anomalydesign
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:21 pm

240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:45 pm

Hello all,

Just got our iMIEV as our first electric car after having a Zero electric motorcycle for a couple of years. The first thing I looked into after getting the iMIEV was how we could quick charge at the houses of friends and family we have, a few of whom are near the edge of the iMIEV range. The best option I could think of was borrowing their 240v dryer connections. This won't be a new idea to most EV owners. But those who have looked into this also know that finding a suitable 10-30 or 14-30 Nema extension to get from the dryer location out to the car is a difficult task. Basically you have to use a bunch of adapters, or customize something. In my case, I did a little of both.

After looking around some more though, I came across this on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/GFCI-POWER-CORD ... 1951970003 . It's a power cable designed for a commercial dryer/blower unit, but it seems perfect as a level-2 charger extension for the iMIEV:
-50', 10 AWG (it's designed for a 24A constant load, so it should handle the 16A max load an iMIEV with L2 charger should draw)
-10-30p male Nema plug (the older 3-prong standard for US dryer outlets)
-L6-30r female receptacle (perfect for many of the portable L2 EVSI units out there, like the EVI one for $340, or the upgraded OEM)
-Built in 30A GFCI (An important feature when you consider that this cord is likely going to be lying on the ground outside)

So while the $170 price may seem like a lot for an extension cable, it actually would be very difficult to put together your own solution at this price (especially with GFCI). And while this is a long run, the 10 gauge cable and the minimal number of connections/adapters means there shouldn't be too much voltage drop. The only adapter you might need to make/buy, would be a 14-30p to 10-30r for houses with the newer 4 prong dryer connections (which you can easily make from parts at a home depot/lowes, or buy pre-made from any number of places for about $50.

Combine this with a portable L2 EVSI that has an L6-30 plug (such as the EVI mentioned above, clippercreek, etc) and you'll have a very flexible and portable ~70' total length solution that can safely charge the iMIEV at the maximum rate (short of chademo) at nearly any house in the US with no modification. All for less than $600.

JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Mon Nov 02, 2015 3:35 pm

anomalydesign, congratulations for getting the i-MiEV as your first electric car!

Presumably you have a dedicated L2 EVSE or else an EVSEUpgrade.com conversion. If it's the latter, then it has a NEMA L6-20P connector on the end of it.

$170 for a 50' 10AWG extension cord seems very pricy, and I don't know what GFCI gets you for this application. If you're at all handy, buying your own cord and installing your own connectors will be a lot less expensive.

What some of us have done is standardize the 240vac connector (e.g., L6-30 in my case), made extension cords using those connectors, and then make a whole bunch of adapters to enable the i-MiEV to plug into virtually anything. Here's a listing of my own collection of adapters.

I probably use the NEMA 10-30 adapter most frequently, as most of my friends have that dryer outlet in their older garages.

We have a number of other threads related to this topic, the latest being:
http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2654
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

anomalydesign
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:21 pm

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Mon Nov 02, 2015 6:03 pm

Thank you for the welcome, been loving the car so far!

The evse I went with is the EVI unit that can run at 240v 16a or 120v (part # PC-0113-63 on this page: http://www.ev-institute.com/portable_products.html). I got it with the L6-30 connector, and standardized on that plug, as I could readily get premade 10awg extensions with those plugs. So at our house the charger plugs straight into a matching dedicated L6-30 socket. I then travel with the extension cord and short adapters to 10-30 and 14-30 plugs from evseupgrades, who seemed to have the best prices on nice premade molded cables. That way I can charge from dryer outlets anywhere (i also carry a short 5-15 converter also from evseupgrade to charge at 120v/12a anywhere else).

The GFCI feature is not strictly necessary, but seeing as this cable is going to be used in outdoor environments, and will have an outdoor connection to the evse, I would feel better having an extra layer of protection from shorts, drops in puddles, etc. I actually came across the cable in my post whole looking for 240v gfci options, and realized the whole cable wasn't much more than the available products at retail (I picked up a 20a gfci with 6-20 m/f plugs for less than $20 that will match up with a mechanical timer I'm planning to use to set charge hours).

So if you don't care about GFCI, the $170 isn't a great price. Similarly, you can piece together aa cheaper/custom setup if you're handy. But I thought this cable combined with an l6-30 charger wouls be a remarkably clean, easy, safe and straightforward off-the-shelf setup for someone that wants to L2 charge their miev with zero modifications to their house or cables.

Edit:

Forgot to mention what a help these threads like the one you mentioned were in helping me figure all this out. That's why I wanted to leave this thread for the next beginner like me, as I hadn't seen anyone mention a single-cable solution like this.

FiddlerJohn
Posts: 243
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:51 pm
Location: Bowie, Maryland

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Mon Nov 02, 2015 7:34 pm

anomalydesign, Welcome aboard. Thanks for joining us. Are you in the USA? What state?

anomalydesign wrote: ... The evse I went with is the EVI ...

I too have an EVI. My EVI has never completed a charge. I think the EVI has an issue with my wiring. My Bosch, GE, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, and other EVSE systems all work with the same wiring, but the EVI only works for a few hours. In the morning I find the car with only a partial charge and a fault light. My guess is the EVI is correct, but I haven't traced down the issue yet. I like the EVI and hope to use it to test my wiring after I found and fix my wiring/connector issue.

JoeS wrote:... Presumably you have a dedicated L2 EVSE or else an EVSEUpgrade.com conversion. If it's the latter, then it has a NEMA L6-20P connector on the end of it...

JoeS: I'm sure you don't mean that EVSEUpgrade.com uses a L6-20P connector. Like you, EVSEUpgrade likes the L6-30.

anomalydesign
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 2:21 pm

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:03 pm

Thanks FiddlerJohn. I'm in Delaware in the USA. Getting the MIEV here from the lot in central PA 80 miles away was a good bonding adventure with the car!

FiddlerJohn wrote:I too have an EVI. My EVI has never completed a charge. I think the EVI has an issue with my wiring. My Bosch, GE, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, and other EVSE systems all work with the same wiring, but the EVI only works for a few hours. In the morning I find the car with only a partial charge and a fault light.


I'm concerned to hear about your issues with the EVI unit. I'm curious if you have the latest version with the LCD screen, or an earlier one, as it sounds like they've resolved some compatibility issues with newer revisions. I was on the fence between getting the EVI charger, a slightly more expensive portable L2 option, or going with an evse upgrade of my stock unit.

The built in info screen and not having to send away my stock charger were my deciding factors in spending the extra $100 or so on the EVI vs upgrading (plus I can now keep one attached to the house and one in the car). I'll have to try some full battery, full power charges to test for issues though. If they pop up like you say I might go the evseupgrade route after all, or else with this clipper creek lcs-20p model that people seem to like: http://www.clippercreek.com/store/produ ... h-holster/

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3802
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Silicon Valley, California

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Tue Nov 03, 2015 4:40 am

anomalydesign, you've nicely thought through the whole process and are well on your way. Thank you for posting the results of you research.

Agree that GFCI provides another layer of protection. Inasmuch as I sometimes use my L6-30 cables for 120vac (via adapters), I *think* a dual GFCI might trip in that scenario.

EVSEUpgrade.com provides a L6-20P connector with the 2012 Mitsu (Panasonic) EVSE, but perhaps a L6-30P with the 2014 and 2016 (selectable 8A/12A) EVSEs? I agree that their molded adapters are very high quality and less expensive than if you tried to make your own.

BTW, I fixed a typo in the above texts, as I had inadvertently said "L2-20" instead of "L6-20"
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Don
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Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Wed Nov 04, 2015 4:47 pm

JoeS wrote:Agree that GFCI provides another layer of protection. Inasmuch as I sometimes use my L6-30 cables for 120vac (via adapters), I *think* a dual GFCI might trip in that scenario.
True. My Open EVSE has a built-in GFCI and it *will not* work when plugged into a GFCI protected outlet

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2017 Chevy Volt Premier
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1979 Honda CBX six into six

Aerowhatt
Gold Member
Posts: 444
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: 240v Dryer plug adapter/extension option with GFCI

Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:32 pm

Just thought I would add a strategy I have used since early on. I carry a 120 to 240 volt compatible EVSE in my tool box behind the car. The issue often is getting close enough to a 240 volt outlet and the expense and bulk of 30 amp cords is prohibitive. Let alone the circumstance of plugging into a 50 amp outlet with an adapter making a 30 amp extension cord a serious fire hazard if the cord were damaged, while in use, causing a short.

My solution is pretty simple. I took the most likely 240V 50 amp plug I would need and connected it to conduit pull box adapted to hold a two pole 20 amp DIN rail mount circuit breaker. Out of that box is 100 ft of 12 gauge normal (2 wire with ground) outdoor extension cord with the receptacle end clearly marked as being 240 volts (while charging this end of my cord would be locked inside the toolbox anyway). I can actually charge at full level 2 for the iMiEV from 150 feet away from a 240V source. Both safely and only hauling easy to handle lightweight (by comparison) extension cords. Since the EVSEs don't use the neutral in a 240V circuit. One only needs 3 wires to hook it up L1, L2 and ground.

In the advent of a cord damaging event, the waterproof box with the 2 pole 20 amp breaker cuts the power to both L1 and L2 right back a few inches from the 30 to 50 amp receptacle. Instead of turning the whole length into a plastic coated red hot heating element.

I haven't "needed" to use it yet, but I have used it anyway. It adds piece of mind knowing that in the event of a range shortage emergency, basically any residence or business becomes a possible source of Level 2 charging. Beats calling a tow truck IMO.

Aerowhatt
(July) 2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (40.9ah at ~34K miles)
(Aug) 2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (39.7ah at ~20k miles)

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