120 v ext cord

When Volts are available, here will be the place to talk about how to Detail, Maintain and Customize your Volt. Other good topics are charging (solar or otherwise) smartphone app usage, etc.
colonel bb
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:10 am

120 v ext cord

Postby colonel bb » Fri Jan 06, 2012 10:19 am

i am an excited new owner. I live in an apt with a parking garage. building owner is willing to let me charge from a dedicated 120 v, 15 amp outlet but my charger isn't long enough to reach the outlet. planning to use a heavy duty, low gauge, ext cord. Any issues??


Site Admin
Posts: 108
Joined: Sun Jul 11, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby PatrickZWang » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:41 pm

GM is going to say "don't use an extension cord" to CYA - but personally I've had no trouble if you use a heavy gauge high quality cord.

The main issue is making sure you don't tear the cord etc - so be intelligent about where you place the cord . They aren't made to be run over by cars like the Volt cord is.


Posts: 24
Joined: Thu May 12, 2011 2:22 am

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby Victor » Sat Jan 07, 2012 12:20 am

Congratulations. As Patrick said, good quality. Look for a minimum of 14 gauge, preferably 12 gauge cord. (smaller number is thicker, more expensive cord). You'll want to buy one at a home improvement store, the kind that can be used for construction equipment.

I use one all the time when I go to my moms house. Works great and no excess heat. Be sure you never leave the charge cord or excess extension cord coiled up while charging. Induction will cause it to get too hot.


Posts: 5
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:09 am

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby michaelmur » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:42 am

12 gauge cord minimum. 14 gauge cord should not be used for full power (12 amp--4 lights lit) charge rate. if you drop back to 8 amp (two lights) you can use a 14 gauge cord safely but it will take almost 16 hours to charge from a depleted battery.

Posts: 9
Joined: Mon May 21, 2012 1:06 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby awallac1 » Fri May 25, 2012 1:14 pm

Chevy says to be sure that the extension cord is GFCI

Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:00 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby jamesrau » Sat Aug 18, 2012 3:05 pm

You'll notice the 120VAC charger cord gets warm while charging. If you use a 12 ga. extension, it will get about equally warm. To be safe, I picked up a 10 ga. extension, which handles the amperage better, and stays completely cool while charging. It may be overkill, but I'd go with 10 gauge.

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby jacesan » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:14 am

Thanks for the advice. I'm getting a used Volt, and have a cluttered garage that I cannot park in. I was wondering about using extension cords to the charger, and this thread helped answer my questions before I'd even asked.

How about for the 240AV charger? I'm guessing an appropriate gauge extension should definitely be used for that.

Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:42 am

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby magnani » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:07 am

People might not like the answer to this one, but yes... GM HAS to tell to you NOT use any extension cords... there is a fire risk depending on how long the run is and how thin the guage is, and they cannot make themselves liable to lawsuits under all conditions.

But if you are a reasonable person, then you can get the shortest, heaviest gauge cord that will do the job and use it fairly safely. I tried an "air-conditioner" grade extension cord that I had lying around the house, and the cord and the plug got hot to the touch (REALLY NOT GOOD...) So then I got a contractor grade 12 gauge from Home Depot (I think it was about $35) and it's absolutely cool all over...

Just be sensible. A hot cord draped over dried leaves, debris, paint cans, etc. is just a really bad idea. A good quality cord that stays cool to the touch under load, gives you four green lights, and is routed in a clear path is perfectly safe.


Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2012 7:06 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby roar » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:22 am

jamesrau wrote:It may be overkill, but I'd go with 10 gauge.

Two of my well used 12-gauge ones would not work, charger flashed errors, so I acquired a 50' 10-gauge and it has done the job quite well - nearly $100 at the "big-orange-box" and heavy but peace of mind!
Thom - one white 2012

Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: 120 v ext cord

Postby jacesan » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:27 am

Trying to hunt down an extension cord for the 240V outlet was useless. I suppose there's a reason they only have them in about 6 or 9 feet. I ended up buying the stuff at Home Depot to make my own plug, and used 26 feet of 8 gauge wiring to hook up my charger. It seems to work fine, without heating up the plug, or cable.

Return to “Chevy Volt Owners Lounge”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests