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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a new 2020 Bolt that came with a GM 23254905 (24297486) brick portable charger with a standard three prong 120v NEMA 5-15 household plug. I also installed a Juicebox 40 wall mounted charger and connected same to a 50amp circuit with a NEMA 15-50 receptacle and so 99% of my charging needs will be covered by this device. I live in California where DC fast charging options are readily available in metro areas, so I'm not concerned about getting an extra 90 miles of topoff when I need a quick bump for the rest of the ride to my destination.

But I would like to open up my options to deal with certain situations where access to a DCFC isn't possible in the large stretches of the American Southwest or where I want a full charge when staying a night or two with friends who don't have a Level 2 charger. From what I've read, the OEM brick charger, while clearly labeled for 120v\60hz\12amp usage only, can use a 240 circuit. If that's the case (and please correctly if I'm wrong), the charging rate would much slower than the Juicebox because the brick is limited to 12 amps, but it would be twice as fast as simply plugging the brick into an ordinary household wall socket. I figure a full charge at 12 amps and 240 volts with the brick should take about 22 hours. Not fast by any stretch of the imagination, but if we weren't going anywhere for a day anyway, it would be enough.

My thinking is that I should carry a set of adapters that would allow me to use the OEM brick with a 240 outlet, like one for an electric dryer in a friend's garage or for a big RV hookup at a KOA when the next DCFC is hundreds of miles away. Here's my list of the plug\receptacle sizes for adapters to cover just about any conceivable situation:
1) NEMA 14-50 plug (four prong) to NEMA 5-15 receptacle: Allows use on a 240 volt \ 50 amp circuit found at modern campgrounds intended for big RVs.
2) NEMA 14-30 plug (four prong) to NEMA 5-15 receptacle: Allows use on a 240 volt \ 30 amp circuit used for electric dryers in homes built after 1990.
3) NEMA 11-30 plug (three prong) to NEMA 5-15 receptacle: Allows use on a 240 volt \ 30 amp circuit used for electric dryers in homes built before 1990.
4) NEMA TT-30 plug (three prong) to NEMA 5-15 receptacle: Allows use on a 120 volt \ 30 amp circuit found at older campgrounds intended for small travel trailers. Would not provide faster charging but could be useful if the only power to the campsite was 120 volts delivered by a TT-30.

Is there something I'm missing or something I'm misunderstanding about all of this?

Thanks,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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It costs more, but for maximum flexibility you can't beat the Tesla Universal Mobile Connector (UMC). It has interchangeable AC pigtails for various kinds of 120V and 240V plugs, and it automatically advertises the charging current appropriate to the plug type, up to 32A. So, for example, it advertises 12A with a NEMA 5-15 plug, 24A with a NEMA 14-30, and 32A with a NEMA 14-50. You get the maximum charging speed no matter what kind of socket is available to you.

You need to buy not just UMC itself, but also the selection of the A/C pigtails you want and a Tesla-to-J1772 adapter such as a TeslaTap or JAdapter so that you can plug it into the Bolt.
 

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Is there something I'm missing or something I'm misunderstanding about all of this?
I've been using the EVSE that came with the Bolt on 240V since 2017. You can make one adapter for 14-50 and 14-30 by leaving off the neutral blade on the plug.

I have a 14-50 in the garage and a 10-30 in the shop. But on a trip last year, I ended up making another adapter as the welder plug was a 10-50 at my destination.
 

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#1,#2, and #3 likely will not operate as you expect. #1 and #2 will most likely present 120V on the 5-15 as both have a neutral wire that can carry current. To guarantee getting the full 240V for each a better idea is to get an adapter to a 6-20 instead. The 6-20 will present 240V. You can adapt a 6-20 to a 5-15 with this grow light adapter:

Amazon.com: BloomGrow 110V / 120V to 220V / 240V Plug Adapter for US (1 PC): Home Audio & Theater

#4 is exactly as you describe. Note that even if the EVSE offers more than 12A at 120V, the Bolt limits the current draw to 12A. So even a 120V 16A EVSE would not be any faster.

If you go the Growlight adapter route, it's best to cover that connection with an electrical lockout:


As having 240V on a 5-15 can be dangerous to the unaware. The larger one on the right should cover the connection nicely.

ga2500ev
 

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I was going to go the route of the Tesla UMC, add I have a couple of the Lectron Tesla to J1772 adapters. But it is just too expensive.
I thought of a portable unit that has an adjustable output, but then you still have the issue with different plugs.

So, I did buy the growlight adapter, but it was only 4.99 when I got it. I bought another pigtail for a welder outlet to the small 20 amp outlet that the growlight adapter will fit in.

For the 14-30 and 14-50, you can make your own adapter that covers both with the convertible plug and an air conditioner extension cord that you cut off the make end. Leave the neutral prong out of the 14-x0 plug, and it will fit either. I have one of those plugs on my Clipper Creek 20 Amp that I use daily, and I could take that along for use with the 30 to 50 amp plugs.

The old style dryer would be another problem.

But, I have not had to use any of these solutions as of yet, partly due not going anywhere this past year. We do go over to The Corona area to do things off for the grandkids birthdays, but it is just a quick over and back, about 165 miles round-trip.

Otherwise, just staying home in Palm Springs!
 

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If I were in your position, I would evaluate whether the homes I will be visiting have a laundry room on the first floor. If they do, I might buy ($150-$200?) a lower-cost, single-current option, inline charger at 24 amps, and put a 30 amp Dryer Plug on the male end of the cord. Although it is not desirable to build a "dryer plug" extension cord, you might have to do that, if the car can't be parked near the window of the laundry room. I'd also cut a board to close the window on, leaving only a tiny notch for the charging cord. If those homes (unlikely) all have wood shops with table saws and so on, you might have other options. Most homes have poor access to the stove outlet (and I have a gas stove), so I wouldn't count on that.

A more conservative option would be to find an inline device rated at 15 Amps/240 volts to put into the dryer outlet. I can imagine some old circuit breakers might not hold at 24 amps for ten hours, although they ought to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks to everyone for all of the excellent ideas and tips. I was able to find adapters that would have a NEMA 5-15R receptacle on one end and a NEMA 14-50P (RV parks), NEMA 14-30P (electric dryers in modern homes) or NEMA 10-30P (electric dryers in older homes; I typed 11-30 before but it's 10-30) plug on the other, and they were what I wanted in that the neutral and hot slots on the 5-15R were wired to the two hots on the 240 plug side (see. e.g., 220v NEMA 14-50P Plug to 3PIN 220v NEMA 5-15R RECEPTACLE POWER CORD ADAPTER | eBay). But the price was crazy expensive ($60), which would mean that I'd be dropping $180 to cover a contingency I might need once every couple years. An adapter for the old RV park 120v TT-30 was only $13 and easy to find, but that's even a more unlikely need.

I thought the suggestion for the BloomGrow 6-15P to 5-15R adapter was going to be the first part to the solution, because that neat little device was only 12 bucks. I figured that finding a reasonably priced 14-50P-to-6-15R, 14-30P-to-6-15R, or 10-30P-to-6-15R adapter as the second part would be easy because the wiring would be what 99% of the market would want (versus my weird need, which basically creates a potentially dangerous situation if someone uses it wrong). But again, the 6-15R adapters are still pricey enough (about $40 if you look long enough) to make having multiple set-ups to cover most possibilities something unaffordable to someone who just bought a new Bolt and now has car payments.

I think what I'm going to do is keep checking until I find a cheap 14-50P-to-6-15R adapter to go along with the BloomGrow adapter, then as suggested by a couple of you, I'll cut the neutral prong off the 14-50P which would make it work in a 14-30R as well. My electric shop teacher in junior high would scream at the idea of lopping off a prong, but that was 52 years ago and he's probably no longer with us. If I can get this done for about $40 all in, I'll be happy.

Thanks again,

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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Thanks to everyone for all of the excellent ideas and tips. I was able to find adapters that would have a NEMA 5-15R receptacle on one end and a NEMA 14-50P (RV parks), NEMA 14-30P (electric dryers in modern homes) or NEMA 10-30P (electric dryers in older homes; I typed 11-30 before but it's 10-30) plug on the other, and they were what I wanted in that the neutral and hot slots on the 5-15R were wired to the two hots on the 240 plug side (see. e.g., 220v NEMA 14-50P Plug to 3PIN 220v NEMA 5-15R RECEPTACLE POWER CORD ADAPTER | eBay). But the price was crazy expensive ($60), which would mean that I'd be dropping $180 to cover a contingency I might need once every couple years. An adapter for the old RV park 120v TT-30 was only $13 and easy to find, but that's even a more unlikely need.

I thought the suggestion for the BloomGrow 6-15P to 5-15R adapter was going to be the first part to the solution, because that neat little device was only 12 bucks. I figured that finding a reasonably priced 14-50P-to-6-15R, 14-30P-to-6-15R, or 10-30P-to-6-15R adapter as the second part would be easy because the wiring would be what 99% of the market would want (versus my weird need, which basically creates a potentially dangerous situation if someone uses it wrong). But again, the 6-15R adapters are still pricey enough (about $40 if you look long enough) to make having multiple set-ups to cover most possibilities something unaffordable to someone who just bought a new Bolt and now has car payments.

I think what I'm going to do is keep checking until I find a cheap 14-50P-to-6-15R adapter to go along with the BloomGrow adapter, then as suggested by a couple of you, I'll cut the neutral prong off the 14-50P which would make it work in a 14-30R as well. My electric shop teacher in junior high would scream at the idea of lopping off a prong, but that was 52 years ago and he's probably no longer with us. If I can get this done for about $40 all in, I'll be happy.

Thanks again,

Nick in Palm Springs
Home Depot\Lowes etc should have all the parts you need.

Look for a 14-50 plug without the cord, and a short 15A extension cord. Cut the extension cord and connect the leads to the 14-50 plug, done. Should be about $30-40. Example: https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-50-Amp-Volt-Black-4-Wire-Grounding-Plug/4068225 and https://www.lowes.com/pd/Utilitech-...-Air-Conditioner-Appliance-Power-Cord/3190855

A 120V cord has three wires, hot and neutral are typically heavier gauge than ground, and are marked white and black typically. Ground is typically green. Since Neutral is not used for any EV Charging on 240V, just leave that terminal empty. It doesn't matter which load wires you connect to the X and Y pins on the 14-50 plug. The effect it the white neutral wire on the extension cord will supply 120V to the neutral pin on the OEM cord, thus two "hot" wires and one ground.

33851


The 15A rating should be more than adequate for a 12A sustained load since that is 80%. There are also "Heavy Duty" extension cords with thicker cable if you want to play it safe.
 

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Thanks to everyone for all of the excellent ideas and tips. I was able to find adapters that would have a NEMA 5-15R receptacle on one end and a NEMA 14-50P (RV parks), NEMA 14-30P (electric dryers in modern homes) or NEMA 10-30P (electric dryers in older homes; I typed 11-30 before but it's 10-30) plug on the other, and they were what I wanted in that the neutral and hot slots on the 5-15R were wired to the two hots on the 240 plug side (see. e.g., 220v NEMA 14-50P Plug to 3PIN 220v NEMA 5-15R RECEPTACLE POWER CORD ADAPTER | eBay). But the price was crazy expensive ($60), which would mean that I'd be dropping $180 to cover a contingency I might need once every couple years. An adapter for the old RV park 120v TT-30 was only $13 and easy to find, but that's even a more unlikely need.

I thought the suggestion for the BloomGrow 6-15P to 5-15R adapter was going to be the first part to the solution, because that neat little device was only 12 bucks. I figured that finding a reasonably priced 14-50P-to-6-15R, 14-30P-to-6-15R, or 10-30P-to-6-15R adapter as the second part would be easy because the wiring would be what 99% of the market would want (versus my weird need, which basically creates a potentially dangerous situation if someone uses it wrong). But again, the 6-15R adapters are still pricey enough (about $40 if you look long enough) to make having multiple set-ups to cover most possibilities something unaffordable to someone who just bought a new Bolt and now has car payments.

I think what I'm going to do is keep checking until I find a cheap 14-50P-to-6-15R adapter to go along with the BloomGrow adapter, then as suggested by a couple of you, I'll cut the neutral prong off the 14-50P which would make it work in a 14-30R as well. My electric shop teacher in junior high would scream at the idea of lopping off a prong, but that was 52 years ago and he's probably no longer with us. If I can get this done for about $40 all in, I'll be happy.

Thanks again,

Nick in Palm Springs
$20 to go from 14-30P to 6-20R!

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Excellent intel from everyone! I wound up borrowing from multiple posters' ideas to make my set. I've ordered the BloomGrow 6-15P to 5-15R adapter (Amazon.com: BloomGrow 110V / 120V to 220V / 240V Plug Adapter for US (1 PC): Home Audio & Theater ) for $12 as the primary connection to my stock charger brick. This will work by itself if I happen to need to connect to a 6-15R or 6-20R receptacle such as ones used on generators or HVAC supply (unlikely), but the more common application will be in tandem with another adapter. Next I ordered a 14-30P to 6-15R adapter (Amazon.com : NEMA 14-30P to 6-15R 6-20R 240V 20 Amp Welder Welding Dryer EV Charger Power Cord Adapter Adaptor Connector Connecter : Garden & Outdoor ) for $18. When I get it, I'll cut off the neutral prong which will give me access both to 14-50r receptacles at campgrounds and 14-30r receptacles for electric dryers in modern homes. I then ordered a 10-30p plug for $10 and a 6-20r in-line receptacle (meaning that the receptacle is intended to be wired to a whip rather than mounted in a wall) also for $10. I have an old dryer cord that my wife has been begging me to throw away, so when the plug and in-line receptacle arrive I'll make a short pig tail to cover instances where the electric dryer receptacle is in a pre 1992 house.

Total cost including shipping for my four option adapter set: $50 plus tax. A cheap way to deal with a touch of range anxiety, especially here in the deserts of the American Southwest where charging options can be limited.

Again, thanks to you all!

Nick in Palm Springs
 

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A lot of this discussion sounds alarming to me. The reason a device like the OEM charger has a UL label saying it is approved for 120 volts, and it has a plug that can only be plugged into a 120 Volt circuit, is that it is not rated for any other use. What is your house worth? The UL label on mine cautions that you should think about what else is on the circuit you are plugging into even at 120 volts, as steady loads below what the circuit breaker will trip at can heat up house wiring enough to cause fires, especially if there is another weak point in the scheme like inadequate wiring practices you don't know about leading to the receptacle you are screwing around with put in by some other clown in the past who thought they knew more than the people who enforce electrical codes.

Another point: you can make an adapter so this 12 amp 120 volt OEM device can plug into 50 amp 240 volt receptacles, but keep in mind that the circuit breaker protecting that receptacle will let a lot more power into your teeny OEM thingy and its wires potentially heading toward your car than anyone designing it or manufacturing it or evaluating it ever dreamed anyone would allow into the device before the breaker trips, if something goes wrong. What could go wrong? Have you noticed all the warnings to EV owners that they should always employ licensed electricians? It's not some scam the electricians have going to rip everyone off.

You don't have to employ a licensed electrician. There is room for DIY with electrical, but only if you understand what the code dictates, and only if what you hook up meets the code.
 

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A lot of this discussion sounds alarming to me. The reason a device like the OEM charger has a UL label saying it is approved for 120 volts, and it has a plug that can only be plugged into a 120 Volt circuit, is that it is not rated for any other use.
For example, a pigtail with a small metal box with a two pole 20-amp circuit breaker in it. If you’re going to leave something plugged in and unsupervised in someone else’s house for 22 hours, it needs to actually be safe. Not just “cheap.” (Children, pets, rodents, delivery people, housekeepers, trades people, wind, power surges, falling trees, loose roofing?)

Edit for posts below: BTW, I ran 44' of 3/4" EMT and #8 copper wire from my breaker panel to the garage, where I installed my Grizzl-E EVSE, set to 24 Amps because of my personal weekly charging program. But not everyone wants to do that. In any case,you are planning for future travel.
 

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A lot of this discussion sounds alarming to me.
When people post clearly inaccurate understanding of things like "code" or what UL Approval actually means, I can't help but laugh a little. See, it's always those people who read a sticker and think that makes them an expert who fret at hooking up the OEM EVSE to 240v. Meanwhile those of us who installed our own EVSE (including the breaker, wiring, and receptacle) and know our way around a soldering iron are dismissed as "alarming".

At the end of the day, do what you feel is safe. The problem is that if you don't know enough to surmise the actual safety of the process yourself then you don't know enough to tell someone that they are incorrect.
 

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A lot of this discussion sounds alarming to me. The reason a device like the OEM charger has a UL label saying it is approved for 120 volts, and it has a plug that can only be plugged into a 120 Volt circuit, is that it is not rated for any other use...
That actually might be inaccurate. The OEM EVSE is apparently the same hardware as those manufactured for 240V countries except for the plug, but just not labeled for 240V. In that sense, the EVSE hardware may actually be "rated" for 240V elsewhere, just not on the labels used in the US.

Certainly, you use a non-standard plug at your own risk, but understand that it's a different plug, not different internal electronics.
 

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That actually might be inaccurate. The OEM EVSE is apparently the same hardware as those manufactured for 240V countries except for the plug, but just not labeled for 240V. In that sense, the EVSE hardware may actually be "rated" for 240V elsewhere, just not on the labels used in the US.

Certainly, you use a non-standard plug at your own risk, but understand that it's a different plug, not different internal electronics.
Is the OEM EVSE the same (except for the plug) as the one used in 240V countries, or is it only “apparently“ the same. This might be an important distinction to some.
 

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Is the OEM EVSE the same (except for the plug) as the one used in 240V countries, or is it only “apparently“ the same. This might be an important distinction to some.
It is the same. Here is the Volt forum where this was first revealed, somewhere in the thread there are pics of the internal components showing the telltale signs that it is 240V capable.
 
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