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Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Fri May 28, 2021 10:05 am
by Sanseverino1960
Greetings All,

My first post (3rd visit) here.

I'm a bit confused about the use of an extension cord for the home Charging unit. I read on the forum here, that so long as the extension cord is 14 gauge (another post said 12), or larger, it's OK to use one. But, the Get to Know your Bolt quick start guide says, DO NOT USE AN EXTENSION CORD.

Now, I can understand that many people would try an use the 6', $1.98 cord from the kitchen drawer ;) , but can a Heavy Duty cord be used, or not?

Thank you,

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:39 pm
by marspilgrim
A 110v 15AMP cord will work using the home wall socket. Just get a good contractor grade cord, not some cheap $15 one. Set the car to 12amps (which is 80% of 15amps, the safety rating), or the 8amp setting and that will work. The 8amp setting especially in older homes that could have marginal wiring in the walls. The Bolt's granny charge cable also monitors the temp of the outlet it is plugged into and will fault/stop if it hits a threshold. But you'll notice that even the granny cable seems more robust than an extension cable so it is always advised to use only that between the wall outlet and the car. That said, I do carry a top shelf extension cable in the boot just in case I must charge somewhere off a 110 outlet thirty feet from where I can park.

BUT FOR LEVEL 2 extension you need something like this below. It is designed for the high, constant current of charging an EV and has the same thick cable that the EVSE has.

Here is an example, I'm not saying this particular one is either good or bad:
https://www.amazon.com/Charging-Extensi ... 79&sr=8-22

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:49 pm
by Sanseverino1960
marspilgrim wrote:A 110v 15AMP cord will work using the home wall socket. Just get a good contractor grade cord, not some cheap $15 one. Set the car to 12amps (which is 80% of 15amps, the safety rating), or the 8amp setting and that will work. The 8amp setting especially in older homes that could have marginal wiring in the walls. The Bolt's granny charge cable also monitors the temp of the outlet it is plugged into and will fault/stop if it hits a threshold. But you'll notice that even the granny cable seems more robust than an extension cable so it is always advised to use only that between the wall outlet and the car. That said, I do carry a top shelf extension cable in the boot just in case I must charge somewhere off a 110 outlet thirty feet from where I can park.

BUT FOR LEVEL 2 extension you need something like this below. It is designed for the high, constant current of charging an EV and has the same thick cable that the EVSE has.

Here is an example, I'm not saying this particular one is either good or bad:
https://www.amazon.com/Charging-Extensi ... 79&sr=8-22

Thank you very much. :D

Does the Granny setting increase charging time?

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 6:00 pm
by BoltEV
I had an electrician build me an 100 foot extension cord from 6 gauge wire for my Clipper Creek L2 plug in charger.

It’s all about doing it right.

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2021 9:12 pm
by theothertom
Sanseverino1960 wrote:
marspilgrim wrote:Does the Granny setting increase charging time?

Yes.
The 5 amp setting will increase charging time by a factor of 2.4 vs the 12 amp setting.

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 5:31 pm
by BoltEV
theothertom wrote:
Sanseverino1960 wrote:Does the Granny setting increase charging time?

Yes.
The 5 amp setting will increase charging time by a factor of 2.4 vs the 12 amp setting.

Where does the term "granny" come from and what is its significance?

Both my 2017 and now my 2019 Bolt EVs had a choice of 12A or 8A at 120v; I do not know where a 5A setting comes in play?

You can elect to have the default of 12A when at "home" (and this setting will expire in 90 days) but everywhere else you must remember to manually select 12A when you charge at 120v, otherwise it will go out at 8A.

Charging time at 12A/120v is slow and at 8A it is excruciatingly slow; it takes about 50% longer to charge at 8A than at 12A.

The choice of 12A vs. 8A is strictly related to the ability of your host to provide the amperage needed.

For example at one motel which allowed me to use their 120v outlet for charging their golf carts, 12A was easily available. At another motel, their 120v outlet was shared with the landscape watering controller so I had to limit charging to 8A.

There have been posts that suggest a DIY adapter that will allow the GM supplied charger to work at 240v/12A, which of course reduces the charge time substantially, if 240v is available. DO NOT CUT OFF THE ORIGINAL 120v PLUG, as it has various sensors contained in it for your safety. Use a DIY adapter, if 240v is available.

I carry the 120v/240v 16A AV Turbocord charger (which easily packs into its included zippered small footprint carrying bag) https://info.evsolutions.com/turbocord, heavy duty 120v and 240v extension cords, and an assortment of 240v plug adapters, so I am able to charge at most any 240v outlet I encounter (for example a dryer outlet in a garage or the 240v/50A available at the Flying J Truck Stop at the top of the Grapevine).

I have to admit that with the proliferation of Level 3 DCFC chargers now available to me in California, I rarely use the AV Turbocord anymore.

Re: Extension cord use for 2020 Bolt

Posted: Thu Jun 10, 2021 11:09 pm
by Sanseverino1960
BoltEV wrote:
theothertom wrote:
Sanseverino1960 wrote:Does the Granny setting increase charging time?

Yes.
The 5 amp setting will increase charging time by a factor of 2.4 vs the 12 amp setting.

Where does the term "granny" come from and what is its significance?

...

I have to admit that with the proliferation of Level 3 DCFC chargers now available to me in California, I rarely use the AV Turbocord anymore.

Most likely, Granny is slang, and slow moving. And, at 8 Amps (I too don't know where the 5 Amps came into play; on my 2002 Bolt, 8 is as low as it goes), it'll take longer to top off.

Oh, a AV Turbocord? Where did you buy it (I looked on Amazon, and nothing by that name showed up)? Did it come with the car (mine has only the 110/120 V)?

BoltEV wrote:I had an electrician build me an 100 foot extension cord from 6 gauge wire for my Clipper Creek L2 plug in charger.

It’s all about doing it right.

Cool. How much did that cost?

I do have a 25 foot 12 gauge 15 Amp cord. So, I should be OK with that (otherwise, I'll have to open a window, and let the cord hang out).