JoeS
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Re: Adapters

Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:59 am

bradleydavidgood777 wrote:...But I want to be safe so a few extra bucks may be worth it...
Most of the past discussion has been dealing with current and you should be ok using any of the connectors and that #10AWG extension cord from an i-MiEV operating current perspective.

Voltage

You are using 120vac connectors for either 120vac or 240vac and you are using the 120vac extension cord for either 120vac or 240vac. There are three things to be concerned about:

1. Having the collection plugged into 240vac and having a 120vac receptacle sitting there and the possibility of forgetting (or someone else coming along) and plugging a 120vac appliance into it. Poof! :shock:

2. Having overvoltage on the wire: I am not particularly worried about the wire itself, but do check to see what voltage rating is imprinted on the cable and wire you are using

3. Connectors: 120vac connectors are rated for and certified for 120vac. I have no idea what their actual operating upper voltage capability is or what overvoltage testing they undergo as part of the certification process. Although I have successfully temporarily used 120vac connectors on 240vac and see the construction inside looks little different between them, I can't recommend doing that.

For this reason, I had suggested that you standardize on NEMA L6-20 (or simply 6-20 straight pin) for all your interconnects.
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
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ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:29 am

I was fine with the idea of #1 because I labled the cord (twice, so readable from any direction) at the receptacle end with "caution 240V" and I would only plug it in to the juice after attaching the other connectors, so if someone comes along and unplugs my stuff then ignores the caution sign it would be fine with me if they fried their thing, in fact, that might be a good result of unplugging something that is being used and ignoring a caution sign. I accept this risk.

#2. The extension cord and the cable used in the adapters both say 300V. Does that mean we are fine because we are using it for 240V?

#3. Why have you used 120vac connectors on 240vac? Are you saying that you felt comfortable with it but can't recommend it to others because you don't want to be liable, which is totally understandable. Just trying to understand what you are saying here. I'll probably upgrade them because there seems to be some concern on this point, but another thing I'm not understanding is that why are you OK with 6-20 connectors when they are designed for 20 amps right? And most 120V stuff can handle 20 amps peak right? And we are normally using 13 amps while charging. So if more amps end up in the wire it's going to be up to 30 amps momentarily before the house breaker trips right? No sustained high current will be thru there right? Maybe 50 amps at a campground tho right? Again, I'm not arguing with you just letting you know my questions so that I can understand this. Part of me feels like we are trying to solve for a very unique scenario that may never happen. But if it truely is dangerous, I'm all for changing them out and even adding the AFCI breakers if necessary. I just want to understand where the concern is coming from and how high the risk is. I am risk tollerant but not extremely so.
2017 I-Miev

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
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Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:11 pm

JoeS wrote:Last I checked, 30A dryer cords were #8AWG and 50A oven cords were #6AWG. I think both are considered continuous service.

My dryer is on 10AWG cable and the breaker is 30A. This was in place before the year 2000.
My outside A/C unit was wired in 2007 or 09. And it is also on 10AWG cable and had a 30A breaker. This is the one I'm now using for car charging but with 20A breakers. This is why I feel completely safe with 10AWG on 30A circuits.
2017 I-Miev

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:33 pm

Aerowhatt wrote:I use a similar set up for charging mine. Except I have arc fault breakers in a box between the 240V plug and receptacle where I plug in my 100 foot 12 gauge extension cord. 12 gauge 100 ft cords are rated at 13 to 15 amps depending on where they were made and where they are sold. So either is OK. It would be smarter to to use the same cord but change out the ends for 240 volt ends. Just so that anyone would know it wasn't a regular 125V cord.
Generally I would be using my set up for 120V charging at 14 amps so I left my cord standard the way it was made. In an instance where I'm using it at 240V would be in controlled environment where there would be no possible tampering by an unknowing individual.
Aerowhatt


Aerowhatt - Can we see your setup? Are you saying that you use 5-15 connectors for 240V and are comfortable with that? If so why are you?
Also I'm interesting in seeing your AFCI breakers and box and knowing what parts you used/brand/specs. And how much of a risk you think there is of an arc happening. I guess the arc would happen in the EVSE if anywhere right? And wouldn't the EVSE trap that? And if the arc happened in the car, wouldn't it be caught by the EVSE and not travel to the cord? I read a little about arc faults and I'm understanding that they happen at loose connections where there is a gap. What are the chances of that happening with cars and EVSEs? Do you feel that risk is high?
2017 I-Miev

Aerowhatt
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Posts: 425
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Re: Adapters

Thu Jun 21, 2018 6:40 pm

bradleydavidgood777 wrote:Aerowhatt - Can we see your setup? Are you saying that you use 5-15 connectors for 240V and are comfortable with that? If so why are you?
Also I'm interesting in seeing your AFCI breakers and box and knowing what parts you used/brand/specs. And how much of a risk you think there is of an arc happening. I guess the arc would happen in the EVSE if anywhere right? And wouldn't the EVSE trap that? And if the arc happened in the car, wouldn't it be caught by the EVSE and not travel to the cord? I read a little about arc faults and I'm understanding that they happen at loose connections where there is a gap. What are the chances of that happening with cars and EVSEs? Do you feel that risk is high?


I need to get set up for posting photos again. With all the mergers and changes in privacy policies I felt compelled to end my previous account. Electrical code is going toward arc fault breakers on any circuit with a receptacle (excepting dryers, stoves, dedicated refrigerator circuits and the like). Some states require them now. Personally I think they are overkill and they have been problematic in use so far. Then again, extra safety is sometimes worth some false trip aggravation. Mostly arc faults occur with (within) cords according to what I have read. Two reasons, they often get damage and sometimes that goes unnoticed. Another reason is that they're made with fine stranded wire. Take out some strands and you have a smaller gauge wire section. So bottom line, I'm worried more about the cords more than anything else. You are right that most of the listed equipment EVSE, etc., involved has been tested and deemed safe for such eventualities.

As for wire voltage ratings. It's really a moot point in the US. We have split phase 240V power so the 240V part doesn't happen until the two conductors come together. So each conductor in a 120V extension cord is only carrying 120 volts even when the cord is used as a 240V cord with the normally neutral and hot wires both being used as hot wires. I haven't really thought it important to mention this in these discussions because it's somewhat confusing and usually ends up with a pointless, endless argument-ish. Hey if someone goes shopping for 300V or higher rated wire in a cord . . . no problem they purchased a better quality cord which is better for overall safety period. :D

For connectors 5-15 are fine for our cars if they are well made. And that's the issue really there are some really crappy parts out there. I've had a 20amp connector (the one with the T blade) fail under much lower amps. Dissecting it post meltdown, the design was flawed and only part of the T blade was making good contact in the receptacle. So it's all about quality. A good practice is what JoeS was talking about, check your connectors for heat 15 or 30 minutes into and extension cord charge. I would recommend this practice every time that a charge is done with an extension cord involved. Even if the components one is using have worked fine before.

Aerowhatt
2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (42.7ah at ~26K miles)
2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (41.5ah at ~15k miles)

Don
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Re: Adapters

Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:47 pm

All good, valid points

One problem with being on the cutting edge of all new technologies is you sometimes end up stuck with a 'standard' which is less than optimal when the tech is finally sorted out. Those who came along later benefit from the better, newer tech and they got it right the first time while you 'early adopters' end up stuck in the past. Such is the case in the USA where 120 volts is the 'standard' while the rest of the world uses 240 volts which needs smaller gauge wire because the current is half of what we require for 120 volts - We end up with vacuums, microwaves and portable heaters which require 10 or 12 amps (and wire gauges which can supply that) while the rest of the world can run such appliances from 16 or 18 gauge wire - I recall one time renting a 150 year old villa in Spain where the water heater was powered using speaker wire (literally) stapled to the wall along the ceiling. There was no wiring when the building was constructed, but there wasn't any need for 10 or 12 gauge wire anywhere

Our TV standard (640 lines to make a picture) is another example - The rest of the world uses a much better standard. We end up with multiplex stereo because any two channel transmission must also work on ancient monoural systems, so for stereo, half the fidelity is missing. I won't even go into the obvious benefits of the metric system which it appears will never be the standard here

But nothing makes less sense than sticking with a 120 volt standard. We should have decided 50 or 60 years ago to just make all 120 volt appliances obsolete and go with 240 volts for everything, like the rest of the world - As an added benefit, a child cannot get shocked with a European 240 volt outlet because by the time the pins make contact with power, they are no longer where you can touch them, nor can you short them out with any metal object. NEMA 5-15 outlets are truly stuck in the 19th century . . . . but they are (unfortunately) still our standard.
Those who wanted to keep our old 120 volt stuff (and the outlets that went with them) could have used new plugs and step-down transformers and we could have caught up with the rest of the world. Imagine where we would be if the last 120 volt appliance was manufactured 50 years ago

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
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Posts: 425
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Re: Adapters

Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:41 am

bradleydavidgood777 wrote: So if more amps end up in the wire it's going to be up to 30 amps momentarily before the house breaker trips right? No sustained high current will be thru there right? Maybe 50 amps at a campground tho right? Again, I'm not arguing with you just letting you know my questions so that I can understand this. Part of me feels like we are trying to solve for a very unique scenario that may never happen. But if it truely is dangerous, I'm all for changing them out and even adding the AFCI breakers if necessary. I just want to understand where the concern is coming from and how high the risk is. I am risk tollerant but not extremely so.


From your description of your setup my biggest concern is fault amps. By the looks of your cord I'm thinking you meant 10 gauge (not 10 amp) extension cord. If it is 10 gauge then all the better! However the EVSE's and connectors should all have fuses/breakers at 20 amps. Arc fault protection is expensive, not really necessary, and not yet fully evolved. I like to get the new tech and get some experience with it which is largely why I went with it. The best place to put them is between your 240 volt plugs and the 5-15 receptacle that you attached to them. There isn't a small, lightweight, simple, elegant way to do it in the electrical department. By way of suggestion, perhaps two inline (250V 20amp) glass tube fuses inside of an outdoor (surface mount) PVC receptacle box with a blank cover with gasket. Compression gasketed fittings on both ends to capture the cords and keep water out. Perhaps a couple of extra fuses wrapped in a scrap of bubble wrap inside the box too in case you need them some day. Thats about the lightest/smallest/least costly/waterproof solution that I can think of.

Like you, I thought mobile opportunity charging would be a must have. After three years of driving the car, it hasn't come up nearly as much as I expected and was only really necessary once for range insurance to get home. In that case, all that was available was a 20 amp 120V outlet. So all the adapters and breakers were not needed. Only really needing it once has surprised me (pleasantly). Still, I feel more comfortable running around with it all onboard, ready to go!

Aerowhatt
2014 cool silver ES, acquired new 4/2015 (42.7ah at ~26K miles)
2014 Labrador Black Pearl ES, acquired new 3/2016 (41.5ah at ~15k miles)

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:45 am

Aerowhatt,

Thanks for the reply... When I wired my 240V hook up here at home I figured out that it was just two 120s. I had heard that before too but this time it really sank in. So I get that.

Yes I have a 10 gauge cord. I bought that because of the long run, safety, and better for a long run because I've always heard that if you are running something on the end of an extension cord, like a heater for example, your cord cold be within safety limits but if you get a thicker one, the heater will run better. So I want my heater in my car to run better in the morning on cold days and its a 50' cord. I had 100' to my 120V receptacle before I did the 240 conversion which is where the 100' 10 gauge cord came from and was laying around.

So I think I am OK with my 5-15 setup because I think the Leveton 5-15s are good....great reviews on amazon and no one complaining about failures from what I remember.

And I think I want to do something like you suggest to get me fused at 20 amps. It just makes sense to me. I may even do the arc fault thing but thanks for confirming that your take like mine is that the arcs are usually in small cords that have been damaged. In my situation with this car and my EVSE, I don't think we have enough risk to warrant that but if its $50 difference I may just go for it.

Its easy to sign up for imgur.com and post pictures. Would love to see your setup and know about the parts and prices.

Thanks!
2017 I-Miev

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:01 am

I have decided to not pursue the arc fault thing and do the inline 20A fuses. Tomorrow at lunch I'm going to the electric supply store to talk to someone and get parts there. Then I can finish my package and think about going to the shore! I have been focused on this big house project prepping for some work by a craftsman friend and finished that 2 days ago! I was waiting for that to be done before taking some vacation. I may even take some days off work because I've also been working hard at work to get ahead of things and got there last week! So good timing all around to get down to the shore sometime soon. I'm going to watch the weather and take off last minute. We've had some crappy stuff lately so I think we are due for some hot bright days now.
2017 I-Miev

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:05 am

I think I'm going to make the fused line into it's own unit, with a 5-15 on each end. That way I can make just one unit and use it for 3 different configurations. Old dryer, new dryer and 120V outlet. Even tho you would think you wouldn't need it for 120V it's a nice thought to have your own fuses so that you don't have to trust the house ones which could be over 20 or faulty, plus way further down the line.

And I have one 5-15 connector left over anyway so only need to buy one more.
2017 I-Miev

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