wall outlet for charging at 120 volt at home

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by alittleboy, Aug 13, 2018.

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  1. alittleboy

    alittleboy New Member

    Just wonder if we need to re-install the wall outlet in the garage to make sure it has at least 15 amps, say installing a 20 amps one? From the user manual:

    Make sure to use a dedicated and properly grounded circuit, that is rated for at least 15 amps.

    We don't expect to use that outlet for other appliances in the garage, but not sure if having an exact 15 amps one will be sufficient or it's better to have a 20 amps one.

    Also, is it recommended to choose a ground fault interruper (GFI) type outlet?

    Thank you!
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  3. JackH

    JackH Member

    If you home was wired to the electrical code it will be either a 15 or 20 amp circuit. You can find out which by checking the beaker that controls/feed this outlet.

    A word of caution - an electrical circuit/breaker usually feeds multiple outlets. So, if there are 4 outlets on the same circuit, that means the TOTAL power available to all of the outlets combined. Example - If you plug your L1 charger into the same "circuit" that is feeding your garage refrigerator you will exceed capacity and pop the breaker.

    Technically the electrical code calls for a GFI for "wet" areas i.e. kitchens and bathrooms. A garage is considered a wet area. If you don't have one now I wouldn't change to one. However, if you have a new circuit installed it will probably be a GFI. If you are getting a GFI outlet get a high quality, preferably commercial rated outlet. Do not buy the cheapest one on the shelf.
  4. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I’m not a licensed electrician, but have read up on his and asked a ton of questions to a friend who is one.

    You only need a 15 Amp circuit as the manual says because if you look on the label on the “brick” of the Honda OEM Charger it says the max draw is 12 Amps. Also many have reported on the forum that their draw has been 10
    to 11 Amps.
    The manual specifies a dedicated circuit because some people will inevitably plug it into a circuit that has other things plugged in like freezers that will add more than 3 Amps to the 12 max of the Charger and overload the circuit. And the rule of thumb for circuits is to downrate them 20% for continuous use and 80% of 15 is 12 Amps. Several have posted they charge with other low loads on the circuit like garage door openers and lights, and have no problems.
    I have charged in my garage circuit but make sure I don’t plug anything else in during charging and it works fine.
    So using the circuit as you described should be fine.
    The only time a 15 Amp circuit might be marginal for continuous 12 Amp usage would be if it were an extremely long distance from the breaker panel or very old wiring in poor condition.

    As to the GFI. Most Electrical Codes specify GFI protection for areas with potential exposure to water like garages, kitchens, bathrooms, and outdoor locations. I would want a GFI on the garage circuit since the car can come in during the rain and drip a lot of water. It’s safey first and always obey your local codes.

    If you have an existing 15 Amp circuit in your garage then you can save some money by replacing one outlet with a GFI. Before you do, check all the outlets on that circuit to see if you already have a GFI outlet elsewhere as only one is used to protect the entire circuit.
    If you have to run a new circuit and outlets for any reason, then make them 20 Amp as the cost is neglible compared to running a 15 Amp circuit.

    Happy charging!
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2018
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  5. su_A_ve

    su_A_ve Active Member

    Standard 3 prong outlet are rated for 15amps, but your circuit breaker could be a 10amp one. Seen that on newer constructions. If so, you may need to have the breaker replaced with a 15amp one.

    No point in replacing the 15 to a 20, unless the circuit is being used by a lot of other things. Not an electrician nor play one on TV...
  6. JackH

    JackH Member

    There are 3 components to a circuit - the breaker, wiring and outlet. All three have an amp rating.
    A 15 amp circuit would have a 15 amp breaker, 14 gauge wiring and a 15 amp outlet.
    A 20 amp circuit would have a 20 amp breaker, 12 gauge wiring and a 20 amp outlet.

    You CANNOT upgrade a 15 amp circuit by just changing the breaker to 20 amps. You MUST upgrade all three pieces.
    insightman likes this.
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  8. alittleboy

    alittleboy New Member

    Thank you all very much for the detailed replies!! I was able to charge at home last night. No problem. The circuit breaker is 15 amps. There are only two lights of 15 watts in the garage, so everything looks fine :)
    Johnhaydev and KentuckyKen like this.

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