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Problems charging at 110v on GFCI circuit

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by Bushcaddy, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. myster2

    myster2 Member

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    Location:
    Austin TX
    I'm charging from the UMC with a 120v NEMA 5-20 and bought the NEMA 5-20 adapter from Tesla.

    If I'm having problems, it's going to trip right after plugging in the charger and the charge cycle begins. I would reset the GFCI receptical and usually I only have to reset it once for it to work normally. I replaced my 120v GFCI outlet with the best I could find at Home Depot but still have this problem a few times per week.

    Day before yesterday though it would continually trip and I could not get it to start charging. I probably tried 15 times and all failed. During the troubleshooting I also tried switching back to the NEMA 5-15 adapter for the UMC with no luck but connecting to a non-GFCI outlet charged with no problem.

    Now this is puzzling, I got the idea to lower the charging amps on the cars display to the minimum which is 5 AMPS, plugged in the car and it didn't trip. Started charging at 1mi/hr so I ramped up the amps back to 16 amps 6mi/hr (what it is normally) and no problem.
     
  2. EVDRVN

    EVDRVN Active Member

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    You are using a 50' extension on 120V, that's not good on any circuit.
     
  3. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    We have seen reports that some GFCI’s just trip with Tesla’s connected regardless. I have read some things that say RF noise on lines can cause spurious trips and that also too much filtering for noise can also cause trips since it shunts too much current onto ground. I am not sure what the Tesla UMC Gen 2 combined with the newer model charge circuitry on the cars does, but it creates issues sometimes.

    I believe several folks on the forums have been successful in replacing the GFCI outlets with Eaton branded equivalent GFCI’s and then things were fine.

    Home Depot mostly sells Leviton which I generally like, but it is pretty cost optimized to compete in the Retail space.
     
  4. omgwtfbyobbq

    omgwtfbyobbq Active Member

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    Yeah, there's a fair bit of voltage drop charging the 3. My guess is that X pulled way too much even on 120V.
     
  5. xspace

    xspace Member

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    I have exactly the same problem at a rental house I’m using. Did the same things. Tried two different dedicated circuits.
     
  6. jimmyz80

    jimmyz80 Member

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    If it's a rental and you don't have a way to swap out the GFCIs for better ones, you may be out of luck. You could always get an approriately heavy gauge extension cord, and try to plug into a non-GFCI outlet elsewhere in the house.
     
  7. DaveL61

    DaveL61 Member

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    Osgoode
    Thanks to all on this thread - I was encountering periodic problems at my son's place. Sometimes would work - sometimes GFCI tripped right away. I just tried a power bar with a surge protector in between the outlet and the Tesla cord - seems to have done the trick.
     
  8. xspace

    xspace Member

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    Location:
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    The car port at my rental has a utility closet, and in that closet is a non-GFCI receptacle. So, I’ve been using this, and it has worked flawlessly. We’re nearing the end of our 10 week winter get-away, and while I’m looking forward to getting back home to our 72A 230V Tesla Charger, I have to say that using this mobile charger has easily met all of my vacation needs, which were limited to only city-driving. I have a CHAdeMO, but used it only once this whole trip. Nice to have it for an emergency, but charging was far too pricey.
     
  9. afty

    afty Member

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    Bay Area, CA
    I had a similar problem when I first got my Model 3. The GFCI outlet in my garage would trip immediately when I started to charge the car. I replaced it with a new Leviton GFCI outlet from Amazon, and it has been working fine since.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. xspace

    xspace Member

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    Yes, I read here that others had done the same thing. My issue is that I’m renting down here in Charleston, just for a winter getaway. I cannot rewire the owner’s GFCIs. :)
     
  11. DamnitBennett

    DamnitBennett New Member

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    Location:
    Orlando
    Hey everyone. First-time poster here...
    Not sure if this thread is still active or not? I recently put my order in for an LR M3. Before putting in my order, I had done a 24-hour test drive. This is how I discovered that my garage outlets would instantly pop when I plugged the charger into the standard wall socket. My house is brand new and only three years old, so I was pretty confused when this happened. Since I had lost power before to the garage I knew that wall outlet inside my house, had been popped. This outlet has the reset and test buttons on it pictured below. If I understand how the plugs in my house/garage are set up, the 3 standard plugs in my garage are tied to that GFI plug inside of my house.

    Looking at previous comments, it sounds like my GFI plugs could be cheap and causing the problems. I've attached a photo of my panel outside that controls the GFI plugs in my garage and around the exterior of the house. The circuit says so 120/240v~ if I understand that correctly, that should be enough to use the standard home charge for my M3?

    Side note, I have noticed is that the GFI outlets that have the reset slots on the outside of my house no longer have the green light on and no longer have power going to them. When I attempted to reset both of them, they did not reset. So I think I need to replace them both. I have purchased replacements that were linked above (https://www.amazon.com/Eaton-Self-Test-Resistant-Receptacle-Wallplate/dp/B0189B79IM/?tag=tmc064-20) Sadly won't be able to test if this worked as far as charging for another couple weeks. I was quoted ~4 weeks for delivery, and it has been one week so far.

    It would be helpful if anyone had insight on this, especially if the circuit should be capable of charging.

    Images:
    thumbnail_IMG_2736.jpg thumbnail_IMG_2738.jpg

    Thanks
     
  12. CyberGus

    CyberGus Not Just a Member

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    Well it is now! ;-)

    I've seen multiple GFCI outlets on a single circuit before, which is incorrect. They are difficult to reset in this configuration, you almost need to do them simultaneously like you're launching a missile.

    If one pops due to the UMC and two others have already failed after 3 years, then I would find them highly suspect, and install quality replacements.
     
  13. DamnitBennett

    DamnitBennett New Member

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    Cool, assuming the breaker at 120/240v~ is capable of charging? just need to update the plugs?
     
  14. CyberGus

    CyberGus Not Just a Member

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    Theoretically yes, but:

    UMC + GFCI = YMMV

    and

    15A at 120V = slow charging (2-3 mph)
     
    • Like x 1
    • Disagree x 1
  15. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Well-Known Member

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    It's not that slow. The old inefficient pigs of the Model S were 3 mph. Model 3 is about 5 mph.
     
    • Like x 1
  16. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    Lots of comments:

    First, I would want more than 120v charging at home personally (also the Tesla would take the entire 120v circuit and limit your ability to use it for other things at the same time). A dedicated circuit is the way to go.

    As far as the instant trip you are seeing, it is possible that there is a neutral to ground touching each other somewhere in an electrical box downstream of the GFCI that is causing the trip. Or as you state, it could be a cheap GFCI that the Tesla trips due to noise, etc...

    The GFCI on the outside not working is interesting. That sounds like maybe a blown breaker.

    Can you post pictures of your inside panel? It looks like you posted a picture of your outside panel (main?) which is only 150 amp. Pictures of any stickers on the panel door would be useful too. Note that adding circuits to the outside panel would probably be easy.
     
    • Helpful x 2

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