Why Does My Golf Cart Charger Keep Tripping Breaker/GFCI?

Golf Cart charger tripping the circuit breaker

Why does my Golf Cart Charger keep tripping the Breaker?

A golf cart charger can trip the breaker if the batteries are connected in reverse polarity, the wires of the charger are damaged, or when a connection is overloading the breaker.


Damaged Wires

If the wire of the charger is damaged or cut, it may short the circuit and trip the breaker. You must ensure that the wire is insulated properly throughout its length to prevent it from tripping the breaker.


Incorrect Battery Connections

In case the batteries of the golf cart are connected in reverse polarity, they may tend to draw extra load from the charger and end up tripping the breaker. You can refer to the user manual to check if the connections are correct or not.


Breaker is Overloading

Often, some other connection might be faulty and the added load of the golf cart charger might end up tripping the breaker. You can remove the other connections and then run the charger to see if the fault is with the other connections or if it is with the charger.


Why is my Golf Cart Charger Tripping the GFCI?

The GFCI may keep tripping on connecting the golf cart charger if the charger is not properly grounded or if the GFCI detects any high-speed pulses or noise as a ground fault.


  • Faulty Charger

The golf cart charger can often have faulty ground connections which can trip the GFCI once connected. You can identify the faulty connection with the help of your user manual. If your golf cart charger didn’t come with a user manual, you can check with a technician or call the manufacturer.


  • Noise Detected as Ground Fault

The latest golf cart chargers use PWM outputs, which generate high-speed pulses. These high-speed pulses create noise and circulate in the ground circuit trying to reach the transistors.

These noises are intercepted by the GFCI as a ground fault. A common mode choke could work fine with the charger to avoid the GFCI getting tripped.


Club Car Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

Ensuring that the batteries are well maintained can help avoid the Club Car Charger from tripping the breaker.

The water level inside both batteries should not be very low and there should be no damaged connections.

The thermal breaker on the Club Car can also trip due to the formation of carbon deposits at the contacts. In such cases, cleaning the contacts with alcohol will help.

You can follow these steps given below as basic checks to identify the fault. It also shows what you can do to fix the faults.

The below checks were performed on a 2003 Club Car 48V DC Curtis Golf Cart but apply to almost all Club Car models.


  1. Check Batteries

Before checking for faults, while charging the golf cart, you must ensure that the batteries are in good condition. If either of the battery has low water levels or reversed polarity, it can draw extra load from the charger and end up tripping the breaker.


  1. Check Thermal Breaker

There is a black button in the charging unit of a Club Golf Car, which serves as a thermal breaker. Check for carbon deposit on its contacts. If you find that it has deposits, then cleaning it with alcohol can help fix the issues. If not, you may have to replace it.

  1. Check the Outlet

If there are no issues with the charger, there might be an issue with the power outlet. Multiple connections from the same outlet can overload the circuit and trip it. Connecting only the golf cart charger to the outlet will help fix the issue.


Powerdrive 2 Golf Cart Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

A Powerdrive 2 golf cart charger can trip the AC circuit breaker in case the AC cord is shorted, due to a failed transformer, or if the wiring on the charger is done incorrectly. An AC Continuity test should be conducted to identify the problem and get it fixed by a technician. Given below are the steps for conducting the AC Continuity test for an MS, 2005 Powerdrive External Charger.

  1. Unplug the charger from the wall outlet and vehicle receptacles.
  2. Inspect the AC circuit breaker on the front of the charger and reset it if it is tripped.
  3. Inspect AC line fuse in the storage facility.
  4. Using a multimeter that is set to 500V, inspect the wall outlet. The voltage should be between 105-128V.
  5. Remove the charger cover and bypass the relay. After bypassing the relay, there should be continuity in the AC cord blades.
  6. If the circuit remains incomplete, inspect the wiring of the AC Cord, primary winding on the transformer, and the internal AC circuit breaker.
  7. If the charger passes the continuity test, perform individual continuity tests for the transformer, AC Cord, and internal circuit breaker.
  8. Reconnect the relay wiring and close the charger cover.


Powerdrive 3 Golf Cart Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

For a Powerdrive 3 golf cart, you can use a Charger Repair kit to stop the charger from tripping the circuit breaker. The Charger Repair kit includes a replacement relay, rectifier, and breaker. You must ensure that the right repair kit is ordered for the concerned model. It costs around USD 50 on eBay for a charger repair kit for a 2005 Club Car Powerdrive 3.

Before getting a charger repair kit, you can try the following tests to identify the exact problem that is causing the breaker to trip.


  • Transformer Continuity Test

After removing the charger cover, disconnect the primary winding wires of the transformer and connect a tester to it. If the tester doesn’t indicate continuity, get the transformer replaced.


  • AC Circuit Breaker Continuity Test

With the charger disconnected from both the wall outlet and the vehicle receptacles, remove the charger cover and unplug the wires from the AC circuit breaker. Place the tester receptors on the two terminals of the breaker and check for continuity.

If the tester doesn’t indicate continuity, replace the AC circuit breaker.


EZGO Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

The breaker may trip if any one of the following – the diode, transformer, fuse, relay, cord set, batteries, or the PC Board is damaged. It can be fixed by identifying and replacing the damaged part. The following steps help to troubleshoot and to sequentially check all components for the cause of tripping.

  • With the charger closed, plug the DC cord into the vehicle and check if the relay clicks.
  • If yes, connect the charger into a good socket and check if the transformer hums. If the relay doesn’t click, check wiring continuity of DC Cord and replace the PC Board if found faulty.
  • If the transformer hums and the ammeter clicks, the problem could be with the batteries.
  • If the transformer hums but the ammeter doesn’t click, there is a problem with either the diode, fuse, or ammeter connections.
  • If the transformer doesn’t hum, an AC Cord continuity check must be performed to identify if the transformer or PC Board needs replacement.

These troubleshooting steps taken from the EZGO TXT 36V 1997 model’s technician manual can be followed for both EZGO TXT 36V and EZGO TXT 48V.


EZGO 36V Golf Cart Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

The charger of your EZGO 36V may trip the breaker on your power outlet. This issue can be easily fixed by inspecting the batteries and the charger wires and taking the necessary actions as given below.


  • Battery

If any of the batteries are connected in reverse polarity, the charger will draw a heavy load and trip the circuit breaker. To avoid this from happening, ensure that the connections on all batteries are correct in terms of polarity. All connections should be firm and tight.


  • Charger Cord

Damage across the charger cord can leave it shorted and draw a severe load from the outlet and trip the breaker. The cord should be replaced in such cases.


48V Golf Cart Charger Keeps Tripping Breaker

A 48V golf cart charger may trip the AC circuit breaker when a failed transformer is installed, the wiring on the charger is incorrect, or if the AC Cord is shorted. Identifying and replacing the damaged part is the best fix for the problem.

With the charger unplugged from the wall outlet and the charging inlet, inspect the following in the same sequence to identify the damaged part.

  1. Check the AC Circuit and reset if already tripped.
  2. Check AC fuse.
  3. Using a multimeter, check the wall outlet output which should have a voltage between 105-128V.
  4. Check for continuity in the AC cord blades.
  5. Check the wiring of the AC cord, the primary winding on the transformer, and the internal AC circuit breaker.
  6. Replace the part that fails the continuity test.
  7. Ensure that the relay wiring is done correctly before closing the charger cover and using the charger again.

These steps can be followed for all 48V golf carts including the EZGO TXT 48V Powerdrive 2 and Powerdrive 3.


Ernie loves documenting interesting facts about golf.

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