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Discussion Starter #1
I was told by the sales rep that she uses a standard extension cable so she can reach from a plug socket in her house to the Ampera outside on the days she has it. I thought this was frowned upon.

As the supplied cable is not very long (2m?) - is it possible to use them once you arrive at a destination that doesn't have a dedicated charging station?

If it is ok, can you use any one or are there some that are 'safer' than others?
 

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Some are safer than others :)

Using an extension is frowned upon but not because there is anything inherently wrong with it... but because it is easy to get it wrong and use an extension that is not up to the job.

The car will be taking 10A continuously and so it is important that you use an extension that is approved for a "continuous" 10A or more... preferably 13A. Some extensions are rated "13A Max" but if you look closer it can say "13A Max, 6A Continuous" (substitute numbers of your choice). If you use one that is stated as 10A Continuous or higher then you should be fine.

If you do that, and you unwind it fully when in use then there is nothing wrong. Just take the normal precautions you would take when charging away from home.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Paul...that's the conclusion I had come to. Manufacturers' sites tend to say no, possibly to cover themselves but impartial sites like this http://c-zero.info/cz/charging-cables-plugs-standards/ seem to imply it's ok if you fully unwind and are on modern electrics. Wouldn't it be comparable to just using an iron for a long time? The implication is that it's the cable that would 'blow' - not the car.
 

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Wouldn't it be comparable to just using an iron for a long time?
Iron's cycle on and off so it's not a valid comparison... think more like a fan heater on for hours.

One other comment is the extension reel must have a waterproof socket and be plugged into a mains socket with an RCD... if you use one without, and someone is hurt, you will be liable for exposing that person to risk.
 

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Discussion Starter #5

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It is not just the reels - but the 13a plus/socket externally which can permit water ingress and even be unplugged at will.
 

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You jest? So the OP is expected to cart round a non portable socket? There is a Masterplug single lead, with splash proof cover (as used for my Twizy) at the end of a 10m cord. It cost only £12.99
 

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You jest?
No, I had assumed you were talking about fixed installations. If you're talking mobile then plenty IP44 (or better) extension leads exist (I like the Masterplug because it has thermal cutout on the sockets and has been field tested by a number EV drivers).

The most important things IMO are that the source socket has an RCD (or you provide one if unsure), the extension cable is rated to 10A (min) continuous at 40 deg C (more?), and that the extension sockets are IP44 (min) in use. Also note all @Paul_Churchley comments as well :)
 

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No, the OP was only interested in using an extension to get a 10a charge. Clearly it isn't ideal, but if needs must.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
Indeed. My work often takes me to schools well outside my charge range. My thought was to use the standard 3pin cable in a standard socket. I'm normally there 3 or 4 hrs so at 10A charging rate I can get a good lump of charge. Chances are though that I'll need an extension reel. Plainly if it is raining or is looking like rain, I will just unplug it. A portable RCD seems like a good purchase in any event.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I already own a 6m 13amp extension reel. It's fitted with a 3amp fuse. Should I swap the fuse for a 13amp fuse?
 

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Sure - however I doubt a standard lead will have the physical protection required to protect water flowing into the pin holes of the socket. When wet, if live it will give you a shock if no RCD, or trip it.
 

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I use one of these on a simple 10m RCD integrated plug and free socket 16A cable extension (no reel, easier to pack in the boot) with no problems:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Christmas...d-Plug-Socket-Safety-Cover-IP44-/170923865002
When I got my Leaf I looked at one of those in in B&Q, not sure what yours is like but the 5 I looked at were crap. There's no way they were IP44 rated, at the first sign of rain they'd leak and do Very Bad Things.
I bought one of these instead and put it on a chunky 16A lead I already had.
http://www.diy.com/nav/fix/electric...39637&ef_id=U1Pd6AAAAbT2Ih1N:20140622214114:s
http://www.diy.com/nav/fix/electric...39637&ef_id=U1Pd6AAAAbT2Ih1N:20140622214114:s
 
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