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Ingineer
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Re: HELP: OEM EVSE tripping outlet's GFCI

Mon May 02, 2011 7:29 pm

1. All outlets you use on the Nissan (Panasonic) EVSE, whether or not it's been upgraded by us must be grounded. If you plug the unit into a non-grounded outlet, the green "Ready" light on the EVSE will flash and it will not enable charging.

2. Many existing GFCI's can nuisance-trip when charging with the EVSE. This is due to a slight amount of leakage current in the car, and is not harmful, but obviously frustrating.

3. The EVSE already includes GFCI detection that is designed to avoid nuisance-tripping while charging. This means you do not need an external GFCI to preserve safety.

If you are temporarily charging, try to locate another outlet and try it. If you are attempting the use the location for ongoing charging, I'd either replace the GFCI with a newer one that's less sensitive, or (if code allows) remove it. You could install an additional outlet next to it that is not connected to the GFCI and only use it for the EVSE. If you have an upgraded EVSE, simply install an L6-20 outlet (even if connected only to 120v), which will prevent someone from accidentally using it and getting hurt should there be a ground fault.

Leviton is specifically marketing a GFCI outlet supposedly compatible with EVSE's. It's called the Evr-Green GFCI, and it even includes a light for nighttime use.

You do not need bother with an outlet tester, as the EVSE already tests the outlet when you plug it in.

If it is the extension cord that is tripping the GFCI, then it will likely trip even when the EVSE is not plugged in.

-Phil
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aqn
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Re: HELP: OEM EVSE tripping outlet's GFCI

Mon May 02, 2011 9:08 pm

Ingineer wrote:1. All outlets you use on the Nissan (Panasonic) EVSE, whether or not it's been upgraded by us must be grounded. If you plug the unit into a non-grounded outlet, the green "Ready" light on the EVSE will flash and it will not enable charging.
Good to know; I'm all set then, as I do get a steady green "Ready" light on both the GFCI outlets (which of course I can't use because of the "nuisance tripping") and on the washing machine's outlet (which was what I ended up using, temporarily).
Ingineer wrote:You do not need bother with an outlet tester, as the EVSE already tests the outlet when you plug it in.

If it is the extension cord that is tripping the GFCI, then it will likely trip even when the EVSE is not plugged in.
All good to know. Thanks.
Anna Nguyen

MikeD
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Re: HELP: OEM EVSE tripping outlet's GFCI

Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:01 am

Ingineer: You wrote "3. The EVSE already includes GFCI detection that is designed to avoid nuisance-tripping while charging. This means you do not need an external GFCI to preserve safety.".

With all due respect, I don't think this is correct.

What happens if while plugging the EVSE into an outlet a child is 1) touching grounded metal like a conduit with one hand and 2) touches the narrow (hot) prong with a finger from the other hand? [Note the EVSE's instructions for use reads "Never let a child handle or use it. Keep children away when in use." -- Of course all children mind their parents...]. Doesn't it matter to the child's parents whether or not the outlet is GFCI protected or not?

Anyone else care to comment?

MikeD
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Re: HELP: OEM EVSE tripping outlet's GFCI

Fri Nov 08, 2013 1:49 pm

One other issue worth mentioning is the current "trip level" of the GFCI device. Residential GFCI breakers and receptacles are typically around 5ma, whereas the trip devices in EVSEs that I have seen specifications for are around 17.5ma -- that is a significant difference. The latter higher trip level is designed to help prevent ventricular fibrillation of the heart, but is not low enough to prevent other significant ill effects that the former trip level is designed to prevent.

It is not clear what was causing the OP's tripping problems, but it appears from the scarcity of complaints that I have noticed on this forum that most people do not have such problems with their portable EVSE.

I STRONGLY recommend to anyone with a portable EVSE that they use a GFCI protected circuit if at all possible. Or better yet invest in a direct wired permanently mounted EVSE for normal day-to-day charging rather than depend solely on a less robust portable.

DaveinOlyWA
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Re: HELP: OEM EVSE tripping outlet's GFCI

Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:55 am

MikeD wrote:One other issue worth mentioning is the current "trip level" of the GFCI device. Residential GFCI breakers and receptacles are typically around 5ma, whereas the trip devices in EVSEs that I have seen specifications for are around 17.5ma -- that is a significant difference. The latter higher trip level is designed to help prevent ventricular fibrillation of the heart, but is not low enough to prevent other significant ill effects that the former trip level is designed to prevent.

It is not clear what was causing the OP's tripping problems, but it appears from the scarcity of complaints that I have noticed on this forum that most people do not have such problems with their portable EVSE.

I STRONGLY recommend to anyone with a portable EVSE that they use a GFCI protected circuit if at all possible. Or better yet invest in a direct wired permanently mounted EVSE for normal day-to-day charging rather than depend solely on a less robust portable.
on my install outside, a GCFI 240 volt circuit breaker is required by code here and trust me; at $129 verses $15.99 for a standard 240 volt breaker, I only did it because I had to
2011 SL; 44,598 mi, 87% SOH. 2013 S; 44,840 mi, 91% SOH. 2016 S30; 29,413 mi, 99% SOH. 2018 S; 25,185 mi, SOH 92.23%. 2019 S Plus; 3058.5 mi, 99.02% SOH
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