Considering getting a 16 amp charger, anyone have any experience?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by brentac, Dec 5, 2018.

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  1. brentac

    brentac Member

    I have an available 220 outlet in my garage I'm considering buying a portable charger for. It can only go up to 20 amps so obviously I can't get a 32 amp for full level 2 speeds.

    Does any one have any experience using a 16amp one? I realize it would be slower (but still faster than my level 1).
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  3. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Yes, I use an Aerovironment Turbocord plugged into a NEMA 6-20 outlet that charges 16A at 240V. Works great. The Turbocord can also be used with a 120V outlet, which do with no problem in a standard wall outlet on a 20A circuit. If you have an available 220-240 outlet in the garage on a 20A circuit, by all means use it!
  4. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    Is it the 220v outlet that is limited to 20 amps, or the charger?
  5. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    I know you're asking the OP, but in my case it's the outlet. It's on a 20A CB.
  6. brentac

    brentac Member

    We had a 32 amp chargpoint hardwired in and at the same time a separate 20 amp outlet installed. According to the electrician it can take a 16amp charger but not the 32. (We did it this way in case we chose to get a second faster charger, as at the time we weren't sure what we would want to do)
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  8. Robert_Alabama

    Robert_Alabama Well-Known Member

    @brentac, you say circuit is 20A, I assume this is the breaker size? What size wire on the 20A breaker, probably #10 copper? Did the electrician limit the circuit to 20A due to panel or service entrance size or just to cut costs? I'm just wondering if you can change out the breaker and increase amp rating safely. Probably can't go to 40A, but you may be able to go to 30A, giving you a little more charging power available (I have a homebuilt OpenEVSE Level 2 charger can be set to 16A, 20A, 24A, 30A, etc).
  9. brentac

    brentac Member

    There were various reasons I think but he talked mostly with my wife (she’s an engineer so she gets that’s tiff better than me)

    But I’m just wondering if people are happy with the 16s as that’s what I’ll be getting.
  10. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    To put some numbers to it, you'll get over 2 times faster charging with 16A 240V level 2 compared to 12A 120V level 1. Go for it.
  11. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Even more than twice as fast. 12 x 120 is 1440 watts. 16 x 240 is 3840 watts. Will actually charge 2.67 times faster.

    20 amp 240 circuits are very common in garages. Some heaters, air compressors, power saws, etc. they’re normally wired with 12 gauge 2 conductor just like the typical 20 amp 120v circuits in many houses. I have installed 3 such circuits in my workshop...compresssor, radial arm saw, and air conditioner.

    If you have it, absolutely use it. No reason to believe the chargers are inferior in any way...most people just don’t buy them because they get the 32 amp versions.

    Do It!
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  13. Electra

    Electra Active Member

    What Amp breaker is connected to the 220V outlet? And what is the 20 Amp outlet? 6-20? Ask your wife those questions.

    Look on nomenclature:
  14. Dmiko

    Dmiko New Member

    After using the EVSE included with the car (120v/12amp), I switched to a Duosida L1/L2 16amp EVSE. Now, instead of 1.4 KW, it draws 1.9KW, so a full charge at 120v takes 8 hours instead of 12. On 240v, that same charger only takes about 4 hours.
    To put it another way, included charger added 4 miles of range per hour, this new charger does 6 on 120v and 12 on 240v.
    Make sure the breaker and circuit are 20amp (continuous 80%: 16amp allowed) and doesn't have any other appliances connected.
    lessismore likes this.
  15. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Getting mired down in the mud here I think. Sandroads answers are rock solid, and specific to the question asked up top. Some others are kinda irrelevant and drifting off topic. To be fair I’ll include my own reply in that 2nd grouping.

    Brentac, Sandroad addresses the exact thing you’re asking about, including voltage, outlet type, how it works, and all...focus on his replies so you don’t get too confused.
  16. stacey burke

    stacey burke Active Member

    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  17. ab13

    ab13 Active Member

    I was just going to note this one too, since I saw the ad with a discounted price at the moment. It is apparently the same one sold with GM and Ford vehicles.
  18. zman

    zman New Member

  19. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    Not in my garage. I have only single phase power there (fed by a single CB from the house ). It might an unusual situation to have both phases (legs) of 120V available in close enough proximity to use this device and not already have 240V. Further, IMHO, this device is not a permanent substitute for a hardwired 240V outlet.
  20. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Does your garage had two dedicated 20 amp circuits each with NEMA 5-20 outlets? Then yes. I find this highly unlikely. Nearly every home on the continent utilizes shared NEMA 5-15 amp outlets, with multiple outlets on one circuit. While many are indeed on 20 amp circuit breakers with 12 ga wire, that is fully irrelevant here. This product won’t even plug into the typical household outlet. And if you were to swap a pair of your garage outlets so it does plug in? You’d be violating code everywhere, and potentially overloading the circuit.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018
  21. Maybe a good place to ask this...sorry if it’s a derail.

    I have 30A 220v running to a bifold hangar door in my attached garage/hangar. I’m thinking about using it for a Level 2 charger as well, putting safeguards in place so that both could never be used at once.

    Possible problem: the power feed consists of 2 “hots”* and a ground - no neutral.


    Do portable Level 2 chargers typically need a neutral?

    *Though the diagram shows a black and white feed providing the 220v, in my installation they’re both black, which I think is more to code.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  22. Sandroad

    Sandroad Well-Known Member

    My Aerovironment portable Level 2 charger uses a NEMA 6-20 receptacle that only needs 2 hots and a ground. No need for a neutral on a 3-wire 240V.
  23. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    No neutral is needed, 2 hots are fine. This is because there is no such thing as a "neutral" on any 240 volt circuit. The 4th wire found on NEMA 14 series plugs only serves as a return to allow a 120v leg to be run on campers, etc...but it has absolutely nothing to do with the 240V aspect of the circuit, and to put it simply and to answer your question, NO level 2 chargers need or use a neutral. Even if the plug and the conductors exist (as they do on some), that 4th leg is just a dead connection that serves no purpose.

    HOWEVER...before you do anything else...first check what size wire is on the circuit in the building. This is critical to ensure you're not overloading with whatever charger you buy. Clarity can pull 32 amps when a 30 amp circuit running your doors likely is wired with only 10 gauge copper. If this is the case, make sure whatever charger you purchase can't possibly exceed 24 amps of continuous draw...24 continuous amps is the limit on a 30 amp circuit with 10GA wire, according to the "80% rule" (which is also a misnomer...actually it's the 125% rule if you read NEC 210.19...but it's the same math, just a different way to get there...)
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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