Smart plug use to control charging - any long-term users?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Kramcccdffff, Dec 28, 2020.

  1. Kramcccdffff

    Kramcccdffff New Member

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    there. I know there have been a few discussions about this already, but I can't see anyone that has posted a long-term report on using a smart plug to control the charging of their plug-in Prius via the wall socket charging cable that comes with the vehicle.

    I totally understand that there's a scheduling function built in to the car, but sometimes I might just want to start / stop charging without having to go into the vehicle to do so. I have a number of smart devices at home, so this way of controlling devices works for me and would be great if I could extend it to the car without having to purchase a dedicated charging point.

    I live in the UK, so have 240V electricity...I have no idea whether that has any bearing on whether smart plugs are ok to use or not (please excuse my ignorance)...I know there are several schools of thought floating on the forum, but I'd love to hear about anyone who is using a smart plug that can be controlled via their phone to charge their Prius and has been doing so for a while without (or with) any issues.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have not used a smart plug to control my PP charging, but have used a kill-a-watt meter on the wall for over three years without any ill effect. One possible problem is the quality and durability issue. Some cheap smart plugs even if rated for 15A, can not sustain a constant 12A load for repeated use. I have had a few of those cheap smart plug die after a while using on high load appliances such as electric kettle or space heater.
     
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  3. Kramcccdffff

    Kramcccdffff New Member

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    Hi - I just thought I’d update you on this in case anyone else planned to use a smart plug to control their charging. In the UK, we have a company called Hive (part of British Gas), and it was this brand I planned to use as a smart plug for charging my Prius. (Hive call it an Active plug, but it’s just a standard smart plug.)

    I submitted an enquiry as well as spoke to a representative at Hive and they both stated the smart plug would be ok to use. So far I’ve had no issues; whether that remains the case is another story(!), but so far so good.
    From memory, I think the plug is rated for 13A and 3kW.

    hope that helps :)
     
  4. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    Let us know how it goes longer term. That could be very helpful for others considering a smart plug. The only potential problem I can foresee is turning it off before it's done charging. That could cause more rapid wear on the contacts in the smart plug due to them opening while carrying high current. AC isn't as bad as DC, but there is still an arc most times. The turning on function won't have that problem because the car won't ask for power until it and the EVSE have agreed that it's OK to do so.
     
  5. Rolla01

    Rolla01 New Member

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    I do use a Wemo Insight plug to control the charging. I found the build-in Prime scheduling is not very convenient. Sometime I just forgot to hit the "charge now" button if I am not within my scheduled charge time, wish I have the "charge now" button where the EV plug is. And the Insight plug can estimate power usage.

    I have few schedules setup (like 25%, 50%, 100% - 1 hour/2.5 hour/5.5 hour), and I will enable the schedule according to my departure time. Also I have a timer put in the smart plug, so that the charger is automatically turned off after 5.5 hour if I turn it on manually.
     
  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    You can override the scheduled time charge by plugging in the charge cord and remove it and within a second or two re-plug into the charge port. This will start the "Charge Now" mode.
     
    #6 Salamander_King, Jan 8, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2021
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  7. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    +1 on @Salamander_King's comment. I do this several times a week. Sometimes I forget to hit "Charge Now," and other times it's just that something comes up.
     
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