I bought a 220V car EV charger with what I understand is a NEMA 6-20 plug:

the plug:

But the socket is some other 220V that I can't find the specifications for:

The socket

Is there an adapter I can get to use this plug for this socket or do I need to get the socket replaced?

Thanks in advance for any guidance ... I'm a software guy and new to 220V nuances.


A NEMA 6-20 plug "implies" a current limit of 20 amps but more accurately, one should avoid approaching that figure. Your charger should be rated around 15-16 amperes, which is 80 percent of the alleged capacity of that plug.

The photo is a bit dark, but odds are good it's a NEMA 14-50 if there are four pins/sockets. As the number implies, that should be a 50 amp (40 at 80 percent) socket.

If you connect your charger to that socket, and something goes amiss, you would be getting up to 40 amperes of current before the circuit breaker does its job.

Such a consideration would not stop me from purchasing a 14-50 plug and 6-20 socket and wiring the two together, but I would also attempt an additional level of safety by putting a 20 amp breaker inline to the adapter.

Because of the disparity of current ratings, you'll not find an off-the-shelf adapter and any construction you create is at your own risk.

The numbers imply a 3 kw charger, kind of on the low side for a home charger, common in the wild, but superior to using a 110v version.

  • 1
    I can tell that you are spot on in it being a NEMA 14-50. Note that there's nothing wrong with plugging a small appliance into a big socket (think of this as just a bigger version of plugging a cell phone charger that draws mere milliamps at 120V into a 15A receptacle) – ThreePhaseEel Dec 1 '17 at 23:17
  • I'm not sure what happened to my brain cells with this post. I'd been using a 6kw charger in a 14-50 for a half dozen years with no concern. My newer charger is 10kw and absolutely roars! Do you think I should edit the post to remove that incorrect segment? – fred_dot_u Dec 2 '17 at 0:32
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    The yankee traders on eBay and Amazon Marketplace will make anything, no matter how dangerous. Unrelated, they will also make a 6-20R to 14-50P adapter cable. I for one am good at fitting receptacles, so I'd just change the receptacle to 6-20R and change the breaker to 20A and give it no further thought. Keep the old parts for the next homeowner, they're not cheap. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Dec 2 '17 at 0:51

Thanks for clarifying the name of the socket ... I found an adapter for just what I needed:


I should have it in a few days and be charging my Leaf @ 220V.

Thanks again all!


Your cord is a 20A 240V but your wall outlet is a 50A 240V. You're better off getting the manufacturer to provide you with a 50A 240v cord.

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