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

Has anyone heard of charging equipment damaged by lightning?

Discussion in 'Technical' started by 55 Sux, Jul 15, 2015.

  1. 55 Sux

    55 Sux Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Bethlehem,PA
    I live in USA and in summer there are a lot of thunderstorms. This brings the potential or power surges through home wiring.
    I often think to unplug our computers when there is lightning in the area.
    Now, my most expensive electronic equipment is my Model S. I have been unplugging my charger from the 14-50 outlet as a safety measure during thunderstorms.
    Does anyone else do this? Has there been a case of a lightning-induced power surge damaging the charging "brick" or a HPWC or the car itself?
     
  2. Electric700

    Electric700 Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Florida, United States
  3. mwulff

    mwulff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2015
    Messages:
    348
    Location:
    Danmark
    I would unplug for sure. Lightning is not to be meddled with :)
     
  4. ChadS

    ChadS Petroleum is for sissies

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2009
    Messages:
    2,401
    I have spoken with other (non-Tesla) EV owners that have had charging equipment damaged by lightning. I try to remember to unplug the chargers along with my computers and AV equipment.
     
  5. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    1,005
    Location:
    McKinney, TX
    I can throw the breaker on my HPWC, but there's otherwise no way to unplug my charger. I do, however, unplug the car from the charger if sever thunderstorms are looming.
     
  6. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    I turn off the breakers to our (hard-wired) charging equipment and unplug the cars in any case; better safe than sorry. We had a strike last week (during a brief unexpected storm) about 50ft from the house; blew a few GFCIs in my shop and a breaker on the landscape lighting, both cars carried on charging in the garage with no issue.
     
  7. mibaro2

    mibaro2 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    958
    Location:
    Georgetown, ON
    I can agree with the idea of unplugging the car in thunderstorms. But what happens if you go to bed, the car is set to start charging at 2:00 a.m., and a thunderstorm rolls in at 1:30 ? Or would you only charge the car while you were awake? Just curious.
     
  8. FlasherZ

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

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    7,019
    Direct lightning strikes will happily jump across breaker contacts and open switches. Short of unplugging things completely, it's difficult to protect them.

    I haven't worried about it, really - it's difficult to go unplug everything I own when one of our (frequent) lightning storms is in the area.
     
  9. 55 Sux

    55 Sux Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    Messages:
    24
    Location:
    Bethlehem,PA
    I tend to keep computers plugged in, but I use high end UPSs to protect them. I never owned any electronics worth $100,000 before so I'm trying to be cautious and unplugging the charger/car from the 14-50 I use at home. I do charge overnight at a low electric rate so I'll probably keep on doing it and hope for the best when there are thunderstorms overnight. I'm also going to ask my electrician if he would recommend a whole house surge protector.
     
  10. ReddyLeaf

    ReddyLeaf Member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    277
    Location:
    Pasco, WA
    I'm a light sleeper and I've been unplugging my Leaf for nearly four years now, when ever storms are predicted.
     
  11. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    12,761
    Location:
    Texas
    I unplug if the lighting seems close, but I'm really more concerned about hail.
     
  12. Tripple_T

    Tripple_T Cincinnati Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    Makes me wonder if additional lightning protection is called for. IE: lightning rods and/or additional grounding wires to the hardwired chargers. I've had a HAM radio antenna on my house for years with proper grounding and never had a strike. I did however take it down when I bought my MS. I've always been a little worried during storms and couldn't handle the stress with the car plugged in.
     

Share This Page