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Discussion Starter #1
So, understanding how circuits and how electricity works is not my strong suit, so bear with me.

I recently upgraded from a Volt to a 202 Bolt. I'm looking at getting a portable 14-50 level 2 charger. If I get a 32amp charger, what will happen if I plug that into a 14-50 outlet that doesn't have 32amps? (say, it has 20 amps). Will the car try to take 32 amps and trip the circuit?

I'm looking to get one portable level charger that would be useful in the most places. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Yes.
A proper 14-50 installation should be 50 amps. Maybe 40 (think oven/range). Which will be fine for our needs. There shouldn't be a 14-50 at 20 amps.
There are EVSE's that you can adjust the current. You would then need a collection of adapters to plug in to the different 240V receptacles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes.
A proper 14-50 installation should be 50 amps. Maybe 40 (think oven/range). Which will be fine for our needs. There shouldn't be a 14-50 at 20 amps.
There are EVSE's that you can adjust the current. You would then need a collection of adapters to plug in to the different 240V receptacles.
Gotcha. So if my charger has a 14-50 plug, then there's really no case where the power source doesn't have enough amps?
 

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Gotcha. So if my charger has a 14-50 plug, then there's really no case where the power source doesn't have enough amps?
Sorry, unless I'm mis-understanding what you mean, an EVSE (charger cord) with a 14-50 plug MUST be plugged into a circuit with a 50 amp breaker and #6 wire. The only exception is if it is the type of portable or stationary EVSE that has adjustable current settings, usually 16-24-32 amps. Then you can plug your 14-50 EVSE into say a 20 amp, 240V circuit with an adapter plug but you must set the EVSE to 16 amps. I believe one of the Tesla EVSEs has an automatic amperage selector based on which plug adapter you choose, but the rest are owner selected.

It is also against every electrical code to put in 14-50 receptacle on anything but a 50 amp circuit. The breaker is only there to protect the wire from overheating and catching fire. I suppose one can make the argument that you could put a 14-50 receptacle on a breaker/wire size larger than 50 amps but this is seldom to never done. You base the receptacle on the maximum load expected (in our case 32 amps). The tip off is the plug provided. You base the breaker on 125% of the maximum load for continuous use loads and you base the wire size on the size of the breaker. 32 amps x 125% = 40 amps minimum but most manufactures of EVSEs just go to a 14-50/50amp combo because they are more common and I suppose provide a little more buffer for wire heating.
 

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If installing a 40 or 50 amp circuit is prohibitively difficult and expensive compared to a 20 A circuit, you might just get a 16 A portable EVSE. Those can be had for under $200. In my case the power feed to my garage sub-panel is 10/3 cable so I would have had to dig up my concrete patio and run a new one to install a 32 A EVSE, whereas a 20 A circuit was a simple matter running some 12/2 cable from the sub-panel to a 6-20 outlet. I might upgrade the service to the garage one day, but the 16 A EVSE is good enough to give the Bolt a 60% charge in 10 hours, and for now that works for me.
An adjustable EVSE with appropriate plug adapters would make sense if you anticipate electrical upgrades in the near future or needing to use it away from home, but unless you have a specific situation in mind where you will need to be able to charge as fast as possible from a 14-30 or 14-50 outlet I wouldn't bother spending the extra money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry I wasn't clearer. My main concern isn't my home, but getting a portable charger to keep in my Bolt so I can plug in at available outlets out in the world.

For example, getting something like this:

I'm just trying to figure out if getting a 32amp one limits my options more than a 16amp one. If I'm reading the responses correctly, it seems like any 14-50 outlet SHOULD be able to handle 32 amps.
 

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I would get an adjustable one in your case and a bunch of adapters. There's the 40/50 amp oven type plug. The 30 amp dryer type plug. The 20 amp welder type plug. The 20 amp A/C type plug. The 15 amp 240V type plug. Then there's the 30 amp 120V RV type plug. The 20 amp T whatever it's called type plug. And finally the good ol' 15 amp 120V.
For our international friends...in North America.
If you're trying to plug in to some kind of outlet somewhere then you really want to know from the owner of that plug what actual breaker it's connected to. Then adjust your EVSE accordingly at 80% of that breaker.
 

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Yes, any properly installed 14-50 outlet should be able to reliably supply 32 A. If you are looking for maximum versatility though, you will want an adjustable EVSE and possibly some plug adapters, not a fixed 32A.
 

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It is also against every electrical code to put in 14-50 receptacle on anything but a 50 amp circuit.
Not exactly true. There is no 40 amp receptacle. As such a 40 amp circuit by code could have a 14-50 receptacle on it. The wiring and breaker must still be appropriately sized.

ga2500ev
 

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Sorry I wasn't clearer. My main concern isn't my home, but getting a portable charger to keep in my Bolt so I can plug in at available outlets out in the world.

For example, getting something like this:

I'm just trying to figure out if getting a 32amp one limits my options more than a 16amp one. If I'm reading the responses correctly, it seems like any 14-50 outlet SHOULD be able to handle 32 amps.
Or this one for $252.69 which I've been using. They do accept lower offers BTW.
 

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I'm just trying to figure out if getting a 32amp one limits my options more than a 16amp one. If I'm reading the responses correctly, it seems like any 14-50 outlet SHOULD be able to handle 32 amps.
I don't know your specific needs, but as far as finding power "out in the world", about the only realistic option most places is going to be an RV park. The majority are going to have a 14-50 outlet, and a 30 amp, 120 volt outlet.

 

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I don't know your specific needs, but as far as finding power "out in the world", about the only realistic option most places is going to be an RV park. The majority are going to have a 14-50 outlet, and a 30 amp, 120 volt outlet.

Every relative / friend I stay with on road trips has and electric dryer, so having an EVSE that is adjustable down to 24 amps is a wonderful thing. I can use 32 amps at an RV park (haven't actually done this yet) or 24 amps at friends / relatives homes. I also have a 50' long "extension cord" made from a welding station extension that I placed the correct plug and receptacle on for my EVSE. I was able to use this on Monday to take power from the dryer outlet at the back of my wifes Aunt's home out to her driveway in front of the home to plug in my Bolt.

Later,

Keith
 

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So my Father-in-Law has a 6-50 plug in his garage for a welder. I left him a VesaCharge which I wasn't using because of the delayed charging issues these units have, but otherwise a reliable unit.

He had no idea that it was running off a 30A breaker and I didn't notice anything until I snooped because the VersaCharge is a 30A max unit.
 

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So my Father-in-Law has a 6-50 plug in his garage for a welder. I left him a VesaCharge which I wasn't using because of the delayed charging issues these units have, but otherwise a reliable unit.

He had no idea that it was running off a 30A breaker and I didn't notice anything until I snooped because the VersaCharge is a 30A max unit.
Yeah. Burning down a friend/relatives house is not the way to get invited back. :)
 

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My main concern isn't my home, but getting a portable charger to keep in my Bolt so I can plug in at available outlets out in the world.
The most flexible portable charging solution by far is the Tesla UMC (Universal Mobile Connector). It can charge from 120V or 240V and handles up to 32A. You can get a variety of interchangeable AC cords for it that fit all of the common AC plug types like NEMA 5-15, 10-30, 10-50 etc. And the thing that's really, really cool about it is that it automatically adjusts its advertised charge rate based on which AC plug you're using. It sets itself to 12A for the NEMA 5-15 plug, 24A for the NEMA 10-30 plug, 32A for the NEMA 10-50 plug, and so on.

The Tesla UMC is fairly cheap, but you also need a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter to use it with the Bolt. However this adapter also lets you charge the Bolt at a Tesla "Destination" charger (which everyone else calls an "L2" charger), which gives you even more flexibility.

You simply can't beat the Tesla UMC + Tesla-to-J1772 adapter combo for keeping in the car as a charge-anywhere kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I don't know your specific needs, but as far as finding power "out in the world", about the only realistic option most places is going to be an RV park. The majority are going to have a 14-50 outlet, and a 30 amp, 120 volt outlet.

There are random 220 outlets available around me (found via plugshare). Worth a gander if you're interested.
 

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There are random 220 outlets available around me (found via plugshare). Worth a gander if you're interested.
Where are you? Here in Virginia we have lots of 14-50 at RV parks, and campgrounds. I did find some 120 volt outlets listed on PlugShare at a Family Dollar, and behind a hotel, next to the dumpsters. I would have to be really desperate to hang out at either of those locations on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know your specific needs, but as far as finding power "out in the world", about the only realistic option most places is going to be an RV park. The majority are going to have a 14-50 outlet, and a 30 amp, 120 volt outlet.

There are random 220 outlets available around me (found via plugshare). Worth a gander if you
Where are you? Here in Virginia we have lots of 14-50 at RV parks, and campgrounds. I did find some 120 volt outlets listed on PlugShare at a Family Dollar, and behind a hotel, next to the dumpsters. I would have to be really desperate to hang out at either of those locations on the road.
Minnesota.
 
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