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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a few posts from owners who have used their Level 1 charger outdoors, exposing it to rain, and then had problems with the unit. I've reviewed the labels, documentation and manuals for the charger, along with a search on the Internet, for any verification that the unit is supposed to be weather and water proof. Can't seem to find any ...

Anyone have any additional information on the rating or certification of the Level 1 unit for use in inclement weather?
 

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I've been using mine at work to charge outside for 7 months with no ill effects. There have been people who have attempted to open their units for various reasons, and posted that the case is "welded" shut and so is impenetrable by rain and the like. The only unprotected part I see is the plug end that is inserted into the 120V outlet.

Even with mine plugged into a short (heavy duty) extension cord, there have been no issues in the rain and snow. The only small problem I find is that the charger cord is wet when I toss it into the rear hatch. But I have the heavy rubber Volt floor cover back there, so the water is contained.
 

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On the original Leer manufactured 2012 chargers, I can say 100% certainty its NOT sealed, the cord from the car to the unit, where it enter the charger is not a sealed point, neither is where the 120V enters the unit. I bought and disassembled one, no guessing here.
 

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My wife used to charge at work. In the rain, she would cover the charger with a plastic bag. However, moisture would still cause a problem in the rain... The GFCI on the charge cord would normally trip sometime during the day while it was raining. After resetting the charge cord (unplugging and plugging in again), everything was back to normal and it would charge for the remainder of the day.
 

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I have a 2013 Volt with the newer clipper creek manufactured 120V EVSE. I have been using my charge cord out doors for over 5 months (In rain - snow- freezing rain - hail - thunder storms etc..). My out door receptical has an in use weatherproof cover. I do however use a 25ft 12AWG extension cord. I did have the GFI trip once and that was after a heavy rain. I unpluged the unit from the extension cord dried the plug and plugged it back in. I moved the extenstion cord connection to get less direct exposure and I haven't had a problem since.
 

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I used a small plastic storage box, notched both ends with my hole-saw, placed the L1 inside and ran the ext cord to the outlet one way and plug to the Volt the other way. It's not perfect, but it keeps the moisture out and the L1 off the ground. I'm working on it, trying to add a way to route a bike cable around it to prevent theft.
 

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The EVSE has known issues with two things (see my "diary" below:)):

1) Excess heat: Best to NOT leave the cord tight wrapped as it comes from the dealer, rather loosen up the cord and loosely hang it over itself in larger loops to let the unit and cord better dissipate heat.

2) "Sponge" effect that can lead to water seepeage/intrusion into the "cracks" inside the EVSE: So another reason to not let rain, dew, etc collect on the tightly wrapped cord. I cover it with bubble wrap in rain now, just in case!

Keep in mind the EVSE has a 3 yr warranty so don't let dealer make you pay if it goes bad before 3 years, insist on a brand new or refurbished replacement. I sure wish I had two of them though, never want to be without ability to charge, talk about anxiety! lol

...
I used my 1st one every workday for 6 months, outside all day rain or shine and one day it failed (blackout) upon arriving home. It may have been water intrusion...it also got a bit "dirty" from various opp charges...I had been letting the cord be "loosely uncoiled" because I used it some much, and also noticed how much the tightly wrapped cord trapped excessive heat (in summer) and was afraid it might "burn up.

So got a replacement form the dealer and determined to "take better care" of this one, NOT uncoiling it as temps were cooler, and I started using a neatly rolled up extension cord dispenser for opp charges.

Then after only 2 months I used my 2nd one on a wet day at work I cam out to find the tightly coiled cord had acted like a "sponge" and the EVSE was quite wet. Didn't think much, and shook off the excess water.

But again upon arriving home, a problem. This time the right side light blinked red.

Eventually (in about 6 hrs) the unit (miraculously) "dried out" and started working normally again.

So beware of excess heat and the "sponge effect".
 

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I use mine outside every day rain or shine. 2 years in March and no problems. It hangs on the fence outside our shop. The receptacle is "weatherproof" and I made a simple little aluminum deflector attached to the fence above to keep the worst of the rain off. It is still kind of a thrill to plug it in while standing in a puddle, but so far so good.

Of course this is SoCal, land of perpetual drought dramas, so we don't get all that much rain, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
All good feedback. Think I'll err on the side of caution and try to enclose the EVSE in some sort of plastic to try to keep the moisture out. The goal is to use the L1 at work during the day and the L2 at home overnight. Thanks for all the info.
 

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I can also confirm that the LED's on the face panel of the 2012 EVSE are not sealed. If you put the EVSE face up and let rain sit on the face water will leak inside and cause a failure. Best to keep the Voltec EVSE out of direct exposure to rain.
 

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This morning, after leaving the EVSE exposed and face down and with some overnight rain, I picked it up to put it back on its holder and water poured out of it and it tripped the GFCI that it's connected to. I unplugged it and hung it upright and undercover. I can only hope it will dry out and function again but I'm definitely concerned that it's toast. Either way, I can concur with others that the 2012 EVSE is NOT sealed.
 

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This morning, after leaving the EVSE exposed and face down and with some overnight rain, I picked it up to put it back on its holder and water poured out of it and it tripped the GFCI that it's connected to. I unplugged it and hung it upright and undercover. I can only hope it will dry out and function again but I'm definitely concerned that it's toast. Either way, I can concur with others that the 2012 EVSE is NOT sealed.
You have a 2012 Volt, yes? Didn't the EVSE change for the 2013 models? Maybe these are sealed?
 
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