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Charging with extension cord


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10 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Jodi Moyers

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Posted 21 October 2015 - 07:04 PM

I know it's not recommend but until I get my L2 charger installed I have to use the one that came with the car and I have to use an extension cord to get to the charger. Is this ok? The cord says 15A and 125V.







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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 04:21 AM

The primary reason extension cords are not recommended is that if the gauge of the extension cord is to small there could be a voltage drop and an overloaded cord could cause excess heat that can result in a fire. That being said a properly sized extension cord will avoid these problems. The house wiring for a 15A circuit is 14 gauge so an extension cord that is 14 gauge will work. Either a 12 or 14 gauge extension cord can be used to prevent problems.

If a 16 gauge extension cord is used check the wall plug end to make sure the plug is not getting hot to the touch. I would not use a 16 gauge extension cord for regular use.

 

Make sure to use an extension cord that is as short as possible as well.

 

Tom


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#3 OFFLINE   cwstnsko

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 06:31 AM

I agree with Tom.  I would add that another reason the manual recommends against using a cord is that there is a thermistor in the plug on your 2015 EVSE that detects an overheating outlet and shuts it off.  When using an extension cord, the thermistor can monitor the extension cord to EVSE connection, but not the cord to wall socket connection. 

To combat this, look for a high quality, heavy duty cord designed for Appliance or Air Conditioner use, 14 gauge or larger, and only as long as you need.  If there is any question at all about the quality of the wall socket, replace it with a new one of the highest quality you can find at the hardware store. Some high quality sockets may be referred to as commercial grade or hospital grade.  A good quality outlet will likely cost more than $5.  Most of the sockets installed by builders cost less than $1.  Make sure the high quality socket is installed using the screw terminals or screw clamps, not the push-in style connections.  All of this move the odds in your favor, but still monitor the wall socket and plug in the middle of the charging cycle to see if there is any heating beyond mild warming. If your installation is sound, the warmest part of the system will be either the cord from the EVSE to the car, or the input cord attached to the EVSE.  This gives you some assurance that EVSE itself  is the least over engineered element of the system. If you wait until the end of the charging cycle, the current will have dropped off and you risk overlooking a problem.  Also watch for any signs of heating or discoloration at the socket. 

This may seem like an over abundance of caution, but plug-in L1 EVSEs, plugged into common household outlets appear to by the most problematic part of EV ownership from a safety perspective. 


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#4 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 06:46 AM

I agree with Tom.  I would add that another reason the manual recommends against using a cord is that there is a thermistor in the plug on your 2015 EVSE that detects an overheating outlet and shuts it off.  When using an extension cord, the thermistor can monitor the extension cord to EVSE connection, but not the cord to wall socket connection. 

To combat this, look for a high quality, heavy duty cord designed for Appliance or Air Conditioner use, 14 gauge or larger, and only as long as you need.  If there is any question at all about the quality of the wall socket, replace it with a new one of the highest quality you can find at the hardware store. Some high quality sockets may be referred to as commercial grade or hospital grade.  A good quality outlet will likely cost more than $5.  Most of the sockets installed by builders cost less than $1.  Make sure the high quality socket is installed using the screw terminals or screw clamps, not the push-in style connections.  All of this move the odds in your favor, but still monitor the wall socket and plug in the middle of the charging cycle to see if there is any heating beyond mild warming. If your installation is sound, the warmest part of the system will be either the cord from the EVSE to the car, or the input cord attached to the EVSE.  This gives you some assurance that EVSE itself  is the least over engineered element of the system. If you wait until the end of the charging cycle, the current will have dropped off and you risk overlooking a problem.  Also watch for any signs of heating or discoloration at the socket. 

This may seem like an over abundance of caution, but plug-in L1 EVSEs, plugged into common household outlets appear to by the most problematic part of EV ownership from a safety perspective. 

I actually had a problem where the plug at the wall got very hot. This was due to one of those cheap wall sockets and it did start to discolor the wall socket. Replacing the socket did fixed the overheating problem. 

 

Recently due to an issue with my L1 EVSE cord (Where the charge cycle would not shut off when the butting was pressed at the car) I got a replacement under warrantee and it is the new version with the thermistor in the plug. This cord works well and on checking it had almost no heating at all. 

 

One other point, whether using an extension cord or not make sure there are no other loads on the circuit that the wall outlet is associated with. The L1 EVSE draws about 12 amps. This is ok for a 15 amp circuit but if other loads are present it will likely trip the circuit breaker. 

 

Tom


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#5 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 08:24 AM

I know it's not recommend but until I get my L2 charger installed I have to use the one that came with the car and I have to use an extension cord to get to the charger. Is this ok? The cord says 15A and 125V.

I used one for about a year. Every cord I tried got a bit hot, but I went ahead. Then one day it got so hot that the plug partially melted. When I pulled it apart one of the prongs came off of the OEM cord. I ended up cutting the plug off my OEM charger and replacing it with a good quality one from Home Depot. Now I plug directly, which I should have done from the start. I realized that by running the cord under the garage door, I never needed the extension anyway - I just run the OEM cord around the side of the garage and back my Energi into the space instead of pulling in - and everything worked. Doh!

 

I was using a 10 guage extension cord, BTW. If you use one, check the temperature of the connection about half way through the charge.


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#6 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 10:20 AM

I use an extension chord almost all the time. The thing is to have good contact between the extension and the Evse as well as the extension and the wall outlet. How do you know it's good? Check the temperature by grabbing the connections while charging as others have said.

I use a 25 foot extension almost all the time and a 100 foot when traveling to hotels where I need it. I replaced the cheaper 100ft extension plugs with heavy grade ones from Home Depot and all is well. The good contact between my extension and my EVSE protects my EVSE from being plugged into bad outlets without a good contact that could heat the L plug and damage it.

-=>Raja.

#7 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 11:51 AM

I occasionally use this one, when I am at a friend's house.  It is the same gauge as standard home wiring for a 15A circuit.  It never gets warm to the touch, and is good quality construction.

 

http://www.homedepot...50H31/205377752


Edited by RubyMax, 22 October 2015 - 11:58 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   komondor

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Posted 22 October 2015 - 07:04 PM

I made my own out of 12/2 UF solid wire and used wire staples to attach it to the wall does not get warm at all purchased quality male and female plugs made sure I had nice solid connecttions it is also only 25'.

 

As Tom said the cheap wall outlets with the push in connectors are not the best even changing to using the side posts could make a big difference.



#9 OFFLINE   dicko

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Posted 23 October 2015 - 07:06 AM

As Tom said the cheap wall outlets with the push in connectors are not the best even changing to using the side posts could make a big difference.

 

There are push in connections and then there are push in connections.  The higher quality outlets often have push in connections that then require you to tighten a screw to hold them in place.  These push in connections are OK. The wires are clamped tightly in place and the contact area is large.

 

The lower quality sockets have push in connections that just stick in a hole in the back of the outlet with no screw to tighten.  These outlets are fire hazards plain and simple and as everyone has said, should be replaced with screw down connections.

 

The other reason why you should use a "commerical grade" outlet is the spring tension of the actual connection fork. In cheap builder grade outlets (those costing less than $5), contact with the plug is made on just 2 sides of the blades and spring tension rapidly decreases as the outlet ages with multiple plug/unplug cycles. The higher quality outlets make contact with all 4 sides of the plug blade resulting in low contact resistance, maintained throughout the life of the outlet, and no overheating of the plug.



#10 OFFLINE   new2energi

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 05:41 PM

I agree with Tom.  I would add that another reason the manual recommends against using a cord is that there is a thermistor in the plug on your 2015 EVSE that detects an overheating outlet and shuts it off.  When using an extension cord, the thermistor can monitor the extension cord to EVSE connection, but not the cord to wall socket connection. 

To combat this, look for a high quality, heavy duty cord designed for Appliance or Air Conditioner use, 14 gauge or larger, and only as long as you need.  If there is any question at all about the quality of the wall socket, replace it with a new one of the highest quality you can find at the hardware store. Some high quality sockets may be referred to as commercial grade or hospital grade.  A good quality outlet will likely cost more than $5.  Most of the sockets installed by builders cost less than $1.  Make sure the high quality socket is installed using the screw terminals or screw clamps, not the push-in style connections.  All of this move the odds in your favor, but still monitor the wall socket and plug in the middle of the charging cycle to see if there is any heating beyond mild warming. If your installation is sound, the warmest part of the system will be either the cord from the EVSE to the car, or the input cord attached to the EVSE.  This gives you some assurance that EVSE itself  is the least over engineered element of the system. If you wait until the end of the charging cycle, the current will have dropped off and you risk overlooking a problem.  Also watch for any signs of heating or discoloration at the socket. 

This may seem like an over abundance of caution, but plug-in L1 EVSEs, plugged into common household outlets appear to by the most problematic part of EV ownership from a safety perspective. 

I have a 2013 Energi with 2013 EVSE. The plug got really hot recently... too hot to touch. I replaced cheap box with a sturdier one, appears to have improved.

Do the 2013 EVSE's not have overheating outlet detection failsafe?

 

Thanks.

 



#11 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 18 July 2017 - 06:04 PM

Do the 2013 EVSE's not have overheating outlet detection failsafe?

 

 

No.  If the plug is getting hot make sure the outlet is good and/or plug it into a high quality extension cord from home depot and plug that into the outlet.

 

I use the 25 foot extension cord on mine all the time as I never like to plug the evse directly into an outlet..

 

-=>Raja.










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