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HPWC stops working

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by bob_p, May 25, 2013.

  1. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    #1 bob_p, May 25, 2013
    Last edited: May 25, 2013
    HPWC stops working - appears to be panel problem

    Three times in the past 2 days, I've noticed that the HPWC isn't charging the car. The green light is off on the HPWC.

    Checking the power breaker panel - the breaker is OK. If I flip the breaker off then back on again - the HPWC appears to work OK.

    I'm running the HPWC at 60A - so I'm not trying to push it to full power.

    EDIT: this now appears not to be a problem with the HPWC - but with the power panel. Jiggling the 100A breaker causes the HPWC to get and lose power. Electrician called to check panel.
     
  2. FlasherZ

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

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    Glad you found the issue. It's a good idea to check the electrical panel occasionally for signs of problems, 1-2 times a year at least. Definitely check it after an install of the HPWC, ensure nothing's getting too hot, etc.
     
  3. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    jiggling around a 100A breaker that is live and clearly loose and possibly faulty is not exactly what I would call a very intelligent thing to do.........BBBBBBBZZZZZZAAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP you're dead. :scared:
     
  4. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    Electrician is coming out tomorrow to check.

    Originally he had installed a temporary 50A breaker for the 14-50. When he installed the HPWC, we noticed that the plastic had been damaged on the 50A breaker. It didn't seem to impact the operation of the breaker, so we assumed it had just been a faulty breaker. But now with the 100A breaker having a problem in the same spot, it seems more likely there's a problem with how the breaker in the slot is sitting - causing some stress on the breaker that eventually causes it to get damaged inside the panel or making it difficult for it to maintain a solid connection to the power bus.

    I have an electronics background - so I was careful and took precautions while investigating the problem - and was tempted to take the panel apart myself yesterday to investigate this - but after talking with the electrician - we felt things were safe at this point - and can wait until he comes out tomorrow to investigate.

    When the electrician installed the 100A - we left the 14-50 plug on the wall. It's disconnected from the power line feeding the HPWC - but if the HPWC failed, we'd already gone through the steps it would take for me to temporarily remove the HPWC from the circuit, reconnect the 14-50 and replace the 100A breaker with a 50A. So if I ever do have an HPWC failure - I can fall back to the 14-50 without too much trouble. Fortunately, I didn't need the 14-50 backup in this case...

    On a positive note - Tesla was very supportive. I called Owner Assistance - they got back to me within an hour - and we talked through the options. If the HPWC was faulty, the local service center would get involved (because now that the HPWC is installed - it's not practical to have owners disconnect it and bring it in or ship it for service!).
     
  5. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    WARNING to everyone with 14-50 or HPWC connections...

    The electrician came out yesterday and found I had fried a second breaker going to the car. The first breaker was a 50A breaker going to the temporary 14-50 outlet. The second breaker that died a few days ago was a 100A going to the HPWC. Both breakers had damage to one of the connections to the power bus - in both cases that portion of the breaker had been damaged - and the metal link broken inside the breaker.

    In reviewing my power panel, the charging breaker was placed opposite of a 125A breaker driving a second panel covering much of my house. He suspects that the combination of charging the Model S and running circuits off the other breaker panel (which includes HVAC systems and pool equipment) may have been drawing enough current to cause that connection to heat up and fry the breaker.

    Based on my experience - strongly recommend that anyone who's had a charger circuit installed have the panel inspected after several months to make sure there isn't any hidden damage inside the panel. This type of failure won't cause the breaker to trip - because it's not creating a short on the circuit - but could cause other problems inside the panel. And in both cases, there was no external indication that the breaker had been damaged (the second time, all I saw was an intermittent connection to the HPWC).

    Fortunately, it doesn't appear this has caused any permanent damage to the panel itself (which would be a higher cost repair) - and it didn't start a fire or appear to cause any damage to the charging capabilities of either the HPWC or my MS - so I was fortunate.
     
  6. FlasherZ

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

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    With the power loads we all have nowadays, it's a good idea to inspect your panel yourself, or as a competent friend or even an electrician to quickly look over everything to make sure it looks good. Every 2 years or so (which probably isn't often enough), I take the front of my panels open. I'm primarily looking for physical signs - melted plastic on breakers, signs of arcing, burned insulation on wires - and take the opportunity to check the torque on each breaker connection and neutral bus bar connection. I do this on all circuits -- even a loose screw on the lightest-used circuit can create tremendous amounts of heat through a loose connection.
     
  7. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    >jiggling around a 100A breaker that is live and clearly loose and possibly faulty is not exactly what I would call . . . : [yobigD20]

    Hey yobig!, its cool as long as you stand on a Webster's Dictionary (mine is 5 inches thick) and sing "Nearer My God To Thee" as you poke & fiddle. :biggrin:
    --
     

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