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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Replacing Garage Outlet **Updated** Help?

See Post #20 Please -- Updated with a new problem



Last night, I noticed some browning around the outlet plug holes where I plug in my volt at night. I am going to get an outlet after work today and replace it immediately. I have been looking around and gathered that commercial or hospital grade is the best option. What else should I be looking for?

I am pretty sure most of you recommend a 20amp outlet, so I was able to find this one:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-SmartLockPro-20-Amp-Slim-Tamper-Resistant-GFCI-Duplex-Outlet-White-R02-X7899-0KW/202514681?N=5yc1vZc33aZ1z0r7wlZ1z11yyo

Any feedback would be GREATLY appreciated!
 

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Last night, I noticed some browning around the outlet plug holes where I plug in my volt at night. I am going to get an outlet after work today and replace it immediately. I have been looking around and gathered that commercial or hospital grade is the best option. What else should I be looking for?
Don't use the push-in connections if what you end up buying has them. Get one with old school screw connections and use those instead. Oh, and be sure to kill the breaker before you change it out. Those of us with skillz can do it without, but it's a pretty foolhardy way to go if it's not necessary to have that circuit live all the time.

Edit: Did you add the part about the 20A outlet? I didn't notice it first time round.

Anyway, bad idea. If folks see a 20A socket, they might plug something in that draws 16A, and that's a fire waiting to happen if your breaker doesn't trip for some reason.

Edit 2: ^ Assuming 14GA wiring in the circuit.
 

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Read this thread:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?48937-120V-Charging-FAQ

Something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0030CZSE8/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1&tag=viglink20686-20

Or this would be better.

http://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Wiring-Devices-VGFH20W-Hospital/dp/B008OW88RS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1386610672&sr=8-1&keywords=VGFH15&tag=viglink20686-20

A commercial or hospital grade outlet will provide the best performance. (And last longer.)

If the outlet is a GFCI you should replace it with GFCI. If it is a regular outlet you can go with as regular outlet. You can find Hospital grade in either GFCI or standard.

If you are not sure what to do... Call an IEBW certified electrician. You will get the advice you need.
 

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The hospital grade one you picked is good. Since it's in the garage it should also be GFCI, which this one is.
 

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Don't use the push-in connections if what you end up buying has them. Get one with old school screw connections and use those instead.
You usually get a choice between just poking a wire in the back or using the screw terminals. You'd definitely want to maximize the contact area between the wire and the terminals of your receptacle. When I first started charging my Volt with the outlet that was installed in my house, it would keep tripping. Replacing the outlet was the best $25 I've spent so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you all for your help... I ended up going with a Leviton Preferred 15amp GFCI. It seems to be doing a good job so far.

Here is a picture of the old outlet, I am glad I noticed it when I did, and a picture of the new outlet
 

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It is legal to put a 15amp recepticle on a 20amp circuit as long as it isn't the only recepticle on that circuit. The code spacificly states this.

I do not know of any code that allows a 20amp recepticle on a 15amp circuit.
 

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Google: NEC table 210.21(b)(3).

It is a National Electric Code violation to use a 20 amp duplex receptacle on a 15 amp circuit. It is ok to use a 15 amp duplex outlet on a 20 amp circuit.

All 15 amp duplex outlets must have a pass through rating of 20 amps so you will not overload the 15 amp duplex outlet if protected by a 20 amp circuit breaker.
 

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When I wired my garage, I used 12ga wire and 6 circuits. Each wall has a circuit as well as a circuit for lights and openers. All are 20amp with decora outlets. I find that decora style is tougher to break since there is more plastic around the holes.

Although technically against code, I don't use gfci because of freezer and other reasons. Using 2 gfci on the same circuit can trip sporadically . (Wall and EVSE).

I also have a 50-amp circuit for 220v EVSE.
 

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I do not know of any code that allows a 20amp recepticle on a 15amp circuit.
Electrical code is permissive rather than restrictive. In other words, if there's not an explicit rule against something then it's allowed. Here's the specific table regarding receptacles:



One other thing to keep in mind is that there's usually very little difference between the internal components of a 15A and 20A receptacle from the same manufacturer and grade. The fact that a receptacle is rated 20A does not mean it's better than an equivalent 15A model. Residential grade < Commercial grade < Hospital grade (green dot)
 

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I was in Home Depot looking for the same thing. I would not get the 20 AMP models. your plug does not have the T-shaped connector and you would likely not have as much contact surface without it on the neutral leg. Not that that might matter but why bother.

Get the best 15 AMP non-GFI outlet you can get. Wrap the wiring tighly around the side screws to make a solid connection. Make sure it is all tight and secure and you are good to go.

I paid somewhere between $15 and $20 for the outlet. Just don't get the 99 cent outlets and use the quick connect holes in the back to wire it.
 

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I wired my own garage from the sub panel and did not use trip plugs, just regular cheap plugs. The was suited for 20A circuits according to the packaging - forgot which AWG. Interesting, I charged my Volt with a those standard regular old cheap 15 amp plug all the time, never an issue. Now using 220V but your situation just seems off that the thing would start burning like that unless the plug itself was defective or the charger was defective. My wiring never got hot, there was never a voltage drop, no indications of strain. Of course, the plug I used was the first one from the panel, not chained off of anything from a junction box.
 

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I'd just like to add, what is a pet peeve for me, that the wires should be stripped about 1/2 - 3/4 inch and wound Clockwise around the screw. The wrapped wire should be about 2/3 of the way around the screw and no part of the insulation should be under the screw head. There are plenty of pictures on the internet for those who don't have experience in wiring an outlet. And, yes, flip the breaker first!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was in Home Depot looking for the same thing. I would not get the 20 AMP models. your plug does not have the T-shaped connector and you would likely not have as much contact surface without it on the neutral leg. Not that that might matter but why bother.

Get the best 15 AMP non-GFI outlet you can get. Wrap the wiring tighly around the side screws to make a solid connection. Make sure it is all tight and secure and you are good to go.

I paid somewhere between $15 and $20 for the outlet. Just don't get the 99 cent outlets and use the quick connect holes in the back to wire it.
Are you saying that I shouldn't have gotten a GCFI outlet?
I got a 15amp with the GCFI protection.

I figured an added breaker would be safer.
 

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GFCI is not an overcurrent breaker, and it's okay to have one. In your garage it's code anyway.
Correct. Overcurrent protection is provided by the branch circuit breaker. GFCI is a ground fault circuit interrupt. GFCI is there to detect a current flow on the ground & neutral which can result from a faulty wire in your appliance or you falling into water. Basically GFCI is there to prevent you from being accidentally electrocuted to death by a faulty appliance.

GFCI can be implemented using a GFCI equipped circuit breaker on the branch circuit and standard outlets. Or GFCI can be implemented using a standard breaker and GFCI equipped outlets. You can tell if the branch circuit breaker has GFCI protection because it will have a "test" button.

I do not think it's necessary to use a GFCI protected outlet if the branch circuit breaker also has GFCI protection. (It's redundant to have both.)

But you DO need to have one or the other in a garage. In other words you should have either a GFCI circuit breaker on the branch circuit OR you should have GFCI protected outlets.

If your home is older and the original branch circuit breaker is NOT GFCI and your outlet is also not GFCI then you probably should replace the old outlet with a GFCI outlet. (It's an extra safety feature designed to protect you from being shocked to death... that was not possible 30 years ago.)

You can think of GFCI like a smoke detector. Homes in the 1940's did not have smoke detectors because the technology was not available at that time. Now you can pick up a smoke detector for $5. Inexpensive smoke detectors save lives. GFCI's save lives too. (Especially in wet locations.)

The EVSE does also contain a GFCI detector... But my manual for my GM EVSE does recommend a GFCI protected outlet. (Which can be GFCI protected at the branch circuit breaker or the actual outlet.)
 

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Are you saying that I shouldn't have gotten a GCFI outlet?
I got a 15amp with the GCFI protection.

I figured an added breaker would be safer.

GFCI is not an over current protection breaker. It detects voltage flow between neutral or ground and shuts off the circuit if there is a wiring fault. GFCI is there to prevent you from being electrocuted to death by a faulty appliance. (Of if you fall into water with an appliance.) It's not a overcorrect protection. It's an electrocution prevention device.
 

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Are you saying that I shouldn't have gotten a GCFI outlet?
I got a 15amp with the GCFI protection.

I figured an added breaker would be safer.
It sounds like you got some great answers to this already. The added safety is good. I have seen a few reports of people having trouble with GCFI outlets but that is likely because something else is wrong. You sound like you picked up the right item.

Looking at the picture posted, I thought the burned or browned outlet was not GCFI so it was likely protected elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Please Help!

I got home tonight and went to plug in, and looked at the newly replaced outlet and saw that this outlet had began to brown/burn after just one night of charging... I looked at the prongs of the charge cord, and the left prong is quite blackened....

Im obviously not going to charge tonight, do I need to get a new charge cord? And if so, how do I go about doing that?

See pictures attached... Please help


IMG_3136.jpg IMG_3137.jpg IMG_3138.jpg
 

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