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heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 11:44 am
by Kieran973
Does anyone carry a heavy duty extension cord in their Leaf for occasional, emergency L1 charging? If so, what kind? I'm thinking of times when I may be traveling through remote areas and planning on using L1 charging overnight, only to find that the 110-120V wall outlet I need is out of reach of the EVSE. I was thinking a 50 foot 10 gauge (extra heavy duty) outdoor rated cord would be appropriate. Does this sound right? Does anyone recommend a certain brand? Thanks.

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:02 pm
by kuroneko
I use a short 12 gauge extension cord to reach my outlet when I park just a little to far away. I was told by the electrician installing my outlet that using a 12 gauge cord was fine since it's the same gauge as the wire running from the outlet to the breaker. If you can get a 10 gauge that's probably even better, but I don't know if you need a whole 50 feet of it. I haven't had to plug in anywhere else besides home yet, but the EVSE cord is plenty long in its own. I can't imagine really needing more than a 25 foot extension cord in most situations, but you have a better idea of what you'll be dealing with in your travels. Just keep in mind that you still have to store the cord in your Leaf and you don't want it looped over itself while in use (it could get too hot and melt/catch fire).

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:24 pm
by umdkevin
I don't carry it in the car but got a pair of them from Costco. Strong and you can't go wrong with Costco.

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 1:27 pm
by mwalsh
Have a 12/3 25' cord for L1 opportunity charging and a 10/3 50' cord for L2 opportunity charging. They are both permanently stored in the car.

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 3:43 pm
by jjeff
While it's true that more than likely it will only be 12g wiring behind the wall, I still like 10g for high continuous draw uses like our Leaf. Well actually I'd probably be OK with 12g using the stock 12/13a Leaf EVSE but my portable EVSE is capable of 16 or even up to 19a in which case I'd really want the heavier 10g.
Thinking it through, if your only going to use the stock EVSE(12a) a decent 12g extension cord up to 50' should be fine. If going to 100' maybe 10g might be warranted but 10g is much harder to find and costs significantly more, oh and is heavier/bulkier too. AFA where to purchase one, Costco or if you have a Menards near you would be a good place to get a decent 12g 50' cord, Menards and possibly Home Depot should sell one 10g 50' model but expect to pay 50% more than a 12g model. Costco won't sell 10g.
Not sure where you live but in my area one of the most important thing about an extension cord is how it handles cold weather, the cheap orange ones(generally only 16g or maybe 14g) get so stiff in below freezing temps they are almost impossible to coil back up. The yellow or blue are better suited for below freezing and for sure below zero temp use.
Oh one nice feature is if the female end of the extension cord lights up when power is present, makes it quick and easy to check if the outlet has power.
Edit, I see your in NY, I guess it can get cold in NY so I'd really avoid the orange non-cold weather rated cords, they are crap in cold weather!

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 3:51 pm
by Kieran973
Thanks for the advice, all. I ended up going with the Iron Forge 10/3 25' cable. Lately I've had trouble posting links to items for sale on amazon, so I'm not sure it will show up but this is what I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078K ... prod_image

It has lighted plugs and a lifetime warranty, and it's UL listed and only cost $29. In the comments section on the amazon page, there were reviews specifically from EV owners saying that they use this extension cord regularly for L1 charging and it never gets even slightly warm. I don't think I would ever use this more than on rare occasions, but it's good to know that it apparently works well...

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Fri May 17, 2019 4:23 pm
by jjeff
Kieran973 wrote:Thanks for the advice, all. I ended up going with the Iron Forge 10/3 25' cable. Lately I've had trouble posting links to items for sale on amazon, so I'm not sure it will show up but this is what I bought:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078K ... prod_image

It has lighted plugs and a lifetime warranty, and it's UL listed and only cost $29. In the comments section on the amazon page, there were reviews specifically from EV owners saying that they use this extension cord regularly for L1 charging and it never gets even slightly warm. I don't think I would ever use this more than on rare occasions, but it's good to know that it apparently works well...
Seems like a good price and probably a decent cord, my only worry(at least in my state) would be it's not really rated for cold weather use. One MN reviewer said it starts to get stiff at 40 and by 30 it gets noticeably stiffer, my guess is by -0F temps you wouldn't be able to bend it :(
I have my fair share of extension cords that get stiff when it gets cold, it's amazing how a flexible cord at 70 can be as stiff as a board at -0F :shock:

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 3:16 pm
by smkettner
I used a 5' appliance cord the first 5 months of owning my 2011 LEAF to charge on L1.
Appliance cord was #14 wire. Never got warm. Maybe the outlet got a bit warm but not the cord.

Can't imagine you need more than #12 wire even if you go out 100'

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Sat May 18, 2019 9:25 pm
by Kieran973
Seems like a good price and probably a decent cord, my only worry(at least in my state) would be it's not really rated for cold weather use
OK, I totally didn't realize that when I bought it. Oh well, I guess I won't be using it in extreme sub-freezing temperatures. We don't have that many days below 20F where I live anyway, but thanks for pointing that out...

Re: heavy duty extension cord for emergency L1 charging?

Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 9:10 am
by danrjones
I use a 12 gauge cord I got at home depot, maybe 50ft?

After charging for 8 hours it gets a tad warm in the foot or two near the outlet, but nothing scary.

Been charging about every other or every third night for 8 hrs, rain too, for a month now.

Finally just got a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed so now I can Lvl2 charge at 6.6 but last night I still used the 120v.

Seems to me a slower charging rate in a hot climate like mine is a good thing when I'm not in a hurry.