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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Simple repair of 240 V level 2 SPX Voltec charging station

My SPX Voltec level 2 240 V charging station (model EL-50580 purchased 10/8/11) went dead on Monday (no lights). The 240 V circuit to the unit was fine. A number of threads on this site reported the problem but it seems most members have been able to replace the unit under warranty. I was not so lucky as it was three weeks out of warranty. I called SPX and they said there was nothing they could do. There is no repair service. The only thing they could recommend was to check with my credit card company to see if they had an extended warranty. They did, but there is an exclusion for auto accessories.

So I took the front cover off and with some inspection I found two fuses at the input to the circuit board. I found one of them blown with an ohmmeter. The fuse is a Littelfuse Inc. series 505 500 V 20 A (ceramic fast blow) mounted directly to the circuit board. I ordered three (2 spares) from Digikey at $4.42 each: http://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/0505020.MXEP/F3265-ND/1967673

I then replaced the fuse (and was careful desoldering from the top side of the board since the thick traces made it difficult) and now my unit works fine.

I suspect that the reason Leer (the manufacturer) decided to go with axial lead type fuses is for safety. There are no fuse holders that have specifications of 500 V 20 A. I suspect that a surge on the power line blew the fuse and perhaps saved the Voltec unit and the car. The fuse did its job. But since the fuses are not readily replaceable, most people replace the unit at a cost of $495 plus shipping. This is not right. There is an easy and inexpensive fix. I saved more than $500. The unit has been working now for days.
 

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Well this is great and not so great news to hear as I'll probably be getting a voltec charger in the future. THANKS for the heads up.

BTW, does your incoming 240v line to the charger have a 20a fuse?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It has a 20 A circuit breaker, not a fuse. The 505 series fuse in the Voltec is much faster than a standard circuit breaker.
 

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Fantastic! Thanks for sharing the info, RMett. I bookmarked it in case.

I had something similar happen with my Samsung LED TV. Samsung used a bunch of substandard capacitors in a slew of LED TV's and would do nothing when they went bad. I bought some new capacitors online ($15 delivered, with solder), de-soldered the old capacitors, soldered in the new and shazaam! TV works again.

I worked at Littelfuse in the plating department for a summer job. Awful work, carrying buckets of sulfuric acid. You held your breath and watched your step! I also drove my motorcycle through that covered bridge in Cedarburg one evening a long time ago. :)
 

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What about using a 15 amp circuit breaker? I know the manufacturer recommends 20 but I wonder if anyone has tried it and if it would help to protect the internal fast blow fuses.I have this charger, best deal on the market,I would call the manufacturer and mention this issue maybe they can upgrade it or issue a recall.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I think it would be better to put a surge protector on the circuit to the Voltec. I think the fuses are a cheap and reliable way to protect the Voltec and car from short spikes of voltage than can happen due to for example large switched inductive loads or line connection intermittency anywhere near your house. One can also get whole house surge protectors which are essentially a large 1:1 transformer with a Faraday shield. The iron core saturates and suppresses voltage spikes. I am considering this, and may install one if I can find one cheap enough.
 

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Did the charge before it failed end early? I don't know if the fuse would blow when it was not performing a charge but the loss of the fuse probably was due to part-quality rather than power surge. Nice to have the spares of the fuses for future repairs if needed.

Could the fuses have gotten physically damaged internally due to original soldering? Perhaps overheating while soldering?
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
The Voltec charger was just over a year old (the one year warranty started the day the unit shipped) and was used every day since it was installed 11/15. It was fully burned in. In a previous tread I discussed a fault that occurred in September, that time a red light came on but the unit reset by shutting the switch off and on. Since I had my own electrician do the installation, it was out of warranty.

I don't exactly know when the unit failed. The car fully charged overnight and I remote started the car as usual. The car was not quite done charging from the remote start and I unplugged the unit and left for work. I did not look at the lights on the Voltec. My wife called me a few hours later saying the Voltec had no lights on.
 

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What about using a 15 amp circuit breaker? I know the manufacturer recommends 20 but I wonder if anyone has tried it and if it would help to protect the internal fast blow fuses.I have this charger, best deal on the market,I would call the manufacturer and mention this issue maybe they can upgrade it or issue a recall.
The Volt can draw very near 15A of current at peak so you would likely experience some false tripping on the circuit breaker.

Circuit breakers car vary quite a bit in their calibration. Some are very sensitive and some can take a while to trip.

I'm not sure why they went with 500V fuses. There are a lot of 250V 20A fast blow fuses available that would work in this situation. Also I would think that Leer could have installed a TVS. A TVS is an inexpensive way to limit the effect of voltage surges.
 

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OP, glad that worked for you. I didn't have the same problem, as my Voltec unit had a heat-related issue, but I was also out of warranty. Lucky for me, my credit card warranty did cover it.
 

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OP, glad that worked for you. I didn't have the same problem, as my Voltec unit had a heat-related issue, but I was also out of warranty. Lucky for me, my credit card warranty did cover it.
The OP indicated SPX doesn't have a repair service, so what did you do? Did you have to purchase a new one (with your credit card company covering the cost)?
 

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The OP indicated SPX doesn't have a repair service, so what did you do? Did you have to purchase a new one (with your credit card company covering the cost)?
I got SPX to send me a letter that said no repair is possible, which satisfied the credit card company extended warranty. I then ordered a new one, submitted the invoice and got reimbursed. But it took 3 months, so in the meantime I built the openEVSE fix and used that while I waited for the credit card company to say they would cover it.
 

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my voltec charger fluse blown too

My Voltec charger fuse blown too and replaced just like you suggested. It lasted only 5 days before it blown again. Any chance it could be something else other than power surge? Is yours still working since your repair?
 

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My Voltec charger fuse blown too and replaced just like you suggested. It lasted only 5 days before it blown again. Any chance it could be something else other than power surge? Is yours still working since your repair?
Not sure who you are replying to.

My 240v Voltec that failed was rebuilt using OpenEVSE (which is much more than a fuse replacement); it's working fine, charging my wife's car. The replacement 240v Voltec that I got to replace the failed one is charging my car, and working fine as well.
 

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+1 for replacing the fuse. 18 months after installation, my Voltec went dark last night. It also turned out to be a blown fuse, so I replaced the bad one with a fuseholder and a 20A fuse. The fuseholder makes future replacements painless, other than the fact that so far I only replaced one of the fuses in this manner.

Agree that desoldering the original fuse is a real pain, because even with a soldering gun it was hard to get things hot enough to remove the original fuse. BTW, I used the only fuse on the store shelf that was rated for 20 amps: a slow-blow fuse. That could bite me later.

Scratching my head about what caused it to blow in the first place, so this story is likely unfinished... Will post here if additional excitement occurs; however for no I am smiling that it was a relatively easy and inexpensive repair.
 

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Big thanks for the advice to change the fuse and provide the link to Digi Key so I could order it. My charger was repaired for $4.95 and find it shameful that the manufacturer would have you shell out $500 for a new one instead of offering a service to repair it.
 

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+1 for replacing the fuse. 18 months after installation, my Voltec went dark last night. It also turned out to be a blown fuse, so I replaced the bad one with a fuseholder and a 20A fuse. The fuseholder makes future replacements painless, other than the fact that so far I only replaced one of the fuses in this manner.

Agree that desoldering the original fuse is a real pain, because even with a soldering gun it was hard to get things hot enough to remove the original fuse. BTW, I used the only fuse on the store shelf that was rated for 20 amps: a slow-blow fuse. That could bite me later.

Scratching my head about what caused it to blow in the first place, so this story is likely unfinished... Will post here if additional excitement occurs; however for no I am smiling that it was a relatively easy and inexpensive repair.
Mine went after 20 months and I made the same repair adding the fuse holders. It worked great for about 2 hours, then it died again. This time the fuses were both fine and power through them to the board. Apparently something else was going bad and took the first fuse out, then it just went without taking the fuse the second time. For now I'm just using my 110 charger. If it makes it through the end of my lease I'll just use it. If it also dies, I'll resurrect the 240 with the open EVSE.
 
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