30a 125/250v - Page 2 - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 01:46 AM
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Originally Posted by DucRider View Post
The only "future proofing" that is necessary is usually to be able charge overnight to replenish what you use in a day. If you drive 100 miles a day, a 16A EVSE will still likely be sufficient. If you do 200 miles a day, you will likely need 32A. Most people drive far less than that on a daily basis.

Some of the newest BEV's are coming with 40 or 48A on board chargers, so a 50 or 60A circuit would match with them. Any EVSE greater than 40A must be hardwired. If you drive a lot, and/or have a short TOU window, a faster charger may make sense.
I see it as being a little different with EV, for a PHEV it's fine to size the EVSE to the miles typically driven in a day, because on the less frequent occasions when you need more than that, or you need a quick turnaround, it really has no practical impact since the gas engine is available to take up any shortfall. And if your driving situation changes and you start driving more miles per day. The gas engine also helps cover the lower EV range of winter.

However with an EV there will likely will be times, even if infrequent, when higher than average driving days run together, or situations like leaving on a trip when you haven't had enough time to fully recharge. It might not happen often but when it does I would certainly appreciate having 32 or even 40 amps. And I have no way to predict what range of EV vehicle I will eventually be buying as that purchase will likely be a few years from now. Or a way to predict what my average daily miles will be in the next few years. For many people of course the number of miles go down as they get older, but for others it can be the exact opposite.

That's why if I were installing Level 2 now for my Clarity I would probably install 14-50 so that I can go as low as 16 amps now which is all I need for my Clarity but have the option of later going as high as 40 amps if I get an EV. If after later getting an EV I wind up deciding I only need a 32 amp EVSE that's fine, I only overspent a little on the circuit. But I would rather be in that situation than be in a situation where I wished I had installed a 50 amp circuit but only installed 40 amp, since the price difference wouldn't be that much. Sure you can take that further, in the future will I wish I had installed 60 amps? Maybe, but 50 amps is as far as you can take it and still use a relatively low cost 16 or 24 amp EVSE. If I thought that 50 amps might not be enough for a future EV, then I would probably just install 6-20 for the Clarity for now, and just expect to have to upgrade later to whatever size circuit I need for whatever range EV that I purchase. But 50 amps seems like a reasonable amount for an attempt at future proofing.

Last edited by 2002; 12-31-2019 at 02:11 AM.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Losthuy View Post
Sorry if this has been asked and answered already. However, I could not find anything answering this specific question.

I have in my garage a 30a 125/250v outlet near my dryer, the 3 prong y shaped one. Would a basic level 2 charger from Amazon work? I was looking at a zencar portable level 2 charger 16a 240v. Would a 32a work as well? Also if anyone could recommend a plug in level 2 theyve had experience with. Thanks
I have the Zencar 240V, 16A charger from Amazon plugged into my dryer outlet and it works perfectly for my Clarity PHEV. Highly recommend. Since you already have the outlet, this is a no-brainer. For $200, plug it in and you're good to go. Just make sure you order the one with the correct plug to match your outlet.

Even with the car fully discharged, it will give a full charge in less than 4 hours. From my typical partial charge, it is done in 2.5 to 3 hours. I'm almost always charging overnight, so there's no hurry. It also allows full use of the climate pre-condition from wall power. The Clarity's onboard charger maxes out at 6kW. It will not take more than 25A no matter what you plug in to, so there is little advantage of going to a higher capacity unit.
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 11:54 AM
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Even with the car fully discharged, it will give a full charge in less than 4 hours. From my typical partial charge, it is done in 2.5 to 3 hours. I'm almost always charging overnight, so there's no hurry. It also allows full use of the climate pre-condition from wall power. The Clarity's onboard charger maxes out at 6kW. It will not take more than 25A no matter what you plug in to, so there is little advantage of going to a higher capacity unit.
The charger in the Clarity is 32A and will draw that at times (if the EVSE indicates at least 32A is available). I typically see 30A while charging, but preconditioning draws 32A before tapering as the car warms.

Gary

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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, the home was built in 1980 so I understand it is older. I ended up purchasing a Mustart lvl 2 26amp charger with the proper plug. Our electrician suggested installing a seperate breaker of 50amp without even coming out, so I am not sure if he's being honest. I should get it this Saturday and I'll try it out.
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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 12-31-2019, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Losthuy View Post
Yes, the home was built in 1980 so I understand it is older. I ended up purchasing a Mustart lvl 2 26amp charger with the proper plug. Our electrician suggested installing a seperate breaker of 50amp without even coming out, so I am not sure if he's being honest. I should get it this Saturday and I'll try it out.
So this is getting a little tricky, maybe @DucRider can help with some advice. I'm not an electrician but what they are saying doesn't sound right unless they weren't clear or you didn't fully understand what they are suggesting. I'm sure they weren't suggesting to just pop in a 50 amp breaker on that 10-30 circuit as that would be wrong. Maybe they are suggesting installing a separate subpanel, although without seeing what's on your existing panel that would sound like they might be trying to do an automatic upsell. Or maybe they are suggesting to install a 50 amp circuit and install a 14-50 or 6-50 outlet. But since your Mustart has a 10-30 plug that would require using an adapter, which now introduces a new potential problem. Adapters can be built that are safe, but they will always be a potential point of failure, even worse when cheaply built.

As a general rule a 10 gauge (copper) wire can handle 30 amps of power up to fifty feet. But for continuous power the guideline is to limit to 80% which is 24 amps. The 30 amp circuit breaker that is installed only stops overloads above 30 amps, it does not stop you from using more than 24 amps continuous, it is up to you to avoid doing that. Putting a 26 amp continuous device on the 10-30 amp circuit would be exceeding the standard guideline. If the run is relatively short, and the wiring and outlet are in good condition, maybe someone could argue that Mustart's claim of 85% continuous is okay. At a minimum if you try it out you should use an infrared thermometer to check the temperature at all points especially after several hours of use. But to stay within the guideline, I am wondering if what is needed is to simply upgrade the wire to 8 ga and change nothing else, assuming the outlet and circuit breaker that you have will accept 8 ga wire. The circuit breaker in this case will be overly protective at 30 amp, but that in itself shouldn't be a problem since you would be running just 26 amp on it.

Or return the Mustart if it isn't too late and get a Zencar 16 amp.
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post #16 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 08:26 AM
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Interesting that Mustart's 10-30 is 26 amp, they claim 15% margin is okay. Don't know why they didn't just make it 24 amp so that it follows accepted guidelines and there wouldn't be any question about it.

I didn't realize Zencar does have a model with a 10-30 plug, it's 16 amp which again is plenty for Clarity. Of course some people want to future proof to say 14-50 but that can get a lot more costly not just for the wiring but also for the EVSE.

Even cheaper is to use the Honda OEM cable with an adapter to 240V outlet, a lot of people have done that with no problems other than it maxes out at about 10 amps but still it's twice as fast as Level 1. But it's an individual decision whether to go down that route.
Besides the cost savings, another advantage of going with the Honda OEM unit at 240v (@ ~11amps) is you gain the benefit of being able to remotely heat/cool the vehicle no matter the current battery charge state.
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post #17 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 10:25 AM
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Besides the cost savings, another advantage of going with the Honda OEM unit at 240v (@ ~11amps) is you gain the benefit of being able to remotely heat/cool the vehicle no matter the current battery charge state.
Wouldn't that be true with any 240V cable?
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post #18 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 01:15 PM
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A 26A EVSE would require a circuit rated at 40A, but it has a plug rated at 30A. You cannot install a combination of breaker/outlet that would meet code for this device.

The electrician is suggesting a new circuit, which is becoming sort of the the EVSE standard (likely suggesting 50A to "future proof" it). In all fairness, the added cost for the heavier wire is likely to add very little to the overall cost. I see Amazon has 32A versions of the Mustart for the same (or lower) price. If you have a new circuit installed, might as well match the EVSE to the cars capabilities.

And yes, any 240V EVSE will allow the car the precondition while charging, but anything less than a 32A version is likely to use some of your battery range (mine draws 32A when preconditioning starts, and if you are supplying less than that the battery will probably be used to make up the deficit). I understand you can even precondition on 120V once charging is complete, but that is likely also at the expense of EV range.

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post #19 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by DucRider View Post
A 26A EVSE would require a circuit rated at 40A, but it has a plug rated at 30A. You cannot install a combination of breaker/outlet that would meet code for this device.

The electrician is suggesting a new circuit, which is becoming sort of the the EVSE standard (likely suggesting 50A to "future proof" it). In all fairness, the added cost for the heavier wire is likely to add very little to the overall cost. I see Amazon has 32A versions of the Mustart for the same (or lower) price. If you have a new circuit installed, might as well match the EVSE to the cars capabilities.

And yes, any 240V EVSE will allow the car the precondition while charging, but anything less than a 32A version is likely to use some of your battery range (mine draws 32A when preconditioning starts, and if you are supplying less than that the battery will probably be used to make up the deficit). I understand you can even precondition on 120V once charging is complete, but that is likely also at the expense of EV range.
Code is an interesting topic. There are codes obviously for the installation of wiring and circuits. And there are codes (I assume) for hardwiring devices into the home's electrical system. But to my knowledge there are not building codes related to what you can plug into an outlet, or am I wrong about that? Are there codes that say you cannot plug more devices into a circuit that exceeds the circuit capacity? I wouldn't think so, I can have three space heaters plugged in on the same circuit as long as I only use one at a time, and not violate code as far as I know. In fact even turning them all on at the same time, while dumb, does not violate building code as far as a I know. To be sure I am not an expert on national or local electrical codes, I'm just saying code seems to be focused on installations, not what appliances are plugged into outlets, for that we have safety guidelines. But if you have examples otherwise then I will stand corrected.

To make it clear I am absolutely NOT advocating unsafe practices I am only questioning what is legal and what is simply good judgement. If my presumption is correct about what is code and what is guideline, it comes down to homeowners using good judgement when plugging things into outlets. I mentioned not using adapters, again no code violation that I know of but in my opinion that is something to be avoided just for safety. In the OP's current situation, it is contrary to accepted safety guidelines to continuously use 26 amps on a 30 amp circuit, even if that circuit is dedicated, and even if no codes are being violated.

It seems to me that switching to 8 ga wire would satisfy the spirit even if not the letter of the guideline. Or is the spirit of the 80% guideline not just about the wiring but also about the outlet and the circuit breaker? I.e. is it not safe to run more than 80% capacity through the outlet and circuit breaker even if the wiring can handle it? If that is a concern, or is an unknown, then yes there is no way to make the current situation fully safe, and a new EVSE will be required. In that case the lowest cost solution would seem to be simply getting a different low cost EVSE that works with the existing 10-30 outlet. Changing the outlet to something else would be an unnecessary cost and would still not eliminate having to get a new EVSE.

To summarize more simply in case I wasn't able to be clear in my above conjectures:

Option 1 - use existing 26 amp EVSE on 10-30 circuit. Might be safe, might not be. Might not violate any codes but goes against accepted guidelines, thus without expert determination it should be assumed to be not safe.

Option 2 - use existing 26 amp EVSE on 10-30 circuit after upgrading wire from 10 ga to 8 ga. Should be safer than option 1, but unless the 80% guideline is fully understood it still may not be fully safe. And due to the cost of new wire (depending on length) and electricians time it likely would be no cheaper than simply getting a different EVSE (option 3). But it still might be a preferred solution if the OP likes the features of the existing EVSE and doesn't want to get a different one.

Option 3 - Replace the 26 amp 10-30 EVSE with a 16 amp 10-30 EVSE (or 24 amp if available). Lowest cost solution that does not have safety questions. No electrician needed.

Option 4 - Upgrade circuit to 40 or 50 amp and get new EVSE that has the matching plug. Would be safe but much more costly than option 3 since professional installation is required. Little or no advantage to Clarity, just some potential future proofing.

Last edited by 2002; 01-01-2020 at 05:42 PM.
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post #20 of 30 (permalink) Old 01-01-2020, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think if I go with the zencar 10-30 I can just plug it in without installing a new sub panel? I know your not an electrician, but I appreciate your feedback.
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