Kieran973
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Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:00 pm

I'm talking to an electrician about charging options where I live. I'm not sure which type of EVSE I'm going to go with yet (L1 vs. L2, # of amps, etc. - it depends on a lot of factors related to the wiring in my place), but I do know it will be a plug-in EVSE (not a hardwired one). So my question is: what is safer as a regular, year-round practice, leaving the EVSE plugged into the wall permanently, or unplugging it and plugging it back in every day? It seems like if you leave it plugged in permanently, the danger is that it's always drawing at least some amount of electric current. But if you unplug it and plug it back in every day, the danger is that the outlet and the EVSE will wear over time. What do others on this forum do/think? Thanks.

wwhitney
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Location: Berkeley, CA

Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 1:20 pm

Definitely leave it plugged in.

Cheers, Wayne

MikeD
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Leaf Number: 592

Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 2:32 pm

Kieran973: You asked about a particular SAFETY issue -- more broadly IMHO the charging circuit should be:
1) dedicated (i,e, only a single outlet) -- don't want another circuit device that might cause overloading
2) outlet receptacle NOT a locking type -- don't want to increase the possibility of ripping the receptacle/cord apart by a large force (think speakers at a drive-in movie if you're old enough)
3) protected by GFCI breaker -- to greatly reduce shock risk while plugging/unplugging
4) appropriately located -- you want to reach the charging port w/o using an extension cord (also want to reduce tripping danger)
5) preferably indoors or, if not, appropriately "weatherproofed" -- water makes for a dangerous ground (why GFCI is so valuable)
6) not within reach of a permanent ground -- if possible you want to avoid the possibility of touching a live prong and a ground at the same time (why GFCI is so valuable)
7) use plugin EVSE providing high temp protection at plug -- to detect loose connection(s) at receptacle (especially important if EVSE unplugged frequently or high current EVSEs). I know Nissan EVSEs since 2013 MY have provided this as they have Leaf Owner's Manual documentation, but I don't know the EVSE model # for them.
10) any other common sense precaution -- !!

Note that most of these concerns are eliminated by choosing to install a direct wired EVSE -- significantly safer and there are more options to choose from with direct wired EVSEs (for example, like "Share2" EVSEs from Clipper Creek that allow two such EVSEs to operate safely when your home's service only has capacity for one EVSE to charge at a time).
Last edited by MikeD on Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:44 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Dooglas
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Location: Oregon City, OR

Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Kieran973 wrote:So my question is: what is safer as a regular, year-round practice, leaving the EVSE plugged into the wall permanently, or unplugging it and plugging it back in every day? It seems like if you leave it plugged in permanently, the danger is that it's always drawing at least some amount of electric current. But if you unplug it and plug it back in every day, the danger is that the outlet and the EVSE will wear over time. What do others on this forum do/think? Thanks.

I have a Level 2 EVSE. It is plugged into a 30A outlet in my garage which is on a dedicated circuit. I have owned it for something over 5 years. I have never unplugged it from the outlet. Other than for an LED indicator light, why do you think the EVSE draws power when not in use?
2013 Leaf SV - lease ended, 2016 Leaf S30

oz10k
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Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:52 am

I now charge almost exclusively at an outlet in the parking garage at the mall where I work. But when I was charging at home I left the EVSE plugged-in all the time. As you mentioned, I did that to avoid wear and tear on the outlet. If you do leave it plugged-in all the time, just make sure you have some way of holding it in place, so that the weight of the EVSE is not on the outlet.

If you want to be very green and eliminate all energy usage when you're not using it, just add a wall switch to control the outlet.

Check Amazon, there are several multi-voltage, multi-current EVSEs that will give you lots of flexibility.

Ron

WetEV
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Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:37 am

Dooglas wrote:I have a Level 2 EVSE. It is plugged into a 30A outlet in my garage which is on a dedicated circuit. I have owned it for something over 5 years. I have never unplugged it from the outlet. Other than for an LED indicator light, why do you think the EVSE draws power when not in use?


My EVSE has a WIFI connection, a tiny Linux computer as well as some other electronics. Total draw is about 1 W typical, manual says "Less than 9 Watts".
WetEV
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Dooglas
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Location: Oregon City, OR

Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 5:46 pm

WetEV wrote:My EVSE has a WIFI connection, a tiny Linux computer as well as some other electronics. Total draw is about 1 W typical, manual says "Less than 9 Watts".

I see you live near Seattle, so your electrical rate must be something aroung 10 cents per kwh. A constant draw of 1 W would be something less than 8 cents a month or about 90 cents per year. Your call.
2013 Leaf SV - lease ended, 2016 Leaf S30

Kieran973
Posts: 22
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Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:20 pm

Thanks, everyone - those comments were helpful. After reading everyone's thoughts and thinking more about it, this is what I'm leaning towards doing:

I rent the 2nd floor apartment in a three floor house. There's a detached garage in the driveway with working 120V outlets but some pretty old and suspect wiring. My original plan was to park in the driveway in front of the garage and just trickle charge on one of these 120V outlets since my work commute is only 11 miles one-way. But the garage seems like too much of a disaster (structurally it's in bad shape too), so I'd like to find a charging solution using the electricity in the main house. I was looking at the electric panel in my apartment, and I noticed that there's a 20 amp circuit breaker labeled "dedicated line" which connects to an unused outlet in a "bedroom" (more of a glorified closet in the New York area) that I also barely use. So I was thinking I could pay an electrician to run more 20 amp wire (encased in metal piping) from that unused outlet, down the outside of the building, and to either an exterior outlet in the driveway, or a hardwired EVSE in the driveway. The driveway is probably 30 feet down from my apartment. I'm actually leaning toward the hardwired option - getting a Clipper Creek LCS-20 installed on the outside of the main building, and having the electrician hardwire it to the 20 amp circuit coming down from my apartment. But if for whatever reason this doesn't work, my next choice would be the LCS-20P (plug-in version) with all the appropriate waterproof covering over the outlet itself. Does this sound like a good idea? I realize there are much faster L2 charging options, but the wiring on the dedicated circuit is only 20 amps and I'd rather not pay for a brand new circuit (especially since I don't own this place), hence the merely 16 amp EVSE. Do other people on MNL charge at 16 amps on a 20 amp circuit? This would be for a 2018 Leaf. I'd probably charge twice a week, between midnight and 8 am, for 6-7 hours at a time. Thanks.

LeftieBiker
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Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:28 pm

If that 20 amp 'dedicated line' is 120 volts instead of 240, then your best option would be to use a portable charging cable that can be set to 16 amps at 120 volts, and just mount it semi-permanently. The charging stations you reference are 240 volts, so what you'd want for an actual charging station is this:

https://store.clippercreek.com/level-1-16-amp-ev-charging-station-acs-120
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MikeD
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Re: Plug-in EVSE - safer to leave it plugged in all the time, or should I unplug/plug every day?

Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:23 am

Kieran973: As you may already know from talking with your electrician, if the 20a circuit is in fact only 120v and, say, using NM-B 12/2 cable, it may still be possible to convert to 240v (suitable for a L2 EVSE) using that same wiring if there is room in your breaker box for replacing the 120v breaker with a 240v breaker and there is sufficient capacity in the apartment's service.

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