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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Do you have a 2013-2014 Volt or Spark EV?
Are you stuck charging at L1 and don't want to spend a ton of money on an L2 EVSE for home use?
Does your Level 1 Voltec EVSE you use have screw holes in the back?

If you've seen my YouTube video on how to convert your stock EVSE to L1/L2 combo and would like someone else to do the work, I'm here to offer my services.

The pricing is as follows:
$170 gets you the conversion done including labor and parts (14AWG wire, L14-20P for L2, L14-20R for L1 adapter as seen in the picture) For home L2 use, you would ideally utilize an L14-20R receptacle. If you have a different outlet, check out the options.
Options:
$55 for L14-20R to dryer plug (14-30 or 10-30)
$60 for L14-20R to RV plug (14-50)
$varies for L14-20R to other 3 or 4 prong plug (contact me for details)
$30 for added popup breaker protection on the unit.

As my video states, this modification completely voids any warranty from GM on your Voltec EVSE and you use it at your own risk. However, will give a 30 day warranty for defects on my work but request any outlet you plug it into to be tested for proper function, first. I have done this for another forum user that's quite happy with my work. I've also done this modification to my personal EVSE, as you can see in the video. It's work flawlessly in both L1 and L2 mode for almost a year now.

This conversion is ONLY for the 2013-14 Voltec EVSEs like the ones in the picture. If you have a different one, I cannot recommend any attempt to upgrade it. Return shipping back to you will be at cost. If you want to send a pre-paid label or shipping account with the unit, I will use that. Otherwise, I will charge you actual cost based on the method you choose and the weight.
Turnaround time is 1-2 business days.
Thanks!

Oh, and I have cleared out some space in my PM Inbox! ;)

 

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I can vouch for this mod, I've done it too, independently from Chris. The 2013/2014 EVSE advertises 12A to the car, so will charge at 240V/12A or about 2.9KW, and place no additional stress on wire gauge. Being standard J1772 protocol compatible, the EVSE can also be used on other cars, I use mine on my wife's 2015 C-Max daily. (my Volt gets charged mostly at work, or from my Clipper Creek HCS-40).
 

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I have his videos in my signature, and for 30 bucks you can do the mod yourself hardwired to your 240V circuit, but if your not handy with electrical this is a worthwhile mod and pay someone to do the work for you is still 1/2 the cost of buying an off the shelf L2 unit
 

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I had Chris do this very same mod for me and it is working perfectly. Although more $$ than 'DIY", it was worth the peace of mind to me of having someone who knows do it and stand behind it. Plus, Chris is an easy going guy who keeps in touch with exactly what is happening. Highly recommended.
 

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This is a really great conversion. Would you offer the option of wiring it directly to a different plug rather than wiring to L14-20P and then needing an adapter at added cost/bulk? Other EVSEs tend to use 6-50 or 6-20, etc. so those might be compatible with existing outlets for some people, or work with a new outlet installation that would accommodate a future EVSE purchase or upgrade.
 

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One more shout out to Chris TX for this mod.

My 2014 ELR came with the same EVSE (Clipper Creek built), and did the conversion closely following the video instructions. If you have ready access to 240V outlet, it's definitely worthwhile DIY. I use mine about once a week, and it's worked flawlessly (4 months and counting).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is a really great conversion. Would you offer the option of wiring it directly to a different plug rather than wiring to L14-20P and then needing an adapter at added cost/bulk? Other EVSEs tend to use 6-50 or 6-20, etc. so those might be compatible with existing outlets for some people, or work with a new outlet installation that would accommodate a future EVSE purchase or upgrade.
In order to have it usable as a Level1 EVSE, you need the fourth wire. If you never want to use it as an L1 EVSE, I can adapt it to a 3-prong plug.
 

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Would it make sense to also offer the parts as a kit for DIY? I know they can be sourced from a local home improvement store, but it could save someone the time of figuring out and finding the exact things to choose.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Would it make sense to also offer the parts as a kit for DIY? I know they can be sourced from a local home improvement store, but it could save someone the time of figuring out and finding the exact things to choose.
The parts list is in the video comments. If you can open up your EVSE and do the soldering yourself, surely you can source the plugs, wire, and security Torx bit ;)
 

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More than 20 amp fusing and Liability

Hey Chris

In your build thread, there was some talk about putting some fuse or mini breakers in the supply lines. Not a problem when using a 20 amp breaker, as all the internal components seem rated for 20 amps. I put in a 240 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuit with 20 amp breaker for this reason. But since you adapt or make direct hookups for 30 and 50 amp receptacles, it would seem you are taking on some liability doing the mods.

I briefly looked at the 2013/2014 board and didn't see any protection, but I may have missed something. Since it's a versatile board, perhaps Clipper Creek puts different components and larger gauge wiring in or get approvals for 240V or do it some other way.

Do you add something to the circuit in your mods? That 14 gauge input wire would burn up if 50 amps went through it due to a short without protection.

By the way, thanks for your video. I'd have never have guessed the board was set up for 240 volts and you have put forward a rather clever method to do both 120 and 240.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey Chris

In your build thread, there was some talk about putting some fuse or mini breakers in the supply lines. Not a problem when using a 20 amp breaker, as all the internal components seem rated for 20 amps. I put in a 240 volt, 20 amp dedicated circuit with 20 amp breaker for this reason. But since you adapt or make direct hookups for 30 and 50 amp receptacles, it would seem you are taking on some liability doing the mods.

I briefly looked at the 2013/2014 board and didn't see any protection, but I may have missed something. Since it's a versatile board, perhaps Clipper Creek puts different components and larger gauge wiring in or get approvals for 240V or do it some other way.

Do you add something to the circuit in your mods? That 14 gauge input wire would burn up if 50 amps went through it due to a short without protection.

By the way, thanks for your video. I'd have never have guessed the board was set up for 240 volts and you have put forward a rather clever method to do both 120 and 240.
I keep mine plugged into a 20A outlet all the time, and the wire gauge from the EVSE all the way to the breaker is enough to force a breaker trip in the box. However, the 14 gauge input AND output wire would be a problem if a short appeared while it was connected to a 50A outlet/breaker. There are only a few scenarios that would occur that could cause that, though.

If you're going to plug this into a 50A outlet that has 6AWG wire behind it, the only way to force the 50A breaker to trip would be to have 6/4 SOOW wire on the input. The solder points on the board aren't big enough for that, and I don't think anyone wants that thick of a wire to manage. However on the output side, you could put two 20A popup button breakers on the two hot legs to protect it. It all depends on how "protected" you want to be, I guess. The breakers are ~$5 a piece and would add $20 in labor for me to install, so $30 total added to the price. Are you interested?
 

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I keep mine plugged into a 20A outlet all the time, and the wire gauge from the EVSE all the way to the breaker is enough to force a breaker trip in the box. However, the 14 gauge input AND output wire would be a problem if a short appeared while it was connected to a 50A outlet/breaker. There are only a few scenarios that would occur that could cause that, though.

If you're going to plug this into a 50A outlet that has 6AWG wire behind it, the only way to force the 50A breaker to trip would be to have 6/4 SOOW wire on the input. The solder points on the board aren't big enough for that, and I don't think anyone wants that thick of a wire to manage. However on the output side, you could put two 20A popup button breakers on the two hot legs to protect it. It all depends on how "protected" you want to be, I guess. The breakers are ~$5 a piece and would add $20 in labor for me to install, so $30 total added to the price. Are you interested?
Think you missed my point Chris. For background, I'm an electronics engineer with commercial approvals design and certification experience. I was just trying to warn you of liability potential in selling these mods.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Think you missed my point Chris. For background, I'm an electronics engineer with commercial approvals design and certification experience. I was just trying to warn you of liability potential in selling these mods.
The modification specifically keeps it plugged into a 20A outlet. However, if someone wants to adapt that 20A rated plug/wire to a higher amperage outlet, what's to stop them? Adapters that go from high amp to low amp outlets are plentiful, and sold every day. Here's an extreme example of plugging a 15A UL rated device into a 50A outlet: 14-50 to 5-15/20 outlet
 

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I'm not trying to nitpick or sound critical. I'm just curious and interested. My understanding is that 14 AWG wire is used in the original power cords in the EVSE. I thought 14 AWG wire needed a 15 Amp breaker for protection. The discussion above is saying 20 Amp protection is adequate. Of course, the original EVSE doesn't come with a warning against using it in a higher-amp outlet (that I know of), so that would lead me to assume there is something else limiting/protecting the current to 15 Amps or lower. Possibly something in the EVSE or maybe the car? Or maybe it is normal for an electric appliance (toaster, hair dryer, heater or whatever) to lack a separate fuse/breaker?
 

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Barry,

There is a difference in minimum wire sizes needed for "free air" vs. enclosed in a wall. The idea is there is more possibility for overheating (thus fire) enclosed vs. not.

Minimum 12 gauge should be used for household wiring in a 20 amp circuit.

14 gauge is OK for 3 wire cable used in the OEM charger in a 20 amp circuit
 

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It would be interesting to pull apart a L2 Clipper Creek charger. My guess is internal fuses, as they make a 20P version with a 30 amp plug. Alternatively, they could use different rated internal components(like relay)

Fire safety less about what happens during normal conditions than what happens during fault conditions.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm not trying to nitpick or sound critical. I'm just curious and interested. My understanding is that 14 AWG wire is used in the original power cords in the EVSE. I thought 14 AWG wire needed a 15 Amp breaker for protection. The discussion above is saying 20 Amp protection is adequate. Of course, the original EVSE doesn't come with a warning against using it in a higher-amp outlet (that I know of), so that would lead me to assume there is something else limiting/protecting the current to 15 Amps or lower. Possibly something in the EVSE or maybe the car? Or maybe it is normal for an electric appliance (toaster, hair dryer, heater or whatever) to lack a separate fuse/breaker?
The EVSE only advertizes 12A via the pilot signal, so the car will only draw up to 12A with it. That's 12A in both L1 and L2 mode.

Since there is no 4 prong 15A twist lock plug, we use the 20A NEMA L14-20.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
It would be interesting to pull apart a L2 Clipper Creek charger. My guess is internal fuses, as they make a 20P version with a 30 amp plug. Alternatively, they could use different rated internal components(like relay)

Fire safety less about what happens during normal conditions than what happens during fault conditions.
The relay they use is rated for [email protected]

I had one YouTube commenter suggest the jumper wires across the board are fuses. I'm not sure I believe that considering the gauge of the metal.

Keep in mind, the EVSE is a high quality unit made by Clipper Creek and will open the relay when it detects faults, including GFI.
 

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