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Successfully fixing charge rate with power company.

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by SabrToothSqrl, Mar 9, 2017.

  1. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Has anyone here successfully fixed the charge issue of reduced charge amps, by making their power company, make a change?

    After two electricians, and charging from two separate 50 amp circuits in my home, (NEMA14/50), my car has, since day 1 been unable to charge at my home at 40 amps for much longer than a few days. Sometimes a few days, sometimes a few hours.

    I fully believe the issue lies with the power coming into my home. The primary charge location is less than 5 feet of wire (6/3) from the breaker.

    This is not a troubleshooting thread. There are many of those (Thank you!)

    My car will charge at 40 amps solid all day/every day at my parent's home, on a 14/50, with 40+ feet of 6/3

    If I set my car to 35 amps. I have no issues. I can hold 35 all day. every day. At 40 or 35. nothing gets hot. Not the UMC, Not the handle, not the outlet. Nothing.

    I am convinced the issue is outside my hands on control.

    With a Model 3 (hopefully soon) on the way, I'd really like to kick this thing in the butt. I'm wondering if sucking 80 amps solid will force my power company to figure something out.

    I have 200 amp service. I have a SENSE so I can real time see volts and amps but it doesn't record to PC/excel (yet).

    I've had the power company install a recorder, but it has the resolution of a potato. they showed me the voltage for a WEEK on a 8 1/2 by 11 PDF... vs. down to the 1/2 second like sense can.

    I appreciate anyone trying to help troubleshoot, but really want to know if anyone has actually made their power company... do... something to get more power? I'm in a fairly rural location, and assume on a shared power system somewhere, so how do I know what it's rated for? Also, I'm now using a heat pump and heat pump water heater, when the house used to be 100% propane. Still.. 200 amp service should handle this, and I've never come close to that!
     
  2. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    I meant to put this in "S" but it applies to any EV really...

    My heat pump is primary, aux is propane, so it never pulls more than the 30 amps (30 amp breaker).. and last I checked it only uses about 17/22 amps most of the time... aux uses even less as its a 120v circuit to burn propane. (just saying I don't have a 240v aux system)
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    Check the connection at your breaker also. Re-torque and check for heat buildup there while charging. What is your voltage drop while charging?
     
  4. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Everything I can put my hands on, has been verified, and re-verified over the past 2 years of ownership.

    I will check voltage drop tonight, the car usually starts at 245/244v and lands at 242 I believe, but I will re-check, and use Visible Tesla to log.

    I'm actually using my 2nd NEMA 14/50 as I'm currently putting tile down in my garage... so... same results from 2 outlets. I find it next to impossible both were in any way mis-wired...

    So, has anyone has any luck making your electric company... do anything?
     
  5. vandacca

    vandacca ReActive Member

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    Not sure how things work where you live, but where I live, the electric company only guarantees the work to the house. All electrical inside the house is up to the home-owner.

    Anyway, I had some issues with charging too, and the Tesla-approved electrician indicated that my main panel wasn't grounded properly and causing the problem. Apparently, the HWPC and car have very sophisticated and sensitive circuits onboard and monitors voltage/current for any abnormality.

    In the end, it was my HWPC (I know you're using a NEMA 14/50) that needing replacing, but the take-away was that your Tesla is probably carefully monitoring the voltage/current and if it sees any weird spikes, it can terminate the charging.

    Might help if you get a Tesla-approved electrician in to help.
     
  6. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    The only time I have gotten the electric company to fix something on their end was when my meter broke (twice!) and I wasn't getting charged. They fixed that the same day I called it in. Brand new meter a few hours later.

    Could you hire an electrician to measure the voltage drop on the other side of the meter, or are they not allowed to touch the electric company's side? That way you would have proof the problem is on their end.
     
  7. verygreen

    verygreen Curious member

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    Here's my anecdote, not EV related, but still.
    When I bought my home, it was connected via some underpowered or overloaded transformer. If you looked wrong at it (a gust of wind, lighting storm nearby), most of the neighborhood would go dark for an hour or two.
    It was super bad and I was contemplating getting a backup generator even.

    Anyway, in parallel to all of this, I did some improvements in the backyard including a fish pond + waterfall that turned out to be a lot bigger than anticipated, that led me to install a whole lot of pretty power-hungry water pumps run 24/7 (tripling my electricity bill compared to previous owner, over 4MWh/month).
    And after some short while a weird thing happened - when the neighborhood went dark - my home still had power. Even in some recent winters when big areas around lost power, I still had it. I can only theorize that they placed me on some other much more robust/less loaded transformer.
    I ended up not getting a backup generator either since in the last 4 years I had 3 or so power outages that were resolved pretty fast. Neighbors come to me to charge their phones now ;)

    So I imagine if you do place consistent load on the transformer for some extended period of time (months?) they need to act to make it less loaded or something?
     
  8. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    My guess is there are too many houses for the current setup. So, how do I prove that?
    I'm on my 2nd UMC for what it's worth, and the problem only exists at my house... anywhere else is fine.
     
  9. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

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    What if it's something inside your house that's causing the issue? Can you try shutting down everything except your Mobile Connector, and then try charging your car? If that works successfully, you'll need to start ruling out what devices in your house are causing the power irregularities.

    Also, Tesla may be able to send you your car's charging and voltage / current logs if you e-mail them at [email protected].
     
  10. SBarnes

    SBarnes Member

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    I haven't. Although I didn't try too hard, I called in a few times and tried the web chat. No luck (So Cal Edison), you get some people that have no idea what you are talking about and that is it. I have the exact same problem, and also have concluded it is the electric company. When I start drawing 40A the voltage at my panel starts to sag. Sometimes the Tesla carries on, but just like you after a day or three it will reduce down to 30A. The Tesla appears to monitor voltage, and if it sags too much it will concludes your wiring is bad a drops the amperage. As you have, I checked my wiring and the sag is happening at the panel, so not my wiring, it is the electric companies wiring (or transformer). This is pretty classic, if the local area isn't supplied with a enough power the voltage to the neighborhood will drop (think brown out). I talked to an electrician about it, he said it is nearly impossible to get the power companies to do anything unless it is physically broken. He told me that at his father's house the power company overhead lines going to the house had the insulation peeling off and were unsafe. He had been trying for years to get them to fix it, without success.

    If anyone has been successful I would love to hear how.
     
  11. animorph

    animorph Member

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    There was at least one thread in the past year where the owner was able to show a large voltage drop right at the entry panel during charging and the electric company replaced his outside feed wire with a heavier gauge. That fixed the problem.

    If you are seeing a drop from 245V to 242V at the car that seems pretty good. I think it would be very hard to convince the company anything needed to be done.

    The current lightning thread did have a story of chargers not working very well after a storm. It sounded like maybe the electric company had some noise on their lines, but I didn't see a definitive cause. More than one Tesla customer had the same problem. Tesla actually worked with the electric company to fix the problem. Not sure how you would prove you had the same problem and get them to fix it.

    My HPWC is ready to go on a 100A circuit but untested for now until my X gets here.
     
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  12. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    Yes, this person was apparently able to get the power company to troubleshoot their neighborhood with Tesla's help. No idea how they managed that
    Model S Not Charging after Storm.
     
  13. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    If the problem is on the poco side, as seems to be the case, then it might be helpful for your case against them to know at what times of day your charging rate drops below 40A. Likely, it would do fine in the middle of the night and poorly during peak load times when all the neighbors are putting load on the transformer and main feed line at the same time?

    Does your Sense device measure before your main breaker? Even better, can you get access to place it before the meter, so as to remove any doubt that the problem is theirs, not yours?

    As someone else posted, the problem may not be amperage but some voltage deviation, maybe even transitory, but of long enough duration for the Tesla charger to register it and drop its rate of charge. If so, Tesla might be able to provide you with the necessary data to support your case.

    Oh, and tell your next door neighbor to quit arc welding while you are charging. :)
     
  14. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Now that my car is back in it's primary charging location, I will start running Visible Tesla and trying to keep an eye on Sense. As of now Sense doesn't record to CSV or excel, or something PC easy like... I can try setting the start to something like 10 PM and see if that makes a difference. I usually get home around 6, so that seems like 4 wasted hours to me. Watts x hours = total, so I'd rather plug at 35 for 4 hours than it just sit at zero... the problem with Visible Tesla, it seems, is there is no data when the charge drops to 30. the car goes silent for 30-60 seconds... so I can't track/see that the voltage has gone down.

    I do wonder what will happen when the wife brings home a 3 and we both pull 40 amps. I really hope the problem becomes obvious then.
    I guess I could find someone local with a S, as I currently do have 2 outlets...

    Drive both cars to like 40 miles left, setup 40 amps each, set my water heater to resistance mode, turn on my heat pump, turn on my dryer, all the lights, hot tub, etc. etc. and see if I can smash those volts low enough to make PPL care...
     
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  15. brucet999

    brucet999 Active Member

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    HEADLINE: Northeast Power Grid Crashes, Authorities narrow cause to somewhere in PA. :)
     
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  16. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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  17. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Finally got my garage in order, and Visible Tesla logging.
    Set the car back to 40 amps, and held my breath

    So far, two charges at 40 amps the whole time.
    Highest voltage shown: 245v
    Lowest: 240v

    Average of charges: 242.5v

    Now, we wait. Because... SOMETIME it will cut down... I tempted fate by turning on the clothes dryer, while the heat pump was on, and the car was charging. Still held 40 amps...

    All of which leads me to believe that when my neighbors load up the grid, it cannot keep pace, and drops the volts, which causes the Tesla to cut the load... which means PP&L needs to fix it.
     
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  18. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    Car cut from 40 to 30 amps TWICE last night. I had to manually unplug, replug change setting on dash to get 40.
    Screen shots from my Sense attached. Shows that nothing was adding load at the time the Tesla gave up pulling 40 amps.

    you can clearly see a flat load before it drops, then works back up to 30.

    Getting real tired of Tesla telling me nothing is wrong. It does this on BOTH of my NEMA14-50 outlets at my home.
     

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  19. SageBrush

    SageBrush Active Member

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    End of thread.
     
  20. SabrToothSqrl

    SabrToothSqrl Active Member

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    okay... so how do I force PP&L to 'fix' the issue?
     

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