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Charger outlet connector overheated - Check yours

Charger outlet connector overheated - Check yours

I used the standard charger cable (the one that comes with the car) for 5 months before getting my High Power Wall Charger (HPWC). I then put the original charger in my trunk. Last week I took it out to charge at a friends house and I couldn't get the 240V adapter off the cable to switch to the 110V adapter (yes, I was pushing the release button). I finally pried it off with a screwdriver and I saw that the inside of the adapter had melted to the inside of the cable connection.

I brought it to Tesla Fremont yesterday and they replaced it. The service tech said they had seen this a few times before.

I would suggest that you remove your adapter and look inside. If the plastic is melting around the pins, it's time to call Tesla.

Kimscar | April 10, 2013

Does anyone know what the wire gauge they are using?

shop | April 10, 2013

Mine's fine.

stevenmaifert | April 10, 2013

My NEMA 14-50 adapter gets warm to the touch when charging as does the cable between the adapter and the box, but not hot enough to melt anything.

Kimscar | April 10, 2013

Melting can occur if the wire gauge is too small or if the wire connection to the connector is poor. A high resistance connection would heat it up also. Power = Current squared x resistance.

rjones | April 27, 2013

Mine is too hot to touch and plastic starting to melt around the connector pins. Shot temp at outlet and cord. 196 degrees on outside at the connector/cord point. R

Kimscar | April 27, 2013

It sounds to me like there is a bad connection of the wire to the connector pin. If it is a cold solder joint that would lead to high resistance and excessive heat. There is a trade off between wire gauge used. A thicker wire has less voltage drop across the wire and is less flexible. A thinner wire had more voltage drop and gets warmer. I would think they choose a wire gauge that meets the criteria of not getting to hot and not dropping too much voltage across the wire. However if the connection made from the wires to the pins is poor from bad assembly then you will melt the connector.

mal42north | April 27, 2013

A possibly more likely problem is that the 14-50 socket is wearing out. The sockets are typically only rated for a small number of insert cycles (if you can even find the rating), probably because they are typically used for "fixed" appliances. Any heat generated in the socket or 14-50 pins will get conducted straight to the adapter connector. On the assumption that Tesla has engineered their adapter appropriately, I usually leave the 14-50 socket in the wall and disconnect the adapter from the cable.

Kimscar | April 27, 2013

It is highly unlikely that the issue is wear out of the connector. They are pretty rugged. This is probably a manufacturing problem where there is a high resistance connection from the wire to the blade. I need to look up the spec but would bet its greater than 10,000 mate demates. Also I can't believe that the engineer that designed a simple cable like this didn't check that out.