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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm posting this mostly as a warning.
The first "sign" was the Volt only took on 10 miles of charge overnight, but no one else bothered to investigate.
Once I took a look, it was fairly obvious there was a problem and what it was.
It looks like the thumbnails got rotated, but the socket is mounted with the cable coming down because that's how all the chargers are. Grr. I was a little apprehensive about the layout when I installed it - I guess I should have listened to my experience.
Also, the socket is "hidden" on the far back side of the post, which should have kept it safe.

We have had a fair amount of blowing snow during which my family members can't be troubled to put the garage door down, allowing snow to ingress. It recently warmed up enough that I expect some melted, unclear if it was some between the plug and socket or if some got into the socket. It also is possible there was some condensation inside the socket.

The observant among you will note the wire is undersized. I standardized all my chargers to 14-50 connectors. This circuit feeds the Volt, so it's 10/3 on a 20A breaker. The breaker did trip, but it took much longer than I would have expected, given the damage. I expect a 50A breaker would have taken longer to trip.
We use departure charging, so 10 miles in was around 3-5am. Luckily, our garage is detached and steel, so a fire would have been difficult to start and would not have taken the house or any people with it.
Nonetheless, a good reminder to hug your family.
 

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I'm posting this mostly as a warning.

Warning taken. I will be rewiring my sockets that are near the garage door.


Very good post and it lead to a re-reading of NEC (National Electrical Code) Section 100, definition of locations:


Dry Locations: A location not normally subject to dampness or wetness. A location classified as dry may be temporarily subject to dampness or wetness, as in the case of a building under construction.

Damp Location: Locations protected from weather and not subject to saturation with water or other liquids but subject to moderate degrees of moisture. Examples of such locations include partially protected locations under canopies, marquees, roofed open porches, and like locations, and interior locations subject to moderated degrees of moisture, such as some basements, some barns, and some cold storage buildings.

Wet Locations: Installations underground or in concrete slabs or masonry in direct contact with the earth; in locations subject to saturation with water or other liquids, such as vehicle washing areas; and in unprotected locations exposed to weather.


Even though I believe a garage is a 'dry location'. Receptacles or equipment placed very close to the garage door in a snow area should be treated as at least damp locations. It would not hurt.


So, I will be replacing my charging receptacle that is within one foot of my garage door (and 1 foot from the ground) with UF cable and damp location housings.


In your pictures, I would think the 2-gang switch box is also a candidate for replacement. There is snow visible on the box; the new-work box itself is only rated for dry locations. The safest recommendation from NEC would be to also replace your NM cable (white and yellow sheath) with UF (grey or black sheath). UF is more expensive, yet does not have water retaining insulation. (NM permits paper wrap around the ground wire, the sheath itself is permeable.)


When all done, you can continue to complain that your kids don't close the garage door, yet you won't have to worry that the wiring will burn up.
 
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It never hurts much to overdo your electrical installation because that extra cost and effort will save you money and time in the future, especially for external applications. And all who own EVs know that it is almost obligatory to do new wiring for EVSE installations, since no present home has such wiring available.
 

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As I'm always reminding people, take photos in landscape with your phone unless you're actually taking a portrait of someone. Forums rotate images so the longest edge is on the bottom. If you want the photo to display correctly, the bottom edge of the photo must be at least 1 pixel more than the height. You can crop to achieve this, or pad the photo with whitespace. Ideally you just take the photo in landscape though.

Regarding snow, I didn't think it was conductive enough to cause a short. There must have been other contaminants that got washed along with the snow to cause the short.
 

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... and immediately after reading this, my wife spills coffee on a power strip and trips the breaker. My monitors went blank and the connected wifi router went dead.

Was working on a hospital's server, so had to use my cell as a hotspot and keep working on my laptop.
 

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That housing is what I would consider minimum for such a draw...
Well, the outlet itself on that is rated for 50A. Housing just allows for it to be used in an outdoor location. According to the OP he was using a 20A or 30A breaker on it. For that you could change the outlet out to a 14-30 or even a 6-20 outlet. Just depends on how he wants to do it.
 

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Well, the outlet itself on that is rated for 50A. Housing just allows for it to be used in an outdoor location. According to the OP he was using a 20A or 30A breaker on it. For that you could change the outlet out to a 14-30 or even a 6-20 outlet. Just depends on how he wants to do it.
For such present and future duties, I do consider that connection minimum, even indoors, as the original post made clear that indoors and outdoors are sometimes inseparable. It is the safest to prepare for the highest standard current under the worst conditions.

I have one inside and outside. The truly outside one has the plastic cover top, but I would not trust it to funnel much moisture away.

BTW, it is always appropriate to make a fake drip neck on any connection that you are concerned about...causing moisture to drip off before the cord heads back up under such a lip to its final blade connection.
 

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Cataract2: This looks just like the sockets you find at all KoA Kampgrounds and RV Parks {outdoor protected NEMA 14-50}. The 14-50 outlet/plug gives you both a 240V & a 120V circuit (if you need them). My Siemens VersiCharge is a lightweight (portable), plugged, 30 amp Level 2 EVSE, using a NEMA 6-50 plug. I made a short (8') extension cord with adequate wire ampacity, an outdoor outlet, and a NEMA 14-50 plug so I can use these campsite outlets in the hills of rural WV!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, the outlet itself on that is rated for 50A. Housing just allows for it to be used in an outdoor location. According to the OP he was using a 20A or 30A breaker on it. For that you could change the outlet out to a 14-30 or even a 6-20 outlet. Just depends on how he wants to do it.
I wanted to avoid lots of conversion cables while having the capability to trade my chargers and take them places, so I put everything on 14-50, as I feel that is becoming the standard. The male end pictured used to be a 6-20. For $10, it now has a new connector that can go more places.
 

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Cataract2: This looks just like the sockets you find at all KoA Kampgrounds and RV Parks {outdoor protected NEMA 14-50}. The 14-50 outlet/plug gives you both a 240V & a 120V circuit (if you need them). My Siemens VersiCharge is a lightweight (portable), plugged, 30 amp Level 2 EVSE, using a NEMA 6-50 plug. I made a short (8') extension cord with adequate wire ampacity, an outdoor outlet, and a NEMA 14-50 plug so I can use these campsite outlets in the hills of rural WV!
The housing and plug are most likely what you would find at a KOA. The housing gives it an outdoor protection rating which is inline with the NEC 2017 guide. Yes, it includes the neutral so you can get 240 across the 2 hots and 120 from hot to neutral or hot to ground. Yeah, I noticed in Plugshare that KOAs end up on there. ****, worse case scenario might just be what gets you home with that plug and a KOA.

I actually just got done putting together a portable EVSE using the OpenEVSE controller. Overbuilt it for 40A (80A rated relay and used a 6 gauge wiring so it could to up to 60A, but the J1772 wiring is only good for 40A, so overall 40A). I used a twist lock connector to allow me to change out for a few different plugs, but still keep the rain tight nature of it. Can do 120V or 240V 32A which will give me options. Dropped the neutral part of the 14-50 plug so I could use it on 14-50 or 14-30. Also have a 10-30, 6-20 and a 5-15 to 6-20 put together. Options. :D Did I mention I'm an EE? lol I love doing this stuff.
 

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The housing and plug are most likely what you would find at a KOA. The housing gives it an outdoor protection rating which is inline with the NEC 2017 guide. Yes, it includes the neutral so you can get 240 across the 2 hots and 120 from hot to neutral or hot to ground. Yeah, I noticed in Plugshare that KOAs end up on there. ****, worse case scenario might just be what gets you home with that plug and a KOA.

I actually just got done putting together a portable EVSE using the OpenEVSE controller. Overbuilt it for 40A (80A rated relay and used a 6 gauge wiring so it could to up to 60A, but the J1772 wiring is only good for 40A, so overall 40A). I used a twist lock connector to allow me to change out for a few different plugs, but still keep the rain tight nature of it. Can do 120V or 240V 32A which will give me options. Dropped the neutral part of the 14-50 plug so I could use it on 14-50 or 14-30. Also have a 10-30, 6-20 and a 5-15 to 6-20 put together. Options. :D Did I mention I'm an EE? lol I love doing this stuff.

No longer practicing, I call myself a "Recovering EE".



You can take a man out of engineering, but you can never take engineering out of the man.:nerd:
 

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Did a professional electrician perform this installation? When it comes to Serious Power (such as a 240VAC circuit running at 20 amps or more), insist on letting the pros do this work.

The circuit for my EV charger outlet (240VAC, 40 amp) was installed by a pro, and approved by a city inspector. The run is in metal conduit, using THWN 8 AWG wire, all the way from the service entrance to the receptacle box. It cost me a lot more than doing it myself, but I do sleep well at night and my homeowners insurance will pay any claim associated with this circuit. Do-it-yourselfers who do this kind of work should not be sleeping well at night, and their homeowners insurance policy is null and void for any failure (read that FIRE) associated with their homebrew circuitry.

A major wildfire here in California last fall was attributed to homebrew wiring. That homeowner had better file for bankruptcy quickly.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo...aused-by-wiring-on-hot-tub-investigators-find
 
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