Clarity PHEV Charging Cable and Weather

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ArchdukeTyler, Jun 20, 2018.

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  1. ArchdukeTyler

    ArchdukeTyler New Member

    Hey all!

    I was wondering if anyone knows what sort of weather the box portion of the 120V Charger (that comes with the Clarity) can handle. I know the front end (J1772 plug) can handle rain and such, but I don't have anywhere to hang the actual box part of the charger on the side of my house, and I keep the charger in my car since I charge with it away from home as well. I want to make sure I'm not going to mess anything up by leaving that part out in the rain.

    If it can't handle rain, I may build a little enclosure for it out of wood (I dabble in carpentry at home, so it shouldn't be too hard) that keeps it off the ground and out of reach of rain. I may go ahead and build one for fun regardless of the necessity, but I'd like to know what the charger can handle beforehand.

    Thanks for any help!
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  3. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Follow the lawyers.

    If Honda's 120-volt EVSE was vulnerable to water, there would be warning tags all over it, wouldn't there?

    Edit: I found this mild warning in the Owners Manual:
    Make sure the charging cable is dry. Check that there is no
    water in the immediate area and that your hands are dry.
  4. tim

    tim Member

    Here's my personal experience. I bought a non-Honda charging cable (Dostar Level 1 EV Charging Station 16 Amp 24' Cord) which is rated IP55 (i.e., protection from water, up to water projected by a nozzle against enclosure from any direction). I left the cable out in light to medium rain, and after a few days, it no longer worked (as in the Clarity would no longer charge). After getting a replacement cable, I bought a weatherproof electrical connection box (similar to this one), and I haven't had any problems with rain since then.
  5. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    “Just the facts, Jack!”

    1. The OEM Honda charger supplied with our Claritys is marked “Type 3”.

    2. From the NEMA website, the definition of a Type 3 enclosure:
    “Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (falling dirt and windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow); and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure.

    With those facts, outdoor use of the charger is OK as long as it is not subject to submersion which is why the manual says to keep it 18” off the ground/floor.

    Now the electrical receptacle that makes the connection at the 120v/15a plug is a separate issue and will also have to be considered. According to code, it too must be protected from rain while it is plugged in. Beware, almost all residential and many commercial exterior outlets just have the covers that protect them only when not in use. There are several NEMA approved covers that can be added to your outdoor receptacle if needed. Don’t forget this link in the chain and don’t forget to dry off your hands and the plugs when using them. (We want you on the forum for a long time!)

    Here is one example of the cover for the outlet that I’m talking about. Very simple to add to any outdoor outlet with just a screwdriver and switch-hits for vertical or horizontal duplex outlets. I like his one because it’s deep enough not to strain the cord as it bends 90 degrees at the plug to exit out the bottom. (You don’t want to know how expensive that charger is.)
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  6. Steven B

    Steven B Active Member

    I'd say a cover like that is just a suggestion until someone actually tries it and the Honda cable fits. It's unwieldy and might not allow the cover to close. Plus, you've got to tie up or otherwise secure the brick portion and it would be questionable if the hinges of one of these covers were strong enough to support the brick/cable weight if tied to the cover.
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  8. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Oh ye of little faith, here is your proof.
    I had to take mine off my outdoor brick wall behind shrubbery because I could not get my phone camera to take a good picture there.
    You can see that the extra deep version gives room for the very stout supply cord to bend without overly stressing it. In fact it’s not unwieldy and allows the cover to close completely. It’s not showing, but I did make a little half round cut out on the bottom of the clear cover to make sure I wasn’t abrading the cord where it exits.
    Also there is enough of the gray box that screws to the outlet box to loop a stiff wire over and use the 2 holes in the brick to hang it so there is no weight on the plug, cable, or the hinge cover. Go to the big blue or orange store and look at one to see what I’m talking about.
    So it’s working quite well for my occasional use when a project keeps me from pulling in the garage and using the Level 2. And it’s keeping me safe and my charger in good condition.
    And I forgot to mention in my original post that if you have gaps bigger than the supplied gasket will cover, you should seal them w some silicone caulk.
    You could also build your own larger cover; this is just how I did mine.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2018
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  9. prestoOne

    prestoOne Member

    cover looks like a good idea no mater how the cable is rated.

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