Newbie Prius Plug In Owner - Charging at work question

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Tony Prius, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Tony Prius

    Tony Prius New Member

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    Hi all, I am about to pick up my 2013 PiP in about an hour and I had a quick question about charging at work. I work at a large office complex and park in a parking garage that is available to some employees of the building. After one of the building maintenance workers keyed me in, I found what looks like a regular outlet in the lower level corner of the parking garage. I don't want to plug the car into an outlet that has too much juice, but I'm assuming this is a regular 120v outlet. Is there a way for me to confirm this so I can plug in while I'm at work? My fear is that aimlessly plugging into any old outlet will damage the car. If this is a somewhat ignorant question, I apologize in advance. Thanks for all of your help.
     
  2. Valencia Orange

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    I cant answer your questions, but congratulations on your New PIP. You will love it.
     
  3. jfschultz

    jfschultz Active Member

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    Welcome to the world of PiP! One thing is to check with the building management on whether it is OK to plug in.
     
  4. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    Plugging the car into a random outlet won't hurt the car, but the point is well taken to get permission from building management before plugging it in. The main issue is whether that circuit can handle the load. (OK, and the $0.50/day it may cost in electricity.)
     
  5. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat! i concur on getting permission. there are only two kinds of outlets, 120v and 240v. the plugs are different, so you can't make a mistake. all the best!(y)
     
  6. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    Just check the plug voltage with a multimeter.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Tony Prius

    Tony Prius New Member

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    Hi everyone. Thanks so much for your advice. I wills peak to the building management. In the mean time, on my first commute to work today it said that I got a whopping 172 mpg. I used electric on the back roads and the hybrid engine on the highway (electric when traffic slowed). Does that seem like a correct figure? I know there are a bunch of variables, but my commute this morning due to a detour was about 20 miles. Pretty insane and exciting.
     
  8. zhenya

    zhenya Active Member

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    Yes, that sounds right if you were largely on electric. Note that value assumes the cost of electricity is zero, so isn't a real reflection of the actual energy used to travel that distance. For that calculation we use MPGe - there are lots of threads here where you can read about this.

    I would also encourage you to speak to the building owners before plugging in!
     
  9. mmmodem

    mmmodem Taste Tester

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    There's a button on the EVSE to check the electricity going into the plug. Is it too naïve to think this button check isn't sufficient enough to confirm the plug is good? If not? Call me bliss.
     
  10. Michael33

    Michael33 Member

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    That button checks the EVSE itself, and maybe that the outlet is grounded. (The EVSE should indicate no ground even if the button isn't pushed.) It has no way of "knowing" if there is enough capacity left in the circuit to provide you with 12 amps and not trip a breaker or blow a fuse. That's the #1 reason you should check with the building staff. Make sure to mention that it requires 12 amps.
     
  11. giora

    giora Senior Member

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    Another reason to always ask is that you don't know the condition of the socket/circuit. Even if its breaker has more that you need capacity a loose wire or poor contact may cause socket burned down or even catch fire. Who would be held responsible then?
     
  12. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    After you test the voltage of the outlet with a multimeter, you can then test if the outlet is wired correctly with one of these. When all the testing is done, then you can ask for permission. This is what I did to use the outlet at work.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Michael33

    Michael33 Member

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    When I was rewiring my house many years ago, I found that you can easily check outlets for ground and polarity with a simple test light. Just place one pin of the tester (grasping the insulated handle areas) in the smaller slot (this should be the "Hot" one) and the other on the outlet cover screw. If the light lights up, you have a ground and the polarity is right. If it doesn't, first put the light prongs in both slots: if it lights, try using the large slot and the cover screw. If that works, you have reversed polarity and the outlet was wired backwards. If neither slot plus the center screw or box gives you a light, you have no ground in that outlet. If the outlet isn't grounded but you can get a light by touching the Hot slot and the metal outlet *box* only, then the outlet isn't grounded, but *can be*, just by adding a grounding wire to the box.
     
  14. ukr2

    ukr2 Senior Member

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    Ask for permission BEFORE testing.
     
  15. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    You test it first. This way you know if it's even worth pursuing. Takes 2 seconds.
     
  16. Bill Collins

    Bill Collins Junior Member

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    My signature on a lot of forums is
    "Better to ask forgiveness then to ask for permission and be denied" I say go for it
    Thats why theres an outlet in a parking spot
    For tenemts use or a homeless to plug in his blanket
     
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  17. Tony Prius

    Tony Prius New Member

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    Thanks for all of the responses. By way of an update, I took the advice from both schools of thought. I asked for permission (still waiting to hear back -- they had me send an email) but while I wait I am charging everyday. It doesn't seem like anyone really cares.

    In other news, I have been consistently getting an electric range of about 18 miles on my commute to work, which gets me to work not using one drip of gas. Very excited about that...
     
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