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I'm a new owner of a 2017 Bolt and when I tried to change the charging setting, I got a warning message on the car's display. I drive about 50 miles round trip each workday, and the difference in miles between charging overnight at 12amp at level 1 and 8amp at level 1 is significant. I do not know anything about electricity... I rent a house and the external outlet does not have any markings other than 120V. I read on Home Depot's website that most residential outlets are 15-20amp.

Do you all who use 120V outlets charge at 12 or 8 amps?
 

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Chances are you're fine at 12amps unless sharing the circuit with another device. Standard household outlets should be supplied by wiring and breakers for 120v 15amps. Standard is to derate that 15 amps to 80% or 12amps for a continuous load. The 8 amp setting is more of a Chevy covering their ass move or to give those with substandard wiring, extension cords or if they have to share the circuit breaker the option to still charge.
 

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You may want to hire an electrician or get a friend you might know who knows a thing or two about electricity to have a look for you. Possible that your landlord might help out. If you know where your electrical panel is, you can open the door and read the tags or writing where one might say outside outlets. Then you can turn it off and verify that it is the right one. Then the amps will be the number on the switch. Either 20 or 15. If it's 20, then you can readily use the 12 amp setting. If it's 15, you need to know that nothing else is using that circuit before using the 12 amp setting.
 

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When we first got our Bolt I plugged it into an outlet in the garage that my drill press plugged into. It had worked fine, with the limited use of a drill press, for decades. The first night I had the car charging at 8 amps. The outlet stayed cool. The next day I charged it at 12 amps. After an hour I came out and put my hand on the outlet. It felt warm. I popped open the panel, and flipped the breaker for that outlet. I pulled out the outlet, and checked the wire mounting screws with a screwdriver. One of them was an eighth of a turn loose. I turned off the main breaker, and went over every outlet inside, and outside the garage. Several more screws were slightly loose. You can never be too cautious when playing with electricity..
 

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When we first got our Bolt I plugged it into an outlet in the garage that my drill press plugged into. It had worked fine, with the limited use of a drill press, for decades. The first night I had the car charging at 8 amps. The outlet stayed cool. The next day I charged it at 12 amps. After an hour I came out and put my hand on the outlet. It felt warm. I popped open the panel, and flipped the breaker for that outlet. I pulled out the outlet, and checked the wire mounting screws with a screwdriver. One of them was an eighth of a turn loose. I turned off the main breaker, and went over every outlet inside, and outside the garage. Several more screws were slightly loose. You can never be too cautious when playing with electricity..
^^^This^^^
Sometimes screws work loose over time due to expansion and contraction. This is especially true in older houses. Also, the connectors where you plug in can become loose so that the plug is easy to pull out. So, bottom line, it depends on the condition of your wiring if you can/should use 12 amps or 8 amps, or any amps at all.
 

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If it's a modern home with a modern electrical installation then you just need to know what all else is on the circuit. What I do soon after getting in to a new residence is I go around and figure out all the circuits. Turn all the breakers off except one. Run around to every outlet with a lamp or something to easily see whether there's power. If two plugs (pretty much normal) then try both. Then turn off that breaker and turn on another one. etc.
For the sake of the charger...as mentioned...when you know what all else is on the circuit that your charger (EVSE) plugs into...just don't run a vacuum or something. It'll trip the breaker. Been there. :) If there's nothing else then you should be fine. If modern. Tightening screws and all you'd also want to check the electrical panel. I had a circuit where the white wire covering had melted. It was loose in the ground stud. Tightened it and no more heat.
You may also be surprised if someone had joined a standard plug into a dryer circuit or something. Or a drill press as mentioned.

tl;dr the charger should be the only thing on the circuit if you want to run it at 12amps.
 

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Try charging at 12 amps and feel the plug while the car is charging. It should get warm but not hot. If the outlet does overheat, the EVSE will detect that and will shut down the charge and display a fault code. If that happens you may have to charge using the 8 amp setting.
 

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Our house (built in 1985) had the same circuit feeding the garage outlets AND one wall in the living room. The living room wall was where we put our TV and video/stereo setup. We first discovered this fact when my wife was recording a "VERY IMPORTANT" show off the TV onto the VCR (remember - it was the 1980's) and I simultaneously tried to use my brand new Craftsman portable air compressor in the garage. Compressor tried to start...circuit breaker opened...you can guess the rest.

We lived with that situation for 20 years - me being VERY careful to check inside before starting the compressor - before I finally had a dedicated 20 amp circuit added in the garage. Problem solved! I am using the 20 amp outlet to charge the Bolt. Works great. FWIW, using my Kill A Watt meter, I found the stock Bolt EVSE when set on "12 amps" actually draws 0.04 amps "at rest", and 11.8 amps when actively charging.
 

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I'm a new owner of a 2017 Bolt and when I tried to change the charging setting, I got a warning message on the car's display. I drive about 50 miles round trip each workday, and the difference in miles between charging overnight at 12amp at level 1 and 8amp at level 1 is significant. I do not know anything about electricity... I rent a house and the external outlet does not have any markings other than 120V. I read on Home Depot's website that most residential outlets are 15-20amp.

Do you all who use 120V outlets charge at 12 or 8 amps?
Plug the charger, set the charging level to 12 amp and, after 15 to 30 minutes, go to your breaker panel and touch the breaker.If it's slightly warm, not more, you're likely fine. If it's HOT, shutdown and revert to 8 amp.

Checking the outlet temperature is also a good thing, although the charger plug has a thermometer in it as a safety.
 

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Might be better if you have an Infrared thermometer with the "laser" dot. That way, you are not physically touching anything.
 

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Another data point for your perusal OP... The wiring in that section of my house is nothing close to new, and 12 amps works fine for me. The circuit there is my water heater circuit on a 15 amp fuse.

If you use a 15 amp circuit, you're gonna trip the breaker if any other decent size loads are on there. Fridge/freezer is a no go. AC, toaster, hair drier.. don't use them on that circuit during charge time.

50 miles daily is totally doable on 12 amps 110v off peak.. did 50 a day for months and months before I finally got off my lazy butt and built a cord for the 240v outlet. Even 8 amps can work if you are ok "catching up" on weekends. Which I also did for a while.
 

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When we first got our Bolt I plugged it into an outlet in the garage that my drill press plugged into. It had worked fine, with the limited use of a drill press, for decades. The first night I had the car charging at 8 amps. The outlet stayed cool. The next day I charged it at 12 amps. After an hour I came out and put my hand on the outlet. It felt warm. I popped open the panel, and flipped the breaker for that outlet. I pulled out the outlet, and checked the wire mounting screws with a screwdriver. One of them was an eighth of a turn loose. I turned off the main breaker, and went over every outlet inside, and outside the garage. Several more screws were slightly loose. You can never be too cautious when playing with electricity..
Oh christ! Yeah check those screws!! 2 amps through a crap connection will burn up if you're not lucky. Any chance you're using aluminum wire? The different rates of expansion in Cu and Al will make stuff loosen up. That's why you see Cu/Al rated (and unrated) devices, and all those trailer fires years back. In any case, thermal cycling is hard on equipment. period. And it's not so much the problem of 12 amps, it's 12 amps for 40 hour straight.
 

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Try charging at 12 amps and feel the plug while the car is charging. It should get warm but not hot. If the outlet does overheat, the EVSE will detect that and will shut down the charge and display a fault code. If that happens you may have to charge using the 8 amp setting.
Yeppers - There's a temperature sensor in the plug head. That's why they say don't use an extension cord... because the extension cord won't know if the outlet catches fire. Then again, the EVSE won't know if the crappy connection in the breaker box catches fire, or any other monkeyshines and electrical tape that may be hiding.
 

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LOL got a smile on my face. Haven't seen a 15 amp circuit in a while. Most 120 volts circuits are either 20 or 30 amps. A circuit breaker protects the circuit and it it pops because more current is used than the breaker's rating. Unplug stuff and reset the circuit breaker, not a bid deal. If you draw more current than its rating, it will pop. That's better than the wires meting. If the wires get warm the wires get warm, not a big deal either. If they get hot to the touch, you got a problem and it has nothing to do with the Bolt charger. If the circuit breaker pops, reset it and turn off whatever else is on the same circuit and continue with 12 amp charging. The warning you read is for liability and can be scary if your unfamiliar with electricity. Your toaster, hair dryer and microwave each probably draws more than 12 amps. Not a big deal unless you plugged them all into the same circuit and turn them all on at once. Then guess what happens ;)
 

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LOL got a smile on my face. Haven't seen a 15 amp circuit in a while. Most 120 volts circuits are either 20 or 30 amps.
No, they are not. Residential 120V circuits are 15A or 20A.
The only commonly used 120V/30A circuit is for an RV type receptacle.

To the OP, the best option would be to run a dedicated 20A circuit for your charger plug. Then you would know that nothing else is pulling current on that circuit and could charge at 12A without worries.
Of course, at that point, wouldn't cost much more to run a 240V circuit.

However, given it's a rental...
But, I'm sure the landlord would approve if you footed the bill. ;)
 

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I ran nothing but the 120v EVSE on my Volt for 2 years. After about a year, the EVSE started to turn off mid-charge. I found that the outlet in that area was one of the push-pin types. I replaced the outlet with a heavy duty one with screw-on terminals and never had a problem running 12 amps after that but I was glad the EVSE detected the problem. So... it's important that you check to be sure you have an outlet with screw-on terminals and not the push in type.

Mike
 

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Yes, the 'push-pin', or we call them 'back-stab', receptacles are often a source of trouble.
I've had many service calls for receptacle or switch not working only to find the wire backed out.
They are UL listed and approved, but personally I always use the screws terminals. Hate call-backs. :mad:
But, as mentioned earlier, screws can loosen over time too. I've seen that melt receptacles.
Always pays to check the connections if you are having issues.
 
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