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Model 3 LR does not charge on standard outlet

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by charleschen, Dec 22, 2019.

  1. charleschen

    charleschen New Member

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    Hi,

    First time owner, just brought home a model 3 LR over the weekend. Plugged the mobile connector to the standard outlet, but it is not charging: The light on the charging port is solid green, on the app it shows charging complete at 53%, which is not charging at all. The outlet is outside that I used to power electric snow thrower, and it has power as I just tested it. Is it a lemon on the mobile connector, or was there something wrong with my outside outlet?

    Thanks,
    Charles
     
  2. charleschen

    charleschen New Member

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    Ah. Now it starts to charge after connecting more than half an hour. Still don't know what is going on, but I assume that it takes some time to warm up the battery for the first charge?
     
  3. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    Correct. It needs to heat the battery up before it will start charging. This can take a considerable amount of time on a 120 volt outlet in cold weather. If you can, look into installing a 240 volt charging option at your earliest convenience. Winter charging on 120 volt outlets and local Superchargers is a major pain in the neck, as local Supercharging will be slow due to the cold battery temps.
     
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  4. VT_EE

    VT_EE Active Member

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    If it gets too cold, you won’t be able to charge at all on 120V.
     
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  5. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    +1 to @Big Earl's comment, with the added note that Boston, where @charleschen is, can see some pretty cold temperatures. If the temperature is low enough, you might need to find a public Level 2 station or a Supercharger to actually charge. Use PlugShare to find public Level 2 EVSEs.
     
  6. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    Indeed! I haven't nailed that temperature down exactly, but it's somewhere around 0F or a little below. At that point, the heat loss from the battery pack to the atmosphere reaches equilibrium with what the 120 volt outlet can provide and there will be no power left over for actually charging the battery.
     
  7. charleschen

    charleschen New Member

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    Ouch! That terrifies me, as we live in a duplex condo and have no garage. On the worst winter days, it is going to be below 0F outside on the drive way. Luckily our commute is only 5 miles one way, and we may be able to charge it at workplace, so we'll see how it goes and explore the option of installing a 240v outlet.

    Thanks all for the really useful information!
     
  8. charleschen

    charleschen New Member

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    In that case, I had wished that the app displayed sth like "Warming up, waiting to charge" instead of "Charging complete", so that I don't need to worry about something went wrong :)
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    Our car will sometimes say "charge speed reduced due to temperature" or something of that nature. Not sure why yours said charging complete.

    Did you buy a standard range or a long range?
     
  10. antoinearnau

    antoinearnau Active Member

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    If i were you, i won't be terrified with such a short commute. I don't think you'll have too much days at such temperarture where you can't add 10 miles during a night at 120v. Cold temp will affect the rate of charge for sure, but keep in mind that in normal conditions, you charge at more or less 5 miles an hour on 120v.
    It will go down to 10 miles for 12 hours with temp as low as -20c. So yes, you'll have some days when you have to find a L2, but it is not going to happen to often.
     
  11. Big Earl

    Big Earl bnkwupt

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    Also keep in mind that it will use double or triple the normal amount of energy on a short commute in sub-zero weather. 5 miles of driving could end up using as much as 15 miles of range. Short drives are the worst for efficiency because it takes a lot of energy to heat up the cabin and the battery.
     
  12. srs5694

    srs5694 Active Member

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    For a cold snap of a couple of days, that shouldn't cause too much trouble, given your short commute; however, be aware that the cold weather will rob you of range, both because of reduced battery efficiency and because of the power taken to heat the cabin. (Obviously, turning off the heat can help with that, but then you'll be cold while driving.)

    The best long-term solution is to install a Tesla Wall Connector (or conceivably some third-party EVSE, if you want to be able to charge non-Tesla EVs) outside. This may be overkill for your commute, but it will likely be useful at least a few times a year, when you get home from a road trip or when the temperatures plummet. It'll also be more convenient than plugging and unplugging the Mobile Connector all the time. I'd install something more permanent for the second reason alone. Of course, if you're in a condo, you'll likely have to get permission from the condo owner's association to install anything outside.
     
  13. davewill

    davewill Active Member

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    Even a 15a or 20a 240v circuit will make all the difference.
     
  14. MP3Mike

    MP3Mike Well-Known Member

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    Don't be terrified, but you probably want to start charging as soon as you get home while the battery is still warm. (Not that it will get really warm in only 5 miles of driving.)
     
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  15. ivan801

    ivan801 Member

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    You can use existing wiring to upgrade to 240 V 15 amp (or perhaps even 20 amp). If even that is not an option, check and see if it is a 20 amp outlet. A 20 amp outlet will have a vertical and a horizontal slot, while a 15 amp plug only has two vertical slots. If it is a 20 amp outlet then you can buy a 20 amp plug for your charger ($35 from Tesla). On a really cold day going from 15 to 20 amp outlet can literally double your effective charge rate.
     
  16. Ejl80

    Ejl80 Member

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    While this is true, it would also change all the other outlets to 240v on the same circuit so that could be an issue for you.
     

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