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Charging in heavy rain - dangerous?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by MartinAustin, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. MartinAustin

    MartinAustin Active Member

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    Anyone got any experience charging the Model S while it is raining?

    Specifically, inserting or removing the charger.

    Can't help feeling like if water is trying to get in there while you're pushing the charger into the socket, etc. - you know what I'm thinking.
     
  2. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    After you plug in you can watch the screen go though a check procedure. "Preparing to Charge" comes up first.

    Just like the Roadster there is a lot of checking with the wall plug to make sure there are no ground fault (like a connection with water or humans) before it even begins to accept the flow of electrons into it's batteries or inverter(s).

    Old story.
    The required bathroom socket in the US is a GFCI a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. They are now required outdoors. With the same safety feature built in the Roadster it was so safe that if you plugged your safe Roadster into your safe wall socket they would out safe each other and trip the breaker in one of them. Owners started cutting them off their charge cords an replacing them with regular plugs.
     
  3. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    I try to keep the end covered and don't tilt it up so rain can fall into it, as I bring the end of the cable to the Model S. Once plugged in, I don't worry about it. Tesla designed it for outdoor charging, which includes rain.

    Taking it out, I just try to keep it angled down a bit so water runs down it, not into it (the cable end, I mean; I can't pick up the car ;-). I remove and close quickly; I guess I try to shield the car port a little, but I'm not super-concerned about it.
     
  4. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Being here in PHX, if it's raining heavily, I just pass on charging that day. Chances are very high that t wont be raining tomorrow :)

    Kidding aside, per explanations above, it's pretty safe, esp on the car connection end. I'd say there's more risk on the outlet end, but still likely quite low.
     
  5. FlasherZ

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

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    The cable will not energize until the car is securely connected. The EVSE (HPWC or UMC) is required to have GFCI protection, so that if the slightest bit of current (5 mA) goes the wrong direction (i.e., through you to ground, or through the ground pin instead of returning via the other "hot" conductor), the EVSE will enter a ground fault mode and de-energize the cable.

    As mentioned by jomo, if you're using the UMC, the only real danger is if you are plugging in or unplugging the 14-50 in driving rain, because they are typically not protected by ground-fault circuits (50A GFCI breakers are horrendously expensive). Even with ground fault protection there, ground fault won't protect you if you somehow create a path between the two hot blades of the plug through you. Keep your hands well away from the blades of the 14-50 while plugging or removing the UMC from the receptacle.
     
  6. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    The UMC's a worry if it's outdoors, though, right? When I had a 6-50 outlet, it was in my garage, so not at risk of water getting on that end of things. I never worried about that end (granted, I usually kept the outlet end plugged in anyway...).
     
  7. jomo25

    jomo25 P4398

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    Not sure if I understand your emphasis on OUTdoors. My answer (and I presume others) were addressing outdoor scenarios. Not sure why anyone would ask the question about charging indoors while its raining outside, unless the question was about lightning storms.
     
  8. FlasherZ

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

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    The UMC is reasonably protected against water and is "weather-resistant". I've had it out in the rain at a campground before. Try to keep the plug dry, but the UMC contactor unit itself is reasonably protected unless you've pried it open.
     
  9. kendallpb

    kendallpb Model S: P 8061

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    Sorry, I was unclear. I meant the UMC-to-wall plug end, which was inside our garage (like our HPWC now), but the car is outside. In a rain storm, I didn't worry about the wall plug (inside garage) even though my care was outside (in the rain). This is probably an uncommon scenario. ;-)
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Which brings up a good point. RV owners have been plugging in campers, motorhomes, and trailers, into 14-50's at campgrounds while it's raining for decades.
     

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