[Caevlist] Nissan Leaf Level 1 charger tripping GFI

Bruce Hecht brucehe at peak.org
Mon Dec 17 22:29:29 PST 2018

Yes,  we originally had two GFCI outlets and they did not really have any nuisance trips with the Leaf EVSE. In our shop and outside we  have  had ants get into several GFCI outlets and they fried the outlets. When we expanded to 6 Level one circuits I  thought the GFCI breakers in a subpanel would be more robust. 


My understanding is the outlet and the breaker both trip at 5 ma but something is obviously different between these devices. My current plan is to operate only with the built in EVSE GFCI protection at least at the Leaf charging locations. 




From: Kirk Bailey [mailto:bailey at peak.org] 
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018 1:27 PM
To: Bruce Hecht <brucehe at peak.org>
Subject: Re: [Caevlist] Nissan Leaf Level 1 charger tripping GFI


Otmar mentioned AFCI breakers, I concur with his experience on those, they are a mess.


It would be a hassle, but could you change all your outlets to GFCI, and change all the breakers to be non-GFCI?  


You don't have a choice of whose breakers to use in an Eaton sub-panel, but if you go for GFCI outlets, you have lots of choices of manufacturer!  We have two Leaf's ('11 and '15), and have had no trouble with ~20 year old 120V Leviton commercial-grade GFCI outlets.


Also, is it an Eaton BR or CH sub-panel (1" black or 3/4" grey breakers?)





On Sun, Dec 16, 2018 at 1:18 PM Bruce Hecht <brucehe at peak.org <mailto:brucehe at peak.org> > wrote:

Yes, Gareth’s new used Leaf also tripped one of the GFCI breakers. All of the breakers exhibit the same behavior.








From: kirkabailey at gmail.com <mailto:kirkabailey at gmail.com>  [mailto:kirkabailey at gmail.com <mailto:kirkabailey at gmail.com> ] On Behalf Of Kirk Bailey
Sent: Sunday, December 16, 2018 11:26 AM
To: Bruce Hecht <brucehe at peak.org <mailto:brucehe at peak.org> >
Subject: Re: [Caevlist] Nissan Leaf Level 1 charger tripping GFI




    I wouldn't eliminate the GFCI protection.  Does this happen with anyone else's Leaf?  Perhaps yours has an actual ground fault?  The fact that it only happens when the charger is connected to the car is suspicous.


    Also, does it happen on only one breaker?  If so, you might have a marginal breaker.


Kirk Bailey

bailey at peak.org <mailto:bailey at peak.org> 

On Sunday, December 16, 2018, 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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