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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, with the holiday season around the corner, I'll be putting up a good deal of lights on the front of the house this week. I only have one outlet there, which I use to charge my Volt. I can typically get by with 8 amp charging given a relatively short work commute.

I honestly don't know the kind of wiring used on the outlet or the breaker or anything like that, which I guess is really important. My guess is since the outlet is on a relatively recently converted garage, the wiring is at least copper and up to code. Question is, can I attach three or so strands of light via a surge protector on the bottom outlet and continue to use the top outlet to charge at 8 amps, or is this likely to trip the breaker and/or damage the outlet/wiring/EVSE.

I understand I'm giving you not nearly enough information to answer this question. I guess the question is -- standard wiring, standard outlet, can it support Volt and lights.
 

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So, with the holiday season around the corner, I'll be putting up a good deal of lights on the front of the house this week. I only have one outlet there, which I use to charge my Volt. I can typically get by with 8 amp charging given a relatively short work commute.

I honestly don't know the kind of wiring used on the outlet or the breaker or anything like that, which I guess is really important. My guess is since the outlet is on a relatively recently converted garage, the wiring is at least copper and up to code. Question is, can I attach three or so strands of light via a surge protector on the bottom outlet and continue to use the top outlet to charge at 8 amps, or is this likely to trip the breaker and/or damage the outlet/wiring/EVSE.

I understand I'm giving you not nearly enough information to answer this question. I guess the question is -- standard wiring, standard outlet, can it support Volt and lights.
Probably, especially if the lights are LEDs (LEDs use very little power.) If you stay with the 8 amp setting you should be ok. 120V @ 8 amps = 960W. You can have a maximum of 1440W on a 15 amp circuit so you have ~500W available before you risk an overload and trip the circuitbreaker.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
:D -- That's a good one. I really would love it if I could just allay all my concerns by plugging the lights into the Volt and the volt into the outlet, but alas, no AC outlet inside makes it a no go. (on a separate note, I thought this was a somewhat surprising omission because my dad's old Fusion Hybrid had an AC outlet.)

Jcanoe -- they're incandescent, unfortunately. Would love to go LED if they could make them a softer glow, but until then, this is where we are. I do appreciate the math regarding circuit capacity -- I'll take a look at the boxes today and make sure it's not too close.
 

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Or, if your commute is really that short, you'll probably only burn a couple of cheeseburgers worth of gas just skipping the plugging in part for the duration...

I mean, c'mon. It's a hybrid. You're allowed to use the engine if you want.
 

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:D -- That's a good one. I really would love it if I could just allay all my concerns by plugging the lights into the Volt and the volt into the outlet, but alas, no AC outlet inside makes it a no go. (on a separate note, I thought this was a somewhat surprising omission because my dad's old Fusion Hybrid had an AC outlet.)

Jcanoe -- they're incandescent, unfortunately. Would love to go LED if they could make them a softer glow, but until then, this is where we are. I do appreciate the math regarding circuit capacity -- I'll take a look at the boxes today and make sure it's not too close.
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Get one of those power meters that reads watts and amps. They are pretty cheap and it sounds like you need one anyway. If you are still using the old light bulb light strings, as I do, you can build up a hefty load just on the lights alone. The meter will tell you if you have room for the VOLT charger.
If you like to load up the house and bushes with lights you might consider moving the volt power source to another outlet wired to a different fuse/cb.
 

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Can you round up a couple of long outdoor extension cords and use them to plug your light strings into the outlet behind your house?

Another option is to put the lights on a timer that stops at 10 or 11pm and set the car to start charging then.
 

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mjones21: you are absolutely correct. You have not provided sufficient information for us to give you a reasonable response. We need to know how many strings and what each string's wattage consumption is. As above, if they are newer LED's you certainly won't need to worry....
 

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C9 bulbs are about 7 watts each
C7 bulbs are about 4 watts each

You have ~500W available while charging the Volt concurrently. So around 70 C9's or 125 C7's before you overload the circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have the incandescent mini lights, not C7 or C9. So probably 2-3 watts per bulb, but I couldn't find any info on the packaging. To be safe, protect my Volt, and to hide all the wiring on the side of the house rather than the front, I'm going to run it from the back porch outlets via extension cord and multi-tap timers. Ultimately, if I overload those outlets somehow, at least there's no chance it will mess up my EVSE or car.

Thanks for the thoughts everyone.
 

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Verify the back porch outlets are not on the same circuit as the EVSE outlet, or you will be in the same position as before.
 
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