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It was raining hard recently and someone asked what happens if water gets in the Volt's charger opening and I try to charge it. Does anyone know what would happen if water splashed in just as I put the charger in the opening? Assume a good amount of water...

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MrEnergyCzar
 

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Nothing bad would happen. There is no high voltage present at the plug on the end of the charger until it and the car see the connection made. Then the car and charger negotiate what voltage the charger will put out and apply the voltage and current to the plug. Even if it were to see a short or voltage spike in the line afterwards it will instantly disconnect the power from the terminals.

So it is nearly impossible to get a shock from an EV charger with that type of plug. Unfortunately, that is part of the reason all the chargers are so expensive, and it also is why they sometimes disconnect charging the car. Sometimes just uneven or weak voltage at the outlet is enough to kick the circuit off.
 

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It was raining hard recently and someone asked what happens if water gets in the Volt's charger opening and I try to charge it. Does anyone know what would happen if water splashed in just as I put the charger in the opening? Assume a good amount of water...

Thanks,MrEnergyCzar
So you are asking about the SAE J1772 standard in general it seems.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAE_J1772#Safety
Safety
The J1772 standard includes several levels of shock protection, ensuring the safety of charging even in wet conditions. Physically, the connection pins are isolated on the interior of the connector when mated, ensuring no physical access to those pins. When not mated, J1772 connectors have no voltage at the pins,[15] and charging power does not flow until commanded by the vehicle.[14]
The pins are of the first-make, last-break variety. So that if the plug is in the charging port of the vehicle and charging, and it is removed, the Control Pilot and Proximity Detection pins will break first so that the Power Pin relay in the Charging Station will be shut off and no current will flow.

Signaling[14]
  • Supply equipment signals presence of AC input power
  • Vehicle detects plug via proximity circuit (thus the vehicle can prevent driving away while connected)
  • Control pilot functions begin
    • Supply equipment detects plug-in electric vehicle
    • Supply equipment indicates to PEV readiness to supply energy
    • PEV ventilation requirements are determined
    • Supply equipment current capacity provided to PEV
    • PEV commands energy flow
  • PEV and supply equipment continuously monitor continuity of safety ground
  • Charge continues as determined by PEV
  • Charge may be interrupted by disconnecting the plug from the vehicle
 
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