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Wall Charger Fail - Any suggestions?

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  • January 25, 2021 5:11 PM
    Reply # 10032408 on 9433353

    Update and lessons learned: I checked the connections in my Gen 1 charger.  One was nice and tight.  I got about 15 degrees of turn on one.  I got about 280 degrees of turn on the other hot line.  I checked the voltage and put the charger back together and turned the power on.  Then I couldn’t get the business end of the hookup cable to seat into the car.  Just got the orange ring around the chargeport, and simply could not push the head into the port.  Tried unsuccessfully to reach anyone at Tesla.  Then I got smart and pushed the red reset button on the left side of the charger.  After that, the head went right into the port and the port lighted up “green”.  It charges like it should so is well.  I got lucky.

    I did read the installation instructions for the Gen 3 charger and agree 100% with Richard about how slick the wiring hookup is , but I do like the simplicity of the Gen 1 physical dip switches. Also I really like the 24 foot cord that I have and Gen 3’s long cord version is only 18 feet.  So if anyone wants to give away a working Gen 1 or 2, let me know.

    And if anyone else has the “overheating “ message, check that your connections are still nice and tight.  They actually can loosen up over time.

  • January 23, 2021 9:18 AM
    Reply # 9966156 on 9433353

    Charging is approx 10 miles per charging hour slower with Tesla 240V adapter as compared to the Tesla wall connector.

  • January 22, 2021 4:40 PM
    Reply # 9941611 on 9433353

    This is timely for me.  My 2017 or 18 wall charger is on the blink.  I installed it with bottom entry, used the short wires that Tesla provided for top entry because could not buy ferrules (I think Tesla should have provided them). I ran these short wires to a nearby junction box where I used the bolt type of connectors to attach them to the 6 gauge copper.

    When it stops snowing (my charger is outdoors) I will see whether the set screws are still tight.  I used lots of silicone calk where I ran the cord up into the unit.  

    If that doesn't fix it, and if nothing appears melted, is there a repair possibility?  Or is charging just as fast if I put in a 240 volt outlet and use that instead of the Tesla charger?  

    The symptoms were that the car said something about overheating, and the charger and car kept clicking back and forth at each other.



       

  • January 11, 2021 9:37 PM
    Reply # 9850286 on 9433353

    Just an update - and a thank you for all the weighing-in on this forum. It's an awesome resource. Tesla replaced my wall charger with virtually no questions asked. I had provided the picture of the melted unit along with the invoice from the electrician who installed it. One phone call, proof of purchase and verification of the serial number was all it took. For the record, I had purchased the unit from Tesla directly. They provided a shipping label for the old and within days of shipping it, I had a new one at my door.  I fully expected the replacement to be the Gen3, but it looks identical to the original one. Is there any obvious distinction or is it all internal? I invited the same electrician to take a look and he agreed it seemed identical. I shared all the input here on this thread and he installed it with special attention to making a good connection and maneuvering the wires in between tightening to give extra torque. Plan to have him return in a few months to check the connection. So far, working fine. Should I be doing anything more? For the record, I used the wall cord for charging while waiting for the replacement. As long as I plugged-in early in evening, by morning, I had plenty charge to get around. 

  • December 21, 2020 10:33 AM
    Reply # 9444110 on 9443032
    Richard Settembre wrote:

    Gary, 

    The bottom feed is more direct and consequently easier than rear feed. But I agree, with power off and locked and tagged out, check the tightness of the screws. The green connector, I am pretty sure, has a different type of wire retention system.

    Tesla must have hired new people to design the new wall unit.  The  Gen 3 wall unit looks totally superior , the whole power entry concept, hardware, and approach seems more professional.  


    Richard,

    I checked it over yesterday, and to my surprise, I was easily able to put another 1/2-3/4 turn on the screws.  I also used an inspection mirror and flashlight to insure that all wire strands were in the lugs (they were). Otherwise, you have to stand on your head to see in there.  

    I would certainly recommend that the connections be checked after a few months on use.

    Just an aside, I bought this new in-box unit from an Albany area TOCNYS member back in October.  I am running it at 40 amps on a 50 amp circuit, which equates to a charge rate of 37 mph.  I'm happy with the unit even though it is not a must have accessory.  

    Last modified: December 21, 2020 10:34 AM | Gary Schussler
  • December 20, 2020 7:55 PM
    Reply # 9443032 on 9433353

    Gary, 

    The bottom feed is more direct and consequently easier than rear feed. But I agree, with power off and locked and tagged out, check the tightness of the screws. The green connector, I am pretty sure, has a different type of wire retention system.

    Tesla must have hired new people to design the new wall unit.  The  Gen 3 wall unit looks totally superior , the whole power entry concept, hardware, and approach seems more professional.  


  • December 19, 2020 10:55 AM
    Reply # 9440684 on 9433353

    You guys have me wondering about my recent install of a Gen 2 wall connector in my garage. 

    I used the 6 gauge wire and did a bottom feed.  I do remember fitting the wire into the lugs.  It's always somewhat difficult with heavy gauge wire, but I do remember checking that the wires were all the way in the lugs. The unit has been working OK for the past 2 months, but with limited driving, I have charged less than a dozen times.

    But, I think I'll pull the cover and take a look, and recheck the lugs.  I'd like to avoid any problems.

  • December 17, 2020 5:51 PM
    Reply # 9437758 on 9433353

    Thanks Mike.  

    Edit 12/20/20:  Fortunately in the 2 years that have passed from the time the original wall units were sold, they must have hired a very competent team to do a proper job on the wall unit design. All the  problems/issues mentioned in this thread go away with the Gen3 with a properly designed wire box. This solves all the problems.  Progress!  My comments below are based on my experience with the first generation wall unit.  If anyone is looking to buy a wall unit and gets a bargain on a Generation 1 version...do yourself a favor and buy the Gen 3.

    If you don't have a Generation 1 then this thread does not apply to you. This advice is not relevant to the new Generation 3 Wall unit which is superior in every way. (Hint: if you are in the market for a wall unit, don't buy a first generation one...even accept a free one.)

    Top level, the Gen 1 in my experience is not durable, mine broke by simply bumping into it while exiting my Tesla.   The plastic tabs that hold it together snapped and later in the middle of the night, the front of the unit fell away from the part that is screwed to the wall...thus leaving exposed 240 volt wires. This was using the top mount housing they provide in the box. 

    I am following my earlier response with this one to hopefully help customers or service providers who are dealing with the 1st Generatioun Tesla wall unit ( I bought mine early 2019) avoid any safety related problems with the installation and to make the job of installing easier, faster, and less frustrating... but primarily safer and 100% reliable.  Just trying to remove easy mistakes and tripping factors for professionals and qualified non professionals.  

    The 6AWG 7 strand that most people might probably use to power the Tesla Wall Connector ( it is not a charger... the charger is in the car) works well with the  Top entry bracket (#2) on pg.13 of the installation instructions since is a terminal block (the black one in the picture) is heavy duty, is designed to receive such heavy gage wire without ferrules, and the wire feeds straight down directly into the holes with no extreme bending. You can clearly see the connection and apply correct torque to the retaining clamp screws with no problem.

    Conversely, the problem connection is at the green terminal block (see pic)  in the Wall connector (#1) itself which has 2 "not visible" holes where the wire has to make a sharp over-90 degree bend upwards and into the terminal block from the underside. It is mounted to a circuit board PCB.  It has square holes and works great with the square ferrules that are on the flexible wires Tesla uses. The ferrules easily slip all the way up into the holes smoothly, easily, and completely. Plus, the retention screws bite securely into the ferrule (see pic)  to keep it from slipping down and out as did the original posters 6 gage 7-strand springy wire.  

    Without a small inspection mirror you will not see what is fighting you....the ledge of the square holes of the green terminal block is shielded by a square skirt at the bottom entry point of this green terminal block.  Just one strand of the problem wire can easily splay out from the other 6, and snag on the ledge which is not visible. Push as hard as you can and the other remaining 6 conductors will not go into the hole. 

    For rear  entry installations the wire always comes into the Wall Connector from the rear and anyone who has installed one will attest to the fact that it is not easy to push 7 strand 6awg with a tight over-90 degree bend up into the holes of the green connector. It either catches on the ledge of this little hole or hits the clamp in the hole, either case prevents it from going in...and you won't know why. 

    Tesla uses very fine 1,666 strand flexible wire and is terminated with special Ferrules to connect the Top Entry Bracket ( #2)  on  pg.13,  to Wall Connector (#1) pg.13, because if they didn't do this,  #2 and #3 would not be possible to connect together safely and easily. 

    My summary is : Top entry is always a bad idea since the top entry housing is not robust enough to withstand an accidental bump because the 4 little tabs that hold it all together are so thin and tiny are weak.  Find a way to do bottom entry.  Because rear entry is extremely hard to do for reasons explained in this post.

    For top entry : 6AWG 7 Strand works because it does not have to bend and the terminal  block is designed for this type of wire. From the 2 pics attached you can see one terminal block (black) is different than the green circuit board one (green).  Plus you can see everything come together as in the pic with the black terminal block.  However...don't accidently bump this arrangement...and for that reason I would not use this option.

    For rear entry and bottom entry  the robust metal bracket Tesla provides is much stronger...but I would not use it for Rear wire entry.

    The problem is using it for rear wire entry. Bending 6AWG is which is  stiff and springy makes rear feed difficult at best. (  Difficult to push into a square hole, with an invisible ledge, shielded by a square plastic enclosure on a connector that was designed for square ferrules is time consuming and not always successful.  )

    If I were to install my wall mount from the beginning, here is what I would do differently.

    Throw away the Top entry bracket but keep the heavy duty terminal block and use it in a separate junction with 10070 Lead Wire, 1666 strand which will connect to the Wall unit.  Using this terminal block to do a rear or bottom entry will be easier in the long run.

    To store the loops of the heavy charger cable use a cable organizer to take the weight off the clamp in the wall unit.  These are known to become loose and the cable can pull out of the bottom of the wall connector. See pic showing cable organizer.

    Another issue I had with the top entry bracket is that it  positions  the wall unit further from the wall which takes up valuable space between the car and the wall that I have to walk through.  Plus, if you do bump it trying to squeeze through, the 4 thin plastic tabs of the top entry bracket that hold the whole thing together will snap.  Thicker metal tabs are part of the Metal Low Profile bracket (#3) on pg13. These will not snap, and there will be less opportunity to bump the Wall unit. Much  safer installation because if the cheesy plastic tabs snap, the unit will fall open and expose people to 240VAC. 

     

    If you still want to use a cheap or free Gen 1 wall unit then use flexible wire to enter the unit from the bottom.  Transition from 6AWG to 4AWG flexible wire  (terminated with a proper Tesla-like ferrule)   at a nearby junction box.  I would do this connection in a junction box and the length of flexible 4AWG UL 10070 Lead Wire, 1666 strand with same type of ferrules would easily enter the  wall unit, make the bend, and easily connect to the green terminal block  with no great stress on the board mounted connector.   If the wire is coming from the wall, then have it exit the wall below the wall unit and then run it up into the bottom of the unit thus bypassing the problems with rear entry.

    None of these problems exist with the Gen 3 setup.

    Those couple of extra steps will reduce time on the job and yield a safer job with no frustration and yield a 100 % reliable installation. 100% tight, reliable, safe connection at the green terminal block EVERY time.   

    These were my findings.



     

    3 files
    Last modified: December 22, 2020 1:50 PM | Richard Settembre
  • December 17, 2020 10:29 AM
    Reply # 9436758 on 9433353

    Based on the OP picture, I believe Rich's diagnosis is correct.  Specifically, my guess is that the wire on the left was not inserted properly/fully into the terminal before the screw was tightened, and probably missed the clamp mechanism altogether.  It's a fairly easy mistake to make, and to miss, with this design, particularly in a rear-entry scenario.  However, it seems to me just as easy a mistake to make even if using ferrules. 

    At any rate, the problem is specific to the Gen2 model Wall Connector, discontinued about January, 2020.  The terminal design on the Gen3 is much improved -- although that unit also has overheating problems in some cases, for completely different reasons. 

    [We are certified TWC installers, and have installed @150-200 units so far, including @50+ Gen3.]


    Last modified: December 18, 2020 5:07 PM | Mike Williams
  • December 16, 2020 10:18 AM
    Reply # 9434138 on 9433353

    Thanks, guys. Louie and I will set out on the claim adventure and see where we get. Did buy the unit from Tesla so that won't be an issue, however I suspect there will be others, like electrician not using ferrules as Rich pointed out. We used a licensed professional, but this stuff is all new for so many. Even the best of the best can be tested. At the end of the day, we need a new wall charger - whether we pay or Tesla replaces under warranty. Wondering who I can depend on to install it correctly. I'm not inclined to use the same electrician even though we like him very much and he is eager to do right by us. Possibly he can get a tutor?

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