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Discussion Starter #1
My Voltec charger worked great for about 3 weeks. Then, it began to act up. It first showed up at 5 a.m. one day when i open the garage to leave for work. No light was showing on the Volt dashboard but the Voltec was flashing two red lights. The Check Engine Light (CLE) was on. I reset the breaker, the red lights became green, and I plugged the Voltec back into the car. The light on the dash went yellow, then green, then off.

However, in contrast, the 120 volt charger in the Volt worked immediately. After charging for a while on 120, I tried the Voltec again and the car charged up just like normal. That process has repeated itself several times now. However, after the Voltec is unplugged for a while, the lights turn red and begin to flash.

SPX is sending me a new one. However, they want one of their electricians to uninstall the current one and check for faulty installation. I guess that is a possibility, but my installer is a long time licensed electrician and electric car buff. He has done the installations for local Chevy dealerships.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. If there was a "faulty" installation, SPX plans on charging me a hefty fee - about double what my electrician charged. I don't know enough to know the difference, but have great confidence in my electrician, whom I and my children have been using for years.

Anyone else have this kind of issue?

Regards,

#565
 

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My Voltec charger worked great for about 3 weeks. Then, it began to act up. It first showed up at 5 a.m. one day when i open the garage to leave for work. No light was showing on the Volt dashboard but the Voltec was flashing two red lights. The Check Engine Light (CLE) was on. I reset the breaker, the red lights became green, and I plugged the Voltec back into the car. The light on the dash went yellow, then green, then off.

However, in contrast, the 120 volt charger in the Volt worked immediately. After charging for a while on 120, I tried the Voltec again and the car charged up just like normal. That process has repeated itself several times now. However, after the Voltec is unplugged for a while, the lights turn red and begin to flash.

SPX is sending me a new one. However, they want one of their electricians to uninstall the current one and check for faulty installation. I guess that is a possibility, but my installer is a long time licensed electrician and electric car buff. He has done the installations for local Chevy dealerships.

It will be interesting to see how this unfolds. If there was a "faulty" installation, SPX plans on charging me a hefty fee - about double what my electrician charged. I don't know enough to know the difference, but have great confidence in my electrician, whom I and my children have been using for years.

Anyone else have this kind of issue?

Regards,

#565
How is this a "Voltec" (Volt drivetrain) problem?
 

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My guess is it's an issue with either the GFCI on the unit, or possibly an issue with the actual charger which is located inside the car. Are they paying to have their installer come out? I hope they aren't making you pay if it's still possible it's a problem with their unit. The only other possibility is bad wiring, but the fact that it seems to work fine and isn't tripping a breaker suggests everything is fine.
 

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The problem with just saying Voltec charger, which I do also, is that sometimes there is confusion between the Voltec 120v charger and the Voltec 220v.

It would be interesting to know what the CEL codes were. Did you happen to note those? Seems to me there was a thread about "charger" issues and CEL codes.

Also, out of curiosity did you happen notice if the charge cord itself was hot or warm? I've noted that my cord was warm and measured the temp at 108.5f, when the ambient air was 60f.
 

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My voltec charger stopped working after 3 weeks. No red lights, no green lights, no trigger flash light, no nothing. The 240 line going into the voltec is still live according to my el cheapo inductive sensor (sorry, don't know the technical name for it). SPX sent me an RMA document and presumably are mailing me a new one so my electrician can swap it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The problem with just saying Voltec charger, which I do also, is that sometimes there is confusion between the Voltec 120v charger and the Voltec 220v.

It would be interesting to know what the CEL codes were. Did you happen to note those? Seems to me there was a thread about "charger" issues and CEL codes.

Also, out of curiosity did you happen notice if the charge cord itself was hot or warm? I've noted that my cord was warm and measured the temp at 108.5f, when the ambient air was 60f.
CEL codes were P1E00 AND P0D26. The cord is not warm. My electrician came back to double check the installation and the GFI. All was installed as per the instructions that came with the SPX unit and conforms to local code.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My guess is it's an issue with either the GFCI on the unit, or possibly an issue with the actual charger which is located inside the car. Are they paying to have their installer come out? I hope they aren't making you pay if it's still possible it's a problem with their unit. The only other possibility is bad wiring, but the fact that it seems to work fine and isn't tripping a breaker suggests everything is fine.
My dealer agrees with you that it is either the SPX wall unit or the actual charger inside the car. My sense is that it must be the SPX unit since the 120v recharging unit that came with the car works just fine.

SPX is paying for their installer - UNLESS - they determine the unit has not been properly installed.

No breakers have ever tripped.
 

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First off I would have your electrician check it out first. Make sure your breaker is working properly and the two 120 wires are tight in both the breaker and the Voltec unit. If it is phasing, meaning that only one 120 leg is either feeding the unit or the connector that is plugged into the car is faulty and not making contact, you will get a fault light. Tell your electrician to check the resistance in the unit. It is a simple test that will tell you if you have a short or a contact problem in the unit that plugs into the car. Ask SPX what light signal you will get if the unit is phasing. If you need to talk to me directly, private message me and I'll give you my cell number.

Big Moe

Big Moe
 

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If I were you, I'd have your electrician present when the SPX tech is there validating your install.
 

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CEL codes were P1E00 AND P0D26. The cord is not warm. My electrician came back to double check the installation and the GFI. All was installed as per the instructions that came with the SPX unit and conforms to local code.
Google this site and those codes... seems like I recall reading a similar discussion...

site:gm-volt.com p1e00 p0d26

Also I would want to confirm that you are getting 240v. Inductive testers will show voltage down to the 20s. Decent meters are not expensive. I would pop the cover and put your probes on l1 and l2 and confirm you have 240v or within 10%.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Google this site and those codes... seems like I recall reading a similar discussion...

site:gm-volt.com p1e00 p0d26

Also I would want to confirm that you are getting 240v. Inductive testers will show voltage down to the 20s. Decent meters are not expensive. I would pop the cover and put your probes on l1 and l2 and confirm you have 240v or within 10%.
Hey thanks for the suggestion. As it turns out, in my conversations with the local power company, they are asking permission to install a second electric meter in our garage to measure the car's electrical power footprint. I am very pleased at this because at the same time they are gathering data for a special rate change for EV's. I have asked my contact there to also somehow test the power flow io be sure that it is within the necessary tolerances for the car.

Thanks!

#565
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
First off I would have your electrician check it out first. Make sure your breaker is working properly and the two 120 wires are tight in both the breaker and the Voltec unit. If it is phasing, meaning that only one 120 leg is either feeding the unit or the connector that is plugged into the car is faulty and not making contact, you will get a fault light. Tell your electrician to check the resistance in the unit. It is a simple test that will tell you if you have a short or a contact problem in the unit that plugs into the car. Ask SPX what light signal you will get if the unit is phasing. If you need to talk to me directly, private message me and I'll give you my cell number.

Big Moe

Big Moe
Thanks for the excellent guidance. As it happened, shortly after this problem appeared, our electrician came by to replace some light fixtures for the house and he was all over the SPX charger, double checking his work, power flow, etc. Your comment about phasing is a very good one and I am happy to say that was not the problem. However, my electrician did not test the plug-in nozzle from the SPX charger. We were so focused on the wall unit itself that we did not think of that!

In the mean time, SPX has contacted me to say that it is my choice - I can bring back my electrician or go with theirs. They will pay either way. I have asked them to send one of their electricians. I have every confidence in my guy...we have used him for years at our house and my kids houses. But we are all human, and if he made an error, well....once or twice I have too.

At the end of the day, I want the Volt to be a huge success that kicks off creation of domestic jobs for the car and the supporting infrastructure. I am presuming that everyone involved with the repair/replacement of the SPX charger is acting honorably and with the same motivation. With that presumption, the most important thing is to find out what the heck went wrong and make sure there is no recurrence. If that costs me extra, then I have made a contribution to the greater good.

And on a related note, I have been in contact with the Dominion Virginia Power company regarding my Volt. They plan to install a meter on my 240 volt line to track my usage and what kind of a drain the car will put on the local circuit on my street. I have asked them to also test the output from the local transformer to my house to be sure that it is within the tolerances the Volt and the SPX charging unit require. If I charge during their designated time window, it will cost me 32 cents to go from "empty" to "full" battery (I realize it is never empty or full).

Thanks again for the good ideas!

#565
 

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And on a related note, I have been in contact with the Dominion Virginia Power company regarding my Volt. They plan to install a meter on my 240 volt line to track my usage and what kind of a drain the car will put on the local circuit on my street. I have asked them to also test the output from the local transformer to my house to be sure that it is within the tolerances the Volt and the SPX charging unit require. If I charge during their designated time window, it will cost me 32 cents to go from "empty" to "full" battery (I realize it is never empty or full).

Thanks again for the good ideas!

#565

Now your talking. I am a Dominion Virginia Power customer as well. Any chance they are looking for more Volt users to get usage info from?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Now your talking. I am a Dominion Virginia Power customer as well. Any chance they are looking for more Volt users to get usage info from?
If I can figure out how to do it, I will send you the Dominion Power POC to your private mail box on this site. However, the answer to your question appears to be YES.....Here are excerpts from their 2/1 press release:

Electric vehicles have the potential to affect the company's infrastructure at all levels – transmission, distribution and generation. The pilot program enables the company to gauge potential impacts from electric vehicles. The pilot offers customers rate options structured with pricing levels to encourage charging outside of the peak demand periods of the day," Barker said.

Dominion believes the electric vehicle market has the potential to grow to 5 percent of all vehicle sales in Virginia, for a total of 86,000 electric vehicles, by 2020. If charged on peak, these vehicles could lead to an increase in the amount of peak-demand electricity that the company must supply that year by about 250 megawatts.

The two experimental rate options being offered to electric vehicle owners as a part of the proposed pilot are:

• Electric Vehicle only – This option is for charging the electric vehicle only. The company estimates that it would cost about 35 cents on this rate to charge an electric vehicle overnight with enough electricity for a typical 40-mile commute.

Customers electing the electric vehicle-only rate option will have a second meter installed to ensure they are billed on the special rate only for the energy used to charge their electric vehicle.

The company intends to partner with car dealerships and charger installation vendors to build customer awareness. Each rate option would be limited to 750 participants for a total of 1,500, who would have to stay enrolled for one year. The pilot would be available to customers within 90 days after SCC approval, and it would terminate Nov. 30, 2014.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It will be recalled, dear reader, that my SPX Voltec charging unit has been under suspicion of failure. It began with no flow of electricity to the car (the green/yellow dashboard charge light was dark) and the Voltec unit itself was showing red flashing lights. In addition, the Check Engine Light (CEL) codes appeared with 2 codes detected by OnStar (p1e00 and p0d26).

In consultation with my dealer and SPX, we tested the car with the 120 volt charger that came with the car and it worked just fine at my home and at the dealer. For that reason, the thinking was that the SPX Voltec unit must be defective rather than there being a fault in the Volt charging connection and related internal "stuff." However, for the last 3 days, our SPX Voltec charging unit has worked flawlessly. I am wondering now if there are problems with the power flow to the house that place it above or below the accepted limits for the car itself. If the car senses a power sag below a certain level, or a power surge above a certain level, does it stop accepting power for self protection?

Anybody know the answer?

Thanks,

#565
 

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Are you absolutely sure that there is nothing else on that breaker with your SPX charger?

What is your typical voltage at your house?

I was surprised to find that the voltage at my house frequently runs at 112v. I have backup system on the computer that displays voltage, and it was showing 112v most of the time...but I wasn't buying it. So one day I brought home a nice fluke meter, and by golly it was right. So if we are starting at 112v and then multiple appliances fire up at the "wrong" time we are easily dipping into the range where one could expect problems.


Need someone with a device that records the power characteristics and records events so it could be determined if the problem was with the supply to the EVSE, the EVSE itself or the vehicle.
 

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I know I have had lots of problems with Voltage in my house. The supply off the grid is great. I have had to tweak my generator several times because I have a lot of compressors. Usually if the power is cut and the generator kicks on, the compressors all kick in after the 5 minute timer and bam! So worth it, it's cause I went geothermal. It sounds crazy because I have a bunch of APC UPS in the house, and when the power goes out they all start beeping, then when things start to kick on and jerk the voltage a bit, they get angry at the voltage and switch to battery again causing a second wave of beeping.
 
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