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I'm using the 110v charger that came with my 2013 volt- my concern is that the outlet I use to charge at work is in a very old garage with old electrical wiring. My car charges fine, but should I be concerned about possible electrical shortages/causing a fire?
 

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Run it on 8 amps then get a new level 2 charger and have a new line run. I just got a 2017 yesterday, I have two outdoor outlets and neither one works now, don't know if the car is to blame, I didn't check it before I plugged in yesterday but now they don't work (I've reset all of my circuit breakers and all of the GFI buttons but that didn't fix them). My house is 200 years old so the wiring is a mishmash (although all of it is less than 40 years old, there is no BX). I've ordered a 240V ClipperCreek and when it arrives I'll have my electrician fix existing outside lines when he installs the ClipperCreek.

Update: I ran an extension cord so that I could charge my car until I get the new EVSE installed next week. I'm running at 8 amps because I don't want to stress the circuit. At 8 amps it looks like it will take at least 20 hours to do a full charge so it's clear that it's not practical to charge this car with old wiring. If you had new wiring that was 12A capable then it might be possible to use it because 13 hours is just at the limits of an overnight charge, however since, like me, you'll need to have a new line installed then best thing to do is have it done right and get a 240V EVSE which can do the job in 4.5 hours.
 

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My concern would be more about how many outlets / amperage draw is on that circuit. If your EVSE is the only thing on the circuit you probably don't have anything to worry about. If there are two or more outlets on the circuit, and another EV plugs in, that could (likely) be too great of an electrical draw. If your the only EV, but the circuit also powers several high wattage lights, could that be too much??
 

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should I be concerned about possible electrical shortages/causing a fire?
YES



Do you have permission and do you know what else is on that circuit?
 

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I'm using the 110v charger that came with my 2013 volt- my concern is that the outlet I use to charge at work is in a very old garage with old electrical wiring. My car charges fine, but should I be concerned about possible electrical shortages/causing a fire?
Old outlets represent a greater risk than does old wiring. Poor contact between the wiring and the outlet or between the outlet and the plug can generate heat and in the extreme can cause melting or combustion. If the outlet cover, the plug or the cord gets warm while charging then the outlet should definitely be replaced. The new outlet should be installed using the screw terminals rather than the quick connections on the rear of the outlet. If the branch circuit you are using has a 20 amp breaker and the other loads on that circuit are minimal then, after you replace the outlet, you should be able to charge at 12 amps rather than 8 amps. If the breaker is only 15 amps then charge only at 8 amps.

KNS
 

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I'm using the 110v charger that came with my 2013 volt- my concern is that the outlet I use to charge at work is in a very old garage with old electrical wiring. My car charges fine, but should I be concerned about possible electrical shortages/causing a fire?
One suggestion, have someone local refer a professional electrician. Much better to be safe than sorry.
 

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One suggestion, have someone local refer a professional electrician. Much better to be safe than sorry.
I agree. Especially if the municipality requires an electrical permit and inspection of any modification of a business property. Having a licensed electrician do the work and having the job inspected can come in handy if there is ever a related insurance claim.

KNS
 

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Does the plug feel hot?
The trouble with old and/or shoddy wiring is that it (heat, arcing, fire) may appear elsewhere in the circuit, as in the case where the installer wired the circuit through the stab-locks on the back of each of the receptacles in series around the room instead of making a Y-connection in each each box with a pigtail feeding each local plug. In that scenario, a current draw from any receptacle downstream of the bad connection can cause a problem, even though the local plug feels cool as a clam.
 

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The trouble with old and/or shoddy wiring is that it (heat, arcing, fire) may appear elsewhere in the circuit, as in the case where the installer wired the circuit through the stab-locks on the back of each of the receptacles in series around the room instead of making a Y-connection in each each box with a pigtail feeding each local plug. In that scenario, a current draw from any receptacle downstream of the bad connection can cause a problem, even though the local plug feels cool as a clam.
But if it does feel hot you already have your answer.
 

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IR Temp readers are cheap. Just changing the outlet to a new quality outlet is cheaper. Or do both!
For reasons I mentioned above, if one wants to be sure, and particularly if one thinks (or sees that) the work may not be up to par, there is still a need to verify the entire circuit was done properly, not just the local receptacle. An electrician, or even a handyman with reasonable electrical knowledge can do this fairly quickly.
 

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Best answer:

Old outlets represent a greater risk than does old wiring. Poor contact between the wiring and the outlet or between the outlet and the plug can generate heat and in the extreme can cause melting or combustion. If the outlet cover, the plug or the cord gets warm while charging then the outlet should definitely be replaced. The new outlet should be installed using the screw terminals rather than the quick connections on the rear of the outlet. If the branch circuit you are using has a 20 amp breaker and the other loads on that circuit are minimal then, after you replace the outlet, you should be able to charge at 12 amps rather than 8 amps. If the breaker is only 15 amps then charge only at 8 amps.

KNS
Technically you can charge at 12 amps on a 15 amp circuit, but you're running it at the maximum continuous load. I hate doing that. It gets a bit warmer than I like.
 

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Why not buy a nice new outlet, highest quality you can find and change it out with permission? Presumably you have permission to use it and the owner might be ok with you upgrading his outlet for him/her. That would add a level of safety if you are using an old worn outlet.
 

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While much of the advice posted here is generally good, don't forget the bolded part.

my concern is that the outlet I use to charge at work is in a very old garage with old electrical wiring.
The likelihood of Original Poster being able to bring in an electrician to check the wiring at a workplace, or starting in with a screwdriver because DIY, is slim. It might simply be that charging at work just shouldn't happen in this case.
 

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I thought it was rather obvious. If it's getting hot, you shouldn't use it.
Yeah, I got that part. It's the potential subsequent interpretation that correcting just THAT hot receptacle will solve the problem that bothers me (there's been mention of just installing a new plug), and thus while localized heat is certainly valuable info, it is not the complete answer.
 

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Yeah, I got that part. It's the potential subsequent interpretation that correcting just THAT hot receptacle will solve the problem that bothers me (there's been mention of just installing a new plug), and thus while localized heat is certainly valuable info, it is not the complete answer.
I didn't say it was a complete answer, but if it's hot you already know there's a problem and you shouldn't be using it.
 

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Remember that you need to be concerned not only with the end outlet where you plugin, but all the other outlets that are on the same line.
If they are connected in series (as they usually area), the draw from the charger goes through all of them. If any of them is an old outlet with push in connectors instead of screw in, chances are that sooner or later one will fry (like it did for me).

So you need to identify all the outlets that are on the line and check / replace them by good screw terminal ones, or wire a new dedicated line for your charging outlet.
 
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