GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,
New owner of pre-owned 2011 Volt.
I installed an outdoor GFCI outlet on a 20a circuit. Attached to this outlet is a load of another GFCI outlet and lightbulb in the garage. Once a week or so, the GFCI trips.
I tried replacing the GFCI with a new 20a GFCI outlet...still tripped.
I tried turning off the switch to the lightbulb and outlet in garage so it's not drawing any power - the outlet tripped again.
Anyone else had this problem? I read other forum posts and tried the suggestion of swapping a new GFCI. I'm wondering if this is an issue with the charger?
Any help greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Isaak
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
Just looking for some clarification, what else is on the circuit protected by the original GFCI? Doubtful it's the EVSE (technically the charger is in the car). It could be the original GFCI or the second GFCI might be wired incorrectly. Does the result change if you charge at 8A or 12A?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The outlet is wired to another outlet and a lightbulb. There is nothing connected to the second outlet.
I haven't attempted changing to 8A. I'll try tonight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
EVSEs do tend to trip some GFI outlets. There are a lot of early threads on the subject.

It has something to do with the EVSEs internal GFI system, which is slightly more tolerant to current flowing to ground; something like 25-35mA to the outlet's 15mA. It doesn't trip every time, but I have experienced this with my 2013 on a few occassions.

Also, check to make sure there are no nicks on the wire and that the J1772 plug and outlet are not wet.
 

·
Registered
2013 Volt
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
Attached to this outlet is a load of another GFCI outlet and lightbulb in the garage.
I'm not clear on the meaning of this, but if you are saying one circuit has two GFCI outlets, that is not good. The GFCI should be on the first outlet on the circuit; it will protect downstream outlets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,927 Posts
Since you had to ask, just get an electrician. Since you installed 2 GFCI"S on the same circuit, you obviously don't know what you are doing.

Given your description, there might be a ground fault in the wiring somewhere. I've dealt with finicky ground faults on fire alarm wiring throughout an old building and the culprit is usially from some meathead contractor who did sloppy work, pulling too hard stripping insulation, not running cables incorrectly and laying a big bundle of wire over another wire causing tension elsewhere down the line.

The best scenario is to wire up a new dedicated 20A circuit using a high quality, even hospital grade plug. You won't even need a GFCI circuit in this scenario because the EVSE will act as the GFCI.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
14,156 Posts
I believe you can have two GFCIs on the same circuit. Usually it's for the convenience of not having to take a long walk to reset the outlet. Not necessarily a good idea, especially when, as PH2 pointed out, the EVSE also has GFCI protection (so now its triple protected). Also agree with PH2 that the EVSE can trip them. A lot of things can actually.

The outlet is wired to another outlet and a lightbulb. There is nothing connected to the second outlet.
I haven't attempted changing to 8A. I'll try tonight.
If all that is on the circuit is two outlets and a light bulb then for practical purposes you have a dedicated circuit. The light bulb will not bother the EVSE. I thought maybe another room or rooms where on the same circuit.

If your outlet is already GFCI protected then you might try replacing the second GFCI outlet with a standard one. Might help. Might not. The upstream GFCI might still trip.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,359 Posts
I'm going to go with the "you should have a licensed electrician look at it".

To the OP, Charging an EV is like having a hair dryer on full time. It's a large electrical draw and it puts stress on the house grid.

It's really simple, if something keeps tripping the GFCI then something is wrong! At this point you haven't been able to figure it out, and it's not worth the risk of burning down your house. Time to bring in the experts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
I confirmed with a licensed electrician that what I did with the GFCI is correct. There are two outdoor outlets on this circuit, so both are required to be GFCI. The other outlet is not in use, so it's essentially a dedicated circuit as stated.

I've read the earlier postings with this issue and the manual states that the EVSE should be on a GFCI.

While I appreciate the responses, I was really looking for feedback if anyone has had this problem and solved it. It seems like the current suggestion is to switch this outdoor outlet to a non-GFCI outlet, which is against code.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,997 Posts
I confirmed with a licensed electrician that what I did with the GFCI is correct. There are two outdoor outlets on this circuit, so both are required to be GFCI. The other outlet is not in use, so it's essentially a dedicated circuit as stated.

I've read the earlier postings with this issue and the manual states that the EVSE should be on a GFCI.

While I appreciate the responses, I was really looking for feedback if anyone has had this problem and solved it. It seems like the current suggestion is to switch this outdoor outlet to a non-GFCI outlet, which is against code.
Or to charge at 8A. However if the GFCI keeps tripping something is wrong as stated before. I have GFCIs and when I charge at 12A at 120V I never had a GFCI or breaker trip. If you eliminate the breaker and GFCI as the source of the problem, that is by replacing them, then you either have bad wiring or a possible problem with the EVSE.
 

·
Registered
2013 Volt
Joined
·
1,542 Posts
I confirmed with a licensed electrician that what I did with the GFCI is correct. There are two outdoor outlets on this circuit, so both are required to be GFCI. The other outlet is not in use, so it's essentially a dedicated circuit as stated.

I've read the earlier postings with this issue and the manual states that the EVSE should be on a GFCI.

While I appreciate the responses, I was really looking for feedback if anyone has had this problem and solved it. It seems like the current suggestion is to switch this outdoor outlet to a non-GFCI outlet, which is against code.
To answer your immediate question . . . yes, with the original L1 EVSE, I had a couple random GFCI trips. I was able to solve it . . . I bought an L2 EVSE. Although I don't know for sure, I could easily believe that daisy-chaining GFCI receptacles would exacerbate the problem.

I'm surprised to hear that "the manual states that the EVSE should be on a GFCI." I presume you are talking about the Volt Owner's Manual, and I've checked my '13 manual and see no such reference.

You say the electrician confirmed "that what I did withe the GFCI is correct." What did you do? There is a way to wire a GFCI receptacle such that it protects only that receptacle and nothing downstream. It basically utilizes a pigtail at the line lug on the GFCI to feed the downstream GFCI outlets. It's a clever way to do the wiring but not common. The advantage is that a trip of a GFCI trips only the receptacle into which the offending appliance is plugged -- not an upstream GFCI. You don't have to go searching for the tripped receptacle or the problem device. It is more expensive, has more power usage in standby mode by multiple GFCIs monitoring the same circuit, and, as I say, is not the common method. Usually, downstream outlets (regular, non-GFCI) are fed off of the Load lug of the GFCI and their usage is monitored because the current flows first through the upstream GFCI (not around it).

Finally, I can't help but be shocked (pun intended) if an electrician said multiple outlets on the same circuit cannot be protected by a single GFCI receptacle. If he said that all outlets need to be GFCI protected, we all agree, but that does not require a GFCI receptacle on every outlet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
My garage has a GFCI that protects all the outlets. I've owned my Volt for almost a year now and have only had one nuisance trip. Small current leaks are usually what cause nuisance trips. A nearly bare hot wire can ever so slightly leak current into a nearby grounded surface. Faulty equipment can also trip GFCI's. Your EVSE and charge controller would be suspect since they handle AC power. I had PC power supply that would very reliably trip my basement GFCI when it was in contact with my wooden work bench.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top