|My original level-2 charger by EV-Charge America|
Tuesday, December 16, 2014
My home charger dies
What a shock! (pun) I plugged my car in, activated the charger, and then went to bed. In the morning I needed to take a short trip and was surprised to see that the car had not charged at all. I was running short on time and had to drive on the remaining charge in the battery. When I returned home, I again connected the level-2 charger and activated it. It came on for about three seconds, then shut off. This repeated about five times until I abandoned my attempts. I decided to drive to a nearby public charging station to determine whether my car was at fault. I connected and the car began charging without any problem. So, now I am faced with two problems:
First, I have to charge using my level-1 (110-volt) charger until I am able to install a replacement charger. This means that I must plug in the car the moment I return home from work in order for it to charge fully before I need to leave in the morning. It should take about 13 to 14 hours to fully recharge after my drive, and plugging in at 8:00pm gives me just enough time to accomplish this. By working from home on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I can plug in even later and expect a full charge before noon. So, the level-1 charger is working for me, although just barely. I really do need to replace the level-2 charger.
Second, I have to find a level-2 charger that meets my needs. My charger is installed outdoors, so this means I need a weather-proof enclosure for the charger. I also have a 220-volt outdoor outlet with a weather case installed, which means I cannot easily adapt to a hard-wired charger. These two requirements eliminate most chargers from consideration. And those that do remain have only a 12-inch receptacle cord, which is not very compatible with an outdoor installation. My old charger has a 3-foot cord to plug into the wall and I was able to mount the opening to the weather-protecting box on the bottom side. To accommodate these new chargers, I will need to remount the box (and outlet inside) so that the hole is on the upward side. I’ll also need to add an O-ring to the cable to further block any moisture. (It seems that new national electrical standards require that the wall cord be 12-inches long.)
I did try to have the two-year old charger repaired, but apparently I was one of the luckier customers of this charger. Many customers never received a charger (or a refund), and others received defective units that never worked (and were leaking a black ooze). My charger worked flawlessly for 31 months before giving up the ghost, so I guess I should count my blessings. While researching repair information, I found a few articles mentioning law-suits against the manufacturer and a jail sentence for the company's owner. The irony is that I felt that this product (when working) was superior in many ways to the competition. It is just too bad that EV-Charge America could not have found a way to bring this product to market successfully.
I’ll let you know what I buy as a replacement.