: Charging a volt in outside without a garage



Hollywoods
08-01-2011, 08:17 PM
For those of you who do not have a covered garage how do you charge your volt? What do you use to protect the charging case from the weather? Is there anything you can buy to cover the charging case to protect it from rain, snow etc?

Rusty
08-01-2011, 08:45 PM
For those of you who do not have a covered garage how do you charge your volt?

Caveats: I have a covered garage (it's the thing that all the crap^h^h^h^hstuff is stored in so the Volt can't park there). And Southern California never gets any weather.

Normally my EVSE is plugged into a plug in the garage so the controller stays indoors. But for those times I can't do that I run my EVSE as I posted in this posting.

Basically I bought a boot box from the Container Store and put the EVSE controller in there. The control box is reasonably weather rated by itself, but I didn't want to just leave it laying on the ground. An advantage of this size box is it fits under the car, even with as low as the Volt is to the ground.

YMMV in snow...

P.S. I never leave my EVSE laying around without locking it up to something...

Noel Park
08-01-2011, 09:24 PM
I charge my Volt outside at work. The 120v controller is hung on the wall outside next to the outdoor socket. It stays there all the time. I fabricated a little aluminum sort of eyebrow to hang off the wall and deflect the worst of the rain. It has been there since March, and there were some pretty significant rains in late March. It's working fine. It is rated to be outside, and I think it's fine to use it that way. There have been photos here from time to time of even 240v controllers mounted outside, some of them with boxes around them and some not. if you search the old threads on the forums you can probably find something which will help.

I share Rusty's concern about theft. Fortunately, my controller is behind a locked gate. We made a hole in the fence and pass the plug out to the parking lot each AM, LOL.

Steverino
08-01-2011, 09:41 PM
My roof overhang keeps it pretty well protected and I plug into a covered GFI outlet. If you dont have an overhang, you could make a two sided box with a shed roof that encloses the charger and the outlet. A simple weekend project using 1x6 sides and a 1x12" roof. Plywood, pine, or cedar would work. If you want to get fancy add a simple door. I could find nothing on the unit or install instructions relating to exterior use.

I use the GFI test button to test the system daily, after I unplug the car. So it acts as an Off switch as well.

24692470

larry4pyro
08-01-2011, 10:04 PM
I just purchased a Voltec 240 VAC charger, The installations directions state "The Charge Station may be installed outside and can be mounted on a beam and wired through the conduit on the bottom of the Charge Station."

HOUSTONVOLTAGE
08-02-2011, 02:23 AM
I hook my charger up at work and have to use an extension cord to reach the outlet. The cord lays on the sidewalk. It's been out in heavy rains, hot sun, with no problems so far.

BlackVolt
08-02-2011, 07:32 AM
I hook my charger up at work and have to use an extension cord to reach the outlet. The cord lays on the sidewalk. It's been out in heavy rains, hot sun, with no problems so far.

I would not recommend using an extension cord to charge the Volt. On Chatper 9, Page 55 of the owners manual it states,

An extension cord should not
be used to charge the vehicle.
Use of an extension cord may
increase the risk of electric
shock or other hazards.
If an extension cord is used
because of limited access
to 120V AC power, use the
following safeguards:
The 120V AC outlet should be
GFCI protected.
The extension cord should be:
. GFCI protected.
. 12 or 14 gage, 3 conductor.
. Rated for outdoor.

But I guess if you follow those instructions you will be fine.

Bob_Livonia
08-02-2011, 09:11 AM
I charge my Volt outside in the rain occasionally when I plug in the 120 volt charge cord while stopped at a location that allows me to plug in. Just keep the box connected to the short cord off the ground and out of water. The components are protected from the weather. Checking the Volt's owner's manual, I see no cautions about charging in the rain or snow (but it does warn against using extension cords).

Interestingly, on page CH-2 of the 2011 Nissan Leaf Owner's manual (shared via a link through this forum earlier), it warns "Do not plug in or unplug the plug with wet hands and do not stand in water, liquid or snow. This may cause an electric shock which may result in serious personal injury or death." They also have dire warnings against getting inside the Leaf (or opening the rear hatch) when it is charging if you have a pacemaker. They also warn to make sure there is no water in the charge port and to check that it is not damaged by rust.

My understanding is that the Volt has sufficient internal GFCI protection and charger intelligence to shut down the charge if there's any current leakage. Of course, electrical outlets and charger installations may vary, so it is a good idea not to assume there is GFCI protection on the outdoor electrical outlet, particularly if you touch the prongs that go into the 120V electrical outlet.

ssj4vegita2002
08-02-2011, 09:19 AM
This is my setup: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5952-Custom-Voltec-110v-Charge-Setup

DonC
08-02-2011, 10:10 AM
This is my setup: http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?5952-Custom-Voltec-110v-Charge-Setup
This seems like the most elegant 120v solution for outdoor charging posted so far.

tangentlin
08-02-2011, 11:59 PM
My TH does not have covered parking, I had to run 50-ft long 10-gauge cord from my bathroom to the car. I normally lay the charger on the curb and right underneath the vehicle. I bought Corduct Cord protector from Home Depot to hide the cord where it crosses the sidewalk. This adds weight to the cord to stay on the ground and avoids tripping accident. After finish charging, I would retract the cord and hung it on the staircase.

So far I saw no accident, and the rain does not seem to bother the charging that much. I bought a Power Cord Protection box from Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004BA756C) and only used it twice for stormy weather, and it worked beautifully well.

voltage692
08-03-2011, 12:54 AM
I'll never understand this way of thinking. But to each their own.

You just bought a new car, and a relatively expensive one at that. Many times, you'll hear it's the second largest spend besides a house for families.

What kills cars are suns rays and all the crap in the air. Yet, people will keep what amounts to $5K worth of junk in their garage instead of protecting something worth $40K.

You are not alone, my friend. It's how they do it here in Texas.




Caveats: I have a covered garage (it's the thing that all the crap^h^h^h^hstuff is stored in so the Volt can't park there). And Southern California never gets any weather.

Normally my EVSE is plugged into a plug in the garage so the controller stays indoors. But for those times I can't do that I run my EVSE as I posted in this posting.

Basically I bought a boot box from the Container Store and put the EVSE controller in there. The control box is reasonably weather rated by itself, but I didn't want to just leave it laying on the ground. An advantage of this size box is it fits under the car, even with as low as the Volt is to the ground.

YMMV in snow...

P.S. I never leave my EVSE laying around without locking it up to something...

Rusty
08-03-2011, 01:20 AM
What kills cars are suns rays and all the crap in the air. Yet, people will keep what amounts to $5K worth of junk in their garage instead of protecting something worth $40K.

Well, I'll agree that what kills car's *paint* are sun rays and all the crap in the air. Those things don't much bother the rest of the car.

As to what goes in the garage - it's mostly my wife's junk we have stored there, and it's my car in the driveway. I pick and chose the discussions I want to lose husband points over. That's not one of them at the moment. She knows where I sleep...

That said, she's working on cleaning up the garage, and has it down to 75% "stuff". When she gets it down to 50% I may just well be good to go.

voltage692
08-03-2011, 03:00 AM
It kills the interior as well.

And what gets you the highest resale value? A good looking exterior and interior.

I just hate to see any cars abused by being left out.



Well, I'll agree that what kills car's *paint* are sun rays and all the crap in the air. Those things don't much bother the rest of the car.

As to what goes in the garage - it's mostly my wife's junk we have stored there, and it's my car in the driveway. I pick and chose the discussions I want to lose husband points over. That's not one of them at the moment. She knows where I sleep...

That said, she's working on cleaning up the garage, and has it down to 75% "stuff". When she gets it down to 50% I may just well be good to go.

doubledave
08-03-2011, 06:14 AM
Yep, it was a huge task for me, but a few weeks before the Volt arrived, my priority was to clear up the garage to fit the Volt inside.
* I didn't want too many neighbors to see that I have such an expensive car.
* I installed the charging station on the wall in the garage next to where the charge port is of the Volt.
* Unlike with my previous car, I had a covered place to put it when a hailstorm is on the way.
* I can keep the Volt shaded on the hot summer afternoons
* I can keep the Volt dry when it rains
* I can keep the dew off the Volt overnight when it is colder and/or more humid. (and frost on those cold Winter nights)
So yeah, that was my big high priority project in the weeks before the Volt arrived. I wanted the same thing for the previous car, but wasn't motivated enough until I was about to get the Volt.

Bert
08-30-2011, 04:01 PM
Yet, people will keep what amounts to $5K worth of junk in their garage instead of protecting something worth $40K.

If I gold plated everything in my garage it still wouldn't be close to $5k.

I often park outside as well, mainly because balls, bikes, rakes, hoses and other unidentifiable objects that come as a side effect of family life amount to a big deal of clutter. So, having the cars in the garage and the backyard full of stuff seems to cause me more forehead frowning than the balls and bikes behind a closed door and a beautiful piece of engineering to look at.

Having a shared arrangement with both the stuff and the cars in the garage, which is possible with some consideration from the parties involved, seems to be not working out since the distance between scraping object and object that should not be scraped is less than 15'. My kids are 4 and 7, so it'll get better over time. Right?

Slapshot28
08-30-2011, 04:55 PM
My kids are 4 and 7, so it'll get better over time. Right?

Not before it gets worse, trust me!

Trakehner
06-21-2012, 04:21 PM
When I was charging my Volt outside (finally cleaned out the garage), I bought a 10ga. extension cord...worked perfectly and was certainly big enough. The 14ga got warm.

Cord
06-22-2012, 03:56 AM
How long were the extension cords ? -

I am wondering what the pay back time is for the extra electricity loss in the 14 g cable vs the cost of the 10 g ? I though 10 gauge was camper or generator cable ? at $1+ a foot ?

I would think the short 1 foot section on the charger would be the hottest segment - unless the plug was the hot spot at the electrical box.

My outside cables get hotter in full sun light than the I^2R heating.

Wonder if the flat cables transfer heat to air better than the round cable ?

artsci
06-22-2012, 11:50 AM
Here's a link to my post about my set-up. I'm now modifying to prepare for future arrival of a Tesla model S.

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?10095-My-Personal-Outdoor-Curbside-120-240V-Charging-Station&highlight=curbside

I completely disagree with those who have said that parking outdoors ruins the car's finish and interior. I have a 10 year old Honda S2000 that has been parked outside since day one. It has been religiously waxed with Zaino and it looks brand new today, in fact much better the S2000s of the same age that have been garaged. It's more about the quality and frequency of care you give the car's finish and interior, and the quality of the materials used, not where it's parked.

dannyrusso
06-24-2012, 12:07 PM
I added a 110v receptacle on the side of the house, and made a swing out cable holder with some eye-hooks as guides for the cable. I used standard PVC from Home Depot. Stays outside and doesn't seem to be bothered by the elements.