GFI tripping and warm?????
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Thread: GFI tripping and warm?????

  1. #21
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    You should be charging your Volt on the 8 amp setting if you also have a fridge plugged into the same outlet.

  2. #22
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    Mar 2012
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    Let me circle back and try and answer some of the questions posed in numerous replies.

    1. Originally since I bought my 2012 Volt I had both the Volt and a beer fridge running on the same circuit in my garage. DUMB.

    2. Everything ran fine for 7 months, but early in Nov the car horn started beeping late one evening and that tripped the breaker in the main panel. I did notice the GFI in the garage was warm but not HOT. So I pressed on.

    3. Yesterday the car tripped the main breaker a second time, I reset I and inspected the charger, cord and the wall outlets in my garage. Again the GFI was warm, but not HOT. When it tripped again I decided to pull the GFI and you saw what it looked like in one of the photo's I posted. Hence this post.

    4. Where am I now/today.

    A. I discovered my garage door openers are on a circuit all by themselves. I threw the breaker in the main panel and no other outlets are one it, so I bought a short 6 foot heavy duty extension cord to connect the Volt's charger to one of the garage door openers outlets in the ceiling.

    B. The fridge is on the wall outlets in the garage that I originally had the Volt charing from, to test my theory I threw the breaker on the main panel and the only thing on this circuit are the outside outlets and the 5 wall outlets in the garage. The fridge is now on this circuit all by itself, unless I plug something into one of the outlets.

    C. I did switch the charger to the lower setting (8 amps) for the time being. The longer charging times should have little impact on my driving routine.

    We are going to be gone on a cruise attending my daughters wedding and will be back on Dec 15th. At that time I'll start getting estimates on dedicated 120V and 240V outlet(s) to future proof my garage since we are considering adding either a second Volt or Cadillac ELR.

    So that's how things stand righ now.

    Thanks to everyone that replied and offered up all their expertise and advice. I/WE learned far more about electricity and the Volt than I had hoped. I hope other Volt owners can benefit from this thread.

    Cheers
    Last edited by BAZINGA; 12-02-2012 at 01:02 PM.
    Tom
    USAF Retired
    My garage
    2014 Lime Rock Green Stingray
    2013 Cyber Gray Volt
    Best EV Range 54.x miles (more than once)

  3. #23
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    First of all, glad you found the outlet problem. That could have been a disaster. Great you found it before anything untoward happened!

    I think you're in good shape Tom. It seems you have two issues. One is the burned GFCI and the other is having both the fridge and the Volt on the same circuit.

    I suspect that the burned GFCI is the result of the backstap connections. Lots of issues with these. They can work just fine -- they are UL approved -- but sometimes there are issues if people are working fast and there are lots of possible points of failure. A good quality outlet and side-wrapping the wired should fix this, as has been suggested. I also wonder if you need a GFCI. The EVSE has a built in GFCI.

    Having the garage door opener and the Volt EVSE on the same circuit should not be an issue. The garage door opener is quite different than the fridge. The chances of having both the EVSE and the garage door running are probably very low, even they are it won't be for a very long time. Consequently if you want to keep the other garage outlets "EV Free" the cheapest solution would be to extend the garage door outlet to a second outlet for the Volt. That should be very easy to do. (That's what I did BTW).

    Just as a note on the fridge: Older refrigerators are very inefficient and it can be very expensive to run them. Very expensive. The thing may be costing you $500/year, especially if the garage gets hot in the summer. If you do get rid of it you may see your electric bill drop.

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  5. #24
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    In the NEC, permanent loads (like garage door openers) do not require GFI.

    I charge my Volt from my garage door circuit (via a heavy-duty extension cord to the overhead outlet). The trick is not to have both loads on at the same time. I open the garage door twice a day: In the morning (when the Volt is fully charged and not drawing much current), and in the evening when I come home (when the Volt is not plugged in).

    I agree with the consensus that the burned outlet problem was likely a cycle of resistive heating, corrosion, more resistive heating, more corrosion, etc. due to the through-hole / lazy-man's connection to the outlet. Screwing the wires down should prevent a recurrence. After some scary events, I went through every outlet in my house and replaced the cheap junk with spec grade outlets, and I screwed all of the wires down. A few bucks of savings is not worth a fire.

    Also, please do not put a 20 A GFI outlet behind a 15 A circuit. The 20 A outlet allows the "T" connectors from 20 A-rated loads to be plugged in. While the 15 A circuit breaker will theoretically trip under 20 A load, why risk a fire (which wouldn't be covered by insurance due to the code violation) due to overheated 14-gage wiring behind the wall?

  6. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rudiger View Post
    Looks like a good example of why GM went with the 8A charger default for 2013 and pretty much wipes out any chance of GM altering the new 2013 charger/software to stop automatically defaulting to 8A everytime.

    Hell, maybe next year, they'll go to a 4A default so there's absolutely, positively, no chance that anyone will ever sue GM because they burned down their house when they plugged in their Volt charger (even though the issue had nothing to with the Volt's charger).
    I worry about that also. GM could satisfy their lawyers by not recommending plugging the car in at all, but at some point, they need to consider customer satisfaction. Having to configure the charging mode *every* day is a burr under many customers' saddles. In my opinion, a good compromise would be the following:
    * 120V charging defaults to 8A / slow charging.
    * Once the customer sets it to 12A / fast charging, it stays that way until either the customer changes it back, or charging is interrupted unintentionally (i.e., presuming a popped circuit breaker).
    * If they wanted to get fancy, they could make it location-aware (using cellular tower triangulation and/or GPS) such that the fast charge setting would remain in effect until the customer sets it back to 8A, charging is interrupted, *or* the car is in a new location.
    Last edited by Bob G; 12-02-2012 at 05:14 PM. Reason: tpyos

  7. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob G View Post
    In the NEC, permanent loads (like garage door openers) do not require GFI.
    No big deal but I think that garage door openers are now (as of 2011) required to be GFCI protected.

  8. #27
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    "ell, maybe next year, they'll go to a 4A default "

    actually according to old posts : 6 amps is as low as the current in car charger will go via the pilot pin.
    -----

    I charger my volt in a 120 volt circuit shared with 6 other garage door openers each with their own socket but same breaker. I do use 8 amps as once in the last year three people opened at the same time when I was using 12 amps.
    2012 RED Volt VIN:#C-8860 - Premium Leather Seats Jet Black with Dark Trim, Rear Camera & Park Assist, Nav
    09/29/2011 Ordered -- 11/15/2011 took it home

  9. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonC View Post
    No big deal but I think that garage door openers are now (as of 2011) required to be GFCI protected.
    Thanks for the update!

  10. #29
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    FYI my garage door openers are not on a GFI, not sure how that got into this thread. It was the wall outlets installed in the walls that are GFI protected and that GFI was fried.
    Tom
    USAF Retired
    My garage
    2014 Lime Rock Green Stingray
    2013 Cyber Gray Volt
    Best EV Range 54.x miles (more than once)

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  12. #30
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    My GFI trips about 20% of the time when I plug in the Volt for a 110 low amp charge, just like when I plug in power tools outside to the garage 15 amp circuit. It seems like there is a static issue or something when I push the plug in. Now when I plug the connector into the Volt, I keep the button held down for 5 seconds before I release (give time for any grounding or static electricity to dissipate or something). This seems to work and when I do this and I don't trip the GFI. However, I've only been doing this for about a week, so time will tell. I do have a freezer in the garage and can hear when it is running. When I do trip the GFI, it doesn't seem to matter if the freezer is running or not. So I've been playing this game for about 2 months since I bought the Volt. This would be very annoying to some people, but it's no big deal to me.
    Ralph7
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    (previously owned a 2013 Volt with exactly the same options and color - drove it 20,100 miles)

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