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Do You Unplug During Thunderstorms

  • Yes

    Votes: 41 52.6%
  • No

    Votes: 37 47.4%
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Discussion Starter #1
This topic has not been covered in a while. How many people unplug their car during an electrical storm?
 

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Thunderstorms come up too fast or at night when I wouldn't want to touch electrical stuff. My car charges outside 99% of the time. Walking out in the rain and lightening to unplug the car seems pretty dangerous.

I have stayed plugged in all night for over 5 years with two different cars in tornado alley. No issues.

Now if there is hail predicted, the car goes in the garage.
 

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I do if there are strong storms predicted and I'm around to do it. I don't stress over it, but it makes sense to take a few seconds to avoid even a small chance at problems.
 

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Our Volt sits in a garage.
I unplugged last night due to thunderstorms heading our way.
Our home has additional surge protection devices at the main breaker panel.
I unplug to avoid any headaches that might occur from potential lightening damage.
 
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Ours is always garaged too. I unplug when the car is fully charged and don't plug it in again until I need to charge again, so unless there's a storm while it's charging, it's already unplugged

Don
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another thought is that no matter what car you have, a direct/nearby strike can fry your electrical components. I guess with an EV the damage will just be greater. If it's plugged in does that increase the range from which a lightning strike can do damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ours is always garaged too. I unplug when the car is fully charged and don't plug it in again until I need to charge again, so unless there's a storm while it's charging, it's already unplugged

Don
Common wisdom seems to be that it's best to leave your car plugged in all the time to keep the battery constantly conditioned.
 

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Common wisdom seems to be that it's best to leave your car plugged in all the time to keep the battery constantly conditioned.
Yes I think that's best. That's why I purchased a recently built Volt too. Some dealers probably don't bother keeping the car plugged in, so it may sit on the lot with no charge and no battery conditioning
for long periods.
 

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Nope, leave it plugged in. If I think it's really bad, or we have a power outage, I'll throw my house main breaker to prevent a surge or brownout.

If there's enough rush current from a lightning strike to hurt it, lots more things will also be damaged. There's pretty much nothing you can do to stop it either. There's no surge suppressor or lightning arrestor on earth that can take a direct hit. The grounds reverse and it's like trying to catch a full 5 gallon bucket in a thimble. Just not happening.

I'm more worries about this. That is/was my front yard. took 4 engines to get it out.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/fBofd8eGhl2tcY4A2
 

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I respectfully disagree with leaving the Volt plugged in during an electrical storm. I will delay or interrupt charging if there are storms in the area (within less than about 5 miles.) Electrical surges can come through either hot wire of a 240V circuit and even through the house ground connection. Lightning can strike the power lines or it can travel significant distance horizontally once it strikes the ground. I also unplug my other expensive electronics, i.e. flat screen, laptops etc. I will sometimes turn off the circuit breaker on my EVSE circuit at the electrical panel. These precautions come from my past experience of having television sets, computers and power strips damaged by lightning. My Volt is the most expensive electronic equipment I own so I protect it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I respectfully disagree with leaving the Volt plugged in during an electrical storm. I will delay or interrupt charging if there are storms in the area (within less than about 5 miles.) Electrical surges can come through either hot wire of a 240V circuit and even through the house ground connection. Lightning can strike the power lines or it can travel significant distance horizontally once it strikes the ground. I also unplug my other expensive electronics, i.e. flat screen, laptops etc. I will sometimes turn off the circuit breaker on my EVSE circuit at the electrical panel. These precautions come my past experience of having television sets, computers and power strips damaged by lightning. My Volt is the most expensive electronic equipment I own so I protect it.
All fair points. So what's the best option when you go away on vacation for a week or more? You can't predict the weather that far out.
 

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All fair points. So what's the best option when you go away on vacation for a week or more? You can't predict the weather that far out.
I usually drive my Volt to the BWI airport or BWI Amtrak station and park nearby those terminals at the home of some friends. No worries about my 2017 Volt sitting unplugged with perhaps 50-60% SOC for a week or more. In winter this is not an issue at all. In summer months I suck it up and assume the Volt will turn on the fan and/or AC to cool the battery if there is an extreme heat wave. If I ever went on a trip and left my Volt parked at home I would not leave it plugged in.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In summer months I suck it up and assume the Volt will turn on the fan and/or AC to cool the battery if there is an extreme heat wave. If I ever went on a trip and left my Volt parked at home I would not leave it plugged in.
So that's ok in your garage unplugged as well? No chance of the engine firing up?
 

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So that's ok in your garage unplugged as well? No chance of the engine firing up?
Not unless the Volt is left powered on and the battery was allowed to reach minimum SOC. Even then the Gen 2 Volt will shut off after 2.5 hours if not driven. Remote start/preconditioning could cause the ICE to run if the garage temperature was below 35F (at or below 15F if Engine Assist Heat is set to Deferred) but only for 10 minutes (20 minutes if you extend the preconditioning cycle.)

If I lived in the southwest I might be concerned about parking the Volt for extended periods in the summer heat, then I might leave the Volt plugged in to cool the battery as needed.

If my Volt's 12V AGM battery loses its charge while the Volt is parked I might need to jump start the Volt when I return home. Unless the 12V battery is nearing the end of its life it should be able to maintain a charge for at least several weeks. I keep a USB adapter with a voltage readout plugged into the Volt's accessory port. The day that this voltmeter displays less than 12.0 volts after powering off the Volt is the day I start shopping for a replacement 12V AGM battery. Normally the 12V battery voltage will hold at 12.3 or 12.4 volts for at least a few minutes after powering down but before opening the driver's door (this shuts down the infotainment system, other systems except the interior cabin lights and the Volt's headlight and exterior lighting programmed delay on exit.)
 
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Common wisdom seems to be that it's best to leave your car plugged in all the time to keep the battery constantly conditioned.
I think if you park it where it might be subjected to temps above 90 degrees or below freezing, that might be good idea . . . . but I'm still not hot on the idea of leaving it sitting fully charged for any length of time. 9 days out of 10, ours is sitting in the garage less than fully charged and I much prefer that scenario. I never plug it in unless it needs charging, so we can often drive it for 3 or 4 days before the battery gets low enough that range for the next trip may be a problem - Then it needs to be charged and I prefer to charge it shortly before we'll be using it, so it doesn't sit fully charged. This has pretty much be my practice for the past 6 years driving BEV's and I really don't see any reason to change

Don
 

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I think if you park it where it might be subjected to temps above 90 degrees or below freezing, that might be good idea . . . . but I'm still not hot on the idea of leaving it sitting fully charged for any length of time. 9 days out of 10, ours is sitting in the garage less than fully charged and I much prefer that scenario. I never plug it in unless it needs charging, so we can often drive it for 3 or 4 days before the battery gets low enough that range for the next trip may be a problem - Then it needs to be charged and I prefer to charge it shortly before we'll be using it, so it doesn't sit fully charged. This has pretty much be my practice for the past 6 years driving BEV's and I really don't see any reason to change

Don
I tend to charge my Volt following your charging routine in the spring and fall but prefer to keep the Volt plugged in most of the time during the summer and winter months if I am at home. In summer the fan and AC will come on after 8-9 hours parked inside a hot (90F) garage. In winter I am addicted to preconditioning my Volt while plugged in before driving.
 

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Put me solidly in the "Unplug" Camp. We have the Volt and two other BEV's and when storms come up they all get unplugged, if possible. 2 minutes worth of prevention is worth days or weeks of repair time. At work I can plug in, but avoid it in the summer when pop up showers are possible. At my work I am away from the office for 9 hours while my vehicle is there. After one storm last year when I was plugged in My EVSE took a hit (apparently) and no longer charges any of my vehicles. My Volt, however, suffered no problems as a result of the storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
After one storm last year when I was plugged in My EVSE took a hit (apparently) and no longer charges any of my vehicles. My Volt, however, suffered no problems as a result of the storm.
That's certainly encouraging. Maybe the J1772 protocol has some type of protection in it?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I think if you park it where it might be subjected to temps above 90 degrees or below freezing, that might be good idea . . . . but I'm still not hot on the idea of leaving it sitting fully charged for any length of time. 9 days out of 10, ours is sitting in the garage less than fully charged and I much prefer that scenario. I never plug it in unless it needs charging, so we can often drive it for 3 or 4 days before the battery gets low enough that range for the next trip may be a problem - Then it needs to be charged and I prefer to charge it shortly before we'll be using it, so it doesn't sit fully charged. This has pretty much be my practice for the past 6 years driving BEV's and I really don't see any reason to change

Don
I tend to charge my Volt following your charging routine in the spring and fall but prefer to keep the Volt plugged in most of the time during the summer and winter months if I am at home. In summer the fan and AC will come on after 8-9 hours parked inside a hot (90F) garage. In winter I am addicted to preconditioning my Volt while plugged in before driving.
And to think I've been on this board for over a year and feel like I've been beaten over the head about just leaving my car plugged in all the time, anytime. :confused:
 

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Wasn't there a few Volts put down by a lightning strike and weren't able to be resurrected even after thousands of dollars and modules were spent?

I'm an unplugger.
 
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