JoeS
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Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Adapters

Sun Apr 29, 2018 5:52 pm

I can't believe that we didn't already have a thread dedicated solely to adapters, so I started this one...

Don sent me an email and wondering what adapters I would recommend for an extended trip with his Volt. Good question, as, despite having a collection of adapters that will cover everything except a California Plug (I'm working on it), reality is that very few are really needed for our i-MiEV (or Volt). I'll discuss adapters and extension cords for 120vac and 240vac and J1772 and Tesla EVSE.

120vac ADAPTERS

I think the everyday NEMA 5-15 plug is sufficient and there is no need for a fancier 20A NEMA 5-20 adapter. After all, our i-MiEV EVSE is limited to 8A or 12A (newer i-MiEV or EVSEUpgrade.com mod) at that voltage. See below for combined 120vac/240vac adapters.

240vac ADAPTERS

Note that the following discussion is only about adapters for low-power (~3.3kW) EVSEs. If you're planning on a more-modern BEV (with 6.6kW or greater charging capability) in the future, then don't waste your money on these recommendations and simply standardize on NEMA 14-50.

For use with the i-MiEV or Volt, start off with a basic L6-20P as a plug on the end of the 240v (16A or less) EVSE cable as this will be the basis for the following NEMA-connector adapters:

L6-20R to three-prong 14-30/14-50/14-60 plug
We've discussed this extensively on other threads and we are talking about cutting off (or simply not installing) the Neutral pin on this male connector, which will allow this plug to work with any of the three above outlets. 14-50 is common in RV campgrounds, newer home ovens, and newer welders; 14-30 is used in modern home dryers. I've never seen a 14-60.

L6-20R to 10-30P
The 10-30 was the standard dryer connector in US homes until 1996, at which time it was replaced by the four-wire 14-30. I think that I have used 10-30 more than any other outlet as most of my friends have older homes and these outlets are very common either in the garage or in the laundry room adjacent to the garage.

L6-20R to 6-20P
On my cross-country trip I had two instances where I utilized a 6-20 receptacle: a friend had a lathe in his garage and a boatyard had a shop vacuum plugged into it. It's small and inexpensive enough that I'd carry this in my bag of tricks.

L6-20R to 6-50P
The 6-50 connector was used for older ovens and as an outlet for a welder. Surprisingly, I've used this a number of times as I've run across at least two homes that had these in their garages, and an RV park had one in their repair shop for welding (but did not have a 14-50 outlet at their campground). Although I've never actually gone to a welding shop, in my cross-country jaunts I always had that possibility as a backup plan in case I got into trouble, as welding facilities exist in virtually every town in this country.

5-15P to L6-20R and L6-20P to 5-15R
This pair of adapters will allow the use of a 240vac extension cord on 120vac. The 5-15P to L6-20R adapter is used with a multi-voltage (120vac and 240vac) EVSE and mates with its L6-20P plug.

EXTENSION CORD REVISED
Given the above set of adapters, one good 25' #12AWG extension cord with a L6-20 plug and socket should suffice for just about any eventuality, as this can be used for both 240vac and 120vac. Although I've had a couple of situations whereby I ran a 100' extension cord from a dryer outlet in the back of the house, this is so rare as to not merit carrying around the weight and volume of such a cord. Disclaimer: check the wire rating to ensure it can handle at least 300vac. It is ok to use 240vac connectors for 120vac but not ok to use 120vac connectors on 240vac. This modifies my previous suggestion of using a 120vac extension cord for 240vac.

J1772 EXTENSION
I have one that's 20' long and have used it a number of times, primarily to plug into a public station that was ICE'd or occupied by a BEV/PHEV that had finished charging, but also useful when curb-charging the Tesla (and Volt and Bolt) which have their power inlet located on the driver's side. Without endorsement, here's an example of one such extender:
https://shop.quickchargepower.com/JLONG-40-Amp-J1772-extension-cable-JL40A.htm

Tesla UMC and HPWC J1772 ADAPTER (240vac NOT SuperCharger)
I bought one for my i-MiEV as it allows me to utilize my two Tesla EVSEs (UMC and HPWC). With the proliferation of Tesla High Power Wall Chargers (HPWC) around the country at hotels, restaurants, and (especially) wineries, this is a handy 240vac adapter to have on long trips. Again, without endorsement, here's an example -
https://www.ebay.com/itm/142544249020
It's my understanding that such an adapter may not be compatible with the latest version of Tesla's HPWC. Proper etiquette would be to both ask at the desk to be able to use that EVSE and also leave a note on the windshield should a Tesla show up. If anyone locally wants to borrow mine to take on a trip, you're welcome to it.

Oh, and here's my personal list of all my adapters. I keep updating it with the same link as I acquire more... this is a hodge-podge lifetime collection, many adapters which I would not make if I were starting from scratch.
http://www.katiekat.net/Vehicles/Mitsi/EVSEAdaptersJoeS.pdf

Well, that's my first shot. I'm sure I left something out... :roll: :geek:
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

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:32 am

Thanks Joe! Awesome post and very comprehensive.

I like the idea of using a 12AWG extension cord. When I was only charging 120v at home I would throw the stock EVSE in the car and always had an extension cord in the car, maybe 50 foot. And it was probably not 12.

Now that I'm charging 240v at home I've been thinking about leaving the stock EVSE in the car because the 120v 5-15 can get me a charge and I've got no other adapters yet. But then I was thinking, would I carry another whole long cord for 240V? Your solution solves that problem. I like it.

I still need the stock EVSE tho in case I need to use 120v. I don't think the Amazing-E does 120v. I am wondering if any EVSE does both. Like if you get your stock one upgraded, does it do both 120 and 240? This is something you could address here - what EVSE(s) do you carry? Do you ever do 120v charging on the go?

As I read all of your adapters, I thought it was a very good list and would be a good idea to work on creating them one at a time, over time, starting with the most common. The one thought I had was that if I was going to carry a 5-15 extension cord, and it was going to be used infrequently, why not eliminate the L6-20 from the equation and just use 5-15 for all of the adapters? Would be much cheaper too and take up less space in the car. May be a good option for people like me who don't plan on traveling far very often at all.
2017 I-Miev

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:36 am

Another question...what do you use for the wire in your adapters? I guess for the dryer ones you use a dryer plug and wire and cut it.... but what about the 5-15 ones? I guess 12AWG?

You might want to add that info into each adapter description.
2017 I-Miev

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3537
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:34 am

bradleydavidgood777 wrote:I still need the stock EVSE tho in case I need to use 120v. I don't think the Amazing-E does 120v. I am wondering if any EVSE does both. Like if you get your stock one upgraded, does it do both 120 and 240? This is something you could address here - what EVSE(s) do you carry? Do you ever do 120v charging on the go?
We've discussed many 120vac/240vac EVSEs on this subforum, the most common being the modified OEM Mitsubishi (Panasonic) EVSEUpgrade.com, which I carry on my i-MiEV trips. Overnight on my long Tesla trips I've often charged on 120vac.
bradleydavidgood777 wrote:As I read all of your adapters, I thought it was a very good list and would be a good idea to work on creating them one at a time, over time, starting with the most common. The one thought I had was that if I was going to carry a 5-15 extension cord, and it was going to be used infrequently, why not eliminate the L6-20 from the equation and just use 5-15 for all of the adapters? Would be much cheaper too and take up less space in the car. May be a good option for people like me who don't plan on traveling far very often at all.
Please note that using a 120vac extension cord on 240vac can be dangerous, and I offered it as a bare-minimum to have along on a trip to save weight and volume. Normally for 240vac do use a proper L6-20 (or larger) connector at both ends. Although I think a 5-15 can handle the voltage, it is not certified for that, and the risk of inadvertently plugging in a 120vac appliance into a 240vac powerline is always there!
Edit: Note that I have modified my recommendation to show L6-20 connectors at both ends. This cable can be used on 120vac with the two L6-20<-->5-15 adapters.
bradleydavidgood777 wrote:Another question...what do you use for the wire in your adapters? I guess for the dryer ones you use a dryer plug and wire and cut it.... but what about the 5-15 ones? I guess 12AWG?
Edit: for 15A and 20A circuits I use #10AWG if it will fit into the connector; otherwise, #12AWG.
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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Posts: 2733
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:09 am

Not all extension cords are created equal either - There are 12/3 cords out there which are basically junk and I wouldn't recommend anyone buying one to use for charging, especially not if you are thinking of using it for 240 volts - If you found it at Harbor Freight, I would leave it there . . . . it's cheap connectors won't last you very long

At a minimum, make sure it's made with cable labeled for 300 volts. High quality molded ends are what you're looking for. You don't have to pay a fortune to get a good cord. The Utilitech 25 foot cord at Lowes is an example of a high quality cord - It's $38.50 plus tax, so roughly $40

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-Pro- ... rd/3203691

As I'm always looking for bargains, I bought this nearly identical cord a month or so ago for $20.99 with free shipping. I don't see a nickel's woth of difference between this one and the one at Lowes for $40. I see now though that they have raised the price a bit to $24.80 - Still a bargain in my book

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Prime-Wire-and ... 2749.l2649

If you're looking at the $15 NEMA 14-50P plugs at Lowes, I found these Chinese ones for less than $6 ($5.29 to be exact)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/50A-125-250V-I ... 2749.l2649

It takes about 2 weeks to get them, but well worth the wait. I took one into Lowes to compare with the ones they sell - It's quite obvious who is manufacturing the ones they're selling. How in the world do they sell something like these with free shipping from halfway around the world for $5?? - USPS would charge me more than that just to ship it back

I buy all my Twist Lock connectors and all the NEMA 5-15 plugs and sockets on eBay also - Usually for less than half the prices at the big box stores

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

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3537
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:51 am

Whoa! I realize that I gave some bad advice.

It is ok to use 240vac connectors for 120vac

It is not ok to use 120vac connectors for 240vac

I'm modifying my first adapter post to show that the extension cord should have L6-20 connectors on it and not 5-15.

Sorry.
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

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3537
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Adapters

Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:17 am

Don wrote:...If you're looking at the $15 NEMA 14-50P plugs at Lowes, I found these Chinese ones for less than $6 ($5.29 to be exact)
https://www.ebay.com/itm/50A-125-250V-Industrial-Grade-NEMA-14-50p-Straight-Blade-US-Four-Holes-WKs/222862371770?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649
Wow, Don, thanks for this lead as it was becoming pricy to make adapters now that I'm changing over from L6-30 to 14-50 and putting together a smaller Tesla-dedicated box of adapters instead of lugging my lifetime collection around with me.
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

bradleydavidgood777
Posts: 174
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:55 am
Location: Media, PA

Re: Adapters

Wed Jun 13, 2018 10:35 am

Same video as my last post - just updating this thread for those who found the Adapters thread later...

https://youtu.be/KrnsDU404Yw
2017 I-Miev

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3537
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Adapters

Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:53 am

bradleydavidgood777, thank you for your post. I see that you took the inexpensive way out and are using your 120vac extension cord for 240vac without changing the connectors over to 6-20. Just pay attention as to which voltage you have at the other end when you use it. :geek: :roll:
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

Aerowhatt
Gold Member
Posts: 426
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:52 pm

Re: Adapters

Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:35 pm

JoeS wrote:bradleydavidgood777, thank you for your post. I see that you took the inexpensive way out and are using your 120vac extension cord for 240vac without changing the connectors over to 6-20. Just pay attention as to which voltage you have at the other end when you use it. :geek: :roll:


Plus also - you should have (read as must have) a circuit breaker box at the supply end of your extension cord when plugging into any circuit that is higher amperage than 15 or 20. Drier plugs, Rv plugs and others like them. If you don't have over-current protection in your set up. Any damage to the cord or a fault in the EVSE or car that causes a short circuit results in the cord wires becoming the "fuse" Basically the cord will catch fire and when that happens most likely it will start something nearby on fire too. It slips my mind what temperature copper melts. It all happens in a few seconds with 30 amps shorted through such a cord. The 30 amp breaker in the electrical panel will not trip due to the resistance of the too small gauge wire and length of the extension cord.

12 gauge extension cord can be protected with 20 amp breakers

14 gauge extension cord can be protected with 15 amp breakers. (not recommended (wire gauge is too small for the application but would meet code)

I would use a 10 gauge or 12 gauge extension cord and 20 amp breaker box upstream of it.

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)

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