AC Outlet heating up when charging w/Extension Cord

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by MisterS, Sep 24, 2018.

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  1. MisterS

    MisterS New Member

    I have had an issue with charging (My volt before this). I have an extension cord plugged into a grounded outlet. That extension cord is plugged into the charger. I have noticed that it gets really warm now (almost hot to the touch sometimes) so I have stopped charging this way. I plan on calling an electrician, but wondering if anyone else has had this issue. I had a CHEVY VOLT for 4 years and charged it regularly this way, but it wasn't until the last few months that I noticed the socket getting warm.
    Is it the extension cord?
    Does the outlet need changing?
    There is another socket closer, but it is not grounded therefore it does not work so when I have an electrician come out, will have to weigh options, but was hoping someone else had similar experience for the solution. Thank you
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  3. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Active Member

    You have done the correct thing and have already called for the solution. Outlet getting this hot suggests developing spot of high resistance from loose connection or corrosion. Will eventually melt insulation and/or start a fire. This dangerous possibility needs to be evaluated.—extension cord likely a red herring or at least diagnosis of exclusion. Don’t use the outlet for anything.

    It may be that the electrician can not only fix the outlet, but also extend the grounded outlet to someplace more convenient.
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  4. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    The built-in charger in a pre-2019 Chevy Volt pulls about half the current of a Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. That's why the Clarity can recharge in half the time.

    Edit: I was referring to 240-volt charging. On 120 volts, a heavy extension cord should be able to handle the 10.3 amps people report the Clarity draws because most outlets are rated at 15 amps minimum (assuming it's not servicing the garage refrigerator and Foreman grill, too).
  5. Yes, call an electrician.

    That said, make sure that your extension is as short as it can be and is at least 14 guage. I believe that 120 volt charging draws about 10 to 11 amps and this current requires a 14 guage cord. However, I was extra safe and bought a 12 guage cord which handles up to 20 amps. It is very slightly warm when charging. I had been using a smaller and longer cord, which was noticiably I bought the higher gague cord and feel much safer now.

    But, please call an electrician.
  6. jorgie393

    jorgie393 Active Member

    I jumped to a bit of a conclusion above: when you said “it” was almost too hot to touch I thought you meant the outlet. That was so horrifying (as a former electrician’s assistant—but to be clear, never independently licensed) that it caught my attention and I went straight to the worst case scenario.

    However, perhaps you meant the cord or plug end. Which it is?

    The reason extension cords are not rated for permanent use is because they fray and weaken and develop areas of high resistance.

    If it’s the cord that is getting hot—that makes me a bit less concerned for your safety (compared to a loose connection in the outlet). Still don’t use the cord or the outlet—but this makes the point that extension cords (which can and do start fires) are not good long-term solutions. When the electrician comes, see about extending the circuit to closer to your car so you don’t need the cord at all. If it’s a garage, can perhaps be done with surface mounted conduit even if there’s no way to run the wire in the wall.

    And even without certainty, I would throw this extension cord away. Not worth saving $15 to risk a house fire, or low-voltage to your $30k car.
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  8. qtpie

    qtpie Active Member

  9. MisterS

    MisterS New Member

    Thank you to everyone who replied. An electrician came by and he thinks there is a loose wire. I will also look to possibly move an outlet so I do not need an extension cord and/or possibly get a new higher gauge extension cord. I might even bite the bullet and get an EV Charger installed in my garage. But thank you for your feedback. Enjoying the first month of my Clarity..2,000 miles and counting.

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