I'll miss that little thing.
     
  12. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,793
    Location:
    Skaneateles, NY
    Every single charging station in NYC is enclosed in a parking garage underneath big skyscrapers buildings. There's nothing more dangerous about that then vs having a computer or microwave connected to a wall socket.
     
  13. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    1,185
    Location:
    MD, USA
    From reading the replies, the danger seems to be from bad wiring. So are they trying to say that they have bad wiring? So anything plugged into their outlets in the garage could burn down the building? That seems like a major problem that they should rectify, instead of making you stop charging there. ;-)

    Also - do they have any outdoor outlets?

    Anyway, good luck to you!
     
  14. Amaieseing

    Amaieseing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    Any danger reported from indoor charging?

    "
    " Thanks for your response and offer to be a reference. Your building sounds wonderful--you must live in CA!
    We DID ask about charging in the garage before I put in our deposit on the car! Would never have bought it without doing so. Unfortunately, it was in a conversation with the board president and later with a few other members, so I can't prove we had permission. In October (we got the car in late August), when I asked why the 240 outlet hadn't been installed yet, one of the maintenance people (the "electrician" even though I don't think he's licensed) said that he had heard that fumes were emitted when lithium ion batteries were charged. We refuted that with information from Basic to Advanced Battery Information from Battery University (apparently the first generation did have that issue), and later sent the same information to the board. However, I don't know if they're worried about that or a potential fire hazard, since the board president refused to explain. He kept answering, "It's board policy now." Maddening!!
     
  15. Amaieseing

    Amaieseing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    You have the best laws in CA!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Anybody charging anything, 110 or 240, would not be acceptable to them. (The president, when pressed, also said that some board members were upset that they had to stop at a gas station and we could just pull into the garage and attach the car to the outlet.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I certainly thought I had permission, but since it was an informal conversation with the board president, I have no record. Later, when I asked about what the delay was in replacing the 110 v. outlet in the garage with a 240 (a big part of the request, since the former is so very slow), one of the maintenance people said he thought there had been a problem with fumes created when charging LiIon batteries. I sent everyone involved information from www.batteryuniversity.com on the new ones, but never got any feedback about that particular concern. So I don't know if it's fire or fumes--or just something new--that's their problem. The board president refused to disclose the reasons, just cited "danger" and "liability" over and over.

    I agree that buildings would not be making investments in charging stations in underground garages if they thought it was unsafe. But…there is a good chance it's just fear of new and a bit of jealousy. The president commented, during a heated exchange, that some on the board were upset that we could just drive into our parking space and they had to stop at the gas station… Hay! Carumba!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    I pointed out to them that with just under 300 units, there are 800-1000 240v outlets in the building, one for each washer/dryer, dishwasher, stove, refrigerator and microwave! Nothing seems to budge them. Of course everyone is used to these items and electric cars not-so-much.
     
  16. Chipper

    Chipper Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Messages:
    1,182
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    You might want to make sure of your facts to make your point more acceptable. Washers use 110v as do refrigerators, microwaves and dishwashers.
     
  17. AmpedRealtor

    AmpedRealtor Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    4,701
    Location:
    Buckeye, AZ
    Honestly!

    Retain an attorney and you'll get what you want. Just because your condo board denies your request doesn't mean that it can't be challenged. Your request is reasonable, their denial is not. Have an attorney engage them and claim that their denial of your request was malicious and based upon personal prejudice. Make it clear that either they can allow you to install the outlet at your expense or they can incur the additional costs of having a court decide in your favor. Their personal opinions have no place here. If they are making generic claims using terms such as "liability", make them justify their statements with actual information. Have everyone you can find in the building sign a petition in your favor. Go to a condo board meeting to deliver your petition and ask them, openly and publicly, about your case and make them justify their denial in front of a room of other condo owners.

    You should also run for the condo board and amend the CC&Rs to allow such things for future EV owners in your building.
     
  18. EarlyAdopter

    EarlyAdopter Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Messages:
    2,497
    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    It's sad to hear that there are people in this world who when confronted by something they wish they had would try to deny that same thing of others. It's not like anyone is holding a gun to their head preventing them from buying an electric car. Heck, a Nissan Leaf costs about the same on lease that most people spend on gas each month, so is close to free.

    I'd recommend trying the same approach Tesla has taken with state legislators (to great effect) - offer to take your condo board members for a test drive!

    There's a good chance that after spending 10 minutes behind the wheel of a Model S they will see the future and want to be part of it, not be seen as obstructing it.
     
  19. ZBB

    ZBB Emperor

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,417
    Location:
    Scottsdale
    Yep... Although there are some 240V microwaves...
     
  20. N4HHE

    N4HHE Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Messages:
    620
    Location:
    Madison, AL
    You should insist they move all HVAC equipment out of doors due to the danger of fire. Also all apartment oven/ranges must also be subject to the same rules as the charging of your Tesla.
     

Share This Page