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

Problems charging at home :(

Discussion in 'Model S' started by ualdriver, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    Hello-

    I brought home my S85 today and plugged into my Voltec charger that I was using for my Chevy Volt, using the J1772 adapter. The S seemed pretty happy when I initially plugged it in. Watching the screen, the voltage varied between 240-242V and it was pulling 15A/15A, which is the max the Voltec charging station is rated for.

    After about 10 minutes, however, the amperage dropped down to zero amps quite rapidly (within a second) and I could hear some heavy duty relays in the S clicking by the plug receptacle area. It then tried to restart the charging, voltage was around 240-242V, and I could see the amperage trying to increase from zero amps, but the amperage would just go to around 1 amp then drop back down to zero. Then I got the error message, "unable to charge/unplug and try again." I did unplug and replug, it would charge normally for about 5 minutes, then the same thing would happen again.

    I am almost 100% certain that it is a problem OUTSIDE of the car because it charged fine using J1772 and supercharging today elsewhere.

    Any idea what could be causing this? I've got it plugging at 12A/120V for now, but would like to troubleshoot this. For starters, how do I know if this is a problem with my charging station or some other type of electrical problem?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hodginator

    Hodginator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Virginia
    I have a Voltec charger as well and have had no problems charging (every night since June). It's possible the Tesla is detecting a problem from the charger. I recommend calling Tesla and they may be able to determine what the car is seeing. I think your suspicion is correct that it is outside of the car (perhaps a bad ground).
     
  3. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    So if I call Tesla, they'll be able to tell me the reason why the S isn't taking a charge?

    And if it was a bad ground, would the S start charging in the first place?
     
  4. ken830

    ken830 Model S (Res#P12,447)

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2012
    Messages:
    858
    Location:
    San Carlos, CA
    Have you tried to lower the charge current?
     
  5. santana338

    santana338 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Messages:
    333
    Location:
    Manchester, NH
    I would guess your charger overheated or somehow faulted. Tesla might be able to give you some idea of why the car stopped charging. Have you tried charging the Volt with the charger to make sure it still works in that situation?
     
  6. Hodginator

    Hodginator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Virginia
    Good questions. I'm not sure as I haven't been in this situation, but based on your description it sounds like the car is trying to find a current the charger can handle. If your voltage isn't dropping I would suspect a bad ground or faulty Voltec charger. Tesla may be able to provide more details.

    On on a side note. Have you tried setting the amperage low for a while to see what happens? Try manually setting it to 5amps and see if it keeps charging.
     
  7. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz R;SigS;P85D;SigX

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2009
    Messages:
    6,062
    Location:
    Colorado
    Recommend you call your local service center and have them pull logs from the car; they'll be able to see what the fault is.
     
  8. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    Have not. Trying that now. Lowered amperage to 10A.


    The Volt is sold :)

    Trying that now.

    Steve, thanks. Just got off the phone with Tesla service. They said they are contacting engineering (I think they said engineering) to get the logs, but they said it would take 4 hours. Unfortunately, the service center is closing in an hour so they said they would have them tomorrow.
     
  9. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    I also think lowering the current would help. Incidentally, if you can get a NEMA 14-50 installed, you won't regret the extra 25 amps and the reduced hardware!
     
  10. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    3,940
    Location:
    NoVA
    Out of curiosity, what is the circuit you have the Voltec charger installed on rated for?

    I know nothing about them... but 15A is a little "odd" for a voltage, given that circuits are typically rated for 80% of their peak capacity. This if it were on a 20A circuit, I'd expect it to be rated to supply 16A. If it were on a 15A circuit, I'd expect it to supply 12.

    So, perhaps it's installed correctly, but I thought it might be worthwhile confirming it's not set up to try and deliver 15A on a 15A circuit...

    -sc
     
  11. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    Good point scaesare. Lower your current to 12A or below and see how it fares. You're probably operating at the limit rating for the circuit, causing increased heating, which causes increased resistance and voltage drop, and the car is sensing this and stopping for safety reasons.
     
  12. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    Yeah, if I can't figure out what's going on with this Voltec charger, I think I'm going to install the NEMA 14-50 tomorrow evening. Just gotta figure out how to wire the plug as I am not familiar with this type of plug off the top of my head. A topic for the forum tomorrow perhaps :)

    - - - Updated - - -

    I put the Voltec on its own 20A circuit, per the instructions that came with the charging station. I realize 80% of 20A is 16A, but for whatever reason, when I plugged the Voltec in, it defaulted to 15A on the S.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Through Todd Burch and to everyone who suggested lowering the amperage. No dice. I just got the whole "charge interrupted" thing all over again at 10A, which is way below what the charging station/circuit should be able to handle.
     
  13. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2011
    Messages:
    13,257
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    Please check out this FAQ post before doing any electrical work; it's critically important to get the wire size correct for a NEMA 14-50. If in doubt, call an electrician.
     
  14. Hodginator

    Hodginator Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2013
    Messages:
    246
    Location:
    Virginia
    My Voltec defaults to 15amps as well. I think that is because the Volt charging system maxes out at 3.3KW or 3.6KW. I think I'm going to bite the bullet and just get a 14-50 as well. 15amps is mighty slow.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
     
  15. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2009
    Messages:
    4,737
    Location:
    Smithfield, VA
    Have you tried unplugging the J1772 adapter, checking it for debris, and reseating it to make sure there's a good electrical connection?

    Try this: Set the current to the lowest possible, and observe the voltage when it starts and reaches a steady state. Watch it to see how much the voltage drops. My guess is that you have voltage sag for some reason. How long is the wire run from your panel to the charger, and are you aware of the wire gauge being used? Do you know if it's aluminum or copper?
     
  16. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    Thanks. I will check it out. I am NOT an electrician, but have taken some classes at a local community college and am pretty comfortable doing basic/intermediate electrical work. I will definitely read your FAQ post.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Definitely copper. The gauge was the appropriate gauge for a 20A circuit over the length of the (short) run. I don't recall either as it has been a few years since I installed it.

    Voltage sag was my first thought, too. I sat and stared at the voltage indicator the whole time. The S did not indicate any noticeable decrease in voltage at any time. I did see the voltage go up briefly to 249V at one point after the S stopped charging.
     
  17. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    All through Todd......I'm done troubleshooting for tonight. 12A @ 115V will have to do for now :( I'll write back with what the Tesla engineers had to say when I get the info tomorrow. Thanks all for your help.
     
  18. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    3,793
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I Googled Voltec and the spec sheet does say 240V 20A circuit, 15A output. So it must be another problem.
    To the OP, even if you get this resolved you'll really enjoy the 14-50 outlet compared to this setup.
     
  19. ualdriver

    ualdriver Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2013
    Messages:
    120
    Location:
    US
    Reading that FAQ and the posts above, what's the difference between the NEMA 14-50 and the NEMA 14-50R referred to in the FAQ linked?
     
  20. CSFTN

    CSFTN Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2014
    Messages:
    470
    Location:
    Memphis, TN
    R = receptacle
     

Share This Page