Tesla Model Y owner’s charging nightmare analyzed and solved

The Model Y owner asked for help on Facebook, and he got it.

When Dylan, a Tesla Model Y owner, sought help in a Facebook group I manage, I saw it as a great opportunity to open a discussion about the safety of home charging equipment.

I contacted Dylan and asked him if he would let me make a video of me diagnosing the problems and then correcting them. For his participation, I would make the necessary repairs to allow him to safely charge his car again for free. Dylan agreed, and I set the wheels in motion with the goal of getting it done in less than 10 days.

Dylan’s Tesla Wall Connector stopped working when the wiring in the disconnect box that supplied power to the charger melted.

I then called Qmerit, the company that sponsors my YouTube channel, State Of Charge, and asked them to contact one of their electric companies in the San Antonio, Texas area and schedule them to do Dylan’s as soon as possible. system to be repaired.

Not only did they do that, but Qmerit offered to cover the entire cost of the repair, which I was grateful for. We were able to have the repair done on February 12, nine days after Dylan posted the call for help on Facebook.

I flew into San Antonio on the morning of the 12th and met Matt Trout from Qmerit at the airport. Matt came out specifically to talk to me on camera about the need to hire an EV charging equipment specialist when installing your home charger and to make sure everything is to Dylan’s satisfaction done. We drove to Dylan’s house and started inspecting the electrical circuit that supplies power to the Tesla Wall Connector.

We were joined by local Qmerit electrical contractor, Charge Pro, who was called in to do the work. Matt, Ben from Charge Pro and I were surprised to discover not one, but a series of problems that have caused three separate outages at Dylan’s house, which is remarkably only two years old.

The Charge Pro technicians made sure to tighten all connections to spec with a torque screwdriver

We found three major problems. First, the Tesla Wall Connector circuit breaker, which had already been replaced a few months earlier because it was defective, was showing signs of overheating and the bus bar to which it connected to the service panel was severely charred. Dylan explained that when the breaker tripped earlier, he called a local electrician who simply replaced the breaker without explaining to Dylan that the Busbar was damaged, as well as the circuit breaker on the other side of the Wall Connector breaker.

The next problem we encountered was that the No. 6 panel power used aluminum wire and it wrapped 80 feet around the house to a junction box behind the house. Apparently the previous owner had that for another purpose, perhaps an outdoor hot tub, and when Dylan bought the house and needed to install the Wall Connector, the electrician he hired used that circuit to run another 60 feet to the garage on the other side. to go. from the house.

They did use copper wire, but the circuit now had 80 feet of aluminum wire connected to 60 feet of copper wire leading to a disconnect box in the garage next to the Wall Connector. Dylan told us that the connection in the junction box had failed a few months ago and that he had another electrician come in to simply repair the connection.

Dylan looked for answers in the Tesla Model Y Facebook group

Both Ben and Matt agreed that they needed to eliminate the 25-foot aluminum wire in the Wall Connector circuit, and the best way to do that was to install a brand new power supply directly to the garage, rather than running 45 meters of wire around the entire circuit. house. The solution was to go from the service panel up through the attic and back to the charger, which cut the length of the trip by more than half.

We then connected the Wall Connector directly to the power supply, as a service disconnect is not required by code as the circuit did not exceed 60 amps. Furthermore, Dylan preferred not to have it there unless it was necessary because he had a stylish garage set up and didn’t want the extra box on the wall.

After a long day, Dylan’s Model Y was charging in his garage and yes, I was able to solve his problem in ten days (barely, because this was day 9!) as I had hoped.

Before the end of the day we had Dylan’s Tesla Model Y charged

This is just one example of why electric vehicle charging equipment requires special handling. Everything in Dylan’s Wall Connector circuit was done by a licensed electrician, permitted, inspected and required to be coded.

The problem is that charging electrical appliances puts a higher strain on electrical equipment than any other appliance in your home. That’s why we see many low-quality NEMA 14-50 outlets fail when an EVSE is connected to them. These outlets work great with other uses, such as electric stoves and clothes dryers.

But charging electric vehicles requires the maximum amount of power that can be drawn for many hours continuously, many days a week, and that duty cycle is more than some circuit breakers, outlets, and even circuit breakers can handle, and over time they melt and fall off out.

That’s why it’s essential that you hire an electrician who has extensive experience installing EV charging equipment. They will use better equipment, make sure the connections are properly tightened and they will never use aluminum wire as it expands and contracts 30% more than copper wire and that leads to connection failures.

I’m considering doing a series of these videos where I travel to the homes of EV owners who are having problems with their charging equipment and fix them. Let me know in the comments section if this is something you’d like to see.

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