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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

Just leased a volt and its great, but I drive a lot and could really use faster charging. I rent a town home w a dryer my garage. We don't use the dryer at all, and I'm looking for a way to use the nema 14 30 that the dryer is plugged into to charge my volt.

I not comfortable wiring anything, and since I don't own the property I don't want to pay to modify any of the existing setup.

What is best option for taking advantage of the 240 access, without any permanent alterations to the property.

I've searched quite a bit but I'm not aware of an evse unit that plugs into 14 30 . I'd be fine with a 15 amp evse if it plugged into this socket and all I had to do was a simple wall mount.

Advice? I've been searching for a while but I haven't quite found a good "here's how to use your dryer plug" guide .
 

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Pigtail on an SPX Voltec would probably be cheapest short of building your own EVSE from parts. As long as it's a modern 4-prong dryer plug with a proper ground rather than neutral. Otherwise, you'd need to rewire the socket with a ground added.
 

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EVSE upgrades

convert your 110 charger to a 240 volt unit...replace the plug to a L6-20R

cheapest way

check with an electrician....your just replacing the plug.....and can be converted back

you have the line....you can use it...and switch it back....when you leave....

your lucky to have that line not being used..my coworker is going to use his dryer line for his future charging use
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Doncaster,

For the evse upgrade would need to change the dryer socket on my garage wall to match what looks like a 6 20 on the end of what you've linked? Or does some type of adapter exist somewhere so I don't need to mod my wall socket. I'd prefer to do this without and modifications to the property in case my landlord wants to know why his dryer won't turn on. If I need to I'd like to be able to plug the dryer back in without needing an electrician.
 

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How about making a short extension cord with male plug that matches the outlet and female that matches your level 2 evse? Assuming you have a good ground in the existing outlet.
 

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For the evse upgrade would need to change the dryer socket on my garage wall to match what looks like a 6 20 on the end of what you've linked?
You can buy an adapter assuming the dryer connection is standard. EVSEUpgrade has an adapter for the standard dryer outlet. http://evseupgrade.com/?main_page=product_info&products_id=17 If not then put any adapter on the end of the pigtail.

Changing the outlet is not a big deal. If you don't want to do it yourself you probably have a friend who will do it for a sixpack. But I doubt you'll need to do that. Since the dryer outlets were changed from three to four prongs for new construction in about 2000, some companies sell an adapter that changes the four slit new outlet to the three slit old outlet, which will fit the EVSEUpgrade adapter I've linked to.

Should all be good. Absolutely nothing will be changed in the rental property.
 

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Given that it's a 30 amp circuit, I'd be hesitant to use an EVSE with a significantly lower rating. The EVSE upgrade of the stock 2013+ L1 is only rated 13 amps, and should have a 15 amp breaker, 20 at the most.

The cleanest and easiest route in my opinion would be a Clipper Creek LCS-25 and a 14-30 plug:



Total cost is about $645. ($595 for the EVSE, $50 for the plug)

There are 3 wires coming out of the LCS-25: The green one connects to the horseshoe prong, the red and black connect to the straight prongs on the left and right. Nothing connects to the straight prong opposite the horseshoe (neutral) If you were so inclined you could even remove this prong, and the plug would fit both 14-30 and 14-50

I own an LCS-25 (branded Sun Country Highway) but I have a twistlock plug on mine... This option also lets you keep your existing L1 unit (I use the L2 primarily, but still use the L1 a few times a week)
 

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I just bought the SPX Power Xpress a couple of months ago. It came with a pigtail with a 6-30 plug, so it could be either hard wired or plugged in. Attaching the plug only requred a screwdriver, so even I could do it. I got it on sale for $600, which is more than the Voltec unit, but it does just what you want. It is adjustable to different current levels, so you can still use it if you buy another EV that charges faster than the Volt, and it has a wall surface mount. You may have to wait for it to go on sale again, though, and I think what the others have suggested is still cheaper.

Edit: Oops, I just read your post again, and saw you have a 14-30 plug, so this still leaves you needing an adapter.
 

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Given that it's a 30 amp circuit, I'd be hesitant to use an EVSE with a significantly lower rating. The EVSE upgrade of the stock 2013+ L1 is only rated 13 amps, and should have a 15 amp breaker, 20 at the most.
A 14-30 to L6-20 adapter with the EVSEupgrade is going to be the least expensive path by far. I used to think there might be an issue using a higher rated circuit with a lower rated EVSE. However, folks plug these units into 50A RV circuits all the time without any adverse consequences so I don't believe that any longer. Even if it was an issue to use the EVSE on a higher rated circuit, it would be cheaper to replace the 30A breakers with 20A ones than to buy an expensive EVSE.

EDIT: I poked around on the adapters and found this one, which is good for 14-30 as well as 14-50 and 14-60. The 14-60 might not be that common but the 14-50 is the standard at RV parks. http://www.evseadapters.com/adapters-for-nissan-leaf.php
 

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Even if it was an issue to use the EVSE on a higher rated circuit, it would be cheaper to replace the 30A breakers with 20A ones than to buy an expensive EVSE.
I agree, but the OP didn't want to modify the house wiring. Switching the breaker is easy, but you have to remember to switch it back when you leave, lest the next tenant start using the dryer and trip the breaker.

The downside of the EVSEupgrade is that you loose the stock 120V charger (also assumes the OP has a 2013)

I always carry the L1 with me, and I take the LCS-25 with me any time I plan on driving more than 20 miles from home. Quite a few of the places I work give me the chance to use the L2. I rarely go somewhere that doesn't even have 120V outlets.
 

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Given that it's a 30 amp circuit, I'd be hesitant to use an EVSE with a significantly lower rating. The EVSE upgrade of the stock 2013+ L1 is only rated 13 amps, and should have a 15 amp breaker, 20 at the most.

SNIP

As long as the amp of the circuit is >= to the device you are fine. Absolutely no risk in using a 12amp EVSE on a 30 amp circuit. Always fine to use less on the circuit, just not more.

That being said, I do agree that an EVSE that allows 120v and 240v is probably the best choice.. both for charging at work and incase the OP ever moves...
 

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As long as the amp of the circuit is >= to the device you are fine. Absolutely no risk in using a 12amp EVSE on a 30 amp circuit. Always fine to use less on the circuit, just not more.
Incorrect, and contrary to electrical codes. The whole purpose of the breaker is to protect everything afterwards. Assume for a moment that we did use a 12 amp EVSE on a 30 amp circuit. Then assume that the vehicle began drawing 25 amps (could be a fault of the EVSE or the charger, bad pilot signal, etc) The EVSE only detects ground faults, so it won't shut off. The breaker won't trip as the current is below it's threshold. I'm willing to bet that the EVSE will be the failure point, as it's possible that the traces on the circuit board will fry. A flaming EVSE is a bad thing, and there's a surprising amount of energy available without tripping a 30A breaker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vn_51hAbnc

Not saying it's a common occurance, but the whole point of overcurrent protection is for these "what-if" scenarios.

It's normally OK to connect to a breaker of the next common size, as there is a certain amount of leeway. However, a breaker with double the rating is asking for trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Looks like the Clipper Creek + Plug is probably my best option

Thanks all for the helpful discussion. After some thought, I don't want to cannibalize the portable charger that came with the car, even though that is the cheapest option.

Can you guys verify the diagram I've posted for what would be what I'd need with the copper creek unit and the additional plug attachment to the dryer plug I have in my house/

Lastly, how is the plug affixed to the 3 wires from the copper creek? does the plug head open and allow for the wires to be clamped into place somehow? I'm not comfortable soldering, but I can certainly screw things in or clamp them down with some plyers.


CC-Nema1430.jpg

This is a couple of hundred more than I'd hoped to spend, but being able to do it 100 percent on my own is important to me, and makes sure I can fly under the landlord's radar.


Thanks again everyone. I was very nervous when I took a leap of faith and got this car, but so far I'm really happy and its very rewarding to see that "250+ mpg" on my dashboard.
 

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Lastly, how is the plug affixed to the 3 wires from the copper creek? does the plug head open and allow for the wires to be clamped into place somehow?

View attachment 23833
Yup, if you buy the style of plug I linked to earlier, it should unscrew into 2 pieces, and the wires simply screw on.
 

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Incorrect, and contrary to electrical codes. The whole purpose of the breaker is to protect everything afterwards. Assume for a moment that we did use a 12 amp EVSE on a 30 amp circuit. Then assume that the vehicle began drawing 25 amps (could be a fault of the EVSE or the charger, bad pilot signal, etc) The EVSE only detects ground faults, so it won't shut off. The breaker won't trip as the current is below it's threshold. I'm willing to bet that the EVSE will be the failure point, as it's possible that the traces on the circuit board will fry. A flaming EVSE is a bad thing, and there's a surprising amount of energy available without tripping a 30A breaker: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vn_51hAbnc

Not saying it's a common occurance, but the whole point of overcurrent protection is for these "what-if" scenarios.

It's normally OK to connect to a breaker of the next common size, as there is a certain amount of leeway. However, a breaker with double the rating is asking for trouble.
Can you provide a citation to the National Electric code to support that. My reading/experience is that any larger circuity is allowed. People routinely have 15amp circuits with only 1-2 amps on them. Server rooms are designed with maximum load *1.25, even if there are only a few servers or no servers on a particular circuit when it starts.


An over current protection is there to protects a circuit by opening when current reaches a value that would cause an excessive temperature rise in the conductors. 30amp circuits require different wiring, and what is NOT allowed is to have a 30amp breaker on a line designed for 20amp circuit. 15amp requires 14 AWG copper or 12AWG AL wire, where 30A requires 10AWG coper

The video you linked is irrelevant -- that is a heater and plug without a internal GFI.. any arc will cause a fault in such a line. An EVSE has an internal over current and ground fault detection and should be installed with a GFI plug.

The problem comes when people try to draw more current than the wires can handle (e.g. because of poor connections) or when the OCPD fails. In older fuse systems fuses could sometimes handle more than they were designed for (or people modified them) which allowed the wires tobe overworked.
 

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Incorrect, and contrary to electrical codes. The whole purpose of the breaker is to protect everything afterwards.
Baloney! What is the amperage of a cell phone charger? And what is the amperage rating of the circuit you plug it into?

Circuit breakers are designed to protect the wiring in the wall, and that is all. Newer electrical codes require arc fault breakers and GFI breakers, and they might detect that defective arcing plug and shut off. But using far-fetched what if situations is nonsense.
 

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The cleanest and easiest route in my opinion would be a Clipper Creek LCS-25 and a 14-30 plug:

x2 what he said. If you really aren't comfortable with the wiring, any electrician should be willing to install that plug for you for short money. It's not hard. I like the Clipper Creek charger as well.

Do a search on Google Images for "Nema Plug chart" - there are 3- and 4- wire dryer outlets. Find the appropriate outlet and get the matching plug (change R to P on the name of the plug to change from Receptacle to Plug) and simply connect it to the wires coming out of the EVSE.
 
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