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You may want to rethink that procedure. Circuit breakers are not designed to be frequent switching devices and will often fail when used to that end. There are inexpensive manual ON/OFF boxes which are easy to install.

jack vines
I believe that leaving it plugged in while in "charging mode", or in "ready to charge" mode (plugged into car), is just fine. What was meant was to not leave it plugged into the outlet if it is not plugged into the car. Also the "thumb" trigger is sort of an off switch. It will stop the current charging session, and turn off the green led on the dash. You can then unplug from the car, then unplug from the wall outlet

Thanks for the inputs!

I only charge my Bolt about once a week so hopefully that's not too hard on the circuit breaker. Using the circuit breaker is kind of convenient for me since it is located right next to the door from my garage to the house.

It's not practical in my situation to unplug the Mustart each time since the 14-50 plug is not very accessible (near the floor behind boxes) in my garage and the plug fits tight in the wall socket. I have left the Mustart on all night many times and haven't had a problem yet despite what the manual suggests, so I guess that's OK so long as the Mustart is still connected to the Bolt.

I'll look into adding a separate switch. My NEMA 14-50 socket is a metal surface mount wall box connected via metal conduit to the circuit breaker. If anyone has a suggestion about what type of switch to use and a surface mount box to install it in that would be appreciated. Would you need a double pole 40A switch to handle both phases (two wires) of the 240V? I wonder why Mustart didn't add an auto-off feature once charging completes?
 

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... As I recall, the user manual says not to leave it plugged in when not charging so there may be a potential issue. ...
I can't imagine why this is called for on this particular EVSE.
When an EVSE is idle it uses maybe 3-5 watts to keep the board powered.

Is there any other EVSE that calls for cutting power to it when not actually charging the EV?
 

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Thanks for the inputs!

I only charge my Bolt about once a week so hopefully that's not too hard on the circuit breaker. Using the circuit breaker is kind of convenient for me since it is located right next to the door from my garage to the house.

It's not practical in my situation to unplug the Mustart each time since the 14-50 plug is not very accessible (near the floor behind boxes) in my garage and the plug fits tight in the wall socket. I have left the Mustart on all night many times and haven't had a problem yet despite what the manual suggests, so I guess that's OK so long as the Mustart is still connected to the Bolt.

I'll look into adding a separate switch. My NEMA 14-50 socket is a metal surface mount wall box connected via metal conduit to the circuit breaker. If anyone has a suggestion about what type of switch to use and a surface mount box to install it in that would be appreciated. Would you need a double pole 40A switch to handle both phases (two wires) of the 240V? I wonder why Mustart didn't add an auto-off feature once charging completes?
I also power off my Circuit breaker when not charging since I only charge perhaps once per week. IMHO its fine. Circuit breakers wear down from tripping not from switching them manually. I e-mailed Mustart when I first got it an they said its better to switch breaker off than to keep plugging/unplugging at the wall.

Craig
 

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Just to clarify, I double checked the user manual and now I do not see that it says you must unplug the Mustart after charging is complete. So I apologize that my recollection was incorrect.

However, Mustart does make this statement on the Amazon page for the 40A version of the charger:

  • "Please don't leave the charger plugged in all the time and power off after charging completed. A socket with switch button is a convenient choice for operation."
I also see this in the Questions and Answers section on Amazon:

"Question: a socket with switch button is suggested? WHY? I plan to keep the indoor part behind a 3rd garage door and not convenient to open and turn off
Answer: The typical NEMA 14-50 socket is not designed to be plugged and unplugged on a regular basis. Heavy Duty models exist, but this will often just result in wearing down the pins of the plug on the charging cable. Also note a 50A switch is different than a breaker. Do not use any breaker to regularly remove power except when its circuit is being maintained. Breakers are easily broken by such repeat use. For its part, the Mustart has delicate electronics to respond to the request of the car. Leaving it plugged in leaves it exposed to transient power surges in your local neighborhood, such as lightning strikes. The best solution is a whole-house surge suppressor such as Amazon.com : whole house surge protector 200 amp. Then the Mustart can remain plugged in as well as protect other delicate items in your home such as televisions and computers.
By Orangesauce on October 30, 2020"

I think "Orangesauce" is a Mustart representative because I see "Orange" used as a name in other replies which seem to be from Mustart. I think the unplugging issue is discussed in the user reviews too, but there are now about 721 of them and I don't have time to go through them now.

Anyway, I'll repeat than an "auto-off" feature after charging is complete would have been nice to have.
 

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Ah... So Mustart doesn't want a surge to damage their device and get returned. It's really not hard to build in protection so that's kinda lame.

I looked into the whole house protectors. The electrician sites promoting these things (that they install, of course) are not a reliable source of information. They don't really work for lightning strikes. Reaction speed is too slow. To protect for that you want proper grounding at the panel: A wire no longer than 10 feet going straight to a good ground, with no sharp bends being very important.

The surge protectors are useful for general surges though. I'm installing an Eaton Ultra surge protector with 50 amp breaker. There's been a few transformer fires around here and there will always be occasional power outages and it's cheap insurance for that sort of thing. I would be okay with using a surge suppressor and leaving the Mustart plugged in. YMMV.
 

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Given the relatively low price of the Mustart charger, we leave it plugged in and on all the time, regardless of whether it's connected to our Bolt. Always. I'm not plugging / unplugging unless I need to use the outlet for something else. We also have a house that's powered via Solar and PowerWalls, and everything is controlled by a Tesla Gateway 2. So, there's plenty of far more expensive circuitry for me to think about than one little Mustart charger. No worries here about that.

I will say that if I'm charging the car when there's not enough solar input, I do switch the house to "backup only" mode before connecting the car, because I don't feel like hammering my PowerWall batteries to charge the car - especially since in most cases I've pushed more than enough juice to the grid earlier in the day to make up for charging the car once solar influx has become too low to help out. If the load is well-shared between solar and the PowerWalls or is largely fed by solar, I don't worry about that either.
 

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I also power off my Circuit breaker when not charging since I only charge perhaps once per week. IMHO its fine. Circuit breakers wear down from tripping not from switching them manually. I e-mailed Mustart when I first got it an they said its better to switch breaker off than to keep plugging/unplugging at the wall.

Craig
Craig, We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. And yes, Mustart would say that, as they're not liable for breaker failure due to it being used as a switch.

. Do not use any breaker to regularly remove power except when its circuit is being maintained. Breakers are easily broken by such repeat use.
Agree; good advice for any panel breaker. GCFI breakers are especially sensitive and can have a short life span anyway. Using them as a switch will kill them in short order.

jack vines
 

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Anyone buy one of these? Are you happy with it?
View attachment 32602
Anyone buy one of these? Are you happy with it?
View attachment 32602

Since I live in an apartment-style townhouse, the circuit breaker cannot withstand higher currents, so I can only install NEMA 14-30 sockets. I equipped the Honda Clarity with a 16 AMP charger with a charging speed of 3.8kwh. Enough to make my clarity change from idling to full within 6 hours. However, we bought another EV (Tesla Model S), so I need a faster speed without electrical upgrades. With this new charger, my charging rate is now close to 6kwh, similar to those Chargepoint stations. So far, I have used it for a few weeks.
 

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Anyone buy one of these? Are you happy with it?
View attachment 32602
Since I live in townhouse, the circuit breaker cannot withstand higher currents, so I can only install NEMA 14-30 sockets. I equipped the Honda Clarity with a 16 AMP charger with a charging speed of 3.8kwh. Enough to make my clarity change from idling to full within 6 hours. However, we bought another EV (Tesla Model S), so I need a faster speed without electrical upgrades. With this new charger, my charging rate is now close to 6kwh, similar to those Chargepoint stations. So far, I have used it for a few weeks.
 

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I was looking at manual on/off switches which could be used with the Mustart, and found this (and several others very similar) at Home Depot:



It is for indoor use and is rated at 240V, 60A. It sells for $49. An outdoor version goes for a very pricey $104.

It has three poles which I assume are for the two 120V phase wires, plus the neutral wire. I think the ground wire can be left connected at all times. Installing it would be a rather time consuming project for a simple switch.

Home Depot 240V 60A Switch

After the car completes charging, I think the Mustart goes into some sort of standby mode. However, it does leave on at least its LCD display (always lit up) plus at least one of its very bright LED charging lights (bright enough to illuminate part of a dark garage). Still, I'd guess it is only drawing 100-200 mA when not charging.

Many small, inexpensive switches can handle 100-200 mA with no problem. The problem is a small, inexpensive switch cannot handle the 16-40 Amps needed while the car charges. The big switch above, should be able to handle that current.

If the 50A circuit breaker is only switching on/off 100-200 mA of current, does anyone still think the circuit breaker would fail in a short time (if so, I guess the failure would be mechanical rather than electrical)? I'm thinking if you avoid switching the circuit breaker while the car is charging you might be OK. But I'm not an expert and welcome any opinions. Or, maybe I just leave the Mustart on all the time as others are doing, but since it's not UL listed I'm not sure that's a good idea.
 

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I have the newer model of the Mustart Travelmaster. I bought it for when we drive to my in-laws, as there are no public chargers there and they have a 14-50 RV outlet --- but I haven't used it that way yet. All I've done is a quick test on a regular 120V outlet, and it worked. I like the changeable connectors, so I can keep only 1 cable under the floor of my trunk and meet all of my potential travel needs.

But I primarily charge at home on a ChargePoint Home Flex.
 

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Anyone buy one of these? Are you happy with it?
View attachment 32602
I am new to the Bolt EV family and I had no idea what charger to get, so I asked my son-in-law who has a Tesla to help me and he suggested this unit. I have been using it now for 3 months with no issues. I have it on a 50amp breaker and because there is no way to turn it off, I use the breaker to shut off power to it when not in use.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
I got my Mustart 40A unit today.
Good I finished installing the plug this morning.
In reading the material, I see no where it says it has to be unplugged or shut off when finished charging.
So, where did this info come from?
 

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I got my Mustart 40A unit today.
Good I finished installing the plug this morning.
In reading the material, I see no where it says it has to be unplugged or shut off when finished charging.
So, where did this info come from?
Since I saw no reference either so I emailed Mustart and they recommended to me to switch breaker off. Right wrong or indifferent that was the response I got.

Craig
 

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Discussion Starter #37
Since I saw no reference either so I emailed Mustart and they recommended to me to switch breaker off. Right wrong or indifferent that was the response I got.

Craig
Ok. Thanks Craig. I see no reason to shut it off. Breakers are not meant to be switches in my opinion. But I'm not an electrician.
Also, if I leave it plugged in I can precondition using non battery power.
 

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Ok. Thanks Craig. I see no reason to shut it off. Breakers are not meant to be switches in my opinion. But I'm not an electrician.
Also, if I leave it plugged in I can precondition using non battery power.
If your breaker is marked SWD it can be used for switch duty.

Craig
 
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