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Discussion Starter #21
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.
I watched the electrician install new breakers in the breaker box, string the cable, install a a new breaker right before the SPX Voltec, and then connect it up. As to measuring the actual amount of power, I asked Dianne at Dominion if they can measure that for me. Maybe I should have my electrician do that, huh?

#565
 

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Discussion Starter #22
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.
The citizens association of my townhouse community laughed me out of the meeting when I asked about putting in my own generator.....
 

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I watched the electrician install new breakers in the breaker box, string the cable, install a a new breaker right before the SPX Voltec, and then connect it up. As to measuring the actual amount of power, I asked Dianne at Dominion if they can measure that for me. Maybe I should have my electrician do that, huh?

#565
Buy yourself an electric meter. You CAN do this. Home Depot here carries one that is completely automatic. Highly recommend. You don't have select for voltage or resistance or range or nothing. Just turn it on, touch the probes to appropriate location and it does the rest. They also have an auto model with with amp probe so you can monitor how much juice is being pulled down You have to get access to an individual wire for it to work though. You can't do it if it is still cabled.

Problem with bringing the electrician out is...what if there is no problem when he comes?

Another option is to buy a UPS to protect your computers or TV or whatever electronics and get one with a nice digital display so you can see what your power is doing. The beauty of this is it protects your gear and you can easily monitor the voltage supply at all times.

Still I would get a meter. Its not rocket science.

Get an inductive meter to use in conjunction with the meter with probes.

Kill the power to the EVSE. Confirm power out with inductive. Remove cover. turn power back on. Put probes on L1 and ground. Then L2 and ground. Ideally we would like see to 120v on each.

THe 120v charger which I use at work has only tripped one time. It is on an outlet that has a fridge on the same circuit. And it was warm enough that day that the fridge actually had to come on. I am sure that was what tripped it.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
So the Volt Advisors spent a goodly amount of time talking with me today. They (there were two of them) say that the SPX Voltec 240 volt unit has some built in diagnostics. If it is getting too much power, it will shut down to protect the car. When it suddenly shuts down, the car thinks something is wrong internal to the car and starts popping error codes. The new SPX unit should be here on Monday and their technician should come over at some point during the week. Hopefully will have more details then.

I am going to follow up on Marc's recommendations. However, I keep having visions of Emmett Brown in Back to the Future trying to hook up the electrical line when the lightning strikes the tower......

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from another thread "If I am correct, then the control module shuts the rectifer down if the voltage exceeds +/- 12 volts from nominal. "

120v is nominal... so 108 or 132 and it shuts down.
 

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Still I would get a meter. Its not rocket science.

Get an inductive meter to use in conjunction with the meter with probes.

Kill the power to the EVSE. Confirm power out with inductive. Remove cover. turn power back on. Put probes on L1 and ground. Then L2 and ground. Ideally we would like see to 120v on each.
Although electrical work isn't rocket science, it can still hurt you. At the very least be sure to wear safety glasses. Other protective equipment like gloves and Nomex sleeves could come in handy to protect from an electrical arc.

WVhybrid
 

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Discussion Starter #27
from another thread "If I am correct, then the control module shuts the rectifer down if the voltage exceeds +/- 12 volts from nominal. "

120v is nominal... so 108 or 132 and it shuts down.
Or in my case, I presume it would be 228 or 252? (Since I have the 240 volt SPX unit.)
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Although electrical work isn't rocket science, it can still hurt you. At the very least be sure to wear safety glasses. Other protective equipment like gloves and Nomex sleeves could come in handy to protect from an electrical arc.

WVhybrid
Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Most electrical equipment is rated for plus or minus 10% of nominal voltage (some even go to +/- 15% but that is less common and won't be part of the following). For a 120V system that would of course be +/- 12V, for a 240V system that would be +/- 24V. Consequently for your 240V charger the acceptable range for your system is likely to be 216V to 264V.
As regards safety equipment, good safety equipment is always a smart idea. For the professionals, NFPA 70E which deals with electrical safety in the workplace, (a part of which is an Arc Flash event worst case scenario where two wires of different phasing are bolted together and then energized) require nothing fancier than cotton clothing for 240V systems to protect against third degree burns (you may want to protect yourself more). Nomex is of course superior than just straight cotton. Synthetic blend clothing should be avoided when working with electricity.
As a general added safety precaution when working on electrical gear you should remove metal, i.e. rings, watches, necklaces, especially rings as it's pretty nasty when a finger is de-gloved of its skin.
Of course the biggest part of safety is if you don't feel comfortable performing the work, then don't, regardless of what others say. Your trusted electrician probably wouldn't mind training you for the small simple stuff if you asked.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Most electrical equipment is rated for plus or minus 10% of nominal voltage (some even go to +/- 15% but that is less common and won't be part of the following). For a 120V system that would of course be +/- 12V, for a 240V system that would be +/- 24V. Consequently for your 240V charger the acceptable range for your system is likely to be 216V to 264V.
As regards safety equipment, good safety equipment is always a smart idea. For the professionals, NFPA 70E which deals with electrical safety in the workplace, (a part of which is an Arc Flash event worst case scenario where two wires of different phasing are bolted together and then energized) require nothing fancier than cotton clothing for 240V systems to protect against third degree burns (you may want to protect yourself more). Nomex is of course superior than just straight cotton. Synthetic blend clothing should be avoided when working with electricity.
As a general added safety precaution when working on electrical gear you should remove metal, i.e. rings, watches, necklaces, especially rings as it's pretty nasty when a finger is de-gloved of its skin.
Of course the biggest part of safety is if you don't feel comfortable performing the work, then don't, regardless of what others say. Your trusted electrician probably wouldn't mind training you for the small simple stuff if you asked.
Excellent advice! Thank you. I really do believe that the problems I am intermittently having are caused by power surges or sags that are outside the =/- boundaries of the SPX device and/or the Volt itself. I am going to have a power filter installed for the whole house that deals with surges. Not much I can do about sags. I don't think I can afford an UPS farm big enough to cover that.

The power filter I am thinking of will give me a digital record of what the filter has experienced so I can use that with the local power company as documentation.


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Excellent advice! Thank you. I really do believe that the problems I am intermittently having are caused by power surges or sags that are outside the =/- boundaries of the SPX device and/or the Volt itself. I am going to have a power filter installed for the whole house that deals with surges. Not much I can do about sags. I don't think I can afford an UPS farm big enough to cover that.

The power filter I am thinking of will give me a digital record of what the filter has experienced so I can use that with the local power company as documentation.


#565
That sounds interesting. You got a make and model on that digital filter.

And yes, electricity can kill you... no question. But then so can walking up or down steps, if you don't watch what you are doing. But seriously if you aren't sure, getting the electrician to show you is a great idea. And there is no doubt tons of youtube stuff that can be watched to get general background.

It would be really nice to confirm the power at the j1772 male plug, but I don't think the Voltec 240 will send power to the plug until it has comm link.

And yes I know you have a 240v Voltec, but since I was recommending that you check each power leg seperately I was giving 10% off nominal for 120v. You could have one leg show 120, and the other show 100, but if you just check the two legs together you would show 220 and you would think you were ok, but actually you have a problem that you might not see unless you checked them seperately.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
So today, Bryan Duncan and his wife (of Front Royal Virginia) from Mr. Electric (a GM/SPX installer) came to my home. Just really fine people and very pleasant to work with. They have done over a dozen SPX Voltec installs so far. This is the second SPX replacement they have done - the first having just stopped working. Mine has been working intermittently.

They removed the original Voltec from my wall, double checked the wiring, GFI, etc. and found all had been properly installed by my Master Electrician. They checked the voltage from Virginia Dominion Power (243 volts). They tested everything they could think of and I ran through the list of things that have been suggested to me by others on this thread. The only conclusion was that something inside the SPX unit must be intermittently failing.

They installed the new SPX unit and tested it. We plugged it in the car and the car was happy. We tried a remote start for preconditioning and that worked fine. So, hopefully, this will end the problem with the SPX unit shutting off with flashing red lights.

I have had the Check Engine Light showing for five straight days usually based on p1e00 and p0d26. The most recent trouble code (p0d26 by itself) was from today per OnStar. The dealer was telling me that their understanding is that one of the reasons this code will pop up is if for 10 seconds or so the car is getting a power feed that does not fit in its operating tolerances. Anyway, they want me to charge the car for several days on this new charger to see if the code keeps popping up.

So, I will post what happens next....which is hopefully nothing except the CEL going away!

Thanks for all the help and assistance.

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Discussion Starter #33
That sounds interesting. You got a make and model on that digital filter.
What I had my eye on was the Telemetric TVM1 that sends signals to your computer or cell phone over a wireless network. However, as I look at it, I get the impression that it is designed for SCADA use, not home use....

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So what is happening with your 240v Voltec charger. Any more problems? In another post you reported that DVP came out and your power was significantly below nominal. Has that straightened out? Did you buy a UPS with a display? This is really a great easy way to keep track of supply to the house. I can fluctuate greatly with time of day and from day to day.

You know whenever the electrician or DVP show up, it looks great, but when they are not around it dips down. Unless you are poking around with a meter all the time you would never know.
 

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So what is happening with your 240v Voltec charger. Any more problems? In another post you reported that DVP came out and your power was significantly below nominal. Has that straightened out? Did you buy a UPS with a display? This is really a great easy way to keep track of supply to the house. I can fluctuate greatly with time of day and from day to day.

You know whenever the electrician or DVP show up, it looks great, but when they are not around it dips down. Unless you are poking around with a meter all the time you would never know.
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?6635-Check-engine-light-p0ac4/page4

DVP data showed a problem on the power coming to the house. Two more linemen came to the house and tore the meter box down. They found the neutral wire was not connected to anything, just hanging where it should be but not tightened down. The bolt that should have held it in place was cross threaded and was not even touching the wire. They fixed that and all has been well ever since. I am very impressed with the service they have given me - and SPX and GM!

Regards,

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Inside the charger there are 2 screw down terminals plus a ground. It would be pretty hard to mess up an installation. You strip the insulation from the wire, insert the wire into the screw down termonal, and tighten the screws.
 
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