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Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:27 pm
by jim0266
Tapping into the hive wisdom. My friend sent me the message below. How would you advise him to make this work for a potential Leaf tenant so everyone wins? Thanks!

"I’ve got someone who looked at the apartment and has a leaf. She charges with a regular extension cable. I have screw in fuses in my buildings and no outlets in the garage. She said she could run an extension cord from the apt to the garage. The outlets are not grounded either. Whatcha think?"

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 2:41 pm
by mtndrew1
I would advise your friend that such a setup sounds like a fire hazard but if they spend a couple hundred bucks to have a proper outlet installed in the vicinity of the car they’ll probably have that tenant for a very long time.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:02 pm
by LeftieBiker
In the unlikely event they have two free fused circuits, they could run two 12-2 (plus ground) 120 volt 20A lines to a double throw shutoff switch, and convert it to 240 volts at the same amperage there, using the same regular 12-2 gauge wire. The two insulated wires would be converted to Hot and the ground would stay the ground. A cheap, safe way to provide 240 volt, 16 amp charging, using something like a Clipper Creek LCS-20 or HCS-20. Just make sure to mark the former Neutral wire with red tape or permanent ink at all connections. This should be done by an electrician, of course.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:19 pm
by Astros
You shouldn't ever try to charge a Leaf from an outlet that's not grounded. Aside from the risk of fire or damage to the car, it will probably also not work. I'm ashamed to say I tried that back when I first got my Leaf, and the car would stop charging very soon after I plugged it in.

My recommendation would be to let the tenant pay to have an electrician wire a grounded outlet in the garage, or split the cost with the tenant to add a simple EVSE in the garage. Your friend should still be able to claim a tax deduction for 30% of the cost of the equipment and installation (but double-check that!), so they would really only be paying 20% of the cost, and would either have a happy long-term tenant or a nice upgrade for a future tenant.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:38 pm
by Nubo
Grounding is part of the J1772 specification; the car won't charge without it. Also charging via extension cord circumvents safety features of the charging standard and should not be allowed for liability reasons, all the more so if this is a space accessible to other tenants.

Like others I recommend the services of an electrician so that codes are observed. In a public or semi-public space I'd recommend the electrician install a hard-wired EVSE so that curious hands are not tempted with plugs.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:34 pm
by smkettner
Just hire an electrician already and have the proper circuit installed to code. Deduct the cost on your taxes and have a tenant that loves you.

There is no reason to monkey this around to save a few $$$. Having a rental is a real business so do the right thing.

And yes I have several rentals of my own.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:22 pm
by Learjet
LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:02 pm
In the unlikely event they have two free fused circuits, they could run two 12-2 (plus ground) 120 volt 20A lines to a double throw shutoff switch, and convert it to 240 volts at the same amperage there, using the same regular 12-2 gauge wire. The two insulated wires would be converted to Hot and the ground would stay the ground. A cheap, safe way to provide 240 volt, 16 amp charging, using something like a Clipper Creek LCS-20 or HCS-20. Just make sure to mark the former Neutral wire with red tape or permanent ink at all connections. This should be done by an electrician, of course.
NO!!!

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:48 pm
by LeftieBiker
NO!!!
You mean because of the fusebox? That's what the cutoff switch is for - it kills power to the entire 240 circuit so it can safely be accessed.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 7:58 pm
by Oilpan4
The easy answer is don't move there.
LeftieBiker wrote:
Thu Apr 23, 2020 3:02 pm
In the unlikely event they have two free fused circuits, they could run two 12-2 (plus ground) 120 volt 20A lines to a double throw shutoff switch, and convert it to 240 volts at the same amperage there, using the same regular 12-2 gauge wire. The two insulated wires would be converted to Hot and the ground would stay the ground. A cheap, safe way to provide 240 volt, 16 amp charging, using something like a Clipper Creek LCS-20 or HCS-20. Just make sure to mark the former Neutral wire with red tape or permanent ink at all connections. This should be done by an electrician, of course.
Amaizing, everything you just said is wrong.
Any answer other than rip out that fire waiting to happen and replace with modern equipment is a huge code violation.
Getting creative with a fuse panel is a great way to burn down a residence.
I don't think I have ever seen an old fuse panel that wasn't catastrophically overloaded, full of burned wires, had fuses replaced with coins, had the largest fuses installed regardless of wire size, ect.

Re: Landlord with Leaf tenant charging question

Posted: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:40 pm
by LeftieBiker
You both have a good point. I should have written "if the fuse panel is in good shape, and, amazingly has two free circuits..." I did at least make clear the need for free circuits. I actually have one of those in my garage: a late model, relatively speaking, with three free circuits and modern grounded romex. Still, it is true that most fuse boxes are nightmares...