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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question regarding chargers and the required wiring and plug.

I am buying a new house and it comes with an "EV Plug". The plug is a 30amp NEMA 14-30 and it has 8 gauge wiring to a 40 amp circuit. I have read that really I should go with a NEMA 14-50 (and be on a 40 amp circuit). The 14-30 plug looks like a typical 50amp plug that you would use in an RV Park (4 legs total). I am wondering what I am missing and would this plug work with the charger I bought on ebay?

I bought this one (can't remember who recommended it on this site but said good things about it). It's a 32 amp charger. Here's the link:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/EV-Car-Cha...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I have two EV's (Bolt and a Fiat 500e) so I also have this charger for the Fiat:
[ame]https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CXXCVLI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

The Schneider electric charger (the amazon one) has to be hardwired so I will do that later. But I am worried that I will not be able to plug the one I bought from ebay into the 14-30 NEMA plug and charge the Bolt without tripping the breaker.

Does anyone know the answer to this? Thanks!
 

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I just installed a 14-50 yesterday. The plug I bought was a combo plug that could be a 14-30 or a 14-50 by changing the neutral from an L shape to a straight blade. The 14-30 receptacle is to my knowledge rated for a 30 amp service. Surprised that you have a breaker set to 40 amp with this receptacle. Although, my combo plug had no difference between the 30 amp and 50 amp on the internals. So not sure if your receptacle is adjustable likewise. So the 14-50 should not fit the 14-30 receptacle because of the one straight blade shouldn't fit by design into the L shaped slot. Unless the receptacle had a tee to fit both.
 

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If there is a 40 amp breaker 32 amps will not trip the breaker - you will need to swap the plug or hard wire the charger to the breaker - also make sure the wire is rated for 40/32 amps of draw.
 

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Thank you! I THINK this is all starting to make sense. lol

Is 8 gauge wire thick enough?
There are a lot of factors that govern a wire's ampacity: length of the run, temperature rating of insulation, ambient temperatures etc. With that being said a properly designed circuit should pop the breaker before overheating the wire, so if the circuit has a 40A breaker it should pop before the wire goes up in flames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There are a lot of factors that govern a wire's ampacity: length of the run, temperature rating of insulation, ambient temperatures etc. With that being said a properly designed circuit should pop the breaker before overheating the wire, so if the circuit has a 40A breaker it should pop before the wire goes up in flames.
Ok, cool.

I believe my issue right now is I have a charger (the ebay one) that has a 14-50 plug but the plug on my wall is a 14-30. The issue isn't the 40 amp circuit or the 8 gauge wire.. its the plug. So its just a matter of changing the plug from the 14-30 to a 14-50. How hard is that to do?
 

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Correction (vocabulary).

You said that the "charger" (which is in reality an EVSE - the charger is in the vehicle) has a 14-50 plug.

What you have in the wall is *socket* (or a *receptacle*) - not a plug. (Plugs are male, sockets are female).

If you have a 40amp circuit, you should NOT change the socket to a 14-50 (unless you upgrade the wiring and circuit breaker). Instead, buy (or make) a 'pigtail' adapter: 12-18 inches long, 8 gauge, plugs into 14-30 socket, and has 14-50 female receptacle for your EVSE plug. Also, label it clearly with a label that says *do not use this* and *dangerous, only for use with 'xyz' EVSE*. And you should only use this if you are 110% sure that (1) there is a 40amp breaker (or better) on the line, and (2) the max load from the EVSE is 32 amps. (A continuous, long-term load on a properly designed and installed circuit should never exceed 80% of the max rating - so a 40 amp circuit should support a continuous load of 32 amps, max.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Correction (vocabulary).

You said that the "charger" (which is in reality an EVSE - the charger is in the vehicle) has a 14-50 plug.

What you have in the wall is *socket* (or a *receptacle*) - not a plug. (Plugs are male, sockets are female).

If you have a 40amp circuit, you should NOT change the socket to a 14-50 (unless you upgrade the wiring and circuit breaker). Instead, buy (or make) a 'pigtail' adapter: 12-18 inches long, 8 gauge, plugs into 14-30 socket, and has 14-50 female receptacle for your EVSE plug. Also, label it clearly with a label that says *do not use this* and *dangerous, only for use with 'xyz' EVSE*. And you should only use this if you are 110% sure that (1) there is a 40amp breaker (or better) on the line, and (2) the max load from the EVSE is 32 amps. (A continuous, long-term load on a properly designed and installed circuit should never exceed 80% of the max rating - so a 40 amp circuit should support a continuous load of 32 amps, max.)
Interesting. I have read many places on this forum that its recommended to use a 14-50 socket with a 40amp breaker.

I actually have a 14-50 female to 14-30 adapter that I have in my RV to use when the campground only has a 30amp socket (my RV has a 50amp plug) so I would assume that would work in this case?

But I am still confused as to why many have suggested to go with a 14-50 socket and a 40 amp breaker. Since the Bolt only pulls 32amp, why wouldn't the breaker be ok at 40 amp even if its a on a 50 amp socket?
 

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Interesting. I have read many places on this forum that its recommended to use a 14-50 socket with a 40amp breaker.

I actually have a 14-50 female to 14-30 adapter that I have in my RV to use when the campground only has a 30amp socket (my RV has a 50amp plug) so I would assume that would work in this case?

But I am still confused as to why many have suggested to go with a 14-50 socket and a 40 amp breaker. Since the Bolt only pulls 32amp, why wouldn't the breaker be ok at 40 amp even if its a on a 50 amp socket?
Basically, the installed socket (in the wall) should not allow one to pull more amps than the wiring (and circuit breaker) can handle. It is not safe (breakers do fail, you know). A 14-50 socket in the wall should have a breaker and wiring to support a 50-amp load. If you ever have a problem (and most likely ANYWHERE in your house) your insurance can refuse payment because your wiring was not "up to code". (I have a very low opinion of insurance companies, YMMV.) And let me re-iterate : it is UNSAFE. *YOU* may know that it is really a 40-amp line, but (1) it isn't up to code and the plug is for 50-amp service, and (2) somebody else may plug in something that pulls 42 amps, and the circuit *may* not trip (bad fire will entail).

One should NEVER hard-wire a 14-50 socket into a circuit that can only handle 40 amps.
 

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On the other hand, using a pigtail to plug a 14-50 plug into a 14-30 socket, when you KNOW the device will never pull more than 32 amps, and that the wiring is rated for 40 amps is ... well, not advised, but *may* be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Basically, the installed socket (in the wall) should not allow one to pull more amps than the wiring (and circuit breaker) can handle. It is not safe (breakers do fail, you know). A 14-50 socket in the wall should have a breaker and wiring to support a 50-amp load. If you ever have a problem (and most likely ANYWHERE in your house) your insurance can refuse payment because your wiring was not "up to code". (I have a very low opinion of insurance companies, YMMV.) And let me re-iterate : it is UNSAFE. *YOU* may know that it is really a 40-amp line, but (1) it isn't up to code and the plug is for 50-amp service, and (2) somebody else may plug in something that pulls 42 amps, and the circuit *may* not trip (bad fire will entail).

One should NEVER hard-wire a 14-50 socket into a circuit that can only handle 40 amps.
On the other hand, using a pigtail to plug a 14-50 plug into a 14-30 socket, when you KNOW the device will never pull more than 32 amps, and that the wiring is rated for 40 amps is ... well, not advised, but *may* be safe.
Ok, so basically I would need the 14-50 socket AND a 50amp breaker, correct?

I can understand now why you shouldn't have a 14-50 socket with only a 40amp breaker. I KNOW that the Bolt will not pull more than 32amps so I am fine there but if someone didn't know, they may plug something in wants to draw more than 40amps (maybe like 50) and if the breaker didn't trip, it would not be pretty...correct?

But... what if I KNOW that I am only going to be plugging MY EVSE into that 14-50 socket and I KNOW that the Bolt doesn't draw more than 32amps.... there is no hazard there, correct?
 

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One should NEVER hard-wire a 14-50 socket into a circuit that can only handle 40 amps. Seriously. It doesn't matter what YOU know. Your insurance will use any excuse to screw you out of coverage in the case of a problem - even if it really isn't related, like a kitchen electrical fire. (You remember that I said I have a very low opinion of insurance companies.) Also, it isn't to code, and you will have to change it back when you sell.

If you are positive that the EVSE, coupled with your vehicle, will never pull more than 32 amps - well, you may just be able to use a pigtail (14-50 female to 14-30 male plug) on a circuit rated for 40 amps. Your risk - you have to decide.

Ok, so basically I would need the 14-50 socket AND a 50amp breaker, correct?

AND you would need to make sure that the wiring can handle the load - you should NOT just switch out the circuit breaker - that would be BAD BAD BAD. The circuit breaker is there to protect the wiring, at its proper load rating (gauge and length of run).

they may plug something in wants to draw more than 40amps (maybe like 50) and if the breaker didn't trip, it would not be pretty...correct?


Very, VERY unpretty - as in house fire : IF the breaker didn't trip (that is the breaker's job, but they DO fail).

If you have a 10-50 socket to 10-30 plug connection/wire/pigtail : label it!! "Do NOT USE" and "UNSAFE".

You really, really, REALLY do not want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Why pay somebody to switch out the socket, when you can buy a pigtail for $40-60? And it sounds like you already have one.

Seriously, you do NOT want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Sure, there's a circuit breaker that is *supposed* to work, but if it doesn't - it will all be YOUR fault (well, that is what the insurance company will claim).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One should NEVER hard-wire a 14-50 socket into a circuit that can only handle 40 amps. Seriously. It doesn't matter what YOU know. Your insurance will use any excuse to screw you out of coverage in the case of a problem - even if it really isn't related, like a kitchen electrical fire. (You remember that I said I have a very low opinion of insurance companies.) Also, it isn't to code, and you will have to change it back when you sell.

If you are positive that the EVSE, coupled with your vehicle, will never pull more than 32 amps - well, you may just be able to use a pigtail (14-50 female to 14-30 male plug) on a circuit rated for 40 amps. Your risk - you have to decide.

Ok, so basically I would need the 14-50 socket AND a 50amp breaker, correct?

AND you would need to make sure that the wiring can handle the load - you should NOT just switch out the circuit breaker - that would be BAD BAD BAD. The circuit breaker is there to protect the wiring, at its proper load rating (gauge and length of run).

they may plug something in wants to draw more than 40amps (maybe like 50) and if the breaker didn't trip, it would not be pretty...correct?


Very, VERY unpretty - as in house fire : IF the breaker didn't trip (that is the breaker's job, but they DO fail).

If you have a 10-50 socket to 10-30 plug connection/wire/pigtail : label it!! "Do NOT USE" and "UNSAFE".

You really, really, REALLY do not want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Why pay somebody to switch out the socket, when you can buy a pigtail for $40-60? And it sounds like you already have one.

Seriously, you do NOT want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Sure, there's a circuit breaker that is *supposed* to work, but if it doesn't - it will all be YOUR fault (well, that is what the insurance company will claim).
Ok, gotcha. My challenge right now is that the whole set up "comes" with the house and we are set to close on Nov. 30th so I can't change it and still close on time (the home builder has stated we can't change anything at this point in order to meet our close date). So I guess I will just have to have an electrician come back and change the socket to a 14-50 and change the breaker to a 50amp along with making sure the wiring will support the 50 amp circuit. The wire run is not very long (maybe 2-3 foot) so I will have to trust that they know the correct gauge wire to use to support the 50 amp circuit.
 

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Ask the electrician if it is safe !!!!!!!

And, if you already have the pigtail for 10-50 to 10-30, why are you going to switch things out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ask the electrician if it is safe !!!!!!!

And, if you already have the pigtail for 10-50 to 10-30, why are you going to switch things out?
Isn't it a 14-50 and 14-30? (not 10-50 and 10-30)

I need to go to my RV and look at the pigtail because the more I think about it, I don't think the 50amp female to 30amp plug pigtail I have may be right. I think the pigtail I have has a different 30amp plug on the end (maybe its not a 240v plug). But I am very green with all of this so I need to actually go look at it (the RV is in storage).

Are all 30amp plugs 240v?
 

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One should NEVER hard-wire a 14-50 socket into a circuit that can only handle 40 amps. Seriously. It doesn't matter what YOU know. Your insurance will use any excuse to screw you out of coverage in the case of a problem - even if it really isn't related, like a kitchen electrical fire. (You remember that I said I have a very low opinion of insurance companies.) Also, it isn't to code, and you will have to change it back when you sell.

If you are positive that the EVSE, coupled with your vehicle, will never pull more than 32 amps - well, you may just be able to use a pigtail (14-50 female to 14-30 male plug) on a circuit rated for 40 amps. Your risk - you have to decide.

Ok, so basically I would need the 14-50 socket AND a 50amp breaker, correct?

AND you would need to make sure that the wiring can handle the load - you should NOT just switch out the circuit breaker - that would be BAD BAD BAD. The circuit breaker is there to protect the wiring, at its proper load rating (gauge and length of run).

they may plug something in wants to draw more than 40amps (maybe like 50) and if the breaker didn't trip, it would not be pretty...correct?


Very, VERY unpretty - as in house fire : IF the breaker didn't trip (that is the breaker's job, but they DO fail).

If you have a 10-50 socket to 10-30 plug connection/wire/pigtail : label it!! "Do NOT USE" and "UNSAFE".

You really, really, REALLY do not want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Why pay somebody to switch out the socket, when you can buy a pigtail for $40-60? And it sounds like you already have one.

Seriously, you do NOT want to have a 14-50 socket on a line that will only handle 40 amps. Sure, there's a circuit breaker that is *supposed* to work, but if it doesn't - it will all be YOUR fault (well, that is what the insurance company will claim).

I beg to differ somewhat on your recommendations. I do so to be clarifying, not confrontational. Disclaimer: I am not an electrician. (Obviously, with a handle of "surgeon" I cut people, not wires, for a living.) I can not find that NEMA makes a 40 amp, 240 volt outlet (receptacle). There may be a structural reason why a 6-50 or 14-50 outlet can handle a 50 amp load. If so, then for a 40 amp "circuit" you would use an outlet of the next higher capability, and using a 30 amp outlet may (?) be unsafe. The breaker "defines" the circuit and is chosen to protect the wire used from overheating. Wire gauge is determined by both ampacity and its "run". 10 gauge copper wire is fine for a 3-4 foot run, but inadequate for a 20 ft. run, and never for 50 amps. So a 40 amp (max; 32 amp continuous) EVSE needs a 40 amp circuit (with a 40 amp breaker). Nowhere have I EVER seen that a 32 amp EVSE needs a 50 amp circuit. Now, to avoid confusion on a dedicated circuit, some type of label stating "40 amp circuit for EVSE" (NOT for a 50 amp welder) may be very useful/helpful/suggested/recommended. My Siemens VersiCharge EVSE specifically dictated a 40 amp circuit with a NEMA 6-50 outlet. Many others dictate a NEMA 14-50 outlet for their 40 amp circuit. I cannot believe that they all are recommending to us to break an electrical code... but I may be wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Swapping a 30 for a 50 plug is easy - just 3 wires - 2 hots and a ground - turn off the breaker first!
But SparkE is saying he would never do that....so I’m a little confused as to why many people on this forum suggest a 14-50 nema socket with a 40amp breaker. I even read that on one of the EVSE sites, can’t remeber which one.
 

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Sparke is correct - you shouldn't do it- I"m answering your question as to if it is an easy switch it is in fact easy...

Sparke's issue is that if people "see" a NEMA 14-50/6-50 plug- they will assume the wire/breaker are rated for 50 amps - which in your case if you just switch the plug with out confirming appropriate wire gauge and upgrade the breaker would not be true...

but it's an easy switch to make - and I would label the plug with a sign/sticker tape as 40 AMP"s ONLY - NOT FOR 50 AMP USE...

switching plugs is easy

make it fit code/expectations might be harder...

there is _NO_ safety issue as long as all you use it for is your 40/32 amp EVSE…cause the wire and breaker protect the EVSE and the Bolt can't pull more than 32 amps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sparke is correct - you shouldn't do it- I"m answering your question as to if it is an easy switch it is in fact easy...

Sparke's issue is that if people "see" a NEMA 14-50/6-50 plug- they will assume the wire/breaker are rated for 50 amps - which in your case if you just switch the plug with out confirming appropriate wire gauge and upgrade the breaker would not be true...

but it's an easy switch to make - and I would label the plug with a sign/sticker tape as 40 AMP"s ONLY - NOT FOR 50 AMP USE...

switching plugs is easy

make it fit code/expectations might be harder...

there is _NO_ safety issue as long as all you use it for is your 40/32 amp EVSE…cause the wire and breaker protect the EVSE and the Bolt can't pull more than 32 amps.
Ok, I understand now. I will certainly make a label if I go that route. I asked the builder if they would change the 14-30 socket to a 14-50 one but they may not do it without wanting to change the wiring and breaker.
 
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