GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I know there are some similar posts about Volt charging tripping GFCIs on 120V, but I haven't seen this specific issue (sorry if I missed one) so I thought I'd post.

I bought a certified pre-owned 2012 Volt in January 2015. It has charged without issue on a dedicated 120V outlet in our driveway since then (except when the original charger malfunctioned - an issue known to GM - and it was replaced ~6 months ago). The outlet was installed in January 2015 when we got the car.

6 weeks ago, the charging become very unreliable (it wouldn't start charging). After more thorough testing, I have determined that the car will charge to full, the charging light will begin to flash (indicating it is fully charged), and then the GFCI in the outlet will trip and the charging light goes out. To start charging the next day, I have to reset the GFCI and then it charges normally.

I have tried the following over the past 6 weeks:
1. Dealership have inspected the car/charging cord multiple times
- car charges to completion without issue on 240V and 120V at the dealership, but they do not have GFCI outlets

2. Two different electricians have been to the house 4 times to inspect the wiring. Currents/voltages are as expected at the outlet and the box. The GFCI was inspected and replaced (just in case that was the problem).

3. I borrowed a co-worker's 2016 Volt charger (Clipper Creek) and my car charged overnight without tripping the GFCI (the light was still flashing in the morning)
- I find it very hard to believe that it a coincidence that the one time the car charged properly in the last 6 weeks was with a different charger!

4. The dealership has become very frustrated with me and effectively told me to get lost after ignoring my calls for the better part of a week. I have talked to the GM "Electric Vehicle Team" and "Volt Team" on the phone who both informed me that they were "non-technical" and encouraged me to find a dealership to help me and have an electrician look at the house (I explained many times I had already done both of these things many times)

I apologize for the length of this post, but would really appreciate any advice on how best to proceed. I would really just like GM to replace my charging cord that is still under warranty, but the dealership won't do that since it works at their location (without GFCIs).

Thank you very much.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
648 Posts
Sounds like your EVSE has developed a slight problem. GFI's are very sensitive. The EVSE itself is a GFI so it doesn't need to be used with a GFI outlet. You could try a GFI breaker and put a normal 20 amp outlet in the box. Breaker may have a little higher leakage threshhold than the outlet GFI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
The EVSE includes a GFCI. Whenever two GFCIs are connected in tandem there is a possibility that one will trip the other. The NEC specifies the maximum trip current of the GFCI in the outlet, however, the trip current could be lower and therefore the GFCI more easily triggered by the EVSE. You could try replacing the outlet with a different brand just to see if a small increase in trip current eliminates the problem. There are other threads on this. Check the links at the bottom of this thread or use the search engine to see how others have solved this problem.

KNS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
907 Posts
GFCI issues can be hard to diagnose. If it were me, I'd probably just put in a standard non-GFCI outlet and call it a day. But it does seem there is an issue. A leakage path in the EVSE, when the charge current stops. Or a transient protection device in the EVSE is failing. Maybe. Your replacement EVSE is also a 2012 model? So it has a 8/12A switch? Are you charging at 8A or 12A? The 2016 EVSE has no 8/12 switch, the car will charge at 12A. This is an outdoor outlet? Is there any buried cable? How long a cable run from outlet to your main panel where safety GND and Neutral are connected?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,782 Posts
If this outlet is only used for charging, install a standard heavy-duty outlet. This will eliminate the issue until selling the house. Shock hazard is not high except plugging/unplugging the EVSE.

If this solution bothers you, place a switch in the line and only plug/unplug when the outlet is switched off.

It is not "against code" for a dedicated outlet (such as a freezer) to have no GFCI.

I also like the suggestion above to try a panel-mount GFCI breaker.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,193 Posts
It sounds like your EVSE has developed some slight electrical leakage and it's causing the Class A GFCI receptacle to trip.

The receptacle GFCI will be a Class A personal protection unit and will trip within 4 to 6 mA of leakage current which is a very low threshold. These receptacles can be very sensitive and can be prone to "false" tripping under certain circumstances.

The GFI built into the EVSE will be set to an equipment protection level and will trip with 20 to 30mA of leakage current so it will be much less sensitive.

The electrical code requires outdoor receptacles to be ground fault protected. But the code does not specify if that needs to be personal or equipment level protection. What you could do is replace your receptacle with a standard non GFI receptacle and then change the circuit breaker to an equipment protection level GFI (30mA trip level). This should solve the false tripping issue, keep you compliant with the electrical code and still maintain a high degree of safety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for your reply. The replacement EVSE is also the 2012 Voltec model. The tripping occurs on the 8A and 12A setting (again, only after fully charging the car). It is an outdoor outlet with about a 25 foot run to the panel. The wires run through the rafters of the basement and are not buried at any point.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you all for the responses. We rent the home, so I will check with the landlord/electrician to make sure they're okay with whatever we try going forward (with respect to safety/code).

Just for my information, what is happening between the car, EVSE, and outlet when the car finishes charging (since the GFCI only trips after fully charging the vehicle)? It seems systematic if it only trips upon completion and always trips upon completion (there is no random process at work here).

At the end of the day, is it still worth pursuing a replacement EVSE while it is under warranty? My co-worker's 2016 EVSE charges my vehicle without any tripping.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,623 Posts
At the end of the day, is it still worth pursuing a replacement EVSE while it is under warranty? My co-worker's 2016 EVSE charges my vehicle without any tripping.
I would. I would nicely but firmly explain the regularity of the tripping and that it does not occur with your friend's EVSE. You could also present the results of the following demonstration.

At charge completion, the car signals the EVSE to open the charging circuit by releasing a relay. It seems that tripping coincides with operation of that relay. You could confirm this as follows. Charge the car. Restore the GFCI in the outlet. Use the fob to start a preconditioning cycle. Observe what happens when you pull the EVSE connector from the car. That action should cause the relay in the EVSE to release. If that is what is causing tripping then the GFCI in the outlet should trip at that time. To make it easy to observe what is happening you could connect a small lamp or night light to the other receptacle if it is a duplex outlet. To further confirm that it is your EVSE you could repeat this test using your friend's EVSE.

You could have someone record this demonstration which would clearly show that the light connected to the receptacle goes out when the connector of your EVSE is pulled from the car but not when the connector of your friend's EVSE is pulled. It would be difficult for the dealer not to accept a warranty claim for a replacement EVSE in the face of such evidence.

KNS
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,471 Posts
Thank you all for the responses. We rent the home, so I will check with the landlord/electrician to make sure they're okay with whatever we try going forward (with respect to safety/code).

Just for my information, what is happening between the car, EVSE, and outlet when the car finishes charging (since the GFCI only trips after fully charging the vehicle)? It seems systematic if it only trips upon completion and always trips upon completion (there is no random process at work here).

At the end of the day, is it still worth pursuing a replacement EVSE while it is under warranty? My co-worker's 2016 EVSE charges my vehicle without any tripping.
Have you had your friend try your EVSE at his location with HIS car? That would certainly demonstrate whether or not it is your EVSE?

Have you tried charging with your EVSE at some other location? Again, that would clarify the conditions under which the problem is evident.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thank you for the suggestions. I'm not sure if my co-worker has a dedicated GFCI outlet available at his home (he uses a Level 2 charger normally), but I can ask.

The dealership tested the EVSE at their location and the car charged without issue (though they don't have GFCI outlets so it's not really an apples-to-apples comparison). I will try and test some more locations this weekend.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top