: Extension Cord Charging



graynator
10-16-2012, 09:01 PM
Due to the parking situation at my condo complex I have to use an extension cord to charge my Volt.

This has been working pretty well since May using a 12 gauge, 25ft cord. But this morning when I tried to unplug my EVSE from the cord it was melted stuck. I used a screwdriver to try and pull it apart, but unfortunately, the melted connection was so tight that the prongs on the EVSE broke off and remained stuck in the plug on the cord.

So, any tips for extension cord charging, or why this might have happened when otherwise it has been fine? I am using 12AMP mode and noticed that it did often get warm, but nothing like what happened today. From now on I guess I am stuck 8AMP mode unless I can figure out a solution.

The wall plug has seems fine and has never been warm the few times I checked it.

PS- I know extension cord charging is not recommended but I am stuck with it, unfortunately.
Thanks!

ewiggins
10-16-2012, 09:08 PM
Did you get the new 110 V charger? The new 110V charger has a black cord between the charger and the plug for the outlet. The cord between the charger and car plug is still orange. I don't think you are suppose to use an extension cord, but if you must make sure it is heavy duty one.

graynator
10-16-2012, 09:36 PM
Hi, thanks for your response. Yes its the new model with the black cord. I am using a 12-gauge cord, the toughest I can find with a standard plug connector.

saghost
10-16-2012, 09:43 PM
It sounds like the connection between the cord and EVSE got loose/worn/FOD in it - that overheated but the rest of the cord didn't. I've used a 50' Heavy Gauge (15 Amp rated - not positive what gauge) cord from Home Depot half a dozen times with no problem. No specific suggestions from me except make sure the plug ends are in good condition and that there's no gunk in them.

Toasty
10-16-2012, 10:08 PM
It sounds like the connection between the cord and EVSE got loose/worn/FOD in it - that overheated but the rest of the cord didn't. I've used a 50' Heavy Gauge (15 Amp rated - not positive what gauge) cord from Home Depot half a dozen times with no problem. No specific suggestions from me except make sure the plug ends are in good condition and that there's no gunk in them.


what he said, the problem, is the plug on the extension cords are not welded/solder as good, and cant keep up with the heat of the 1400/1500watts at 8+hrs each day.

SharkVolt
10-16-2012, 11:06 PM
Many mass produced cords do not have as good a connection at the ends as they need for high current use.

If you purchase new ends with screw tighteners, (get the highest current rated ones you can find) and tin (solder) the ends before assembling the new end, you will find that the connectors no longer get even warm.

This goes for the charger plug itself, AND the extension cord ends.

EricasVolt
10-16-2012, 11:14 PM
Attach an outdoor rated receptical box to the extension cord. Get the type with the cover that closes with the charger pluged in. This will reduce the chance of FOD.

OhioEE
10-16-2012, 11:40 PM
Well, since you know you aren't supposed to be using an extension cord anyway, and since both are shot, you could do without the plug/receptacle and perform a good watertight splicing together of the cord and charger. I would recommend this over a regular plug left outdoors. Look for waterproof burial rated splice kits.

MTN Ranger
10-17-2012, 12:33 AM
Whenever I use my old or new replacement 120V EVSE with a 15 and 25ft 12G extension cords and they never even get warm or hot for me. Maybe I'm just lucky.

Rampage_Rick
10-17-2012, 03:46 AM
A 12 gauge cord won't get noticably warmer while pulling 12 amps. However, even if the cord is 12 gauge wire it's probably still got cheap injection-molded plugs. These type of connectors don't hold up well to heavy current or heavy usage. (you're lucky to get a month out of them at a construction site before they get cut off and replaced)

I plug my Volt into a 12-gauge extension cord every night, except my cord has Leviton connectors (truthfully they were put on after a 100 ft cord accidentally became several shorter cords...)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31CMndkm9dL._SL500_AA300_.jpghttp://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Leviton-L00-515PV-rw-163329-228114.jpg

spikestabber
10-17-2012, 04:43 AM
A 12 gauge cord won't get noticably warmer while pulling 12 amps. However, even if the cord is 12 gauge wire it's probably still got cheap injection-molded plugs. These type of connectors don't hold up well to heavy current or heavy usage. (you're lucky to get a month out of them at a construction site before they get cut off and replaced)

I plug my Volt into a 12-gauge extension cord every night, except my cord has Leviton connectors (truthfully they were put on after a 100 ft cord accidentally became several shorter cords...)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31CMndkm9dL._SL500_AA300_.jpghttp://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Leviton-L00-515PV-rw-163329-228114.jpg

Yup, this is the proper solution. Cut all that injection molded crap off, including on your EVSE, and install those instead. I had to do the same on my 12GA cord, as countless plug cycles increased the resistance of the plug causing it to melt.

EDIT: The Leviton plugs will last a heck of a lot longer as well.

fishhawk
10-17-2012, 07:53 AM
...truthfully they were put on after a 100 ft cord accidentally became several shorter cords...)
Using a hedge trimmer by any chance? I've got some of those cords...

Seriously, the plug and socket you show look like good solution. I used a 50ft 12ga cord with injection molded plug/socket, and haven't had a problem. But I don't do it often, so it makes me wonder.

Neromanceres
10-17-2012, 08:37 AM
I also use a 25ft 12AWG extension cord for my daily charging.

I bought a high quality cord with a receptical that has blades that retract and then clamp onto the blades of the plug when plugged in (locks the plug in place). It doesn't even get warm. The other end is plugged into a tamper resistance receptical installed into in in-use weather resistant cover.

I have had zero issues and I check the connections at very least once a week after the car has been charging at 12 amps for a couple hours.

http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/6/Tools/2/Electrical/OutdoorPowerCords/PRD~0522319P/Contractor+Grade+Extension+Cord+12%2B3.jsp?locale= en

graynator
10-17-2012, 10:40 AM
Thanks for your help everyone. I am going to try switching to the Leviton plugs on my extension cord and the EVSE. I'll report back how it goes.

EricasVolt
10-17-2012, 11:38 AM
Another 5-15 plug will not keep the dirt out that caused the issue in the first place. This will help.

7650

Here is what I use on my 12 gauge extension cords and have never had an issue. Use a properly sized water tight cord grip to enter the box to make connections to the receptacle.

7651

Fulgerite
10-17-2012, 11:58 AM
A 12 gauge cord won't get noticably warmer while pulling 12 amps. However, even if the cord is 12 gauge wire it's probably still got cheap injection-molded plugs. These type of connectors don't hold up well to heavy current or heavy usage. (you're lucky to get a month out of them at a construction site before they get cut off and replaced)

I plug my Volt into a 12-gauge extension cord every night, except my cord has Leviton connectors (truthfully they were put on after a 100 ft cord accidentally became several shorter cords...)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31CMndkm9dL._SL500_AA300_.jpghttp://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Leviton-L00-515PV-rw-163329-228114.jpg


I agree 100%... The cheap molded vinyl receptacle on the end of the extension cord traps heat inside. It's a combination of low spring contact force combined with a solid vinyl plug body that can lead to overheating. Simply replace the plug on your EVSE and extension cord with a good quality Leviton or Hubbell connector and the problem will not happen again.

graynator
10-18-2012, 08:59 AM
Thanks everyone for the help. I have new plugs installed on my extension code and EVSE and it does not even get warm anymore.

Awesome!

oryx
03-06-2013, 11:12 PM
A 12 gauge cord won't get noticably warmer while pulling 12 amps. However, even if the cord is 12 gauge wire it's probably still got cheap injection-molded plugs. These type of connectors don't hold up well to heavy current or heavy usage. (you're lucky to get a month out of them at a construction site before they get cut off and replaced)

I plug my Volt into a 12-gauge extension cord every night, except my cord has Leviton connectors (truthfully they were put on after a 100 ft cord accidentally became several shorter cords...)

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31CMndkm9dL._SL500_AA300_.jpghttp://www.plumbersurplus.com/images/prod/5/Leviton-L00-515PV-rw-163329-228114.jpg

Anyone have luck purchasing a 10-gauge cord with these hubbell or leviton connectors already attached? Or must you do this yourself? I would prefer to buy it already done if possible. I've looked at the 10-gauge carol branded cords but not sure if those are still molded connectors.

Or this: http://products.ericson.com/item/-cable-hose-protectors-electric-cords-and-cordsets/ndustrial-cordsets-perma-grip-plugs-and-connectors/2510pg103a Overkill for $200? I just want to be as safe as possible. I don't want to skimp if I will be using it almost daily. Seems like a small price to pay considering the investment in the car. Thoughts?

I pick up my 2013 volt on Friday and couldn't be more excited... unfortunately my outside charging outlet is too far away from the driveway and i will probably need an extension cord.

volt_dc
03-07-2013, 12:53 AM
Instead of worrying about plugging and unplugging the extension cord into the socket, what I did was replace the wall outlet with a switched outlet. The on/off switch is located above and the outlet below. The extension cord stays plugged in all the time and it's a matter of me flicking the switch on/off.

emartin00
03-07-2013, 08:21 AM
Anyone have luck purchasing a 10-gauge cord with these hubbell or leviton connectors already attached? Or must you do this yourself? I would prefer to buy it already done if possible. I've looked at the 10-gauge carol branded cords but not sure if those are still molded connectors.

Or this: http://products.ericson.com/item/-cable-hose-protectors-electric-cords-and-cordsets/ndustrial-cordsets-perma-grip-plugs-and-connectors/2510pg103a Overkill for $200? I just want to be as safe as possible. I don't want to skimp if I will be using it almost daily. Seems like a small price to pay considering the investment in the car. Thoughts?

I pick up my 2013 volt on Friday and couldn't be more excited... unfortunately my outside charging outlet is too far away from the driveway and i will probably need an extension cord.

How long of a cord are you looking for? If you are only talking 10 feet, you don't need to go all the way to 10AWG.
Those connectors are very easy to install. All it takes is a screwdriver. They're even marked with the colors, so it's hard to do wrong.

Zeede
03-07-2013, 11:32 AM
So basically if you have a 12g or thicker 25' extension cord you are just fine charging on the 8 amp setting?

nater
03-07-2013, 11:34 AM
12g is fine for 12 amps as well.

Nate

nater
03-07-2013, 11:48 AM
http://www.stayonline.com/reference-circuit-ampacity.aspx

Ampacity table for cords (not for wires). You'll have 2 current carrying conductors in your cord, so you are good for 25 amps up to 50 feet, 18 amps if going further.

Nate

chukiechz
03-10-2013, 03:27 AM
Where can I order those connectors from? Couldn't find them on lowes or Home Depot websites.