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I have a 240v outlet at home. Several weeks ago, our neighborhood experienced a brownout - while my car was charging. I did not think to unplug the car. After power was fully restored, the car would not charge. I tried again the following day, no problem.

The next day, two days after the brownout, I received a diagnostic alert text as well as email, that there was a problem detected with the battery and to bring it to a dealership within 7 days.

I brought the car in, they said it’s the charging module that needs to be replaced. This was 10 days ago. I still don’t have my car because the delearship is short on mechanics due to Covid even though they have the part.

Question for you all….do I need to buy some sort of surge protector for the outlet? If so, is there a certain one you recommend?

The timing is just too coincidental, and I do not want to go through this hassle again.

thanks
 

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Question for you all….do I need to buy some sort of surge protector for the outlet? If so, is there a certain one you recommend?
Great question. I just had my main panel replaced by my solar installer and noticed they left room at the top. I've heard and read a little about whole home protection and some recommend putting the protection at the top of the panel. I'm concerned about my car and other stuff that almost would cost as much.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great question. I just had my main panel replaced by my solar installer and noticed they left room at the top. I've heard and read a little about whole home protection and some recommend putting the protection at the top of the panel. I'm concerned about my car and other stuff that almost would cost as much.

Thanks for sharing.
I installed a whole-house surge suppressor in my panel, closest to where the main utility input attaches to the bus-bars. The surge suppressor takes two adjacent panel breaker locations, so it can protect both legs of the 240V. It provides two 20A breakers as well, so that no breaker positions are actually lost. If you attach often-used lights to the circuits that the suppressor provides, they can be used as an indication that the suppressor has done it's job, as it trips the attached circuits.

I've provided a link, below, to the one I bought off Amazon, but note that they are specific to the brand/type of panel they're installed in. Mine is obviously a Siemens panel.

 

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Kinda depends on the EVSE. Most are world voltage and can adjust to changing voltages.
I agree that low voltage could cause it I guess. More likely that spike was to blame. The only problem with single circuit or whole house surge is they do almost always take some power.
 

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I did the same as @GregBrew, a whole house surge suppressor in the breaker box. Its cheap and easy protection.

The EVSE is basically a chip (for handshaking) driving a (possibly solid-state) relay (for connecting 240V). If there was a fast surge, I'd be surprised if the EVSE could disconnect fast enough to protect the on board charger.
 

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Storm's coming....unplugging The Bolt now. No surge protector on my panel yet...does throwing the main breaker to OFF protect connected items in a lightning storm?
 

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Turning main breaker off could introduce other issues. Any inductive load such as electrical motor can produce electrical surge on its own from power interruption. The surge protector on the main power panel reduces surges coming in from the power pole or other spikes generated locally. The freezer in my garage was blowing up nearby LED bulbs on the same circuit until I installed a surge protector outlet to the freezer electrical plug.
 

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I have the following installed at the main panel. CHSPT2ULTRA | Eaton CHSPT2 surge protection device | Specifications | Eaton No electrical equipment damage in the house even with lightening storm that dimmed the light briefly at the same time as the flash. When the car is being charged, the car is essentially another very sensitive electronic power supply attached!
My panel is an Eaton so I was just looking at those. Since I've got the room it looks like I can just get the one that goes inside the panel. Only about $70. Please, take my money.
 

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Most EVSE's are designed to have power failure and they should return to what was going on before the issue. I throw breaker every time I leave my house for a few days or more. Been there for 5 years working fine.

There is kind of a problem with modern electrical devices. They are not dumb resistive loads. They are reactive loads that induce harmonics back into the line and can go over transformers so your neighbors can send them to you. A special Fluke meter to monitor the harmonics is used to see this invisible to VOM issue. In a perfect world the load would be resistive and source clean sine wave. In reality your home is full of evil devices pouring garbage back into the line. The smarter the device and higher the current normally means more. This is one reason circuit breaker smoke or pop and sockets fry and wiring goes when all normal load calculations are correct.
 

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My guess is that the brown out was a symptom of overload on the grid. The damage to the charging unit did not occur during the brownout itself. More likely the damage occurred when the overload stopped and a momentary surge happened before the electrical power company corrected the power output. You can see this effect when the air conditioner compressor turns on and off with the light flickering.
 

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I was told that "dirty electric " can damage sensitive electronics, which is the current where I live not being 60 hz. A cheap backup generator can do this. It makes me wonder if this happens from the service provider ever.
 

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Bad power is one reason why good IT departments put quality online UPS's on their servers and monitor the input power. If you can show through logs that the power company was consistently providing under voltages then you can possibly sue them for any resulting damage. There were times when I was an IT director that our generators would kick on around 10:30 am and run until the late afternoon because the input voltage dropped too low. This went on for about a month when we had 100+ F days for over a month.

I have thought about putting a UPS on the charger as I have one that can handle 240v and 3000w but there is not good place for it in the garage.
 

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I would think that the Bolt could handle most surges and brownouts. It's not some cheapy TV or some such. With all the new solar and wind supplies being connected to the grid, while base load plants are being shut down, we're going to see a lot more of this. Consumers Energy in Michigan has almost guaranteed this.
 

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I have a "Eaton BRSURGE Br Series Whole-Panel Surge Arrest Breaker" installed at the top-right location in my panel. Cost me $58 dollars at Amazon a couple years ago, price is $98 now.
 

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Bad power is one reason why good IT departments put quality online UPS's on their servers and monitor the input power. If you can show through logs that the power company was consistently providing under voltages then you can possibly sue them for any resulting damage. There were times when I was an IT director that our generators would kick on around 10:30 am and run until the late afternoon because the input voltage dropped too low. This went on for about a month when we had 100+ F days for over a month.

I have thought about putting a UPS on the charger as I have one that can handle 240v and 3000w but there is not good place for it in the garage.
For a server farm, I'd only use a UPS that always generates its own true sine-wave 120V 60Hz output, i.e. does power conditioning. They're more like a battery-backed inverter, and they are far more expensive than the run-of-the-mill UPS one usually finds on a PC.
 
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