There are few things more frustrating than when you go to start up your electric golf cart only to find that it has a dead battery. You’re sure that you had the cart connected to the charger and the charger plugged in, but it’s still showing no charge. Upon further investigation, you realize that the golf cart tripped the breaker of the outlet that it was plugged into.
There are several possible reasons why your electric golf cart trips the breaker including the charger or outlet wires are damaged, that you didn’t connect the battery properly, the charger is producing too much electricity, and most commonly you’re overloading the breaker.
Whether it’s only happened a few times or it’s a constant problem, you’ve come to the right place to find out why your electric golf cart is tripping your breaker. We’ll go through each of the possible reasons and provide fixes for them. Together, we will have your electric golf cart charging again in no time!
Why Does My Electric Golf Cart Keep Tripping the Breaker and What to Do
In most cases, there are four possible reasons that your electric golf cart keeps tripping your circuit breaker.
The Charger is Overloading the Breaker
The first thing to check when your breaker is tripping is, it’s possible that your electric golf cart trips the breaker because it’s overloading the circuit. Your home or garage’s electrical system is designed to handle a certain amount of volts and amps at a time. By plugging your golf cart in to charge it, the surge of power might be too much for the system to handle.
Many times your garage outlets have garage door openers, lights, heaters, drill chargers, power tools, and many other items plugged into them. When you plug your golf cart charger in, it draws too much amperage and shuts it off.
This can also happen in the middle of charging if your golf cart charges for a while and then you open your garage door with the opener. This rush of amperage is sure to flip the breaker, especially if it is only a 15 amp circuit.
To test this theory, plug your golf cart into an outlet on a different circuit and see if the breaker trips. If it doesn’t, then you have your answer.
What to Do
If you discover that the reason your golf cart keeps tripping the breaker is because of electrical overload, you have two options. First, you can try plugging your golf cart charger into a different circuit. The downside of this is that most homes have all the outlets in a single room on the same circuit, so you’ll have to use a long extension cord.
Your other option is to unplug or disconnect other devices on the circuit while your golf cart is charging. Doing this will make it so that there is less electricity on the circuit, which means that the sudden surcharge of power from the golf cart won’t trip the breaker.
Lastly, you could wire in a dedicated circuit or a secondary circuit to your garage for the golf cart charger. This is very easy especially if your breaker panel is located in the garage.
The Wires are Damaged
The second possibility is that the wires on your golf cart charger are damaged. If they’re frayed in any way, it will cause your circuit breaker to trip as a protective measure. It’s also possible that the electrical cord you’re using to plug the charger into the wall outlet is damaged. Finally, it’s possible that the electrical wires in the outlet itself are damaged and causing the breaker to trip.
While each of these is possible, the most likely culprit is that the charger wires are damaged.
What to Do
If you think that a damaged charger, cord, or outlet wires are the issue, you’ll have to perform a visual inspection. First, make sure the circuit breaker is turned off, and power isn’t running to any of the wires in question. By looking at the wires, you’ll be able to tell if they’re damaged or frayed. You can then perform the necessary repairs or replacements. Sometimes mice or rodents get into your golf cart and chew away, this happens a lot.
Wires are Touching
It’s also possible that the wires at the golf cart’s charger are touching one another. Anytime one hot wire touches another one, it will cause the controlling breaker to trip. Otherwise, touching wires will create an electrical spark and could be a fire hazard.
What to Do
Go to the golf cart charger and visually examine the wires. If they’re touching or aren’t connected properly, this is likely the cause of your breaker-tripping problems.
You Didn’t Connect to the Battery Properly
It’s also possible that you didn’t connect the charger to the battery properly. Golf cart batteries, like car batteries, aren’t designed with interchangeable diodes and polarities. It’s necessary to connect the negative diode to the negative terminal and the positive diode to the positive terminal.
When you connect the wrong diode to the wrong terminal, it’s known as reverse polarity, and it will cause your breaker to trip. It will also cause your GFCI outlet to trip if your charger is plugged into one. If necessary, check your owner’s manual to confirm which diode goes to which terminal.
What to Do
Once again, you can solve this problem with a quick visual inspection and a quick look at your owner’s manual. If you have the charger and battery connected incorrectly, switch them around and reset the breaker. If the breaker doesn’t trip, then reverse polarity was the source of your problem.
How do You Troubleshoot a Golf Cart Charger?
Because a faulty battery charger is often the culprit behind a tripped breaker, let’s dig into how to troubleshoot them. Here are a couple of indicators that could signify you have a bad charger.
- The charger makes a clicking or ticking noise when you plug it in. When this happens, your charger will fail to provide any charge to your golf cart battery and could potentially trip the breaker.
- It’s also possible that your charger doesn’t fully charge your golf cart or that it overcharges it and fails to turn off. When this happens, it’s known as a charger brain failure, and could lead to a tripped breaker.
- If you plug in your charger, connect it to the batteries, and nothing happens, you likely have a bad charger. You for sure have a bad charger if the charging light fails to turn on. While this won’t always lead to a tripped breaker, it can.
- If you notice corrosion, rust, or frayed wires on the charger cord, it’s likely causing your breaker to trip.
If you notice any of these things, it’s time to invest in a new electric golf cart charger. Your problem will likely persist until you do so.
Should You Leave Your Electric Golf Cart Plugged in All the Time?
If you have your golf cart plugged into a trickle, drip, or auto charger, it’s ok to leave it plugged in all the time. In fact, most manufacturers recommend keeping your electric golf cart plugged in as long as you have one of these chargers. Leaving it permanently plugged into a regular charger, however, could damage the battery or reduce its lifespan.
Does a Golf Cart Battery Charger Have a Fuse?
As with most electrical devices, your golf cart battery charger has a fuse. However, a blown fuse is rarely the cause of a tripped breaker and isn’t something you have to check unless nothing else is working.