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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought my first EV, a 2017 Bolt, that will be arriving soon. I was planning on mostly charging at the stations at my work as I heard using an extension cable was not recommended. I live in a townhome (no garage) that has a 110 outdoor outlet that would be about 30 feet away from the bolt. Unfortunately, I saw the charging cable that comes with it is 25 feet so I was considering getting an extension cable. Does anyone have a recommendation for the type of extension cable to use? This site recommended a J-1772 extension cord like this one but other threads on this forum recommended more simple ones (like this one or this one).

Are you comfortable with using an extension cable on a 110V outlet to charge your Bolt? Can it be a regular extension cable or should I go for the J-1772 type? Also, is rain an issue when charging with an extension cable?
 

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As you have noted, you are not supposed to use extension cables with an EV. In the manual, it specifically says not to. If you go to a local hardware store and pick up 10 gauge
wire and put your own ends on it, you should be fine. It is difficult to find something that thick with regular 120 V ends. Once plugged in, set charging to 12 amps for testing.
Feel the 120 V Connections during charge to make sure that they aren't more than warm. Once you have made sure that everything is as safe as possible, just charge at
the default 8 amps for added safety.
 

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Even though you are correct, it is not recommended, most people, including myself, put an extension cord between the 120 volt outlet and the evse or "charge cable" that is provided with the Bolt. I purchased a nice heavy duty one at harbor freight.

In terms of rain I just try to keep the plug and socket connection up off the ground so it's not sitting in water, they do make covers that go over the connection to make it moisture tight that clamp to the cable on both sides and prevent water from getting into the plug and socket..

To directly answer your question, yes I'm comfortable using a 120V extension cord, getting either the heavy duty one you linked at Amazon or the one I linked at harbor freight
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
As you have noted, you are not supposed to use extension cables with an EV. In the manual, it specifically says not to. If you go to a local hardware store and pick up 10 gauge
wire and put your own ends on it, you should be fine. It is difficult to find something that thick with regular 120 V ends. Once plugged in, set charging to 12 amps for testing.
Feel the 120 V Connections during charge to make sure that they aren't more than warm. Once you have made sure that everything is as safe as possible, just charge at
the default 8 amps for added safety.
Awesome advice thank you! I'll have to figure out how to change the amps when it comes in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Even though you are correct, it is not recommended, most people, including myself, put an extension cord between the 120 volt outlet and the evse or "charge cable" that is provided with the Bolt. I purchased a nice heavy duty one at harbor freight.

In terms of rain I just try to keep the plug and socket connection up off the ground so it's not sitting in water, they do make covers that go over the connection to make it moisture tight that clamp to the cable on both sides and prevent water from getting into the plug and socket..

To directly answer your question, yes I'm comfortable using a 120V extension cord, getting either the heavy duty one you linked at Amazon or the one I linked at harbor freight
Great to hear using a regular extension cord is just fine, thanks!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

When I travel and plan to use the EVSE at my location I bring an assortment of homemade 240v adapters and a 50 foot 10 ga extension cord. It's probably overkill, but I figured for a 1-time purchase it can't hurt anything but my wallet. Also works well with an electric chain saw. I don't use it at home since I hardwired an EVSE, but for the occasional travel I'm not overly concerned.

There is an advantage to a j1772 extension cord though: you can use it on other chargers. So for instance you wanted to use a public charger that was blocked you could use that to get another 21 feet of cord. That use aside though it is just an extension cord with j1772 ends, nothing too special about it.
 

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Many of us have used extension cords with the stock EVSE, the reason the owners manual say to NOT do this is because people will use cheap indoor extension cords with 16 gauge wire or worse when what you really need is something like this:

Southwire 25 ft. 10/3 SJTOW AgriPro Farm/Workshop Heavy-Duty Extension Cord-64817501 - The Home Depot

OR


Good luck with your new purchase :)

Keith
 

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Understand that when using an extension cable with the OEM EVSE, the thermal switch in the EVSE 5-15P plug will be monitoring the heat buildup in the connection with the 5-15R of the extension cable, rather than the 5-15R connection with the wall receptacle. Just something to consider...

I highly recommend replacing the 5-15R wall receptacle with at least a commercial grade duplex receptacle that the EVSE will be using. Also, if there are any other 5-15R receptacles upstream of the one you'll use, make sure they are all wired using pig-tails, rather than depending on the connections in the receptacles. The worst you might find are the push-in type, where the wire is pushed into a little hole on the back of the receptacle. The contact area is minuscule...a little blade of metal digging into the side of the wire. A fire, waiting to happen.

It wouldn't hurt to replace the breaker with a new one of the same size, either. Breakers do age and occasionally fail.
 

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There is an advantage to a j1772 extension cord though: you can use it on other chargers. So for instance you wanted to use a public charger that was blocked you could use that to get another 21 feet of cord. That use aside though it is just an extension cord with j1772 ends, nothing too special about it.
I'd second this. The J1772 extension cords are more expensive but typically more durable than a regular extension cord and make the EVSE the first point of power regulation. The cord then functions as an extension of your EVSE connector, rather than an extension of the socket. And a nice addition to the trunk for public charging in awkward spots, as mentioned above.
 

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In any case I would agree with the above recommendation to replace the 110 volt outlet at the house. Don't get the residential grade (50 cents or so at Home Depot) get a quality commercial grade (Two bucks) unit or even better a professional grade (6.50). Especially avoid one that allow you to just insert wires into holes in the back, they are demonstrably inferior having a smaller contract patch with the mains wiring, made just so contractors/builders can slap 'em together quickly.
 

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Just bought my first EV, a 2017 Bolt, that will be arriving soon. I was planning on mostly charging at the stations at my work as I heard using an extension cable was not recommended. I live in a townhome (no garage) that has a 110 outdoor outlet that would be about 30 feet away from the bolt. Unfortunately, I saw the charging cable that comes with it is 25 feet so I was considering getting an extension cable. Does anyone have a recommendation for the type of extension cable to use? This site recommended a J-1772 extension cord like this one but other threads on this forum recommended more simple ones (like this one or this one).

Are you comfortable with using an extension cable on a 110V outlet to charge your Bolt? Can it be a regular extension cable or should I go for the J-1772 type? Also, is rain an issue when charging with an extension cable?
The factory cable is 14/3 and okay with 240V. We use a 25' 14/3 extension in the garage from a 240V welder socket with an adapter. No problems. All connections marked 240V because the extension end is regular 120V design.
 

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Can you recommend an adapter for a stock Bolt charger to be plugged in 240V outlet?
No.

Just open your dusty old billfold just a little bit more and buy an inexpensive L2 EVSE, 3.3 kW or 7.2 kW,
depending on your 240V circuit.

If you can afford a Bolt and you can afford a proper L2. :rolleyes:
Why MacGyver a potentially dangerous and illegal 'adapter'?:(
You can't buy such a thing,,,,,^ because,,,,,,^
 

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Dangerous? Maybe but unlikely. Illegal? Feel free to cite a source, bet you won't find one.
NEC, NEMA, UL, etc. etc. The common decency of not having 240V on a normal 120V outlet laying around in your garage.
Go get a home inspection. Ask the inspector what they think of your MacGyvered dealio.

But it you can't afford a REAL L2,,, we understand, Times are Hard.
 

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NEC, NEMA, UL, etc. etc. The common decency of not having 240V on a normal 120V outlet laying around in your garage.
Go get a home inspection. Ask the inspector what they think of your MacGyvered dealio.

But it you can't afford a REAL L2,,, we understand, Times are Hard.
Those are organizations and opinions, not laws. You said it was illegal, I asked you to cite a source. I see you can't, which is not a surprise to me.

As for your last one: given you can't cite a law it's disappointing you'd rather go to silly attempts at insults than admit you were mistaken. Sad that someone who rightly points out that "Elon says" isn't a valid argument stoops to the exact same types of tactics when he can't back up his own beliefs with facts.
 

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NEC, NEMA, UL, etc. etc. The common decency of not having 240V on a normal 120V outlet laying around in your garage.
Go get a home inspection. Ask the inspector what they think of your MacGyvered dealio.

But it you can't afford a REAL L2,,, we understand, Times are Hard.
We had a three way 120 converted to a two way 240 by a licensed electrician and inspected by our building dept. Because the Bolt takes so few amps to charge, and the factory cable's only 14/3, there have been no problems with either Bolt.
 

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Can you recommend an adapter for a stock Bolt charger to be plugged in 240V outlet?
As stated above, you need to find an adapter for your particular outlet. If you post a picture of the outlet or the plug, we can help you identify it. The chart below shows most of the outlets in common use North America. Most likely you have a 14-30, 14-50, or 10-30.

There are several adapters that convert the above outlets to a 6-20, which is still a 240V circuit.

Where it gets tricky is converting a 240V outlet into a 120V outlet (a 5-15) but with 240V across its pins. The one area where this is done is grow lights. The reason that it's tricky is that most adapters convert the other way around facilitating plugging in a 240V grow lamp into a 120V outlet. Amazon has a million of those types. However, this place has the correct adapter that looks like this:
32783

Note that the 6-15 male plug has horizontal blades. It's critical that the adapter you buy has horizontal blades and vertical slots as shown above.

Hope this helps,

ga2500ev


32782
 
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