Child Proofing UMC

Child Proofing UMC

Getting my car soon (hopefully). I will be using UMC charging at home (driveway) and was wondering if it's child safe if I keep UMC cable in the outlet plugged in all the time.
I have a rather active and curious 4 year old and want to make sure he is safe.

Red Sage ca us | 1 July 2014

Maybe you could modify this for your needs?

LectraLock Child Proof Toddler Baby Safety Electric Outlet Plug Cover Wall Plate

Red Sage ca us | 1 July 2014

Their website also offers some lockout versions, that are covered and can be secured by a padlock:

Safety Lock-Out Unit - Duplex Style - Red - Model LD1-6RE

"The LD1-6 model fits all standard duplex electrical outlets. This unit is intended to be used as a Safety Lock-Out device, securely blocking access to the electrical outlet. The cord exit hole also allows for a plug (in an unplugged position) to be contained within the cover to prevent a locked-out device from being plugged in elsewhere. (Optional padlock not included.)"

michael1800 | 1 July 2014

The UMC plugged in appears to be safer than an open NEMA 14-50 socket (are the UMC handle internals hot by default? I don't have a voltometer to confirm 100%). Neither is child proof imho, however, if you have the UMC handle and coil mounted out of reach, that will come the closest. Unfortunately, building codes also restrict outlet installations to be relatively close to the floor.

Any way you go about it, a child playing with any electrical cable isn't the way to safety. Keep it out of reach like anything else if you leave it plugged in. If not, have a socket cover of some type.

amatiych | 1 July 2014

Thanks. What about the part that gets connected to the car?
Is there any danger on that side?

Red Sage ca us | 1 July 2014

Nope. No power is delivered until after the digital 'handshake' protocol is completed, after connection to the car. Perfectly safe. Unless your kid is very handy with a pair of shop shears, an awl, and a box cutter. ;-)

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 1 July 2014

No power it the car end until the system detects (handshake) it is safely plugged in to the car.

amatiych | 1 July 2014

Thanks everyone. This is helpful. | 1 July 2014

The connection to the car is "locked" into place when charging and current is flowing. You can't just pull out the connector from the car. The car needs to detect the FOB AND you have to press a button on the charging connector to release it. At that point the power is removed from the connector. The system also has built in ground-fault detection, should something create a connection that might electrocute someone as a secondary safety system.

Likely it is safer than an extension cord.

I would be concerned about the NEMA 14-50 connector. It has blades, that can be exposed if you partly pull out this side of the connection (similar to any 120V plug, but larger). I'd find some way to secure it or make sure there is no way your kid can come in contact with this side (just like any outlet). You could get the HPWC, as it doesn't have any removable connection on the wall.

Haeze | 1 July 2014

I'd be as worried (probably more worried) about the child sticking objects in the open 14-50 outlet than the child somehow pulling the UMC out on their own... a 14-50 outlet fits pretty snug and takes a bit of effort to unplug.

Roamer@AZ USA | 3 July 2014

At 16 months this little guy was a master at plugging in. He can't get to the plug fast enough when we pull into the garage. He loves to push the charge cord button and see the door open. Then he watches all the lights until it turns green and then proclaims, "all right".

Put that boy in charge of plugging in.

sbeggs | 4 July 2014

you have trained him well! He is the boy of the future caring for the car of the future.

J.T. | 4 July 2014

@Roamer I thought I saw a picture of this kid in the driver's seat not long ago. Also, I know grandkids can do no wrong, but does he really need to get fingerprints all over the car. :-)

Roamer@AZ USA | 4 July 2014

@JT, How I solved the finger print problem. I did draw the line when wrenches were involved.

PS; Model X on reservation to replace the vehicle pictured.

J.T. | 4 July 2014

It's a great pic, but hardly what I would call newsworthy :-).

EdwardG.NO2CO2 | 4 July 2014

I have two Nema 14-50 installs and had them raised to 4 Feet from the floor. Put the cord hanger below them. This configuration minimizes the opportunity for little grandchildren getting fingers in the wrong place. Before putting them this high confirm it does not violate local code requirements (was not a problem for us).

Of course the car end is already safe!

tes-s | 4 July 2014

You could replace the 14-50 with one of these. I think that would be the safest solution.

amatiych | 4 July 2014

Can't put HPWC yet since it would require major panel upgrade and I am not ready for that. Will likely use 110v in short term and will do electric work after the summer heat is over.
Car just completed production yesterday.

tes-s | 4 July 2014

You can simply replace the 14-50 outlet with the HPWC. You do not need to upgrade panel, wiring, breaker, or anything else.

tes-s | 4 July 2014

More specifically, the HPWC can be configured to be connected to a 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, or 100 amp circuit allowing charging at up to 32, 40, 48, 56, 72, and 80 amps. Charging at above 40amps requires dual chargers in the MS.

amatiych | 4 July 2014

Yes. I know. My problem is that right now I can't even install Nema without upgrading my panel. Don't have space for the extra breaker. I will do the work after the summer when kids are in school and I can turn the electricity in the house off for a few hours.

Thanks anyway.

tes-s | 4 July 2014

In that case, the UMC plugged into 120v poses the same safety risk as a lamp or other plugged-in item. You can take the same precautions you do with other 120v devices and you should be fine.

amatiych | 4 July 2014

Yes. I was concerned about my son unplugging the unit from the car. Seems like not an issue.

james.j.lopez | 8 June 2019

I have similar concerns with many little ones at the house, found this product which seems like it will work great Connecticut Electric 50 amp RV outlet. It’s an outlet with a lockable box around it.

rm760 | 9 June 2019

The charger when connected to the car is locked in place when the vehicle is locked. How about just turning off the breaker associated with the charger when no in use.