shroud
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Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:47 am

Hello,

I have had a Nissan Leaf S 2015 for a month. The car originally comes from the USA, so it has Type 1 charging socket and the EVSE has a standard USA plug so it has always been used by previous owners with a plug adaptor to fit EU sockets. The car battery is of the 24 kWh type, and the charger inside the car is 6.6 kW.

I have noticed that the plug adaptor gets very hot particularly at the metal "pins" when I charge the car. I have always charged it from about 20% to 80-90% so typically it stays plugged into the wall socket for 4-5 hours. Yesterday for the first time, when I went to unplug it the EVSE signalled the "too high temperature" condition by flashing the READY and FAULT leds.

The yard wall socket was inspected (but perhaps not thoroughly so) by an electrician, who told me that it should be OK, and it has a 16A capacity. While reading the Leaf manual for double-checking the EVSE leds fault code, I also noticed that it says to use only sockets connected to a circuit breaker, while our socket is connected only to a 16A fuse.

My first thought is that maybe I should invest in a new EVSE that has the correct plug and no plug adapter needed. But is there such thing as a Nissan Leaf EVSE with EU plug on the wall side and Type 1 "gun" on the car side?

Alternatively, since the fault is unlikely to be the EVSE itself but just the plug, do you think it's possible to have the EVSE modified by a specialist so that only the plug is replaced (saving a lot of money)?

Apart from the EVSE/plug, I am thinking about having the wall socket replaced with a new one that is more robust and heavy-duty, just in case the problem is in there. Do you think that also a circuit-breaker is a must-have?

Please keep in mind that I know nothing about practical electricity, so I may well say very dumb things... I am just trying to figure out which of these things are absolutely necessary to protect ourselves from electrical or fire accidents, and which are just extra precautions but not absolutely necessary, so that I can prioritize these possible investments instead of doing them all at once (considering they won't be cheap).

Thank you!

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Stanton
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:37 am

shroud wrote:I have had a Nissan Leaf S 2015 for a month. The car originally comes from the USA, so it has Type 1 charging socket and the EVSE has a standard USA plug so it has always been used by previous owners with a plug adaptor to fit EU sockets. The car battery is of the 24 kWh type, and the charger inside the car is 6.6 kW.

The yard wall socket was inspected (but perhaps not thoroughly so) by an electrician, who told me that it should be OK, and it has a 16A capacity. While reading the Leaf manual for double-checking the EVSE leds fault code, I also noticed that it says to use only sockets connected to a circuit breaker, while our socket is connected only to a 16A fuse.


It would be helpful if you mentioned the make/model of your EVSE, but I doubt that is the issue. I have never had a "too high temperature" fault on my EVSE (modified Nissan/Panasonic) in 7 years; I use it on a dedicated 30A circuit. The fact is, the 6.6 kW charger can potentially draw much more than 16A (I have the old 3.3 kW version).

shroud wrote:Please keep in mind that I know nothing about practical electricity, so I may well say very dumb things... I am just trying to figure out which of these things are absolutely necessary to protect ourselves from electrical or fire accidents, and which are just extra precautions but not absolutely necessary, so that I can prioritize these possible investments instead of doing them all at once (considering they won't be cheap).


This statement alone is why I responded: I think you need to stop using your current circuit until it has been examined (and maybe replaced) by a certified electrician.
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smkettner
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:32 am

Biggest problem is the USA cord is made for 120 volts and an EU outlet is 230 volts. While some have done an aftermarket upgrade... if the label says 120 volts I would not use it on 230. This is not the same as plugging in your I-Pad with a universal voltage charger.

Yes get a locally sourced evse as it will plug in just fine.

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shroud
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:44 am

smkettner wrote:Yes get a locally sourced evse as it will plug in just fine.


Well I just went to the local Nissan dealer / certified maintenance, and unfortunately they told me that there is no guarantee that any EVSE will work, except the Nissan one the car came with, but which might not be safe. I wonder how the original owner managed to even import the car and pass the inspections if it's not safe!

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davewill
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:26 am

Type 2 to type 1 cables are definitely readily available. In fact, the early LEAFs came with Type 1 inlets worldwide (I actually thought they still did). You could probably find someone to put a new plug on the EVSE, but it might make more sense to get an entire new one. If you do decide to repair the one you have, make sure the folks who fix it know what they're doing. They need specific crimping equipment to do the job right.

Type 2 to type 1 cable for public charging:
https://evcables.co.uk/index.php/charge ... -blue.html

Home EVSE that works with above:
https://evcables.co.uk/index.php/charge ... er-t2.html

Type 2 to type 1 adapter for charging station that has an integrated cable:
https://evcables.co.uk/index.php/type-2 ... erter.html

Note: I have no idea whether the liked site is any good. It's just the first place my Google search found that stocked everything.
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shroud
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:29 am

Stanton wrote:It would be helpful if you mentioned the make/model of your EVSE, but I doubt that is the issue. I have never had a "too high temperature" fault on my EVSE (modified Nissan/Panasonic) in 7 years; I use it on a dedicated 30A circuit. The fact is, the 6.6 kW charger can potentially draw much more than 16A (I have the old 3.3 kW version).


It's the standard Nissan/Panasonic EVSE which comes with the car (photo from the web):

Image

However the plug itself is not the same as in the picture. It's a bigger, light-grey 90-degrees angled plug. I wonder if this could mean that it was replaced?

EDIT: Found a picture with a plug more similar to mine, although not exactly identical (mine seems even slightly larger, and it has 3 pins only, 1 round pin + 2 flat pins)

Image

Funny this picture has text explaining this is supposed to be a Leaf 2018 EVSE capable also of charging at 240V. But mine definitely has 120V written on the back.
Last edited by shroud on Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:37 am, edited 2 times in total.

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davewill
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:35 am

Yeah, there are a couple of folks that modify it for 240v use. If I had to guess, I'd say that the connections inside the handle are the problem, but it would be good to test the car on some other cable, maybe at the Nissan dealer in order to be sure the issue isn't the inlet itself.
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shroud
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 10:42 am

davewill wrote:Yeah, there are a couple of folks that modify it for 240v use. If I had to guess, I'd say that the connections inside the handle are the problem, but it would be good to test the car on some other cable, maybe at the Nissan dealer in order to be sure the issue isn't the inlet itself.


By "inside the handle" do you mean inside the "box"? Just to make it clear, the only part which is getting too hot seems to be the small adapter between the EVSE plug (which itself gets warm but not too hot) and the wall socket. The "box" (not sure how to call it) is very mildly warm at most. I am anyway charging outdoor at 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

What still puzzles me is, how the hell can this EVSE even work when plugged to 230V if it's supposed to be 120V? Shouldn't it have already burned a long time ago? And yet it's been used by previous owners for at least 2 years.

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davewill
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:32 am

shroud wrote:
davewill wrote:Yeah, there are a couple of folks that modify it for 240v use. If I had to guess, I'd say that the connections inside the handle are the problem, but it would be good to test the car on some other cable, maybe at the Nissan dealer in order to be sure the issue isn't the inlet itself.


By "inside the handle" do you mean inside the "box"? Just to make it clear, the only part which is getting too hot seems to be the small adapter between the EVSE plug (which itself gets warm but not too hot) and the wall socket. The "box" (not sure how to call it) is very mildly warm at most. I am anyway charging outdoor at 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

What still puzzles me is, how the hell can this EVSE even work when plugged to 230V if it's supposed to be 120V? Shouldn't it have already burned a long time ago? And yet it's been used by previous owners for at least 2 years.


As I said, there are some third parties that modify it for 240/230v use, which may have happened here. It may also be an EU model that was designed for 230v. You should be able to tell by looking at the sticker on the back.

When I said handle I mean the actual "nozzle" that you plug into the car, which is what I thought was getting hot. If it's getting hot at the wall socket, then you need to check the connections inside the wall socket and/or inside the wall plug. I believe the wall plug on that model has a temperature sensor which could be tripped either way. I'd start by taking the cover off the outlet and looking. If that is overheating, I'd expect to see some evidence of that, probably discoloration.
Last edited by davewill on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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powersurge
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Re: Overheating EVSE plug

Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:35 pm

Bring the EVSe to an electrician to see If you and plug the 240 volt plug into a 120 volt (or has it been modified in the box) EVSE box. Also, they can check how many volts are actually being given out at the end of the J1772 plug. Just get a new charger that is made for Europe man...

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