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Poor man's 240 volt adapter for the Bolt

17342 Views 403 Replies 31 Participants Last post by  Coastal_Cruiser
Well, God came down for me and I now have access to a 240vac outlet at home. It's a NEMA 14-50 receptacle. 120vac was the only option before. This of course begs the question of where do you find an adapter to convert the male 120v NEMA 5-15 on the OEM EVSE to a male NEMA 14-50? Of course I turned to these page first, and found some ripe old threads, as well as some '21 and '22 threads on this topic. Very informative.

After scanning current prices for an adapter (some 1-step adapters, and some 2-step adapters) I decided to build my own. The cheapest adapter I ran into was $32, which is not bad, but the spare outlets are just begging for some passerby to plug in a 120v device. Other single outlet adapters I found are over $50, such as the ACWorks product found at Home Depot and elsewhere.

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The solution I ordered is a 14-50 plug and a 1ft extension cord. I will cut off the male end off the extension cord and attach the 14-50 plug. The extension cord is 12 gauge, which is more than adequate. Of the threads I pursued it is rarely mentioned that wire size is determined by current, not voltage. Current (amps) is the same with the stock EVSE at both 120v and 240v, so no need for a fatter wire (unless you are building a very long cord, in which case you consult a voltage drop chart and use a lower gauge (larger diameter) wire based on the length of the cord.

I found this thread to be very useful. It had a post about current and wire size, as well as a reference to the jacket rating of the cord in volts. I am somewhat ignorant in this area, although I have taken note of the voltage spec on other cables. If Mr. @Packard V8 is correct, it appears one must use 600v rated cable for this application? I cannot read the spec on the extension cord I ordered, so we will see.

This will be an $18 solution if all goes well.

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Okay this may be way out of the purview of this discussion but here goes. I just moved into a condo and I'm renting a spot that has a nema 14-50R.
I have a charger with a 14-30P end. How can I make this work?
You could buy an adapter, or you could break off the L-shaped neutral pin.
If you look at some of the pictures of the adapters in this thread, the neutral pin is missing.
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The solution I ordered is a 14-50 plug and a 1ft extension cord. I will cut off the male end off the extension cord and attach the 14-50 plug.
Keep the 14-30 molded end for a nicer looking finished product.


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where do you find an adapter to convert the male 120v NEMA 5-15 on the OEM EVSE to a male NEMA 14-50?
After stumbling on to this post, I did order a 14-30 dryer cable and a heavy 5-15 female for $20.38, Friday night.
Saturday afternoon, I saw a post from Aaron Michael on Facebook about this adapter.
Amazon Onetak 14-50 adapter
ONETAK NEMA 14-50P to 5-15R, 240V 15 Amp 20 Amp , NOT 120V
They sell others for 6-50, 14-30 and 10-30.
The 14-30 or 14-50 could be modified to 14-xx by cutting off the unneeded neutral pin.
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I might just splurge on one to replace my DYI rig.
My 10-30 DIY adapter has the screw on plug instead of the molded plug and a chunk of romex cable, so it's not pretty.
I was thinking of getting one of each of these. They would take up less room in the styrofoam area of the Bolt.
I'm imagining them as being smaller than they must be, though, since they have to be the diameter of a 14-50.

An added benefit of whichever adapter one uses is extension.
I could run my 50 foot 12/2 extension from the laundry room 10-30 outlet at a friend's house to the driveway to charge my car.
But the solution you posted solves for that, is compact., and priced right. I'm going to switch over.
My 10-30 plug is just ugly. I've never used it outdoors. The 14-30 dryer cable is prettier :cool:

Be very careful with having your EVSe plug into an extension cord that is exposed to the elements. I'm not against extension cords (even though they are not sanctioned), but you should add a waterproof cover where the two cords connect. Don't ask me how I know.
I have nothing against properly sized extension cords. My application for charging didn't require any exposed connection. The charge cord box was in the garage, and the charge handle was passed through a mail slot.

(At a previous house, we had a barn with no power, because permit costs were stupid. We ran two 100 foot 14/3 extension cords on the ground, with a loose knot at the junction that was outdoors for years. No problem, except one of our dogs ate the connection. I am amazed that he actually got both plug and socket completely off of a live cord.)
Keep the 14-30 molded end for a nicer looking finished product.
I got my parts and built my adapter. It fits neatly into the trunk Styrofoam in the area where Canadians have the road reflector triangle.

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At only $20, this looks like it would be hard to beat. Adapter
I posted that here, when I saw it posted elsewhere less than 24 hours after I ordered my parts. :oops:
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The 120 volt Chevy Bolt EV seems happy to run 12 amps @ 240 volts.
The 120 volt Chevy Bolt EUV seems happy to run 12 amps @ 240 volts, using the 120 volt Grid Adapter.
That suggests that the adapter controls the amps.

What if you have a 5-15P to 14-50R adapter, like found with a late model Nissan LEAF, or as an option with my JuiceBox, where I could plug the JuiceBox, which has a 14-50 plug, into a 5-15 outlet and draw 12 [email protected] 120 volts.

If I used that plug adapter, and the Bolt EUV Grid Adapter with the 14-50 plug, would it try to draw 32 amps @ 120 volts?
so I will probably start carrying this one in the trunk along with my TurboCord.
A multipurpose cord, instead of a J1772 extension. :cool:

How long is the adapter? If a 14-50 is 2.6", the adapter must be 4-5" long.

I'm just thinking about how far it would stick out from a wall.
If I really wanted to, I could also incorporate two J-1772 to Tesla adapters and two Tesla to J-1772 adapters into the mix.
We used to cobble BNC connectors together for no particular purpose.
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