Smart Plug / Outlet questions

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by barrist, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Hi there
    We just signed the agreement to purchase a 2020 Prime!

    Had a question(s) about charging in our garage:

    - The most convenient outlet may be the duplex outlet one in the ceiling. One outlet is used by our garage door opener. Is it okay to use the other outlet for charging the Prime?
    - If so, would it also be okay to use a smart plug on the outlet? Was thinking of the TP-Link KP400 Outdoor Plug (garage is unheated, so it gets pretty cold here in the winter) since all my other smart plugs/switches are TP-Link too. It's rated for 15A. (sorry can't post links yet)

    The Smartplug has two outlets but I would only use one.

    Thanks!
     
    bisco likes this.
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,545
    38,969
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    congrats and welcome!

    we can't answer the first question, because we don't know what is on the circuit.

    toyota recommends a dedicated circuit, but if nothing else on it is being used, you'll be fine. worst case, you trip the breaker and have to install a new circuit for the prime.

    idk anything about smart plugs, why would you want to control it?
     
    barrist likes this.
  3. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    12,086
    6,391
    2
    Location:
    Greenwood MS USA
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Three
    So long as you never use the garage door while charging, it should be fine. Trying to use both is very likely to blow a breaker.

    While i am not sure why you would, a smart plug should be safe.
     
    jerrymildred and barrist like this.
  4. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    87,545
    38,969
    0
    Location:
    boston
    Vehicle:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    i just said that jim (n)
     
  5. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Hmm we use the garage door opener often just to get into the house so that might be a. Issue

    Smart plug is for off peak charging.. the Prime’s scheduling seems a bit cumbersome
     
  6. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2019
    575
    577
    0
    Location:
    NJ
    Vehicle:
    2018 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Plus
    You mean this smart plug?

    [​IMG]

    Why would you want to have a smart plug to charge your Prime?

    I use a variety of smart plugs/bulbs (mostly to control lighting), but I don't see the value of controlling Prime charging with a smart plug. If you want to take advantage of TOU pricing, you can just set a charging schedule within the Prime directly (I have mine set to finish charging just before I leave for work each morning).
     
  7. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Yep that's the one

    So or us, we still commute by public transit for work so the scheduling to finish charging before work wouldn't work in our case. Our car usage would be more sporadic.. So I was thinking of just leaving the charger in to keep it "topped up" but have it only charging during off-peak.

    I'll take a look at the scheduling in the Prime itself again though to see if anything works for us. Thanks
     
  8. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2017
    1,640
    2,216
    9
    Location:
    California
    Vehicle:
    2016 Prius
    Model:
    Three Touring
    I wouldn’t recommend it, for one of the same reasons that Toyota warns against using extension cords and power strips (Quick Guide (PDF), page 5): the Toyota charging cable has a temperature sensor in the plug, to protect against overheating if there is a poor connection between the plug and the receptacle outlet. Putting another device in the circuit defeats this protection.

    As @noonm kindly suggests, you can use the car’s own charging timer (Quick Guide, pages 18–22) instead.
     
    GKL likes this.
  9. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Thanks!

    I looked at the charge timer guide again. I'm trying to figure out what the best way to have it only charge during off-peak without it being too cumbersome.

    If my off-peak starts at 7PM, does it make sense to just set a Start time to charge at 7PM during the week? I'm guessing it'll charge to full and then stop? I imagine the battery may discharge slowly through the late night so I may not have a full full battery the next day.

    What if I happen to be out and come home after 7PM, and plug it in; does it start charging or did it "miss" the scheduled start time?
     
  10. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    1,277
    900
    0
    Location:
    VA, BMW Race Car, BMW R1200R, BMW 330Ci, Ford F350
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    Welcome to PriusChat !

    *********************

    Do you have any type of conveniently located 240 volt outlet anywhere near your Prime ?


    Rob43
     
  11. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Thank you! Excited to join the club

    No, it's something we've discussed having installed, but I think it would be sometime in the future.
     
  12. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2014
    1,277
    900
    0
    Location:
    VA, BMW Race Car, BMW R1200R, BMW 330Ci, Ford F350
    Vehicle:
    2013 Prius v wagon
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    OK, got it.

    Just remember that "if & when" you make the jump to 240v for faster charging times, your current Toyota OE EVSE (charger) works perfectly at 240 volts. Your charging times will drop down to about 2:28 minutes.


    Rob43
     
  13. CraigM

    CraigM Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    208
    205
    0
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    You might check into setting the in car timer to FINISH just prior to your Departure time, or the ending time for the lower cost charging. I normally leave home at 8:40, and have the in car timer set to finish at 8:30.
     
    jerrymildred likes this.
  14. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    7,484
    9,189
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    I ALWAYS use the departure time so that the car isn't sitting long term with a full battery. Sitting fully charged for hours on end day after day will reduce the lifespan of the battery which is why Toyota offers the departure time setting. The traction battery will not self discharge while sitting fully charged overnight, but it will age more quickly.

    Since your driving is sporadic, you can try to guesstimate a rough schedule and use that for a base. Then you can work around it by either not plugging it in or using the "Charge Now" feature to over ride the schedule. I do that several times a week because, while I have a regular work schedule and more or less regular evening meetings, they sometimes get cancelled or will vary with time of year.
     
  15. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    3,121
    1,406
    0
    Location:
    USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius c
    Model:
    Four
    Waiting for someone else to ask but nobody did................

    I can't in my wildest imagination see how an outlet IN THE CEILING could be the "most convenient" one, unless maybe it is the ONLY one.
    Do you intend to climb up a ladder each day to plug it in ?

    Although an extension cord is not recommended, one can be used if sized properly.

    What if you back the car in ?? Would that make another outlet more convenient ?
    I just don't think the ceiling outlet is an acceptable option.
     
    Salamander_King likes this.
  16. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2015
    5,843
    4,560
    0
    Location:
    New England
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    LE
    Welcome to join the forum and Congrats on our new PRIME. As others have chimed in Toyota recommends dedicated circuit for charger, but as long as total amp from the charger (12A max), your garage the garage door opener and other electric devices on the same circuit is less than allowed on your circuit (usually 15A), you are OK. I use on my garage with two garage door openers, large freezer, and light (total of 9 bulbs), but in my last 3 years of charging, the breaker has never tripped. I don't usually use the garage door while charging, but the freezer compressor may come on during the night while charging. I just looked up, typical 1/2 HP garage opener motor draws ~4.5 amp/540 W. So, both the charger 12Amp and opener 4.5Amp on at the same time will exceed 15Amp. You may have to schedule the charge to start after you leave the garage and finish before you open the garage. If you must use both charger and door opener and that trips your breaker, you may have to upgrade your garage electrical wiring.

    The smart plug you described is probably useless for scheduling charging time. The EVSE needs outlet electricity to perform routine safety checks before the actual charging starts. If you cut off the power and turn it on at the later time by the smart plug, I bet the EVSE will throw an error. Besides the functionality problem, using the smart plug between the EVSE and outlet is dangerous. Even though it may be rated 15A, most of the internal components of those plugs are cheaply made and may not be able to handle the heat generated by constant 12A draw. The best solution as others has said is to use PRIME's charge scheduling. If your TOU is 7PM to 6 AM for example, but your departure time is later or variable, just use "departure" at 6AM (or 5AM to be safe), this way charge will start around midnight every day and finish by 5-6AM.
     
  17. barrist

    barrist New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2020
    10
    2
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Vehicle:
    2020 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Technology
    Thanks everyone !

    I just noticed we do have an outlet hiding behind a shoe rack so I think we can use that which would be a lot better.

    I’ll keep thinking about what scheduling option to use. I didn’t know a smart plug would cause an error, that’s too bad!
     
  18. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    7,484
    9,189
    0
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Premium
    It sounds like with your schedule, or lack thereof, the best you can do is use the car's scheduler with departure time and set it to finish as late as you can get away with to take advantage of the TOU savings.

    I'm glad you found out that there's another outlet. That sounds much better. There still could be something else on that same breaker though. I found you that the outlet I was using was on the same circuit as at least one of the outlets in our bedroom. The vacuum cleaner helped with that discovery. :LOL: Time will tell.
     
  19. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2017
    566
    870
    19
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts USA
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    I'm not sure the "smart plug" would cause an error. It would be the same as unplugging the EVSE from the outlet and plugging it back in while connected to the vehicle. Could be a problem if the electronics in the EVSE detects something it does not like, such as the neutral being switched by the "smart plug" while the hot stayed connected.

    Obviously, it's going to be better if you connect the EVSE to an outlet within easy reach rather than trying to hang it from the ceiling.

    As for sharing a circuit with your garage door opener, keep in mind that the opener draws its maximum current briefly when it starts and then draws less current once the door is in motion. Similarly, your Prime's EVSE will draw around 12 amps when first connected but will draw less current as your Prime's traction battery becomes more fully charged. Although your house circuit may be protected by a 15-amp breaker, the breaker will ignore the brief surge when the garage door opener starts and my not trip even if the EVSE is using the same circuit. Not the best situation -- the EVSE really prefers its own circuit -- but possibly something you can live with.

    Of course, if the only way you get into your garage is with the electric opener, it would be bad if the Prime were inside drawing its fully 12 amps when you try to open the garage door from the outside and your circuit breaker trips. That would be kinda like hitting the lottery in reverse.
     
  20. CraigM

    CraigM Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2017
    208
    205
    0
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Vehicle:
    2017 Prius Prime
    Model:
    Prime Advanced
    I think it’s common for the garage, outdoor and outlets near water (sinks) to be on the same CFI circuit? I discovered when I got my first EV that I couldn’t charge the car at the same time my wife used her hair dryer.
     
Loading...