GM Volt Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I just bought a used 2015 Volt and have been able to charge it successfully using any of a few outlets inside my house that require stringing the charger cable across a high-traffic floor to reach the car in the garage. That's not ideal.

There are a couple outlets in the garage, but they're not working. When I plug the charge into one of them, both lights go on (the green one next to the lightning bolt sign, and the red one next to the exclamation point) for about one second, then the green one turns off and the red one stays on. An electrician working on the house next door was kind enough to test the garage outlets for me and confirm that they are grounded. We didn't have anything else plugged in and using power on the same circuit, as far as I can tell. Obviously the charger still thinks something is inadequate, but I don't know how to tell what that is.

We are looking at having somebody run some new wires for a new outlet, but I want to make sure that's really necessary, and that we know what to tell them to avoid having the same problem. Is the charger telling me anything more specific about why it's not working, and what information do I need to give the electrician to make sure a new outlet works?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,588 Posts
If it's not a ground fault it might be low voltage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,621 Posts
make sure you read the information card that comes with the EVSE.

Most many posters are not telling us which of the error lights light are on and the color of the light.

The most EVSE has a build in ground fault circuit and having a second GF in the loop can cause a GF trip.
Second GF as in the wall plug or extra extention cord.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
The outlets in the garage might be (should be) on a line that has a ground fault circuit. That can be on the outlet (for a regular line) or at the panel (subpanel). The breaker or outlet may be faulty and the EVSE is sensing that whereas a work light or electric drill wouldn't. Depends how old the wiring is and what the wiring code was when the house was built (or last upgraded). The electrical code is changing over the years. There is more to it than just grounded, neutral on right connection. Also an older outlet may have developed a problem that a "dumb" device won't sense an a new HD outlet may solve the problem (which might not be a bad idea anyway when using an EVSE on it).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
212 Posts
Hot and neutral swapped? Seems like the electrician would have noticed that though. Does the EVSE work elsewhere?
All depends what the electrician used to test. One of those plug-in neon light testers that shows all conditions would tell you.
If just the voltage was measured then it is not so good unless they checked for the hot being on the correct side. I once worked in a trailer mfg. plant and the head electrician allowed all the receptacles to be wired backwards - he didn't know! All of those trailers are in Vietnam now.

I was at my brothers in South Utah last week and went to charge my Volt but it got the RED light after 3 seconds. Checking the receptacle, it turned out there was no ground. The ground wires had been deliberately CUT OFF! I spent about 4 hours getting material (push-on connectors & wire) and fixing that situation on about 5 receptacles in the garage and outside. The plugs were on a GFCI. This was a fairly modern home but the previous owner was a Tin Foil Hat person. Very scary!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
All depends what the electrician used to test. One of those plug-in neon light testers that shows all conditions would tell you.
If just the voltage was measured then it is not so good unless they checked for the hot being on the correct side. I once worked in a trailer mfg. plant and the head electrician allowed all the receptacles to be wired backwards - he didn't know! All of those trailers are in Vietnam now.

I was at my brothers in South Utah last week and went to charge my Volt but it got the RED light after 3 seconds. Checking the receptacle, it turned out there was no ground. The ground wires had been deliberately CUT OFF! I spent about 4 hours getting material (push-on connectors & wire) and fixing that situation on about 5 receptacles in the garage and outside. The plugs were on a GFCI. This was a fairly modern home but the previous owner was a Tin Foil Hat person. Very scary!
In short.....assume nothing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
65 Posts
First, I'd go get circuit tester. It's just a 3 prong plug with some LED's on it. It's a few bucks at Lowe's/Home Depot. This will tell you if your circuit is wired correctly. As above, one would think the electrician used one, but he may have just checked voltage. If the circuit is OK, you may have a bum EVSE. If the test indicates a problem you may have to get an electrician. Probably 1 of 3 things, bad ground, neutral/hot are swapped, or you have a bad GFI upstream from plugs in questions. GFIs do go bad. I've had to replace a couple of them.

Just to show how flakey wiring can be, I had an issue recently where none of the receptacles down stream from a GFI receptacle would work, but the GFI receptacle itself worked fine. The tester showed the hot/neutral switched on down stream, but fine on the GFI. I (finally!) found the problem, an outside receptacle where the hot wire had a nick in the insulation that, after 20 years had moved around in the box enough to baaaaarely touch a ground. One would think the GFI would have tripped, but no, it just turned off the downstream wiring.

As an aside, I'd get the circuit tester anyway and check every receptacle in the house. It's cheap insurance. I bought a new townhouse some years back where the hot/neutral was swapped in the bathroom. Definitely note to code!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
20,588 Posts
I third the self tester

120V circuit tester.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21 Posts
If your EVSE works with other plugs, it's not the problem. I've had plugs with loose contacts that test fine with small loads. I'd change the plug, they're cheap.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top