Jocko

Extension cord on 120 charger

12 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

I just traded my 2006 Smart CDI for a used 2016 ED with 50k, so I'm new to this charging thing.

 

I set up my charger near my carport. It seems to be weather proof but just the same I built a small cedar box to keep it out of the elements. I noticed the rubber gasket near the plug was pulled out so I pushed it back but I'm doubting its water proof now.

That being said I'm about 25 feet from my power plug. I connected a heavy duty extension cord to plug in the charger and everything seemed OK.

I've only plugged the car in a few times at home because I can charge at work for free. I haven't had any issues but today when I went out I find the charger is flashing red after a 100% charge. The car charged OK but the charger is giving me a warning light. I unplugged and replugged and I still had the red lights. I plugged it straight to the socket and the lights went green.  I tried another extension and the lights were green. I put it back to the original extension and again all is green.

 

So what's up with these chargers?

 

Is this a usual thing?

Do any of you use extension cords?

Is my charger on the fritz?

I've only used the charger 3 times but it looks very used.

 

Thanks!

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24 minutes ago, Huronlad said:

What gauge of wire is the extension cord constructed of that you are using?  

 

We use a 10 gauge 120 volt 15 amp extension cord which never even gets warm...

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In my experience I got the "red light" when the extension cord or the electrical outlet had a problem with the ground. In my case, it would not charge at all when I got the red light. When I fixed the ground, the problem went away.

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I'll have to check the gauge but it's heavy with a single plug. I used to use it for a 15 amp snow blower without any issues.  I noticed the extension is cool but the plug for the charger gets warm.

Is that normal?

 

As for the ground. I was thinking the same thing so I checked it on multiple plugs.

I think the charger does a ground check before starting a charge and that it may be failing the ground check.

I tested the plugs with a tester and it passed but I'll double check the ground to make sure it's solid.

 

Thanks for the quick replies

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The mini-house for the EVSE body is a good idea.

 

I'd second the heavy duty recommendation.   We're using 12 gauge cords in our cars for when we need to charge away from home. 

 

Our original unit that came with the car failed about 18 months back.  MB replaced it after running some tests and finding that it was bad.     We had used it outside in the rain and snow 4 out of 7 days for a couple of years.    So I'm pretty sure they are not entirely weather sealed.     It had similar faults. 

 

The current one is ok, but has shown that kind of fault, and it might have been water related. 

 

We bought a backup 120/240 portable unit for peace of mind, although there are now about 20 public level 2 chargers near my wife's office so it's less of a concern for her.

 

 

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Thanks everyone for the replies. Indeed I did change out the extension cord for a 10 gauge as recommended. After thinking it over it's not that crazy. The charger is pulling 12 amps because I keep it on max.

 

I double checked the plug and replaced the plug insert as it was really old. Made sure the grounds were good and bingo! No more problems.

 

I've charged a few times this weekend and the ground fault flashing light has not lit up again.

So I think I'm out of the woods.

 

I am thinking about a 120/240 backup unit. 

Blaine:  Which unit did you get and are you fairly happy with it?

 

Cheers!

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Jocko,

 

We bought one of these:  https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B078MK861W

Although it was C$ 369 when we got ours. 

 

It works, it does 240 and 120V input which I take as a big plus because we have both types of outlets in our garage.   However it is only IP55, so I'd be cautious if it is very wet or raining heavily.   Or protect it somehow.   If you're planning on using it outside regularly it may be worth applying some silicone caulking.    I'd have no reservations if the main body was protected and the cable was in the rain.

 

We don't use it daily, so ymmv.

 

A quick look on Amazon does show cheaper "similar" units now.   

 

 

I suspect that this winter we're going to use it to give our other EV regular power,   While it's in the garage, keeping the battery from getting cold seems like it might be a good idea.

 

Keep wishing my wife's company will install a charger for her.   sigh...

 

Edited by Blaine

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Make sure you buy a CSA approved device.  In this case, standards are there for a reason.   High current and well tested to electrical standards go together.

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I have run an extension cord to my 120v EVSE in the past, but it's not recommended. If it's sitting in the wet for any length of time, you could get errors on the EVSE (I've had this happen when the connection was damp), or have it fail entirely (not sure if it was related to using an extension cord at all, but the entire LEER unit was replaced under warranty after it stopped working).

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