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I was up in Vermont this weekend. The hotel didn't have any EVSEs but they said I could plug into the outlet on a lamppost. In the morning I was charged to 85% when the charger stopped working. The plug was GFIed, clicking the test and reset didn't seem to do anything however the light was on on the pole the next evening so I don't think I tripped the breaker. When I first got the car a year ago I plugged into my outdoor outlets, both of which were GFIed and both of which didn't work, however when I ran an extension cord from an inside non-GFIed outlet it did work. When I had my ClipperCreek installed the next week my electrician said that both GFI outlests were dead, he replaced them and they now work fine for ordinary usage. I haven't used the Level I that came with the car again until last weekend when I plugged into the lamppost.

Has anyone else noticed that the Level I EVSE frys GFI outlets? I found a thread on a Leaf forum that mentioned something similar.
 

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Trip them, yes. Fry them, no.
 

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There are some pretty poorly made GFI outlets out there. I had one that internally shorted 6 months after install. It had never even been used.
When you do new construction, always buy name brand that are not cheapo "push in" connectors.

EVSE's don't need GFI's outlets or GFI breakers. IMO, it's safer not to use one for that purpose.
 

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A GFI is not the same thing as a breaker. If the GFI tripped you have a faulty ground in your cable/connection (maybe some moisture got in being outside?). The breaker trips if there is an over-current situation. Depending on how much other stuff is on the same circuit, your EVSE could break the camel's back and trip the breaker. That's not nearly as big a deal as a faulty ground somewhere.
 

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I was up in Vermont this weekend. The hotel didn't have any EVSEs but they said I could plug into the outlet on a lamppost. In the morning I was charged to 85% when the charger stopped working. The plug was GFIed, clicking the test and reset didn't seem to do anything however the light was on on the pole the next evening so I don't think I tripped the breaker. When I first got the car a year ago I plugged into my outdoor outlets, both of which were GFIed and both of which didn't work, however when I ran an extension cord from an inside non-GFIed outlet it did work. When I had my ClipperCreek installed the next week my electrician said that both GFI outlests were dead, he replaced them and they now work fine for ordinary usage. I haven't used the Level I that came with the car again until last weekend when I plugged into the lamppost.

Has anyone else noticed that the Level I EVSE frys GFI outlets? I found a thread on a Leaf forum that mentioned something similar.
Did you try to use it the next evening? Perhaps power is shut down to the lamp post during daylight hours.
 

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I am assuming that you depleted on electrons and since you were 85% charged by morning, should have led you to the fact that the lamp post is on automatic timers and most likely turned off around 5AM. If you have onstar msg service, you should have gotten a charge interruption notice about that time. In short nothing to worry about.

Just a point of information to another poster there are indeed circuit breakers that are GFCIs, as well as GFCI outlets and individual appliances from hair dryers to EVSEs.

Another point to remember is that pertaining to the Volt the default 8amp charge rate that GM is exactly for situations like this where there no easy way to ascertain the wiring that your plugging into. If you set your charge rate to 12 amps, then indeed you could have possibly tripped the breaker though I bet that the outlet was on a timer.
 

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There are some pretty poorly made GFI outlets out there. I had one that internally shorted 6 months after install. It had never even been used.
When you do new construction, always buy name brand that are not cheapo "push in" connectors.
Indeed. The 20 amp commercial GFCI receptacle that I initially used had been wired "push in" style. In commercial spec they use a screw-down plate to hold the wire, rather than the "knife edge" style in residential grade. However it still wouldn't hold the wires tight. One really has to wrap the wires around the screw terminals themselves.

EVSE's don't need GFI's outlets or GFI breakers. IMO, it's safer not to use one for that purpose.
Code requires outdoor and garage receptacles to be GFCI protected. However if you hard-wire the EVSE, you wouldn't need separate protection.
 

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It didn't occur to me that the power would be turned off to the socket as well as to the lamp, that would explain what happened. However I assume they have those outlets are there for a reason, i.e. to plug in hedge clippers or something like that, so turning it off doesn't make sense. On the other hand it's possible that who ever wired the lamp posts screwed up and because they don't actually use the outlets they never noticed.
 

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Code requires outdoor and garage receptacles to be GFCI protected. However if you hard-wire the EVSE, you wouldn't need separate protection.
Technically the code requires GFI protection and not necessarily GFCI on outdoor receptacles. GFCI implies Class A 5mA personal protection. To satisfy the code and equipment level protection GFI would be sufficient. Many equipment level GFI breakers have a 30mA trip.
 

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When staying at motels/hotels its not unusual for lampposts to be on timers, not only to conserve electricity but many of these lampposts also doubles as outlets with timers for their sprinkler systems or ambient lighting. The maintenance crew can easily trip the timer should they need it for other uses during the day. But like most things electric things are wired beyond our worlds view on how things should work.
 

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When staying at motels/hotels its not unusual for lampposts to be on timers, not only to conserve electricity but many of these lampposts also doubles as outlets with timers for their sprinkler systems or ambient lighting. The maintenance crew can easily trip the timer should they need it for other uses during the day. But like most things electric things are wired beyond our worlds view on how things should work.
Timers on the posts were my thoughts as well. We have 2 dedicated charging spots at work, but almost all of the light posts have receptacles as well. I tried several of them one morning when the dedicated spots were roped off for something and found them all dead. I ended up asking our facilities manager and he told me about the timers. The receptacles turn on/off with the light posts. Made perfect sense, just never crossed my mind until he mentioned it.
 

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Maybe you thought you saw the GFI light on. If the buttons don't work, then there's definitely no power to them. The reset button will only click in if there's power.

I find it a little odd that the outlets are on the timer switched circuit. That would mean the outlets only work at the times that they're least likely to be used.

It's not unheard of for EVSE's to trip GFI's. My garage GFI tripped tripped one time, and that was only after I bought my Volt. Hasn't happened again though.
 

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Indeed. The 20 amp commercial GFCI receptacle that I initially used had been wired "push in" style. In commercial spec they use a screw-down plate to hold the wire, rather than the "knife edge" style in residential grade. However it still wouldn't hold the wires tight. One really has to wrap the wires around the screw terminals themselves.
Newer high-grade outlets (both GFCI and standard) have a clamp instead of a blade that is actuated with the screws. I find this method easier and more reliable than wrapping the screw itself. By making a loop in the wire to go around the screw, it makes it weaker.
 

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It didn't occur to me that the power would be turned off to the socket as well as to the lamp, that would explain what happened. However I assume they have those outlets are there for a reason, i.e. to plug in hedge clippers or something like that, so turning it off doesn't make sense. On the other hand it's possible that who ever wired the lamp posts screwed up and because they don't actually use the outlets they never noticed.

The outlets could have been originally set up for outdoor lighting or Christmas lights that would turn off at dawn.
 

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Technically the code requires GFI protection and not necessarily GFCI on outdoor receptacles. GFCI implies Class A 5mA personal protection. To satisfy the code and equipment level protection GFI would be sufficient. Many equipment level GFI breakers have a 30mA trip.
GFI and GFCI generally mean the same thing. The missing C stands for "circuit" and has no bearing on the class of protection. Typically anything used to protect human life will have a 5mA trip, this includes mandatory protection of all 120v receptacles in wet locations. 30mA protection is rarely seen in residential use. A more common use for 30mA would be something like a large submersible pump for a pond fountain.

EVSE's don't need GFI's outlets or GFI breakers. IMO, it's safer not to use one for that purpose.
Part of the function of the EVSE is to act as a GFCI. That being said, it's mandatory for outdoor receptacles to have GFCI protection regardless of whether the device you plug into it also has GFCI protection.
 

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As others have said, they won't fry them but will trip them.

The reason they tend to trip them, is because the EVSE's built in GFI sensing does produce a tiny bit of resistance between neutral and ground, to make sure they are bonded correctly. The upstream GFI senses this and trips.

If you have an upstream GFI outlet that isn't tripping with an EVSE plugged into it, it's probably 10+ years old and needs to be replaced, as it is no longer working correctly.
 

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The reason they tend to trip them, is because the EVSE's built in GFI sensing does produce a tiny bit of resistance between neutral and ground, to make sure they are bonded correctly. The upstream GFI senses this and trips.
I've plugged into dozens of GFCIs and I've never experienced a nuisance trip. The EVSE should not be leaking more than 3mA to ground and thus should not be causing nuisance trips.

In theory one could connect a dozen GFCIs together in series and plug in an appliance to the last one with no problems whatsoever. The issue arises when one presses the test button on the last device in the chain: any one of the GFCIs can trip, more than one can trip, there's no predicable way to know which one will trip first. In practical use this is an annoyance because "this isn't tripped, what gives?" and the actual tripped device upstream is hidden behind a fridge or some equally confusing location.

If you have an upstream GFI outlet that isn't tripping with an EVSE plugged into it, it's probably 10+ years old and needs to be replaced, as it is no longer working correctly.
There's absolutely no reason to replace a GFCI for that reason. The only reason to replace a GFCI is when it does not trip when the test button on the actual device is pressed, or if it will not reset properly. The plug-in testers that test GFCIs are a valid test 95% of the time, however there are some circumstances when they won't trip the GFCI even though it is perfect working order (one being an ungrounded 2-prong receptacle changed to 3-prong GFCI, which is a code-compliant method) Per the manufacturers and NFPA, the only acceptable test method for a GFCI breaker or receptacle is the button on the device itself.
 

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If you have an upstream GFI outlet that isn't tripping with an EVSE plugged into it, it's probably 10+ years old and needs to be replaced, as it is no longer working correctly.
Uh, I installed a brand new GFI outlet when I bought my Volt a year or so ago, and it has never tripped. I very much doubt that GM would provide an EVSE that trips any functional GFI, as many people are likely to plug the EVSE into an outdoor or garage outlet - both of which should be GFI protected in all cases except electrical installations older than a few decades.
 

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Agreed. My landlord installed an external GFI socket for me when I moved in last year. It has never tripped. I only use the supplied EVSE.
 
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