Is doing it the "right way" worth it in this case? - 2018 Honda Clarity Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Question Is doing it the "right way" worth it in this case?

Hey Clarity Forum Folks! 3rd post here. I apologize if this has been asked multiple times before.

I was hoping to get the internet's collective general feeling on whether or not following a professional consultant's recommendation is respectable OR I'm just paying for something overkill. I know it's highly subjective but hoping for some insight! For what it's worth, I'm not opposed to paying for it to be done the "right way" just want to be sure I'm doing it intelligently.

I got off the phone with one of the local consulting companies here and if you saw my other thread, I have a NEMA 10-50 in my garage that might work, but the consultant is ultimately worried not only for the limits of that old receptacle but also the sub-panel and appliances running off the sub-panel. His pitch was that using too high of an amp draw on that old dryer plug might be 'precarious' in the long run for everything else.

His preliminary recommendation therefore was to run a new 50a connection off the main panel and put in a new receptacle. Including city permits and all that jazz the ballpark would be close to $1,100 for it to be done the "right way". It sounds like the right thing to do but it doesn't include the cost of the EVSE unit itself which will make this whole thing a pretty penny. Nearly impossible to recoup in terms of breakeven on gas savings.

I didn't have the audacity to ask him if he would recommend just going to amazon and getting a "middle of path" lesser amperage L2 charger and plugging that into the existing NEMA 10-50 to call it a day for $200 bucks.

Moving into the future I anticipate MORE, not less Electric vehicles so I can understand one of the benefits as "future proofing", and perhaps not burning down the house. lol. Love to hear thoughts and insights from you more seasoned folks. thank you!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 02:58 AM
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I'm guessing you already know where I stand on this matter....

Spend a total of $20 to $50 dollars, charge at 240 volts/12 amps with your OE EVSE, ~5 1/2 hours for a 100% full charge.



Rob43

Charge Up In About 5 1/2 Hours Using Your 120v Honda OE EVSE At 240 Volts.
Level 2 Charging Adapters: 10 Gauge / 100% Copper Cord, Most are $49 Shipped.
I Build 240v Conversion Pigtails With Almost Any Plug Needed, PM Me If You Need One.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:55 AM
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Rob43's recommendation definitely works. You can run the Honda OEM EVSE at 240v, works quite well.

If you don't want to make your own adapter, you can definitely buy an off-the-shelf EVSE that will work, too.

https://www.amazon.com/Zencar-Portab...omotive&sr=1-3

$230, and it will plug directly into your NEMA 10-50 outlet. No adapters required.

16amp Level II charger will charge a fully depleted battery in less than 5.5 hours.
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Last edited by mowcowbell; 06-29-2019 at 08:58 AM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 09:15 AM
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We charge our Clarity and our Chrysler Pacifica using the old Clipper Creek unit that I bought for my Gen 1 Chevy Volt, and we've been satisfied. It takes longer to charge (~3 hours for the Pacifica instead of 2 hours if we had put in charging capable of charging at the full rate). Even with two PHEVs we manage to start the day with full charges on each vehicle. Sometimes when we've used both vehicles a lot during the day we'll have to go out and switch the cable before bedtime, but that's not a problem.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 10:49 AM
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Your electrician/consultant seems to be raising two concerns, one is the age of the receptacle, second is whether it was ever a good idea to install a 50 amp circuit on the subpanel.

The first concern is not a huge deal as it can be solved by simply replacing the 10-50 receptacle, which essentially is DIY although your city may require a licensed electrician.

Second concern is a larger one, they are basically saying that installing a 50 amp circuit on the subpanel was a mistake. I don't think I would dismiss their concern out of hand but I don't think I would just take their word for it either. You need to get at least two more opinions on that before shelling out that kind of money.

Even if the concern turns out to be valid, your solution of using a lower amperage EVSE might be all that is needed. 16 amp is plenty for Clarity. Any electrician that you talk to that feels that a 50 amp circuit is too much for the sub panel, mention that you will only be using 16 amps and see what they say. They may say it's still not a good idea because leaving the 10-50 outlet could mean that later someone will plug in a 40 amp EVSE. Tell them you understand that but as long as you only run 16 amp is that safe, and if they say yes then you are good to go.

Another option if they really insist that you shouldn't leave it with 10-50 would be to downgrade the circuit by replacing the 50 amp circuit breakers with 20 amp and replacing the receptacle with 6-20. That would mean using only three of the four wires in the existing cable, unless they are against that also, but that option would be much cheaper than running a whole new 10-50 circuit off the main panel. Of course future proofing is another consideration, if downgrading to 6-20 costs almost as much as installing a new 10-50 then for future proofing the 10-50 might be worth the extra investment.

But hopefully you can get second opinions that tell you it is safe to run 16 amp on the existing 10-50 outlet, then you don't have to worry about it until later when you buy a Tesla!

Last edited by 2002; 06-29-2019 at 10:52 AM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 11:31 AM
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A 10-50 plug would have been wired to accept at least 40A. Since this was a phone consult, he/she obviously couldn't visually inspect the wiring and outlet.
What is the breaker size on that circuit? Unless it is aluminum wiring, I would likely look at installing a 6-50R (re-purposing the neutral to a ground). Also within code to wire a 14-50R in this manner. Both of these would also be considered the "right way". A 125A sub-panel is almost certainly plenty to handle everything. There are still a large number of homes that have 100A service for the entire house. I would be unusual for a sub-panel to be overloaded in this case since there is an existing circuit already installed.

I don't know if your "consultant" works for an electrical contractor (or referral service) and has a financial incentive, but if so I would take that into account when considering their recommendation.

Since there is no dedicated ground (appliances were "strapped" or otherwise used the nuetral as a ground), an adapter to use the OEM EVSE may not work (it may detect a ground fault.

Gary

2018 Clarity Electric (Vortex Blue)
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 12:36 PM
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My best answer to this is get an electrician you trust out there and check the capacity (size) of the sub panel. The size wire and breaker it is fed with. Next have them check the size wire feeding the receptacle. This should be able to be done at the sub panel for the wire sizes. Main panel for breaker size. He should be able to calculate the total amp draw of that sub panel by what is attached to it. I don't know what a simple service call from an electrician would cost. But at least you would know for sure exactly what options you have when purchasing an EVSE. And piece of mind knowing what you have available.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much for your help. I highly value your inputs and experience; this is a great forum indeed! Here are a few of the main takeaways:

  • There are cheaper ways to get "L2" charging - albeit, not at "max rate".
  • therefore 16a on 10-50, might just be the good compromise. faster, cheaper, relatively safe.
  • I'm planning to shop around and get a second opinion.
  • I need to find out if the lower amperage L2 charging could be a safe option on the existing setup.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob43 View Post
I'm guessing you already know where I stand on this matter....

Spend a total of $20 to $50 dollars, charge at 240 volts/12 amps with your OE EVSE, ~5 1/2 hours for a 100% full charge.

Rob43
Hahahahhahhahah! Yes, this is true. Although I've only been around the forum for a few weeks, I know Rob43 as the master of the DIY OEM L2!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DucRider View Post
A 10-50 plug would have been wired to accept at least 40A. Since this was a phone consult, he/she obviously couldn't visually inspect the wiring and outlet.
What is the breaker size on that circuit? Unless it is aluminum wiring, I would likely look at installing a 6-50R (re-purposing the neutral to a ground). Also within code to wire a 14-50R in this manner. Both of these would also be considered the "right way". A 125A sub-panel is almost certainly plenty to handle everything. There are still a large number of homes that have 100A service for the entire house. I would be unusual for a sub-panel to be overloaded in this case since there is an existing circuit already installed.

I don't know if your "consultant" works for an electrical contractor (or referral service) and has a financial incentive, but if so I would take that into account when considering their recommendation.

Since there is no dedicated ground (appliances were "strapped" or otherwise used the nuetral as a ground), an adapter to use the OEM EVSE may not work (it may detect a ground fault.
I had to send quite a few pictures of the main, subpanel and layout of the house for the consultation. Their financial incentive and upsell is in fact the main thing that I was worried about. Getting professional service done that may be superfluous.

Ultimately I'm feeling like the peace of mind is the most important, but there's a limit to the depth of my pocket book. And so since beggars can't be choosers, I'll probably ask the guy if going with a lower amperage EVSE with a slightly longer charge time could be a good compromise. We shall see and I'll update you all. Thanks folks.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by your_chum View Post
Thank you all so much for your help. I highly value your inputs and experience; this is a great forum indeed! Here are a few of the main takeaways:

  • There are cheaper ways to get "L2" charging - albeit, not at "max rate".
  • therefore 16a on 10-50, might just be the good compromise. faster, cheaper, relatively safe.
  • I'm planning to shop around and get a second opinion.
  • I need to find out if the lower amperage L2 charging could be a safe option on the existing setup.




Hahahahhahhahah! Yes, this is true. Although I've only been around the forum for a few weeks, I know Rob43 as the master of the DIY OEM L2!




I had to send quite a few pictures of the main, subpanel and layout of the house for the consultation. Their financial incentive and upsell is in fact the main thing that I was worried about. Getting professional service done that may be superfluous.

Ultimately I'm feeling like the peace of mind is the most important, but there's a limit to the depth of my pocket book. And so since beggars can't be choosers, I'll probably ask the guy if going with a lower amperage EVSE with a slightly longer charge time could be a good compromise. We shall see and I'll update you all. Thanks folks.

You are very welcome !

Good luck in your decision, I'm quite sure whatever you choose will be the correct choice for your application.



Rob43

Charge Up In About 5 1/2 Hours Using Your 120v Honda OE EVSE At 240 Volts.
Level 2 Charging Adapters: 10 Gauge / 100% Copper Cord, Most are $49 Shipped.
I Build 240v Conversion Pigtails With Almost Any Plug Needed, PM Me If You Need One.
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