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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have reluctantly accepted that a lightly used tethered cable cannot be expected to last more than 3.5 years and am looking to replace my Zappi cable with a third party product. However when I look at these cables from reputable suppliers I see that most are only rated as IP54, which is not waterproof against anything above light spray. EV Cables web site states that they should not be used in the rain and go on to say that letting the connectors get wet may result in corrosion that would not be covered by their 2 year warranty.
Eco Harmony do not give an IP rating but reference UL50, which means nothing to me and a quick google search did not help.

Surely most charging cables will often be used outside and, despite recent experience, it is enevitable that in the UK the cables will regularly experience rain. I have seen one or two cables rated at IP55, which would be ok, but they are untethered and am not familiar with the companies.

Why are cables designed and manufactured that should not be used in the rain?

Why are connectors used that corrode if they get wet, even if dried out before use?

I have never experience an actual problem, are supplies just trying to cover themselves? Maybe I am expecting too much from these cheap and cheerful EV things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
As I said, I have not had a problem. It is evcables that are explicit and insistent that their IP54 cable should not be used in the rain. Take a look at their web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I quote

“The IP54 (Ingress Protection Rating) means our cables will operate in dusty conditions and will resist splashes of water while mated. However, the charging process is not fully water sealed and the cables should not be submerged in water or operated in the rain.”

“Why can't we charge in the rain?
Water can still get into the plug and charging socket during the inserting and removing of the plug from the car. In fact, as soon as you open the charge port or unplug your car, the rain will get onto the pins and stay there until the next time you charge.”

This is from a cable manufacturer who probably knows a bit more than I do, and may even know a tiny bit more than other forum members? I can read the requirement for IP54, but cannot say for sure whether rain is equivalent to splashes or more equivalent to a weak jet. It may well depend on how heavy the rain and how strong the wind.

I also remember seeing a warning on a rapid charger at a motorway services that said do not use in the rain, or words to that affect.

I can see 2 possibilities.

1. There is no real problem and some suppliers are covering their backs and creating a get out from warranty claims. Not likely with reputable manufacturers I would hope.

2. There is a genuine potential problem, but most car and cable manufacturers are not making it clear. Maybe because 9 times out of 10, or more, we get away with it.

I repeat, I have never had a problem but, my personal opinion is that EVs should be expected to need charging during all weather conditions and therefore cables and connectors should be specified to cope.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I have been looking at IP ratings and testing. IP44 lights have the same water resistance and to quote

“IP44 outdoor lights are not completely waterproof and must therefore not be installed outdoors without protection.
At least IP65 rated lights are required for path lights or as garden spotlights. But lights with protection covering can be used in the garden.”

CCTV cameras are often IP54 apparently and the recommendation is to mount them under the eaves to give some added protection. Same comment also given for IP44 outdoor house light.

It is also pointed out that the time of the test is 15 minutes, not hours, and products should be tested for their application and not just rely on IP rating.

For weather protection ther is an additional category ie IPW. So IPW55 includes rain and wet weather.

My amateur interpretation is

IP54 is okay for light rain for limited periods, or heavier rain if there is added protection such as a car port.

IPW55 should be okay for heavy rain and strong winds without any additional protection.

Like others, I have not had a problem, so far, 🤞but I have not had to charge in heavy wind and rain. I have seen reports of people suffering corroded conectors, which implies that water ingress has occured.

I think that EVcables are probably technically correct, IP54 is not intended for use in heavy rain or exposed positions for long periods, but we get away with it due to a combination of luck, the cables being better than the quoted rating and the charge ports being recessed and therefore somewhat sheltered. I do however think that IPW55 would have been a more appropriate standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
@Dion Rust

3.5 years is how long my tethered cable lasted before the CP wire broke 1/3rd way along within the cable structure. Cable had only had careful light use and outward appearance is like new. Not exposed to any extreme conditions. This appears to be a weakness of the cable design? The warranty on replacement cables is 1 or 2 years. I saw someone report their cable suffered a CP failure after just 1 year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
If you didn't accidentally/unknowingly driver over or snag the cable somehow, that's one very poorly quality constructed cable. I presume the cable was not being repeatedly coiled and uncoiled which might have induced metal fatigue?
No never driven over, walked on, snagged or twisted. When not in use stored as large loops rather than tightly wound around the Zappi. Located outside but out of direct sunlight and sheltered from wind and rain. About as good as possible and only used about once a week.

I thought it indicated a defective cable but MyEnergi disagree. I have not seen a supplier offering more than a 2 year warranty and many only offer 1 year. Disappointing but thats how it is. The likes of ecoHarmony and EVcables are about half the price of MyEnergy but I then disappeared down the rabbit hole of IP and UL50 ratings and suppliers instructions not to charge in the rain, hence this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
The ev cables website states, "Outdoor-rated units are safe to use in all weather conditions." So that is certainly all public chargers and professionally installed home chargers.

The opposite is possiby true here - if you buy dodgy equiment or have it installed by someone who "thinks" they know what they are doing - expect dodgy results.

Other than that
It was ev cables web site that said the IP54 charging cable I was looking at should not be operated in the rain as it is only splash proof. Could not see your quote but maybe they were talking about the EVSE rather than the cable?

I do not profess to be an expert and am only stating what suppliers or testing organisations have published on the web.

Time to let people make their own decisions and end the thread I think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I have been watching this rain issue about cables but my main concern has always been about rain in and around the actual charging port causing problems as the plug itself slopes into the port and naturally will send rain into there.

After some thought, I devised a simple shield that can be easily attached to the cable/plug in rainy weather and will divert any rainwater away from that area. It is a simple rectangle of polystyrene sheet with a pipe clip attached that is sized to fit the cable. ( picture 1 ). It is shown here attached to the cable/plug ready for use. ( picture 2 ). It's easy to plug in as normal with the shield swung downwards ( picture 3 ). Then swing the shield around and upwards into place to protect that area from rain. ( picture 4 ) Of course, this particular design may only work with an Ioniq, but the concept can probably be adapted to fit most other cars. As it is polystyrene it will cause no damage to the car or paint. Might need some extra clips in stormy weather but so far it's been OK and stays in place.
A good point. The charging plug and socket are clearly designed with the intention of the plug sloping downwards to shed water. That is how my plug holster is oriented when the cable is not in use. It seems perverse that the car sockets result in the plug sloping towards the socket. I wonder how the plug and socket were oriented during the IP testing?

Your solution looks as if it would be affective and would also provide the extra protection from rain recommended for IP54 equipment. Only potential issue I can see is if the cable is wriggle about in high winds it might put stress on the termination into the plug and, over time, result in a broken wire?
 
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