Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

Tripping breaker(s) when there is power outage and powerwall kicks in

Not sure if this is Powerwall issue or power? We have a few planned outages where the utility company replaced the poles nearby. Each time the power went off one of my breaker tripped. It was the refrigerator the first time and microwave the last one. I don't think this is power line issue as the house is new and no one in my neighborhood got their breakers tripped. I can only assume it's my powerwall since I am the only one in the neighborhood who has them.
 
Because your house is new, your refrigerator and microwave are probably using arc fault circuit breakers, which are very sensitive to power line fluctuations and can trip easily. My house was built last year and my fridge circuit breaker tripped for no apparent reason (though I suppose it could have been a grid outage that I didn't notice because of my Powerwalls), so I replaced the arc fault breaker with a regular one and it hasn't tripped since. Having your whole house backed up by Powerwalls is great, but if your fridge stops working while you're out of town, that's not so great.

Building code requires the arc fault breaker for the fridge, at least here in FL, so if you do replace the circuit, keep the old one handy for any future electrical inspection.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,358
2,755
East Bay NorCal
Completely unrelated to the issue but somewhat related to the breakers… you should look into a Ting monitoring tool if you remove the arc fault breakers.


This will help you to learn if an arc fault is happening in your home. So while you may not be protected by the breakers, you’ll at least get an alert on your phone that something ain’t good.

State Farm is partnering with Ting to give policyholders one for “free” under a pilot program with their customers.


The good is the program will give you a free home monitor. The bad is State Farm will learn if your home has experienced an arc fault. Which means they’ll follow up with you if one is detected. Presumably State Farm will want to see the homeowner fix the cause / outcome of the arc fault or risk higher premiums.

I guess if the poco going offline (and Powerwalls going into full backup) throws an arc fault on the Ting, it could be mega annoying.
 
Since your neighbors don't have Powerwalls, they might not experience the same AC frequency changes that you do when there's an outage.

When there's a grid outage and your Powerwalls are fully charged, the Tesla gateway changes the AC frequency from 60 to 65Hz to force the inverters to shut solar production down, because there isn't anywhere for the power to go. This frequency change can impact some electronics, including UPS backup units -- for example, the CyberPower UPS I use will switch to battery mode when the frequency goes above 63Hz.

I've read that Tesla can lower the frequency to something like 63Hz to avoid that problem, and I've asked my solar installer to check into that for me.
 
  • Helpful
Reactions: jjrandorin

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
15,063
19,452
Riverside Co. CA
Completely unrelated to the issue but somewhat related to the breakers… you should look into a Ting monitoring tool if you remove the arc fault breakers.


This will help you to learn if an arc fault is happening in your home. So while you may not be protected by the breakers, you’ll at least get an alert on your phone that something ain’t good.

State Farm is partnering with Ting to give policyholders one for “free” under a pilot program with their customers.


The good is the program will give you a free home monitor. The bad is State Farm will learn if your home has experienced an arc fault. Which means they’ll follow up with you if one is detected. Presumably State Farm will want to see the homeowner fix the cause / outcome of the arc fault or risk higher premiums.

I guess if the poco going offline (and Powerwalls going into full backup) throws an arc fault on the Ting, it could be mega annoying.

I had not heard of this product (ting), thanks for linking it. It looks interesting, actually, but:

1. I would not want this for free from my insurance company for the same reason there is zero (less than zero) chance I will ever willingly sign up for car insurance that includes "snapshot" or "safe drivers" devices that plug into an ODB port to monitor me. Thats a hard, (very hard) "No way" from me on that.

2. I would buy the device myself, but am not interested in a subscription. I would rather pay $499 outright for it, than "free the first year, then only $99 a year thereafter". It appears that buying the device, its tied to a subscription (unless your insurance company offers it for free, which I consider a poison pill, heh).

Too bad too, as it looks interesting.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,358
2,755
East Bay NorCal
I had not heard of this product (ting), thanks for linking it. It looks interesting, actually, but:

1. I would not want this for free from my insurance company for the same reason there is zero (less than zero) chance I will ever willingly sign up for car insurance that includes "snapshot" or "safe drivers" devices that plug into an ODB port to monitor me. Thats a hard, (very hard) "No way" from me on that.

2. I would buy the device myself, but am not interested in a subscription. I would rather pay $499 outright for it, than "free the first year, then only $99 a year thereafter". It appears that buying the device, its tied to a subscription (unless your insurance company offers it for free, which I consider a poison pill, heh).

Too bad too, as it looks interesting.

FWIW… the California insurance rules do not allow the use of driving for setting rates. Privacy is a chief concern for this. So you can’t actually get those safe drivers save 40% or whatever malarkey offers based on an OBD dongle or mobile app in California.

But the same insurance rules say a monitoring device plugged into your home sending home data to your insurance provider is ok 👍
 
  • Informative
Reactions: jjrandorin
Since your neighbors don't have Powerwalls, they might not experience the same AC frequency changes that you do when there's an outage.

When there's a grid outage and your Powerwalls are fully charged, the Tesla gateway changes the AC frequency from 60 to 65Hz to force the inverters to shut solar production down, because there isn't anywhere for the power to go. This frequency change can impact some electronics, including UPS backup units -- for example, the CyberPower UPS I use will switch to battery mode when the frequency goes above 63Hz.

I've read that Tesla can lower the frequency to something like 63Hz to avoid that problem, and I've asked my solar installer to check into that for me.
Oh, that makes sense. I was wondering why my UPS kept on beeping when the powerwall was on.
Completely unrelated to the issue but somewhat related to the breakers… you should look into a Ting monitoring tool if you remove the arc fault breakers.


This will help you to learn if an arc fault is happening in your home. So while you may not be protected by the breakers, you’ll at least get an alert on your phone that something ain’t good.

State Farm is partnering with Ting to give policyholders one for “free” under a pilot program with their customers.


The good is the program will give you a free home monitor. The bad is State Farm will learn if your home has experienced an arc fault. Which means they’ll follow up with you if one is detected. Presumably State Farm will want to see the homeowner fix the cause / outcome of the arc fault or risk higher premiums.

I guess if the poco going offline (and Powerwalls going into full backup) throws an arc fault on the Ting, it could be mega annoying.
Thanks for the info. Will try to look into it.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
15,063
19,452
Riverside Co. CA
Oh, that makes sense. I was wondering why my UPS kept on beeping when the powerwall was on.

Thanks for the info. Will try to look into it.

The UPS beeping when on powerwall power is a pretty telltale sign of the frequency shift. I havent heard anyone talk about breakers tripping because of the frequency shift, but other sorts of "funkiness" can happen, for sure.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,900
2,852
Northern California
1. I would not want this for free from my insurance company for the same reason there is zero (less than zero) chance I will ever willingly sign up for car insurance that includes "snapshot" or "safe drivers" devices that plug into an ODB port to monitor me. Thats a hard, (very hard) "No way" from me on that.
I forget but I don't think you have a Tesla car right? 🙂

Because basically a Tesla car is way more than this. You can't even start the thing if Tesla does not want you to. Then there is Google who tracks your phone for all sorts of purposes ...
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
15,063
19,452
Riverside Co. CA
I forget but I don't think you have a Tesla car right? 🙂

Because basically a Tesla car is way more than this. You can't even start the thing if Tesla does not want you to. Then there is Google who tracks your phone for all sorts of purposes ...

I actually have 2 of them. I am not a tinfoil hat person. I know tesla has all this data. Tesla is not giving all that data to my insurance for them to use against me, though.

My issue is, why would I give extra data about (for example) the EXACT usage of my car, to the company that is on the hook for paying for an accident in said car? They might determine that I am at fault because I was doing 62mph in 55mph zone or something, or that I was "accelerating unsafely" or something like that.

I have 2 teslas, one with FSD, but I wont sign up for the FSD beta (beta beta actually, since FSD is already beta) because it requires that "safety score" bull. I was shopping for insurance because by current insurance company was bought by farmers, and insuring my wifes new Model Y was like twice as much as the X3 M40 it replaced.

I briefly considered tesla, but they have that tied to safety score, so that was a hard "no". Its a bit about privacy, but more about "sharing the data with the wrong people" or "people who have a financial interest in using it against me", vs just sharing the data.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,358
2,755
East Bay NorCal
I forget but I don't think you have a Tesla car right? 🙂

Because basically a Tesla car is way more than this. You can't even start the thing if Tesla does not want you to. Then there is Google who tracks your phone for all sorts of purposes ...


Once Elon acquires Twitter he can program the car to shut down unless you tweet favorably about TSLA.

But I agree Tesla has access to more data about jjrandorin (driving and home energy use) than a Ting fault monitor from State Farm could ever get.
 

holeydonut

Active Member
Supporting Member
Jun 27, 2020
3,358
2,755
East Bay NorCal
I briefly considered tesla, but they have that tied to safety score, so that was a hard "no". Its a bit about privacy, but more about "sharing the data with the wrong people" or "people who have a financial interest in using it against me", vs just sharing the data.

Tesla can’t use real time driving scores/stats to affect a premium or offer of insurance in California… If you really want Tesla insurance they should just let you sign up with normal underwriting.


Just shop around … not all insurance companies seem to have the Tesla tax. Plus you’re in riverside so your zip code should be on the less risky side.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
15,063
19,452
Riverside Co. CA
Tesla can’t use real time driving scores/stats to affect a premium or offer of insurance in California… If you really want Tesla insurance they should just let you sign up with normal underwriting.


Just shop around … not all insurance companies seem to have the Tesla tax. Plus you’re in riverside so your zip code should be on the less risky side.

Oh I did. I ended up going with insurance through costco. I have had a costco membership for 25 ish years (since it was price club), but the insurance company they use was orders of magnitude less expensive. So much so that I triple checked the pricing, and coverage because it sounded like one of those insurance commercials (" I saved 1200 dollars a year when I switched to insurance by costco connect, AND I got a lower deductible!").

I dont have any tickets or anything, so its not that. Just some companies really dont want to insure teslas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: holeydonut
I am not an electrician, so take this with all of the usual caveats. I think that the underlying issue with both arc fault and ground fault systems is that they are designed to sense very small deviations in the current flow. Cutting power to a motor that is already spinning is almost certainly guaranteed to put a power pulse back on the line at the moment of disconnect, which may be smaller or larger depending upon the time of the disconnect relative to the AC sine wave. This can be legitimately interpreted as an issue by the arc fault/gfci.

It also could be the case that your house and transformer neutral aren't fully (properly) grounded. It is rare, but will definitely cause imbalances in the line/neutral values, and problems with GFCIs. With your powerwalls off, you might try turning various loads around the house on and off to see if the line to neutral values shift much. (Coffee maker, blow dryer, toaster, etc.)

All the best,

BG
 

Products we're discussing on TMC...

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top