05 August 2009

Portable charger not completely water proof

Several weeks back there was a heavy rain at work before I left for home. The 120 volt charger was lying flat on the concrete, face up and the car was still charging when I unplugged it. When I got home, the 120 volt charger would not start, both red LEDs were blinking which means an internal fault. (This was before the wall mounted charger was installed.) 
Knowing what happened, I unplugged the charger, carefully opened the case, and poured out the water. I dried it with a hair dryer set on low for about ten minutes and it was fine. 

The gasket and grommets look perfect, I don't know where the leak is. Normally I hang the charger from the strap when it looks like rain, but this day I did not.

One of the GFI outlets at work that I use to charge the car started tripping a few weeks ago. I thought at first that one of the guys was pulling a practical joke by pressing the 'test" button on the GFI, since I had charged at that outlet many times with no trouble. But now I suspect that moisture in the yellow box caused the external GFI to trip before it got so bad that the yellow box decided it had an internal problem. That outlet seems to be working again now that I dried out the yellow box. 

In the photo you can also see the meter I use. I have to pay for the electricity I consume at work. The extension cord is 12 gauge, with screw terminal connectors. It does not get warm. The owner's manual warns not to use extension cords, but this one is sufficiently over rated. Most molded connectors on extension cords from the hardware store will over heat after a few hours at 12 amps, so I agree in principal with the owner's manual. But the outdoor outlets at work have spring loaded covers and I cannot get the power meter in directly, so I use this heavy extension cord.

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