Home 240v Charging Station

Discussion in 'Prime Accessories and Modifications' started by hcprius, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    I'm seeing cables like this online and wondering: Can I get one of these, use the 240 plug in the garage at home, and get fast charging with a 2019 Prius Prime? Safely?

    Any recommendations on cables that have worked for people?
     
  2. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Getting a Prime, eh? I just got mine and it's amazing.

    Except for the label, that's exactly like my Duosaida L2 EVSE. Yes, it will work great. Others have reported seeing the same thing for lower prices, but that's close to what I paid for mine. I wasn't sure if it was worth it when I got it. And it still hasn't paid for itself sheerly on the financial side, but it is mighty convenient and will eventually break even.

    One safety note, though:
    Dryers generally use the center leg as a neutral. If your house is properly wired, the neutral is connected to ground, so technically, it will work as is. But the code forbids using neutral in place of ground and vice versa.

    As an electrician, here's what I would do in my home if I was going to make use of an unused dryer receptacle and had a plug like yours. (In my case I installed a new receptacle, but I was working with the plug on the cable.) I'd turn off the breaker (for safety, it's best to power off the whole panel so you don't have a nasty surprise), find the neutral wire for the receptacle in the breaker panel. Disconnect it, mark it with green electrician's tape, and connect it to the ground. Then, open the receptacle box and mark that end with green tape. And then, clearly mark the cover of the receptacle box with a ground symbol on that "L" shaped prong so others will know that it's ground and not neutral. While this works well, an inspector might flag it when you sell the house.

    The really proper way would be to get the NEMA 14-30 version and install the receptacle for that, but that's a much bigger job since you'd need to pull new wires. Starting from scratch, though, that best. In fact, some people recommend putting in an even bigger circuit in case you get a Tesla or something.

    Also, make sure that the breaker and wires are able to support the 15-16 amps the charger will draw. Here's the chart from the NEC that will help you choose the wire if necessary. At any rate, I'd go with 30A minimum.

    Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 11.33.23 AM.png
     
  3. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    Thanks, this is good stuff. I see you're also in Florida, how much to pop by and install a new outlet for me in the garage? :)

    I think the breaker box is in the garage (the house is under construction), in which case adding a new outlet right there shouldn't be too hard. I had a friend with a non-Prius say he did it himself, and he's not an electrician. I've also asked the builder what it would cost to add that in... Who knows, maybe their electrician would do it on the side as well to make a few extra dollars.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Once the house is closer to done I'll dive in some more.
     
  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    LOL! You know, I'd be glad to help with that if I wasn't so swamped right now. Besides family visiting from out of state, I have some major projects goin one that take up about all of my non-office hours.

    So, your profile says South Carolina and a 2016 Prius. Are both changing at the same time? And where in FL are you building?
     
  5. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    Oh, good catch! I updated my info to get me closer. I'll be moving to Florida and getting the new Prius Prime at about the same time, yes. Won't be there until August-ish though so plenty of time for you to wrap up some projects.

    In all seriousness though I won't be that close to Tampa, so it wouldn't work either way. I'll be up in the panhandle.

    I'll keep you posted on what I do if I remember!
     
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  6. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Yup. Panhandle is a long way from Tampa. LOL!!
     
  7. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    Yes.

    Just watched a little YouTube and, while I'm fully aware this doesn't make me an electrician, I never realized how easy it would be to add a breaker to a breaker box and hook up an outlet. If the breaker box is in the garage, then I might try this myself, with the outlet right next to the box to save me running wire all over the place.

    I won't do what the dude in the video did though. He pointed out what not to touch while working in a breaker box so you don't "get zapped." I'll kill the power!

    Do you have any links that might show what kind of breaker I'd need to add, what wiring to buy, and what kind of outlet should be on the end of the thing please?
     
  8. a_gray_prius

    a_gray_prius Rare Non-Old-Blowhard Priuschat Member

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    Just a bit of warning. If your house burns down in the future, your insurance company could point at the DIY electrical work and use it to deny your a claim. I don't like the situation either, but I've heard some stories first-hand.
     
    #8 a_gray_prius, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  9. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Two to three weeks ago I was in the same research phase you're currently in, and I almost bought into the ~$199 price point for an L2 charger.

    But after much research I changed my mind, here's an alternative that could cap your cost at ~$25 dollars, you'd be able to charge your Prime in 2.5 hours. Try to read past the "sky is falling" nonsense.

    Using the Primes 120v Charger at 240 Volts, Cost $59 !!! | PriusChat


    Rob43

    EDIT: Take a look at this pic from post #2 of my thread, it shows you exactly what you need to make a 10-30P plug application, cost is about ~$20 dollars.
     

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    #9 Rob43, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  10. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    The breaker box is proprietary, breakers for one family of boxes will not work in another family of boxes, so step one is to take a picture of the box. so you know what you need.

    [​IMG]

    When I was planning to add a 240 Breaker in my daughter's carport in WA, I had her take a Pic, and I can see I am dealing with a Square D QO box.

    If I search Amazon for Square D QO breakers, I can find a 240v 20amp Breaker.

    www.amazon.com/s?k=square+d+qo+breaker&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

    The safest breaker is a GFCI breaker www.amazon.com/dp/B00DW472XE
    This will protect her in wet weather.

    I think of house wiring as Romex, it is a brand name like Jello or Kleenex. It is sold by gauge (lower numbers are bigger wires) and the number of conductor besides the ground wire.

    [​IMG]

    For a Prime you need 20 AMP wire so 12 or larger. If you were thinking you might was a BEV later, you could use 8 gauge wire. Most EVSEs are single phase so you only need 12/2 or for an BEV, 8/2. Three phase electricity would use 12/3 or 8/3, etc.

    So as an example: www.amazon.com/dp/B000BPG1ZC

    Now US 120v volt receptacles pretty much all look a like, but 240 volt has a bewildering array of plugs (end in P) and receptacles (end in R). My best advice would be to decide what EVSE you like and buy the Receptacle to match.
    [​IMG]
    I bought a 6-20R as the cheapest EVSEs seemed to use that plug.

    (and when I got there, Shop 220 was an outlet already in place in the carport)

    You want an electrician, but this is going to be his decisions, and knowing what he will need to know, you can tell him enough to make good choices.
     
    #10 JimboPalmer, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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  11. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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  12. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    That's exactly what I did about 5 years ago when I installed a nema 6-20r for my clippercreek unit. Total costs: $27. :whistle:

    Also, my understanding about "dryer" plugs/receptacles is that they don't like a lot of plugging/unplugging cycles and can wear out quickly. You really wouldn't want loose 240v contacts arching! :eek:
     
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  13. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    Awesome, will do. Thank you!

    Good point, no. Wouldn't.

    Could you put a switch on the line, and just leave the charger plugged in?

    Is this the outlet you used? [​IMG]
     
    #13 hcprius, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2019
  14. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    Thank you everyone this is great stuff.
     
  15. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    @JimboPalmer and @jerrymildred

    Very good info. I just heard from the builder and the breaker panel is in the garage, which is terrific news. The electrician that works with them said it'd be crazy easy to drop a line right below the box and put in an outlet. I asked if he'd do the job on the side while building the house, and I'm waiting for an answer.

    If he says yes (or if I hire someone else to do it later) what type of plug would you all recommend I ask for? Someone above mentioned the drier plugs not tolerating a lot of use, and possibly shorting out. Is there a better one for 240, like the Nema 6-20R someone else suggested? I'd need to find a charging unit that worked with it too, so will ping Amazon based on your recommendations.

    Thanks guys!

    @hcprius
     
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  16. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    It would indeed be super easy for him to install the outlet during construction.

    I would suggest putting in a NEMA 6-30 (30A) or 6-50 (50A). Then get the EVSE to match. NEMA 6-20 would work but isn't very future proof if you want to have more amperage available later. The price difference is negligible now.

    As for the dryer receptacle (NEMA 10-30), I've been plugging and unplugging for almost two years and it still takes such a firm pull to unplug it that I'm sure my wife could not do it. I figure that if I feel it starting to loosen, it's very cheap and easy to replace. And in line switch would be nice, but will complicate things with an extra box and extra connections. Handy, though. I wouldn't use the breaker as a switch. That does shorten the lifespan of the breaker.
     
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  17. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes but the ones I've seen posted by other EV owners are a speciality item and are physically huge to handle the load.

    Yup.
     
  18. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Yes good advice. Way back then (6 years ago LOL), 30amp chargers were very expensive so I just went with the basic 16amp model. That's worked fine with the Volt and CMax but now my new Clarity can handle double that.
     
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  19. hcprius

    hcprius Junior Member

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    @jerrymildred Thanks yet again. I'll ask him about the inline switch, maybe it wouldn't cost that much more and provides some extra safety and convenience, plus the NEMA 10-30 EVSEs are the least expensive out there. I couldn't find a NEMA 6-50 EVSE on Amazon for less than around $300 (but just started looking), whereas 10-30's are $199. And if I could just leave it plugged in all the time and kill power to the outlet... Too easy.
     
  20. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    #20 JimboPalmer, Mar 18, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
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