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Charging Interupted: Mobile chargers at home - SVC>House, Electrician> no idea

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by polything, Apr 27, 2015.

  1. polything

    polything Member

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    From what I gathered this is a unique situation.

    So it started 3 days ago, after 5 minutes of charging from 14-50 plug (left side of garage), the 2013 P85 sent me a notification saying charging has been interrupted via the iphone apps. At this point the car port showed solid red and the mobile charger had 1 solid green light.

    Unplug/plug back in started charge but only lasted anywhere from 5 min to 30 min.

    Also i tried another 14-50 plug on the right side of the garage (separate breaker) and problem persists.

    After a visit to SVC, they gave me a loaner 2015 P85 and a different mobile charger. I plugged it in and same thing happened.
    SVC kept mine 2013 over night and it charged fined. So we know we know that cars or chargers are 100% good.

    SVC said that the car sensed a surge in voltage and stopped charging.
    Electrician came out and said he had no idea what is going on since i am charging via mobile charger and it should not interrupt anything.

    ...help?
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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    This may be a power quality issue that your power company might be able to address.

    How soon after the car starts charging is it interrupted? Can you try reducing the amperage, e.g. if it's at 40 Amps, try reducing the current to 35 A (from the car's charging screen)?
     
  3. polything

    polything Member

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    charge interrupted anywhere from 5 mins to 30 mins. I noticed it sometimes happened as the home AC unit cycled on or off.

    i will reduce to 35A tonight to see if it helps.
     
  4. FlasherZ

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

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    When the charge port turns red, it's an indication that the car saw too many power interruptions and has gone into a disable mode. This happens to me when we have multiple power flickers during a storm, rarely.

    Try to pay attention to whether it's the A/C cycling on, or off. If it happens when the A/C kicks in, you may have either a load problem (undersized transformer) or a bad motor capacitor in your A/C unit. If it happens when the A/C shuts off, it may be an overloaded transformer as well. If it's reproducible, see if the power company will come out and put a line analyzer / voltage recorder on your line. If they have a sufficiently advanced model, it could capture what you're seeing. Unfortunately, sometimes the power company has a model that only records once a minute and they usually don't capture the event that triggers it.

    Either way, tell your power company that you are charging an electric car and it's shutting off due to voltage irregularities. Tell them you're applying a 40A continuous charging load in addition to your normal household load. Many homes are provisioned only with a 10 kva transformer, which is 40A, and the charging load can overwhelm them.

    Reducing the charge current may help; if it doesn't I'd probably start looking at the A/C unit. If it does, I'd probably look at the transformer. I'd go to 20A, though, if you can - just to see if that makes a difference.
     
  5. TechGuy

    TechGuy Member

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    You may want to consider other compressors as well. We had a problem with a pool heat pump that would reduce the voltage for the entire house when it kicked on. (This was before I had a Tesla.)
     
  6. FlasherZ

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

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    Many times this is due to a bad starter capacitor - or one that's going bad. It can cause the unit to draw a hundred amps or more for a moment while starting up.
     
  7. TechGuy

    TechGuy Member

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    Yup, that was our issue. Just mentioning the pool as it wasn't obvious to me when looking at the ac compressors. ;-)
     
  8. polything

    polything Member

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    thanks sir i will do that.
    Last night i reduced to 30A and it charged fine for over 3 hours (during AC cycle on/off) however during charge this error came up
    Capture.PNG

    around 9pm it stopped/interrupted charge, no major electrical devices were on or cycling on/off

     
  9. FlasherZ

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

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    ...and a different car, different UMC, and different outlet were all used (hopefully all at the same time) - likely eliminating them as variables?

    Where do these circuits start from - the main panel in your home, or a sub-panel in the garage?

    Do any other appliances exhibit strange symptoms? Clocks resetting, dimming lights, etc.?

    If you remove power from the port while charging, the port will turn red when a cord is plugged in and the pilot signal goes away, then will turn dark within a couple of seconds. If you immediately re-apply power, it will start charging immediately again. If power is lost a second time, it will go red, then dark - and if you apply power again, the port turns blue and enters a "time out" mode where it waits up to 5 minutes before restarting charge. If it stays red, it means there were too many flickers and the port can stay in that mode.
     
  10. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    If you have a camcorder you could set up to video it that would tell you if the port changes colors due to power losses. If you have a dropcam https://www.dropcam.com/store it would be perfect for this. This would let you know when the losses where happening and maybe you could determine what was happening in the house at that time, if anything.
     
  11. polything

    polything Member

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    Panel and plugs are all in the detached garage.
    Recently, all three of the kitchen's GFCI Duplex Outlets have been reset themselves a lot. i had to reset them at least twice a day. These three plugs are inside the house kitchen and very close to the garage. I am not sure they reset at the same time Tesla interrupted charge.

    I have others GFCI outlets upstairs and in bathrooms but none of them have been reset lately.
     
  12. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    Can you put all these in "test" mode (if they have a button on the front to take them out of service - mine do and I have to push it in to reset them)? Then try to charge your car with these outlets out of service (just like if they had tripped by themselves). If it charges without interruption I think you have your answer. I think they're related - if you get an electrician to trouble-shoot these outlets and find the cause, it will probably fix the car charging issue as well.
     
  13. Kalud

    Kalud Active Member

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    Another idea, next time you get the "Charging interrupted" on your phone, within 15min, check your UMC for any red light. For example, only one solid red light would be "Ground fault", there are several error condition that it can display.

    umc_faults.png

    For a ground fault it resumes after 15min for something like 3 times then needs a reset. It might now help if its the car that interrupts the charging because of voltage fluctuations... If that's the case it would be easier to debug by using the Tesla REST API to log the charging session (voltage over time). You can probably use VisibleTesla or something else for that.
     
  14. FlasherZ

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

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    He said above 1 green light (which means normal operation), with the car reporting red ring.

    If you have GFCI outlets that are repeatedly tripping lately, it sounds like you have something that's wrong and current is returning via the wrong path. This will also cause the UMC to go into an error state (although I would expect it to have the single red flash).

    Are these circuits on your main panel, or a sub-panel? Do you have a service disconnect outside and your panel inside? Trying to get an idea of where the faults might be.
     
  15. m6bigdog

    m6bigdog Member

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    FYI,
    Could be a bad neutral at your load center, service entrance wiring or in the utility grid off your property.
    I had a similar problem a number of years ago after I installed a bunch of 115Vac GFCI breakers.
    I swapped the breakers around and the tripping didn't follow the breaker or the circuit so I called the Utility Co.
    The utility company came out and installed a power quality meter on my service but they didn't see any thing that concerned them.
    I started using an motor driven clock to record the GFCI trip times on a circuit that tripped almost daily and they were very consistent, same time each day so I knew what ever it was, it was on a timer but nothing at my house.
    I kept calling the Utility back and showing them my daily log of GFCI breaker trips and they just couldn't find anything.

    Finally, after about 5 call backs and over a month, I got a guy that knew what was happening and he went off to fix it.
    Several hours later he returned and said he found and fixed a bad neutral connection close to the grid transformer a block or so away from my house.
    That was the last false-trip with the 10 GFCI's breakers in over 5 years until the utility installed a Smart Meter.
    Yep, they had to pull the Smart Meter and install an analog service meter and all was good again.

    All the Best
     
  16. polything

    polything Member

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    taken the GFCI out of service did not help at all. :(

    - - - Updated - - -

    Everytime charge interrupted the UMC had 1 solid green and car port is red (or no light)


     
  17. Electricfan

    Electricfan Member

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    #17 Electricfan, Apr 29, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
    Very sorry.

    Well, all I can think of is my own problem with a GFCI - it turned out to be a toaster oven! I had this old toaster oven for 10-15 years, and it developed a short. I didn't know what was causing the GFCI to trip until I tried the oven and it started smoking! I unplugged the oven and the GFCI was happy again. Maybe you've got a bad piece of electronics plugged in somewhere. I know its a pain, but maybe if you unplug as much stuff as you can and see if you can make the GFCI's stop tripping, that will tell you what your problem is.

    Actually I think the best way for you to isolate it is to trip every breaker in your breaker panel except the one to your car. Charge the car and see if it still has the problem. If so, its in the circuit to your car, or the utility. You've proven its not in your car. Did you try a different Tesla charging cable (is that called a UMC? sorry I'm not up on all the lingo).

    But if your car charges ok with all the other breakers tripped, then you can close the breakers one at a time until you find the one that's causing the problem.

    This is just my idea - and I am not a qualified electrician by any means. Just trying to help.
     
  18. polything

    polything Member

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    yea i tried a service loaner with a different charge cable.
    tonight i will switch off all breakers while charging to see if it helps.
     
  19. FlasherZ

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

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    Yes, I am leaning toward a bad neutral as well - that's what causes GFCI trips and ground faults. However, usually a bad neutral is accompanied by a bunch of other appliances having problems and/or blowing up because of the voltage imbalance that's created between legs when the neutral goes "floating"; that or you find one circuit that has a burned ground/neutral because it's providing the neutral path.

    That's why I asked if any other appliances were having a problem and/or acting weird. Before I advised him to call the power company I wanted to have a better suspicion of the problem.

    I'm currently leaning toward it being a flaky neutral that shows up only under heavy load. You should call the power company and ask them to check your neutral conductor, because you're experiencing many different ground faults (GFCI's tripping, car not charging) on equipment in your home.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That may give you a false indication, if it fails to trip because you've brought the load down. The difference between the toaster oven example is that it's a device behind a GFCI that's protecting it; in your case, you're seeing multiple GFCI's trip, which means some return current is going back to the transformer via the EGC (grounding conductor). That would point to a bad neutral - and because it's happening on multiple circuits, it would point to either a bad service neutral from transformer to meter, from meter to service panel, or even the connecting bar within the service panel.

    Best approach is to ask the PoCo to check its neutral, letting them know that you see ground faults on multiple branch circuits when under load. And/or call an electrician to look at the neutrals on your side of the meter, check to make sure they're tight, etc.
     
  20. SUPRKAR

    SUPRKAR Member

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    I just had this happen to me. Tesla pulled the logs from my car, saw high voltage. My electric company was sending 265 volts to my panel, when charging started the car sensed the higher than normal voltage charging stopped and port turned red. Electric company lowered the voltage and the car charges fine. I was told too high or too low a voltage could cause this.
     

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