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HPWC v1 Meltdown

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by ohmman, May 23, 2017.

  1. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Charger didn't work last night. I turned the breaker off today and took the faceplate off. Meltdown!

    IMG_3587.jpg IMG_3588.jpg IMG_3589.jpg
     
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  2. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    A few months ago my "safety switch" did the melting down.

    If you don't tighten those connections properly, they start to char and then get progressively worse at conducting electricity and progressively hotter and hotter until they fry.
     
  3. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    What was your amperage setting at the touch screen?

    At least the torque label survived to help the next installer.
     
    • Funny x 2
  4. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    This was an old HPWC, capable of 80A. I alternate charging my P85 at 80A and my MX at 72A.
     
  5. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    #5 Lloyd, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    Looks like Aluminum Wire! Requirement is #3 copper for 80 amps!!! This is specified in the manual!

    The copper barely fits in the lugs. I don't see how you can properly terminate aluminum wire in the HPWC for 80 amps!

    Ampacity Charts

    Also Aluminum needs to be re-torqued more often than copper, and it tends to get corrosion at the terminations which will overheat if they are pushed to their max. I don't see any anti-corrosion material applied to the terminations (Noalox)
     
    • Informative x 7
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  6. Mark Z

    Mark Z Active Member

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    I keep my setting at 32 amps and raise it only when I forget to plug-in and need to charge up fast.

    Thanks for sharing the damage. New HPWC owners may get an electrician to use a torque wrench after showing this thread.
     
    • Informative x 1
  7. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    You are, of course, correct. I had my electrician install this over 3 years ago and never verified the work. I have just downloaded the v1 manual and it does specify 3AWG copper. Grrr. I'll have to pull new wire before installing a replacement.

    Tesla offered me a replacement HPWC v2 under warranty but I will mention this installation issue. Sounds like I should be (or really, my old electrician should be) paying for the replacement.

    FWIW, the terminations all have Noalox on them. So at least he did that.

    IMG_3590.JPG
     
  8. lunitiks

    lunitiks ˭ ˭ ʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽʽ ʭ ʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼʼ ˭ ˭

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    Man that sucks. Be sure to give us an update on how Tesla and your "electrician" responds to this
     
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  9. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    #9 Canuck, May 23, 2017
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
    Your electrician should be thankful he only has to pay for a new HPWC and to re-run the proper wire. His negligence could have caused a lot more property damage or even the loss of life. Hopefully, he's an honourable person/business and takes care of it. If he refuses to make it right, you should tell him you will be buying a new one, hiring another electrician to do the work, and you will see him in Small Claims court.
     
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  10. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    Maybe it's Elon's influence, but this is precisely why I vertically integrate a lot more at home. That is, why I constantly add more to the list of things I do myself.
     
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  11. Zero CO2

    Zero CO2 a long term goal

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    Was your electrician recommended by Tesla .. they really need to make sure anyone who installs these units has proper knowledge... AL conductors are no go as far as I am concerned...
     
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  12. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Haven't seen such a good example of why AL wire is gone from internal use in a long time! Wow.... Almost as good as the knob and tube stuff you see on HGTV remodeling shows! :D

    Seriously, definitely one more reason for us all to read the manual and check up on people that haven't done the same thing a dozen times (if you don't want to pay for the 'Tesla electrician surcharge' as I did). I had a complex install and thought it was worth it, but you still wonder with all the high-amp installs coming down the pike for HPWCs and other EVSEs, how long before we get more bad results where a little corner-cutting by some electricians end up like the 1920s (or whenever, I dunno, I wasn't there) where 'dangerous cars with that there smelly fuel blowing up everything' makes similar news.

    And, yeah, love to hear who (if anyone) takes responsibility for not following guidelines!
     
  13. Zero CO2

    Zero CO2 a long term goal

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    I think AL wire has been illegal in NYC for over 30... maybe 40 years... scary stuff
     
  14. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Yeah, I just took a quick look at NEC section 625 (EVSE specific, if you are not familiar) to refresh my memory, and the tables seem to not mention AL wire at all anywhere. :eek:
     
  15. danbucks

    danbucks Member

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    I believe his error is worse than that: Copper is mandatory, ferrules are highly recommended. If you ask me, I say: ferrules are mandatory. It's Russian Roulette in there, with such a small space, such huge wires ... good contact has a much higher chance with the screw pressuring a solid metal cap.
     
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  16. Zero CO2

    Zero CO2 a long term goal

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    great point I am going to add ferrules to my installation this weekend
     
  17. Canuck

    Canuck Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how it goes. I had one hell of a time getting the wire to fit and that's without adding the extra thickness of a ferrule to it.

    @ohmman's predicament has convinced me to take the cover off of mine at my cabin to make sure everything is tight and there's no sign of any burning. That's probably also good advice for anyone running 80 amps. But make sure you turn the breaker off first!
     
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  18. Zero CO2

    Zero CO2 a long term goal

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    you make a better point .... i have already done install w/o ferrule and it was a PIA to get the #8 AWG (only a few feet from breaker box ) ....so do we think the issue main here is the AL vs CU conductors more than lack of good contact ???
     
  19. efxjim

    efxjim Member

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    It is good to feel the charger temp after an hour and keep track over time if it starts to feel hotter. It might be time to re torque the terminals if that temp increases.
     
  20. cpa

    cpa Active Member

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    Glad your woes were restricted to a small melt-down in your installation, Ohmman.

    If I were king (probably a good thing that I am not), that electrician would have his contractor's license revoked permanently. There is no excuse for this sort of installation.

    If he used aluminum because he was ignorant, that is wrong, and he should not be a contractor.

    If he used aluminum because he thought he could get away with it and charge a higher-Cu wire price, that is theft by deception, and he should not be a contractor.

    If he used aluminum because it is easier to install and complete the job quickly, he is lazy and feckless in his work, and he should not be a contractor.
     
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