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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
There are three options once the Volt's battery is fully charged:

1) Charger is unplugged from 110/230 outlet and (optionally) unplugged from the car
2) Charger stays plugged into the 110/230 outlet and is unplugged from the car
3) Charger stays plugged into the 110/230 outlet and stays plugged into car

Option 1:
Pros: Charger may last longer, charger uses zero electricity
Cons: Plunging/unplugging the 110/230 plug is an extra task (more work) that owners might want to avoid

Option 2:
Pros: Less work (no plugging/unplugging 110/230 plug)
Cons: Uses some minimal electricity (how much?), might wear out the charger faster

Option 3:
Pros: Staying plugged in after the battery is full is supposed to keep the Volt's battery cooling system running which will extend the battery's life (especially in very hot or very cold environments)
Cons: You continue to use electricity (how much?), the charger may wear out faster, you have to unplug the car from the charger before you drive the car (forgetting to do this [unlikely but possible] might cause damage)

Comments?
 

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There are three options once the Volt's battery is fully charged:

1) Charger is unplugged from 110/230 outlet and (optionally) unplugged from the car
2) Charger stays plugged into the 110/230 outlet and is unplugged from the car
3) Charger stays plugged into the 110/230 outlet and stays plugged into car

Option 1:
Pros: Charger may last longer, charger uses zero electricity
Cons: Plunging/unplugging the 110/230 plug is an extra task (more work) that owners might want to avoid

Option 2:
Pros: Less work (no plugging/unplugging 110/230 plug)
Cons: Uses some minimal electricity (how much?), might wear out the charger faster

Option 3:
Pros: Staying plugged in after the battery is full is supposed to keep the Volt's battery cooling system running which will extend the battery's life (especially in very hot or very cold environments)
Cons: You continue to use electricity (how much?), the charger may wear out faster, you have to unplug the car from the charger before you drive the car (forgetting to do this [unlikely but possible] might cause damage)

Comments?
Option 1 is never recommended. Repeated disconnect of the power plug from the receptacle while the J1772 connector is plugged into the vehicle sets up a condition for arcing of the tines in the plug. Always unplug the J1772 connector from the plug-in vehicle before unplugging the EVSE.

Option 2 and 3 are purely a personal choice. If there are likely to be thunderstorms then I unplug the J1772 from my Volt. I rarely unplug the EVSE as repeated plugging and unplugging the power plug can wear out the receptacle and cause a loose connection at the plug. I make extensive use of my Volt's ability to precondition the cabin in hot and cold weather. I leave the Volt plugged in after charging has been completed so that I can precondition the Volt while it is still plugged in (this minimizes net battery usage while pre-heating or cooling the Volt.)
 

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I leave my Volt plugged in almost all of the time. Currently it's at a full charge and the charger is not supplying any power to the car.
 

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Don't do Option 1. On top of issues mentioned already you are opening yourself up to premature failure of the outlet or charger cord connector for the outlet itself. Usually you will see loss of tension in the outlet or fretting corrosion from repeated connector cycling. Generally those outlets aren't designed for high cycle use. Just plug it in and leave it.
 

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The car won't let you drive away with the charger plugged in.
 

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I always leave the EVSE plugged in and the car plugged in whenever it’s in the driveway.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I always leave mine plugged in except for mornings when I have to take my son to the end of the street to the bus stop. When I get back, I've used only 0.2 kW and I know I'll have to drive back down there 8 hours later to pick him up after school so I leave it unplugged for those 8 hours and just plug it back in later in the afternoon when I've done the second trip to the bus stop.

I'm not a huge fan of the car running the AC compressor off and on during the day to cool the battery but I guess an AC compressor is a lot cheaper than a new battery. In any case, I haven't worried myself too much over a couple potential battery cooling cycles that get missed during that 8 hour period when it's unplugged. The garage typically doesn't get hotter than maybe 87F during that time.

Mike
 

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GM recommends keeping the car plugged in to maintain the battery. Works for me.
 

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I unplug the car after it is charged. It never gets too warm or too cold here. Currently the car is outside (under a tarp lean to) and the EVSE is inside the garage. The Battery is always fully charged even if I leave it a couple days to a week. I disconnect the EVSE by way of a 20 ample 240V double pole rocker switch to protect it from power surges and brown outs which happen fairly regularly in winter and occasionally in summer as there are a lot of trees here that dwarf the power lines and there's often something that drops on them. I can hear my UPS's kick in (sometimes just for a moment) that I use on my TV's and computers when that happens.
 

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Option 3 for me, My car is always plugged in unless I know in advance that a thunderstorm is approaching. I've read some horror stories here about Volts being destroyed by lightning strikes.

That being said, I never unplug the EVSE from the wall as (like others said) will cause premature wearing and failure of the plug/receptacle.
 

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My Duosida is always plugged in. It draws 15 milliamps when idle, which is nothing.
 

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Mine's always plugged in to either the Bolt or the Volt. I'll unplug the car if there is lightning, just in case.
 

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Option 3 for me, My car is always plugged in unless I know in advance that a thunderstorm is approaching. I've read some horror stories here about Volts being destroyed by lightning strikes.

That being said, I never unplug the EVSE from the wall as (like others said) will cause premature wearing and failure of the plug/receptacle.
Been following these guidelines since I bought my first Volt back in March 2012. My CC LCS-25 has fed 3 Volts over 70K miles without ANY issues for the EVSE or my Volt's.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thanks to all who replied. Also, thanks go to WWS for help using the proper
terminology (charge cord, EVSE). To summarize the very helpful suggestions from this thread:

1. Do not plug/unplug the charge cord (or EVSE) to/from the outlet on a regular basis - it wears out the outlet
2. Always unplug the charge cord during a lightning storm or unstable grid condition (to avoid power surges to the charger and/or car)
3. Don't worry about mistakenly driving the car with the charge cord plugged in (the car is programmed not to move)
4) The current the charge cord/EVSE uses (when not connected to the car) is negligible
5) Keeping the car plugged in when it is fully charged extends the car's battery life (by keeping the battery at the proper temperature) - doing it in temperate weather is less important
6) Keeping the car plugged in when it is fully charged allows a "remote start" to let the climate control heat/cool the car before driving it (without draining the battery)
7) A breaker switch might be a good way to disconnect the charge cord (if desirable as in a lightning storm or brownout)
8) Never unplug the charge cord from the outlet when it is connected to the car (disconnect it from the car first)
 

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I'm not a huge fan of the car running the AC compressor off and on during the day to cool the battery but I guess an AC compressor is a lot cheaper than a new battery. In any case, I haven't worried myself too much over a couple potential battery cooling cycles that get missed during that 8 hour period when it's unplugged. The garage typically doesn't get hotter than maybe 87F during that time.
I believe the cooling you're referring to is the battery climate control system and not the cabin climate control system.
 

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Thanks to all who replied. To summarize the very helpful suggestions from this thread:

1. Do not plug/unplug the charger to/from the outlet on a regular basis - it wears out the outlet
2. Always unplug the charger during a lightning storm or unstable grid condition (to avoid power surges to the charger and/or car)
3. Don't worry about mistakenly driving the car with the charger plugged in (the car is programmed not to move)
4) The current the charger uses (when not connected to the car) is negligible
5) Keeping the car plugged in when it is fully charged extends the car's battery life (by keeping the battery at the proper temperature)
6) Keeping the car plugged in when it is fully charged allows a "remote start" to let the climate control heat/cool the car before driving it (without draining the battery)
7) A breaker switch might be a good way to disconnect the charger (if desirable as in a lightning storm or brownout)
8) Never unplug the charger from the outlet when it is connected to the car (disconnect it from the car first)
And just to be pedantic:

9) The 'charger' is a box buried inside the car. The box with the cable you use to plug into the car is called a EVSE (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment) or simply a 'charge cord'.
 

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Re: #1. You have to unplug the car every time you use the car whether it be once a week, once a day or 5 times a day.
RE: #5. If your temps are temperate there is no point to keeping it plugged in, only at the extremes.
 

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RE: #5. If your temps are temperate there is no point to keeping it plugged in, only at the extremes.
OTOH, "plugged in" means it's more likely to be fully charged. And since we got people that obsess about things like "not running the heat when it's cold" and "when is the Right Time to turn on Hold Mode", it seems abhorrent and soul-crushing to accidentally end up having to put a few extra gas miles on because you didn't bother to plug in when it could have been topped back up.
 

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I'm a renter and the only professional-looking GFCI in the garage already handles the washing machine and the garage door opener. I assume many folks are in similar situations, and we don't have the choice of leaving the charge cord plugged in. Plus, that receptacle is high on the wall next to the dryer and near the person-door, so would require a lot of stepping over the cord if it was permanently plugged in. I switch out the garage door opener and don't do laundry when the car is charging.

For folks like me, I assume the best way to handle the situation is to regularly inspect the plug and receptacle, and use lubricant? Any other advise?

This issue is one of those barriers for newbies transitioning to plug-in car use.

Another barrier - and it would have been useful as someone researching how I'd fit a Volt into my life to read what others have done - is that I have used my garage for a lot of things, and housing the car was never one of them. Garage has been laundry room, workshop, pet food storage, pet hospital, overflow chicken nest site, pantry overflow, general storage, etc. All of the articles about EV charging show photos of pristine, empty beautifully white-walled garages. Ha ha. Sure. It would be helpful if more realistic scenarios were pictured. My choices are to park in the driveway, use an extension cord and risk mouse/rat intrusion into the car (friend with a Tesla spent a week visiting someone in a remote area, parked outside and found a rodent nest, so I am a little paranoid), or bring in the car and move a lot of activities outdoors.
 
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