[Caevlist] Nissan Leaf Level 1 charger tripping GFI

Bruce Hecht brucehe at peak.org
Sun Dec 16 19:57:44 PST 2018

The new breakers are GFCI only, no arc fault protection.


Each duplex receptacle is fed by its own 20 amp GFCI breaker.


Good to know there is some GFCI protection in the EVSE, I guess that is why there is a fault light. There is no reset on the EVSE I can see so I guess if there is a fault the light stays on until the fault clears. Also good to know I can do a 220 V outlet without GFCI in case I decide to have my EVSE modified to 220V.


At this point I think I will change out the GFCI.






From: Otmar Lists Account [mailto:forum at evcl.com] 
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018 12:58 PM
To: Bruce Hecht <brucehe at peak.org>
Cc: caevlist at rdrop.com
Subject: Re: [Caevlist] Nissan Leaf Level 1 charger tripping GFI


Are the new breakers just GFCI, or do they also have arc fault protection? 

I would suggest only GFCI, since the arc fault units trip more often. 


I’ve heard that in general it’s considered unreliable to run two GFCI’s in one circuit, and all J1772 compliant EVSE's have a built in GFCI, though for EV’s they are allowed a higher trip limit of up to 20mA of fault current to prevent nuisance trips. Standard GFCI's IIRC are rated at 5mA. My understanding is that all 120V outdoor outlets require a GFCI according to NEC. OTOH, 240V outlets do not require GFCI, go figure. This causes an issue when trying to charge an EV outdoors with 120V. In my house I would use an outlet with no GFCI, just for the EV with a lock on the cover so that children can’t get into them. 


In your case I think the car drivers are perfectly safe without a GFCI breaker as long as you are leaving the “portable” EVSE’s plugged in and you have a way to keep children out of the outlets. 




On Dec 16, 2018, at 10:58 AM, Bruce Hecht <brucehe at peak.org <mailto:brucehe at peak.org> > wrote:


Hello all,


We recently installed (5)  120v 20amp circuits for 5 Level 1 charging parking places in our community. They are feed from individual GFI Eaton breakers in a subpanel.  Our 2013 Nissan Leaf 120V charger  has been tripping the GFI breaker sometimes on plug in into the car, and sometimes during a charge cycle.  I tried a neighbors charger and it behaved similarly. Previously we had GFI receptacles fed by individual 20 amp breakers and they seemed to hold fine with the charger plugged into them. 


Since this is a bit annoying my plan is to replace the GFI breaker (s) with a regular 20amp breaker since there is a spare one already in the subpanel.  I could also put a GFI receptacle in place with a standard breaker.


Am I  creating a potential safety issue for the user or the car by eliminating the GFI protection?  


Appreciate any input.






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