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I have a line (older wiring) running to my garage that I believe is 110 Volt...would I be able to use a level 2 charger and charge at 16 Amps with this line or would I have to run a dedicated heavier gauge wire for 240 volt? I'm not familiar with wiring and amp/volts but I know it would be a bit pricey for an electrician to run over 60' of new wire with conduit from my electrical box to my detached garage along with the outlet and breaker switch...I could save some money with the line that's already in my garage but I'd like to charge at 16 amps instead of 8 amps or 12 amps. I attached a pic of the exposed wiring that goes into a switch (#1) and then into a box (#2).
 

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That's quite a setup. Looks like #2 is the feed for two switched circuits. Is the wiring exposed so you can see what the switches control?

Since the circuit is not dedicated, you are probably limited to 8amps. An upgrade is needed. Consult a licensed electrician.
 

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Exposed wires with no end caps is a code violation. There's not enough info in the pictures to know what is really going on. I'm guessing #2 is a junction box that splits to switch #1 and the unlabeled switch. We'll need to know where the wires go from the two switches. Plus that power strip sitting in the middle is worrisome, what's that plugged into?

I'd say you need to replace the 2 wires with 3 wire Romex (bright yellow insulation, not white) to at least get to 20A 110V. But if you are running new wire, you might as well go to 10, 8, or 6 gauge and go 240V. Pics of the conduit that go to your electrical box would be useful. If the conduit is big enough you can use the existing wire to pull the new wire through.

So as I said in the other thread and as Loboc suggests the fact you had to ask, and obviously don't know that this wont' work for 240V 16A, you should get an electrician. This stuff looks scary. If it were me (and I know enough to be dangerous) I'd rip it all out and replace it with new, proper wiring.
 

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Looking at the first picture I'd say you need an electrician, ASAP. That's not even up to code for 120V. 120V now requires three wires, hot, neutral, and ground. I don't see a ground wire in that picture.
 

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Plus the existing wires with the faded white insulation can handle 15A max. Ground is sometimes achieved through the metal junction box and conduit, but there's no conduit here, so no ground pin. I would not recommend reusing these wires at all. Rip it all out, run new wire (yellow jacket if you want 20A 110V, higher gauge wire if you want 240V. And to repeat, since you had to ask, get an electrician - you're not able to do this. It's not worth it to risk frying your car or burning down your house to save a few hundred dollars.
 

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I agree with those who said that looks too sketchy to work. I doubt you could plug even a 120V EVSE into that and get it to turn on without error codes. You need an electrician and new wiring to the garage.

However, if you really want to charge without new wiring, use an outdoor outlet on your home, assuming it is wired better than your garage. Also consider the fact that level 2 charging is not really a necessity for a Volt for many/most owners. 120V is perfectly fine for overnight charging.
 

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... Also consider the fact that level 2 charging is not really a necessity for a Volt for many/most owners. 120V is perfectly fine for overnight charging.
Fellow cheapskate here. Considered going 220v until I saw the cost. Couldn't justify it in savings of time, money, or gas. I was lucky enough to have an outlet that is on a circuit with other current draws that are very rarely used, so I do 12 amps with no issues. In the 16 months I've had the car, I can count on two fingers the number of times it wasn't fully charged when I wanted to go the next morning. So, if you can make the existing wiring work (and, I defer to those more knowledgeable regarding your wiring -- including a professional electrician), do that. If you need to run new wire to do this safely at even 110, go for the 220.
 

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Maybe it would be better to start from the beginning. Do you really need Level 2 charging? I'm 6+ years of Volt ownership and use nothing but 120v / 12 amp Level 1 charging. Works just fine for me and the additional cost was $0 using the EVSE that comes with the Volt. According to GM roughly 60% of Volt owners charge with 120v Level 1. I suggest you give it a try, it could satisfy your needs with zero additional out of pocket cost.

If you decide you just can't get by with that, then based on your questions and statements, you need to contact a competent licensed electrician. The additional cost will start at roughly $350 on up to maybe $2000 - $4000 to run new service (assuming your main panel can support an appropriate 240v circuit). While most of the responses you get on this discussion group contain useful info, if it is over your head there is no value in that information.

VIN # B0985
 

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$2000-$4000?

Geez, some of you are quick to scare the bejesus out of people. ;)

I agree it depends on what the wiring at the house (vs what appears to be a mess of DIY in the garage) is, but OP, call an electrician and get a quote before freaking out about any of the conclusions here.

No, what you have won't work for 220v level 2, as it appears you don't have 220v present, and I agree it looks dodgy for even 8a charging (much less 12a) at 120V, but if your main panel isn't a crazy distance away running a 20a 240v circuit (which will do for the Volt) isn't going to cost you a ton.
 

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If you want to lose all 120V out there, an electrician could make the main 2-wire feed into that area a dedicated 240V circuit. But, that probably means losing 120V lights and outlets in that area, which you'd have to make a call on.


It's hard to tell if the NM (romex) wire you're showing is 12 or 14 gauge (15 or 20 amp). The jacket color coding didn't apply back when it was installed, but the cable itself should have it printed on it (either 12-2 or 14-2). You would need 12-2. There should also be a bare ground wire in the jacket. Not sure why it's not connected to that junction box.


As other have said, it's dangerous to have exposed wires in the junction box. They need wire nuts on them.
 

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I have a line (older wiring) running to my garage that I believe ....volts but I know it would be a bit pricey for an electrician to run over 60' of new wire ....).
Not as pricy as cleaning up after an electrical fire....
I'm all for doing things oneself if one knows what your doing, but if you are just guessing, and it sounds like your are from your choice of language, just hire an electrician and have some peace of mind about your charging...
 

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I agree with those who said that looks too sketchy to work. I doubt you could plug even a 120V EVSE into that and get it to turn on without error codes. You need an electrician and new wiring to the garage.

However, if you really want to charge without new wiring, use an outdoor outlet on your home, assuming it is wired better than your garage. Also consider the fact that level 2 charging is not really a necessity for a Volt for many/most owners. 120V is perfectly fine for overnight charging.
And don't use the master electrician Bosch sent to my house. The first time he flipped the circuit breaker, huge spark came flying out an charred my virgin drywall.
 

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And don't use the master electrician Bosch sent to my house. The first time he flipped the circuit breaker, huge spark came flying out an charred my virgin drywall.
Yikes, you should get Paula to torque his nuts ;)
 

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Fellow cheapskate here. Considered going 220v until I saw the cost. Couldn't justify it in savings of time, money, or gas. I was lucky enough to have an outlet that is on a circuit with other current draws that are very rarely used, so I do 12 amps with no issues. In the 16 months I've had the car, I can count on two fingers the number of times it wasn't fully charged when I wanted to go the next morning. So, if you can make the existing wiring work (and, I defer to those more knowledgeable regarding your wiring -- including a professional electrician), do that. If you need to run new wire to do this safely at even 110, go for the 220.
There is no return on investment in switching to level 2 if you count the pennies saved. But the freedom of being able to deplete you battery, plug in, and leave in 4 hours keeps you from feeling stranded watching the clock as your car slowly charges. I never want to return to the first two weeks of Volt ownership where I agonized waiting for the electrician to arrive and install my level 2 EVSE. The freedom this gives you is priceless.
 

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If you want to lose all 120V out there, an electrician could make the main 2-wire feed into that area a dedicated 240V circuit. But, that probably means losing 120V lights and outlets in that area, which you'd have to make a call on.


It's hard to tell if the NM (romex) wire you're showing is 12 or 14 gauge (15 or 20 amp). The jacket color coding didn't apply back when it was installed, but the cable itself should have it printed on it (either 12-2 or 14-2). You would need 12-2. There should also be a bare ground wire in the jacket. Not sure why it's not connected to that junction box.


As other have said, it's dangerous to have exposed wires in the junction box. They need wire nuts on them.

2 wire feed? No, do it right, or don't do it at all.
 

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The size of wire limits the amperage that it will handle, not the power nor the voltage. The same wire used for 120 Volt at 10 Amperes, can be used for 240 Volt at 10 Amperes but not for anything greater than 10 Amperes regardless of voltage.
 

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The size of wire limits the amperage that it will handle, not the power nor the voltage. The same wire used for 120 Volt at 10 Amperes, can be used for 240 Volt at 10 Amperes but not for anything greater than 10 Amperes regardless of voltage.
Your comment is perfectly true, but considering the wiring is already substandard for the existing 120V, the OP should not be encouraged to work with it. At a minimum, a ground needs to be added. He will need an electrician for that anyway. That same electrician will be in the best position to examine the whole situation and make appropriate recommendations.
 

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Your comment is perfectly true, but considering the wiring is already substandard for the existing 120V, the OP should not be encouraged to work with it. At a minimum, a ground needs to be added. He will need an electrician for that anyway. That same electrician will be in the best position to examine the whole situation and make appropriate recommendations.
You guys were all over the OP like white on rice. He probably has learned enough from the discussion, however, to do it himself.
 
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