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.)
My original level-2 charger by EV-Charge America

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.

No comments:

Post a Comment