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Question About Charging Out of The Garage


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8 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Michael Archambault

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 01:58 PM

Hello, all!

 

This Tuesday, I'm signing the papers on a C-MAX Energy SE lease and I'm super excited. I have a few questions for those of you knowledgable owners out there. Right now I have a 110v plug in my garage, but the issue is that I will be charging in the driveway and the included 18 foot cord wouldn't reach.

 

I'm calling an electrician to see how much it would possibly cost to install an outside charging point next to the driveway, but I'm worried about the cost. Would I be able to use a heavy duty 10 gauge extension wire to make it out to the driveway? I know that extension cords aren't recommended, but if I use one that could handle the power would that be fine?

 

Thanks for the advice, all.


Edited by Michael Archambault, 26 March 2017 - 02:01 PM.








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#2 OFFLINE   Matt Bonnett

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 02:13 PM

Don't see why not as long as you get one with a good gauge rating. I think the concern and the precaution of not recommending is the vast majority of 'heavy duty' extension cords you get at your average department store aren't a heavy gauge and you are lucky if they even have the rating marked on the packaging. Usually it just lists amperage and will be built to bare minimums to meet that.

 

Our 110V EVSE is rated for 12 amps. If memory serves the recommended wire gauge is 14 minimum for that, 12 or better preferred. I picked up a 25' 12 gauge at Home Depot and my first night charging from 0 to 100% was just fine and the entire length of the extension cord, plug to plug, was luke warm at best when it was about in the middle of the charge. Main reason for the 25' in my case is one wall outlet in the garage and my parking spot is on the other side. 



#3 OFFLINE   Perry Knopp

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 03:44 PM

 Running a plug outside shouldn't be that much. I've had one (on the other side of the house from the driveway) for years and it works fine. Either solution should work though as long as you do it right and neither should be really expensive.



#4 OFFLINE   bdginmo

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 04:59 PM

Residential voltage in the US is actually 120. Anyway, yeah, I don't think you'll have a problem with an extension cord as long as it is a good quality one and at least 12 gauge.



#5 ONLINE   rbort

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 07:02 PM

Of course you can use an extension cord, I use one ALL the time even when distance is not necessary so I don't plug my charger directly into an outlet.  A 25 foot one from home depot works fine, I think the one I have is either 12 or 14 gage.  I also have a 100 foot one I take for travel.  I use that at hotels no problem.  I have to unwind it off the spool as otherwise wound up it would heat up an start to smell, but unwound it seems to do the trick no problem the heat and get out of it laying on the ground.

 

For what its worth, I never used a 240v charger at home, always 120 works perfectly for me.

 

-=>Raja.



#6 OFFLINE   Michael Archambault

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Posted 26 March 2017 - 09:30 PM

Okay, thanks for all the feedback.

 

It seems that when I ask around a lot of people seem to get ruffled by the question. I assume it is said by the manufacturer just to prevent someone using a cheap old electric cord to try and carry the high current. I assumed it would be safe with a good heavy duty extension cord (how is that different from solid internal wiring, right?).

 

I'll still see what the electrician says to run a box outside, but it would be nice just to plug into the garage's outlet and use a 100 foot cord to run it out to the driveway.



#7 OFFLINE   patbob

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Posted 27 March 2017 - 06:51 PM

I can't recall where I saw it, perhaps on this forum, but apparently there's been cases where people using an extension cord had an end start to melt.  The wire in extension cords are crimped together, and can sometimes develop hotspots during the sustained amperage draw that they see from an EV charger.  So.. buy the heaviest gauge extension cord you can tolerate (nothing smaller than 12), and keep a close eye on it.  A better solution would be to have an electrician run that outdoor 110V outlet, just make sure they put an in-use weather cover on it.

 

Whatever you do, just keep an eye on it to catch any potential issues before they are problems.



#8 ONLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:42 AM

 A better solution would be to have an electrician run that outdoor 110V outlet, just make sure they put an in-use weather cover on it.

If you are going to pay an electrician to run an outlet, you may as well have them run wire for a 240V circuit.  The labor expense is the same no matter if you're adding 120V or 240V.  This way you'll be ready to add a Level 2 EVSE when you can, and get the benefit of pre-conditioning in the  cooler months.

Think future proofing, and add a 50A circuit so you'll be ready to charge a Chevy Bolt, or Tesla Model 3, or Ford (insert name here). :wink:



#9 ONLINE   rbort

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 12:39 PM

If the extension plug ends start getting hot, you can cut them off and replace them with higher quality ends.  Over time I had to do that with mine since the extension (the 100 foot one) was old and the plugs were somewhat worn out.  You can buy better plugs for both ends for it from Home Depot as well.

 

The 25 foot I'm using is stock with its own plugs and a light inside the plug to tell me power is there.

 

-=>Raja.


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