Charger Control Box Blinking Green

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by lotsa questions, Dec 17, 2019.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Last night I tried to plug into my normal wall outlet that I use for charging and the control box was blinking green rapidly. I'm assuming that means there's a problem, as it would not charge the car.

    Every time I've charged from this wall outlet before it has charged. Last charge was 2 days ago from this outlet. Does anyone know why this outlet would suddenly cause the blinking green? What exactly does the blinking green light mean? Just that it's not getting enough juice or something else?

    I plugged into other outlets to troubleshoot and the charge light was a solid green on those, so the problem seems to be isolated to this one outlet that I always use to charge. (But I can't use other outlets because they are too far away).
    I also plugged some things (appliance, phone charger) into the car-charge outlet and it worked fine with those; so this outlet seems to work ok but it's not working with the car charger cable, even though it worked fine up until now. Weird. Anyone else experience this?
    Thanks for any guidance.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    I think it may mean a problem with the ground connection, probably at the outlet. If you can check another outlet on the same circuit, that would help to know the problem is at the outlet (or not).
  4. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I assume you are using the OEM charger that came with the vehicle.

    For reference, here is the relevant page of the manual that discusses the meaning of the lights...
    Which specific condition do you think exists when this happens?


    Note - The "Charge Indicator" in this table is the light on the vehicle. The other 3 LED's are on the control box...

    4sallypat likes this.
  5. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Yes I'm using the OEM charger. No specific condition exists that I know of. I just plugged in like I normally do (have done it maybe 10 times so far).
    Thanks for the chart. According to that, a blinking power light means:
    "A rise in plug temperature due to bad electrical contact between the outlet and the plug was detected."
    That plug works with other appliances, just not the EV charger. But it worked with the EV charger before. So, could the prior charges have degraded the outlet to the point where the electrical contact was comprosmised, while it still working for other appliances? I guess so, since that is what's happening. I wonder specifically though what exact component of the outlet was damaged. I'm no electrician. Should I replace the outlet? Call an electrician?
  6. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    I see, thanks. I'm not sure which outlets are on this circuit. I will try to figure that out.
    Is there a way I can test the actual voltage coming from the outlet? Like with a volt reader that I can buy at Home Depot? And use that to determine if it's a drop in voltage that is causing it (by comparing it to the voltage of other 110 outlets)?
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Questions to help diagnose:
    1 Did it still blink when plugged into the now problematic outlet after working in the other outlets?
    2 When plugged into the other outlets that did not cause blinking, was it also plugged into the car?
    3 Can you borrow a 12g (or short 14g) extension cord and try charging from other outlets that don’t reach? And can you try this for outlets on other circuits and on an outlet on the same circuit as the one your having trouble with?
    4 Was the outlet/plug warm to the touch when this happened?
    5 Have you had the 18-097 update for charging problems installed?

    I ask for this info to try and narrow down the problem to the either the car, the Level 1 EVSE, the outlet/plug, or the wiring/circuit.

    You can determine what outlets are on that circuit by plugging in a lamp and then turning off the breaker that controls the original outlet. If lamp goes out, they share the same circuit.

    I also find it helpful to have an inexpensive circuit tester to plug into outlets that tells you if they have wiring problems. (Around $5 or a little more if you want GFCI testing and cheapest at Harbor Freight).
  9. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Readily available at all the home centers as mentioned by Ken:

    This does not measure voltage, but verifies proper connectivity with all three conductors. It can test a GFI if the circuit is so-equipped.
    4sallypat likes this.
  10. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    1. Yes it still blinked after trying other working outlets
    2. No it was not plugged into the car. I brought the entire cable in the house and tested
    3. Yes; I did this at your suggestion and am now charging from a working outlet, though this requires an extension cord to be strewn across the living room. Good suggestion though; at least I'm getting some juice.
    "And can you try this for outlets on other circuits and on an outlet on the same circuit as the one your having trouble with?"
    I'm not sure which outlets are on which circuits. I am a renter; don't own this place; the circuit board looks old/original, maybe from the 50s or 60s. Zinsco I believe is the brand.
    4. No
    5. No, I didn't know about that, have only had the car 3 weeks.

    So I brought the charge cable inside and plugged it into various outlets. Here's the results:
    Living room: the charger works (solid green light) in 1 outlet, doesn't work on 3 outlets
    Bedroom: works, 1 outlet
    Bathroom: works, 1 outlet
    Kitchen: works, 2 outlets
    Dining room: doesn't work, 1 outlet

    I don't know what outlets are on what circuits. Is there a way to determine that? I'm guessing I'll have to turn off one breaker at a time while having stuff plugged into all the outlets and see which turn off?
    One interesting thing is that the outlets that work do seem to be on the same side of the house, and the ones that don't work are all on the same side. So perhaps the ones that work share the same circuit?
    Note: the one's that "don't work" do actually work for all the other things I plug into them (computer, elec heater, TV, Christmas lights, etc)... they just don't work for the EV charger.
    If the non-working outlets are on the same circuit do you think that that would indicate that the problem is at the breaker? Could the breaker have gotten too hot? Or maybe it has built up some corrosion like you might see in a car battery (the white, chalky stuff) that is impeding the electricity flow? The breakers do appear very old (maybe from the 50s/60s).
  11. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Just to clarify...

    I think you are saying that the three LED's on the control box are indicating this:

    "Power" LED is ON (when plugged into a "good" outlet), and Blinking when plugged into a "bad" one.
    "CHARGE" LED is OFF (Regardless of which outlet)
    "Error LED" is OFF (Regardless of which outlet).
    * All of this without being connected to the vehicle... Just plugged into the wall.

    Is this right?

    I just tried mine, and just the power LED is on... Consistent with your "good" condition.
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Yes that is correct. I'm plugging into various outlets and only the Power LED becomes lighted - either solid green (good outlet) or blinking green (bad outlet).
  14. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    OK, then I am struggling to think of a plausible scenario that fits your symptoms.
    The simplest fault would be if one of the three conductors is not connected in the 'bad' outlet (line, neutral, or ground).

    I just tried this with mine. If I disconnect the ground, I still get just a solid power LED. If I disconnect either the line or neutral, then NO LED. The one thing I didn't try (afraid to try it) would be to reverse the line and neutral. Perhaps that results in blinking...

    You could see if line and neutral are reversed (in that outlet) with the simple tester tool mentioned above.

    The only other thing (consistent with the statement about 'plug temperature') would be low voltage.
    It is very unlikely that this outlet would have a low voltage and the others would not (particularly if it is unloaded ie: no connection to vehicle).

    If you had a heavy load on another outlet that shared this same circuit breaker, perhaps the voltage could drop... If that is the case, you shouldn't charge from this outlet anyway because the Clarity demands every bit of available power, and there should be nothing else plugged into the same circuit as the Clarity.

    You mentioned something about an electric heater. Be VERY careful with an electric heater. It is a high load, and certainly WILL cause a problem if it happened to be connected to the same circuit as your Clarity. Disconnect your heater to see if it has an effect on this... In my opinion, electric heaters are not a good idea. I have seen them nearly cause fires. If you know exactly what you are doing, they can be safe, but without being certain, they can be trouble.
    lotsa questions likes this.
  15. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    I'm attaching a picture of the breaker box. There's a label that says "lites" and one that says "outlets".
    The outlets label is under a 20 amp breaker (red). But there are 2 of those. Do both of those likely supply all of the outlets? So maybe one breaker is for outlets on one side of the house and the other breaker for the other side?

    Attached Files:

  16. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Sometimes there is a legend inside the breaker box (maybe inside lid) that elaborates a little more.
    Boy, you do have a simplistic setup, and it does look old.

    Yes, it looks like there are only two 20A 'circuits' in your house. The green breakers look to be 240V 30A circuits (two of them). The 240V breakers are 'ganged' together in pairs. I'm guessing one pair of green breakers is a water heater, and the other pair of green breakers is maybe heat / AC? There is a chance that there are some receptacles fed from the 15A "Lites" breakers too. The kitchen (and maybe garage) is likely fed from the 20A breakers, but some other outlets could be 15A.

    This would mean that EVERY outlet in your house is fed from these two 20A breakers. If I were you, I would map this out and determine exactly which outlets are fed by which breaker. It may be one side of the house and the other, but sometimes it is not as obvious as that. You have to be very careful about what else is using the same breaker as the Clarity. Certainly no electric heater, that is asking for trouble. You may be able to have a few lights on the same circuit, but not very much at all.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    lotsa questions likes this.
  17. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Ah, the “joy” of old wiring. I’m on board with @MrFixit in thinking it’s a wiring fault on that circuit. Could be at the outlet but then it would also have to be one at the dinning room outlet since that one gives the fault too. Could be the circuit is wired wrong but that would be determined by every outlet in that circuit giving the blinking error code.
    I think it’s time to buy the under $10 circuit tester and test every outlet. Then use it or a lamp to determine which outlets are on each circuit.
    If that doesn’t clear things up then it’s time to call in an electrician.
    It’s also highly problematic if you only have two 20 Amp circuits for all the 120 V outlets and switches for the house. Sounds like the place was not built to code or is so old the codes back then were awful.
    The Level 1 EVSE really needs to be on it own dedicated circuit or at the very least, a circuit that does not have any other load more than a couple of lights or so. As mentioned above, it will pull up to 13 Amps, so it doesn’t take much load in that circuit to cause an overload or a problem.
    Definitely don’t use a heater on the circuit you are plugging into to charge.
    It’s time for some electrical sleuthing or else call in the pros.
    lotsa questions likes this.
  18. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    One more test I just did just for fun...
    To prove whether the power LED will blink under low voltage conditions, I just tried it.

    The label specifies an input voltage of 110-120. Some have proven that it can actually work at 240 (Level 2), but that is beyond the label. Nobody has explored the low end however. I just ran the input voltage down to 60 (half of the nominal input) and the LED remained solidly on. I doubt it would work with the voltage this low, but it does NOT exhibit your flashing light syndrome. As such, I doubt that you have a low voltage condition (lower than 60 is unimaginable).

    Still not able to reproduce your problem, so the only remaining theory would be reversed line and neutral (which I am unwilling to try). Get a simple tester and see if it reveals a mis-wired outlet(s)...

    On the bright side, if you do have a wiring problem, it should be the responsibility of the owner not you !
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
    lotsa questions likes this.
  19. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Well-Known Member

    That breaker box does look like one from the 1950's to mid 1960's for sure.
  20. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I suspect it’s the old outlet. Going back to your original post, you had an outlet that was working and suddenly stopped working. I think there may be a bad connection developed in that old outlet from the heat of all the charging amps going through it for 3 weeks. That would an explanation for the blinking green, according to the Honda troubleshooting info. Other things plugged into that outlet are not going to be as sensitive as the car and will work. You probably have other outlets with wimpy old connections, as evidenced by some working and some not with the car. Get the landlord to have an electrician replace the outlet(s) and I bet that will fix it.
  21. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    If it blinks green with no load as soon as it is plugged in, I don't see how it could be "overheating", or even sense that the outlet had overheated in the past.
  22. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Well, I doubt there’s a temperature sensor in the wall plug anyway. I think (but of course don’t know) that the EVSE may sense a bad connection similar to how an arc fault detector works. Bad (but not completely open) connections can develop over time in old outlets.
  23. lotsa questions

    lotsa questions New Member

    Thanks, I will probably replace myself. I just don't want to rock the boat with the landlord.

Share This Page