Blakesq
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 07, 2021 3:25 am

Portable charging blinking red on indoor outlet but working on outdoor outlet

Fri May 07, 2021 3:38 am

Hi Alll, we just bought a used 2018 BMW i3. We plugged it in yesterday inside the garage and the portable EV charger blinked red quickly. We tried a different outlet inside the garage, same problem. And the battery did not seem to charge in the car. When we plugged it into an outdoor outlet, the portable Ev charger glowed blue and began to charge the car. Both the indoor and outdoor outlets seem to be on the same electrical line. The indoor outlets work for other electrical appliances, like my electric hand drill. However the outdoor outlet seems to be a newer outlet, with the GFI buttons that you can press to reset the outlet. The indoor outlets in the garage seem to be of an older style, however the slots are different sizes for the blades of the plug, which I thought meant they were the newer Nema 5-15R outlets—which the manual for the portable charger says are required for the charger.

My question is: is it likely that the indoor outlets are faulty or just old and need to be replaced—should I call an electrician? Or is it more likely that there’s a problem with the EV charger? By the way we are in an old house built in 1870, the garage of course came later. Thank you.

EvanstonI3
Posts: 64
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2020 9:11 pm

Re: Portable charging blinking red on indoor outlet but working on outdoor outlet

Fri May 07, 2021 7:26 am

The Red light means Ground Fault. It could not detect a path to Ground in the circuit.
The GFCI plug worked because, like the charger, it needs a Ground to function properly.
They may be on the same circuit but perhaps the GFCI outlet has a separate Ground wire?
You should get an Electrician to confirm that the other 2 outlets just need a Ground wire.
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eNate
Posts: 665
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Portable charging blinking red on indoor outlet but working on outdoor outlet

Fri May 07, 2021 7:28 am

It's most likely your wiring, not the GFI.

The most frequent fault seems to be a bad or missing ground, but the EVSE also acts at pseudo GFI except that instead of "popping" like the one in the wall, it simply shows an error and won't feed the car.

Do you have one of those plug in 3-lamp circuit checkers?
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Blakesq
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri May 07, 2021 3:25 am

Re: Portable charging blinking red on indoor outlet but working on outdoor outlet

Fri May 07, 2021 7:57 am

Thanks!

We will continue to use the outside outlet until we can get an electrician over.

I called the 800 number that was on the user manual for the charger, and asked if it was safe to use the outdoor outlet to charge the BMW i3. They said it was safe, and I found posts online saying it was safe even in the rain. Do you all agree?

eNate
Posts: 665
Joined: Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:33 pm

Re: Portable charging blinking red on indoor outlet but working on outdoor outlet

Fri May 07, 2021 8:55 am

Yes, they're designed for outdoor use. The receptacle sound be covered if there's rain, but that's not EVSE-specific advice.
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