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Came home from a non-Volt outing to find my Volt not charging, and when I unplugged the EVSE from the outdoor outlet, this is what I found:

BurntOffering.jpg

Any recommendations other than "have an electrician check the outlet", and "replace the EVSE"?

And is there any kind of warranty that I might have? I bought my 2012 second-hand from a dealer last year...
 

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You could determine why the outlet heated up, then replace the outlet in a way that solves that problem. Then replace the plug on the evse. The evse is covered by a warranty, but that particular damage may not be covered (if it was not caused by a defect in the evse).
 

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Please read this FAQ on charging: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?48937-120V-Charging-FAQ

Your outlet was deficient. Most cheap home outlets that are many years old simply don't have sufficient spring tension and the contacts are tarnished to the point they cannot handle a 12 amp load for 8 to 10 hours without overheating. (As you have proven.)

Have the outlet replaced with a commercial grade outlet ora hospital grade outlet. That will eliminate future issues.
 

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You could determine why the outlet heated up, then replace the outlet in a way that solves that problem. Then replace the plug on the evse. The evse is covered by a warranty, but that particular damage may not be covered (if it was not caused by a defect in the evse).
Good idea, although that's assuming the EVSE itself wasn't damaged. Speaking of not covering warranty, I wonder if this might be a convenient time to splice part of an extension cord on, since I'd have to replace the plug end anyway...
 

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Please read this FAQ on charging: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?48937-120V-Charging-FAQ

Your outlet was deficient. Most cheap home outlets that are many years old simply don't have sufficient spring tension and the contacts are tarnished to the point they cannot handle a 12 amp load for 8 to 10 hours without overheating. (As you have proven.)

Have the outlet replaced with a commercial grade outlet ora hospital grade outlet. That will eliminate future issues.
It did, for over a year, but I guess it could have been much, much worse. I'll find an electrician ASAP...thanks!
 

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I bought an over-sized 240v EVSE nearly four years ago to charge my Volt and subsequent ELR. There are zero overheating issues when the EVSE is capable of putting out 3x the power needed and is on a circuit that is 5x the minimum size required. The 120v OEM unit sits in it's little cubby in the trunk and has been used maybe 8 times in 2 years.

This is the way I buy all equipment. Size it for worst case not average case. So, I have a 5-cu-ft washer and a 7.5-cu-ft dryer. When I do my 4 loads of laundry on Sunday, they are just idling along.

I learned about capacity when my dad was an engineer in food packaging. He came home one day and asked me 'how big should a bag be to handle an average of 5lbs of potato chips'? I told him as big as needed to account for the maximum volume not the weight (in 10-year-old language of course). He said 'hmmm a 10-yr-old knows this and a Master's degree engineer does not!'. Apparently the engineer sized the bags for average fill not maximum, so, the line was blowing out half the bags. I also learned that 'book learning' is just the beginning.
 

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The majority of dealers will replace that EVSE for free. I just got one replaced for similar issue and there are many more cases on these forums.

If your first dealer says no, try another.

If none agree, I would replace the plug myself with a heavy duty unit with screw terminals. Carefully consider whether the new unit is weatherproof, if that's important to you.

You'll be good to go from that point on.
 

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It's not just the plug. The wall outlet must be replaced. The wall outlet's worn out contacts cannot handle the load. That's what caused the plug to melt in the first place.
 

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The majority of dealers will replace that EVSE for free. I just got one replaced for similar issue and there are many more cases on these forums.

If your first dealer says no, try another.

If none agree, I would replace the plug myself with a heavy duty unit with screw terminals. Carefully consider whether the new unit is weatherproof, if that's important to you.

You'll be good to go from that point on.
When I posted this, I ASSUMED the OP would also replace the outlet but perhaps I should have been clearer. It's probably got a large burn mark on it. You should not plug in again until BOTH outlet and plug are new.

A new plug into that old outlet will ruin the new plug in no time, and, if it was possible, jamming the burnt plug into a new outlet, would damage the new outlet.
 

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I assume you were charging at 12 amps, right?

This thread is a good reminder about charging safety. Events like this make me nervous about charging away from my home outlet that I have confidence in. I would hate to cause a problem like that at a relative's house or at a hotel. We should probably at least be restricting to 8 amps when doing that, if at all.
 

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...charging away from my home outlet that I have confidence in.
This is why there is a need for standardization and government inspection of EVSEs in the wild. Same issue. Are they safe. Are they maintained. Are they tested and stamped like a fuel dispensing pump.

Since there is no attendant for a charging station, who does all this stuff? We're going to end up with a bunch of pay phones that don't work most of the time.
 

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This is why there is a need for standardization and government inspection of EVSEs in the wild. Same issue. Are they safe. Are they maintained. Are they tested and stamped like a fuel dispensing pump.
I think this is why GM was smart to put a temperature sensor in the plug of the Gen II and Bolt EV stock EVSE.
 

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Came home from a non-Volt outing to find my Volt not charging, and when I unplugged the EVSE from the outdoor outlet, this is what I found:

View attachment 120897

Any recommendations other than "have an electrician check the outlet", and "replace the EVSE"?

And is there any kind of warranty that I might have? I bought my 2012 second-hand from a dealer last year...
Contacting an electrician should be the first thing you do, not discount it as you did above. If the issue was caused by something with your electrical system, I would certainly not expect GM to replace it under warranty.

Have your system checked out and keep us posted.
 

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I think this is why GM was smart to put a temperature sensor in the plug of the Gen II and Bolt EV stock EVSE.
That's a good start. The other thing Tesla does is monitor the voltage drop when the car puts load on the circuit - I don't know if GM has started doing this or not, but I haven't read of it yet.
 

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Residential receptacles are cheap junk. There are crappy little springs in the receptacle that hold onto the prongs of the plug when you plug into the socket, but they wear out and get flimsy. You can tell they are wore out when the pugs don't want to stay in the wall anymore. When they get loose, the resistance of the connection increases and they can heat up, and even start a fire. For something like EV charging (or electric heaters) this is very critical because those items draw lots of current over long periods of time.

The residential ones wear out super fast, but people keep using them and just wiggle the plugs if they have a problem. The correct solution is to replace the outlet. It isn't that hard, just turn off the power at the breaker or fuse box before you mess with it. They sell outlets in different grades (all the building contractors use the cheapest ones). For a few extra dollars, you should upgrade heavily-used outlets to a commercial or industrial grade outlets. They are much much better, since they have better plating on the contacts and strong springs to hold the plug in place.

The outlet you plug your EV into should definitely be industrial or commercial grade. It's also nice to upgrade a couple outlets in the house wherever you plug in your vacuum cleaner (no more cutouts and no more plugs falling out of the wall while you work :)).
 

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Residential receptacles are cheap junk.
^^This entire post is spot on.

I only use the Decora (rectangular) outlets. They have more plastic around the holes and therefore don't break as easily. They also seem to be better quality than the 19c el-cheapo ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Contacting an electrician should be the first thing you do, not discount it as you did above. If the issue was caused by something with your electrical system, I would certainly not expect GM to replace it under warranty.

Have your system checked out and keep us posted.
My quote marks weren't intended to convey dismissal...just that I'm a dumbass for not doing it in the first place :)
 

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^^This entire post is spot on.

I only use the Decora (rectangular) outlets. They have more plastic around the holes and therefore don't break as easily. They also seem to be better quality than the 19c el-cheapo ones.
Even Decoras come in different grades. Always look for "Spec", "Commercial", "Industrial", etc.
 
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