Honda Clarity Forum banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2018 Clarity Touring, and for 4.5 years have charged it up most nights in our garage's 110 outlet overnight. Absolutely no problems with charging during that time, and it's been the perfect short-commute car for my wife, for me to drive around town, and for longer trips as well. A couple months ago, much to our surprise, occasionally when attaching the charging connector to the car, it would blow a fuse in the garage. This happens probably once every 10 charges now, but I've figured out if I plug the charger into the car first, THEN plug the charger into the outlet, it doesn't blow a fuse. Weird. Any insights out there?
 

· Super Moderator
Joined
·
697 Posts
Assuming you are using the Honda OEM charge cable, I would have your electrician check if a ground fault exists or the wiring to your outlets & breaker are secure w/ correct wiring first.

If it all checks out then I'd suspect the charger may be the fault.

The charger does have a built in GFCI sensor inside the unit which may be tripping - check for water or moisture in the block and charge handle.

The OEM charger may have started to fail - I'd try another charger - Costco chargers you can return anytime or Walmart which can be returned easily.

I have never used my Honda OEM charger since I switched over to a Duosida dual voltage charger and most recently to the Emporia L2 dedicated EVSE which charges both my wife's Clarity and my Lightning truck.
 

· Registered
2021 PHEV Touring HB, CA
Joined
·
786 Posts
I'd shut off the breaker serving the outlet that you plug in to, and pull the outlet out of the j-box for a close inspection. Drawing 12A out of an outlet that's old, and probably originally spec'd at 15A can cause some wear and tear on it. You also might consider having a close look at any other fixtures on that same circuit, both up- and down-stream.

The same can be true of the breaker itself. They can go bad, after a while. I had a 240V 40A breaker go bad, after a few years charging EVs.

I tend to go after the relatively cheap-and-easy solutions first. If replacing a breaker in a live panel sends shivers down your spine, you might consider calling a licensed electrician to do both jobs. I'd estimate it would cost around $100-$200.

For new (strange) problems that occur (when nothing else has changed), I'll typically suggest checking the health of the 12V auxiliary battery, but this doesn't sound like an appropriate problem that would be caused by a weak 12V PbA.
 

· Registered
2020 Clarity Touring
Joined
·
432 Posts
I'd shut off the breaker serving the outlet that you plug in to, and pull the outlet out of the j-box for a close inspection. Drawing 12A out of an outlet that's old, and probably originally spec'd at 15A can cause some wear and tear on it. You also might consider having a close look at any other fixtures on that same circuit, both up- and down-stream.

The same can be true of the breaker itself. They can go bad, after a while. I had a 240V 40A breaker go bad, after a few years charging EVs.

I tend to go after the relatively cheap-and-easy solutions first. If replacing a breaker in a live panel sends shivers down your spine, you might consider calling a licensed electrician to do both jobs. I'd estimate it would cost around $100-$200.

For new (strange) problems that occur (when nothing else has changed), I'll typically suggest checking the health of the 12V auxiliary battery, but this doesn't sound like an appropriate problem that would be caused by a weak 12V PbA.
I was going to mention the idea of a faulty breaker too but I realize the OP used the expression “blow a fuse” which would imply it’s being replace with a new one every time. However I also know that some people use that expression incorrectly when they really meant to say “tripped a breaker”. Perhaps the OP can clarify.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
158 Posts
From your description the breaker blows as you are plugging in the charging connector.

Most likely the wire end of the charging connector has somehow internally broken the shielding resulting in a dead short that trips the breaker.

Constant stress of a wire especially where it ends at a plug is fairly common, think hand tools as an example.

I would take the charge plug apart and inspect the wires.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
Try a different outlet - preferably on a different circuit.
If that solves the issue, then you can assume it is the outlet/circuit that has the problem.
If a different outlet on the same circuit works, it is almost certainly the original outlet that has the issue.
If the tripping occurs on all outlets /circuits you try, the problem is with the EVSE.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all your replies. Good ideas, all. Yes, I should have said "trips the breaker" rather than "blow a fuse". The garage and wiring are only 6 years old, but the outlet has gotten used every night for over 4 years so that could well be the culprit. Your advice gives me a good place to start.
 

· Registered
2021 PHEV Touring HB, CA
Joined
·
786 Posts
Thanks for all your replies. Good ideas, all. Yes, I should have said "trips the breaker" rather than "blow a fuse". The garage and wiring are only 6 years old, but the outlet has gotten used every night for over 4 years so that could well be the culprit. Your advice gives me a good place to start.
If you do track it down to intermittent broken wires near the EVSE's plug (not the wall receptacle), it's pretty simple to replace the plug. Just be aware that there might be a couple extra wires in the plug for a thermal switch (for safety). You can cut the EVSE cable a couple of inches from the old plug (assuming the bad part of the old cable is between there and the old plug). There's not a lot of cable to work with there, and you'll need enough for the new plug connections. Of course, do this when the EVSE is not plugged in. Trace the three (HOT, NEUTRAL and GROUND) power connection "prongs", and note the wire colors they connect to on the cut-off end of the old plug. (You might need a cheap ohm meter to do this, and one of them might be an intermittent connection.) These three wires will need to be connected to their respective prong locations on the new plug. If this task seems too daunting, let me know, because I can pull the housing off of the plug I put on my Honda OEM EVSE to use on 240V, and tell you the wire colors. Unfortunately, the AC-in cable appears to be molded on, and not serviceable, unlike the J-1772 cable end, which is held with a screw.

If there are two more (unconnected) wires in the old plug's cut-off cable end, these likely go to the thermal switch. In order for the EVSE to work, it needs to think that the thermal switch is connected and working. On EVSE's I've worked on in the past, leaving them open (not connected to each other, or anything else) was all that was necessary, after replacing the plug. (On it, the thermal switch probably shorted the two "extra" wires together, signalling the the EVSE that the plug is hot.) I put a dab of "liquid electrical tape" on the end of each, to seal them off from shorting to anything else (or each other) in the new plug.

Good luck, and let us know what you find.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE: First I tested another unused outlet on the same circuit -- it also tripped the breaker, so that ruled out the problem being the outlet. Then I ran a drop cord from our house and everything charged up wonderfully -- so that ruled out any problem with the charger or the car drawing extraordinary amounts of sudden power or something. I should have said orginally that what was tripping was not a 'breaker', per se, it was tripping a GFI outlet which sits next to the breaker box. So, talking to my electrician over the phone, we both think it's a faulty GFI, which he will be coming to check out and likely replace soon.
 

· Registered
2020 Clarity Touring
Joined
·
432 Posts
UPDATE: First I tested another unused outlet on the same circuit -- it also tripped the breaker, so that ruled out the problem being the outlet. Then I ran a drop cord from our house and everything charged up wonderfully -- so that ruled out any problem with the charger or the car drawing extraordinary amounts of sudden power or something. I should have said orginally that what was tripping was not a 'breaker', per se, it was tripping a GFI outlet which sits next to the breaker box. So, talking to my electrician over the phone, we both think it's a faulty GFI, which he will be coming to check out and likely replace soon.
Ahhhhh, now it’s making more sense. A GFCI is a very sensitive device. It can’t detect currents probably down in the microamp range that incorrectly flow to ground. That being said, I have seen a number of GFCIs in my life that will get tripped by a certain transient current or induced (for lack of a better term) current that incorrectly trips them. It is possible that replacing it will fix the problem and there also a slight possibility it won’t.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ahhhhh, now it’s making more sense. A GFCI is a very sensitive device. It can’t detect currents probably down in the microamp range that incorrectly flow to ground. That being said, I have seen a number of GFCIs in my life that will get tripped by a certain transient current or induced (for lack of a better term) current that incorrectly trips them. It is possible that replacing it will fix the problem and there also a slight possibility it won’t.
What's weird is that the GFCI that may be causing the problem did NOT cause a problem for 4+ years. My electrician is scheduled in a couple days so I'll post if that solves the problem...or not.
 

· Registered
2020 Clarity Touring
Joined
·
432 Posts
What's weird is that the GFCI that may be causing the problem did NOT cause a problem for 4+ years. My electrician is scheduled in a couple days so I'll post if that solves the problem...or not.
Another thing to keep in mind is that most (if not all) EVSEs have a built-in GFCI so there’s really no need to plug the EVSE into a GFCI outlet.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
64 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Problem fixed. To recap, I'd been plugging my Clarity into a regular 110 outlet in my garage, and gradually it got to the point where on the other side of the garage, every time I plugged it in to charge, the GFCI (located just before the breaker) would trip. My electrician said that GFCI's "do sometimes wear out", so he replaced it and things are back to normal with no problems. Simple fix.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top