Can Anyone Install an EV Charger?
Wondering if anyone can install an EV charger at home? You’ve come to the right blog. If you’ve purchased an electric vehicle, you might be tempted to install your own quality EV charger. It seems like a simple task for anyone handy with equipment around the house. It also seems like a good way to save money. But the process is complicated. Not all chargers are the same. Some aren’t easy to install on your own. It also may not be legal to go about this by yourself. This is a case where a professional should be hired for the job. A professional can, at least, assist with installation if they don’t handle the entire task.
The Need for a Level 2 Charger
Every electric car comes with a Level 1 charger. This means the car can be charged from a normal electric outlet in a household. But using it isn’t practical for anyone who uses their car often. A standard Level 1 charger takes around four to five hours to charge for even one hour of driving. If you plan to do five hours of driving, the car will need to charge for 20 to 25 hours. That’s too long for the needs of many people.
This is where a Level 2 charger comes in. A Level 2 charger can charge a car more than twice as fast compared to a Level 1 charger. A Level 2 charger is necessary to have in or around the home for anyone who drives frequently. But a professional is necessary to install one. In several states and townships, a person is risking a fine by installing one without a license. There’s also no telling whether the installation itself will be successful.
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Home Electricity Upgrades
It’s possible that your home may not be wired to support EV chargers. Wiring in houses can go out of date over time. Trying to install a charger that’s too powerful for the equipment will overwhelm the home circuit. This could risk permanently damaging it, requiring that you spend more money to replace it. In the worst-case scenario, this could start a fire.
This is where a professional electrician can come in. A professional can measure the wiring in your house to make sure that it can handle a 240-volt EV charger. Measuring circuits is not an easy job for anyone who doesn’t know exactly what to look for. The professional can also determine which brand of EV charger is right for the home.
A Safe Installation
It’s good to hire a professional electrician to install an EV charger. But not every electrician is experienced with EV chargers. Look for one who’s licensed to do so, and has experience with installing them. If they’re new to the job, do research to make sure they’ve had proper training to install them. Some electricians even have licenses from charging station manufacturers. Others have licenses from local authorities.
A hired professional can install the charger properly. But even so, you could run into unintended issues afterward. This could involve damage to the charger or the home circuit. It’s a good idea to get insurance. The resulting damage could come with a high price. Make sure the professional electrician has insurance coverage to pay for possible damages.
The Best Location for the Charger
The EV charger needs to be placed in a safe area free of future damages. A professional electrician will know the best place to install a charger in every home. They can figure out the best place for the homeowner to charge the car at a quick speed. The professional can determine how close the charger can be to the home circuit without risking damage. They can also help the homeowner figure out which cabling is necessary for the charger to work properly.
Not all chargers will work in the same locations. If you want to install the charger outside the house, it needs to be one rated for outdoor use. The charger should be installed to ensure the charging port is on the same side as the charger. This is necessary for the charging wire to run properly to the car. The cable should also be placed so that it doesn’t create a tripping hazard or get tangled.
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The Legality with Installing a Charger
States, cities, and counties in the United States can make their own rules. Whether it’s legal for you to install an EV charger yourself depends on the local and state laws. Anyone considering or attempting to install one should check those laws first. You could be on the hook for a fine otherwise.
This varies between states. California requires a person to obtain an electrical permit to install an EV charger. New Jersey is another state with the requirement. But a state like Texas leaves these laws up to local jurisdictions. Austin and Houston require permits. Other cities and townships, including Dallas, do not require them.
Permit necessity can also vary between building regulations for apartment-style living places. The same can go for duplexes. Some Homeowners Associations also have rules about permit need for EV charger installation. It’s good to do research and ask around before installing one.
A person can be tempted to install the charger themselves in states and judications that don’t require permits. That’s still not a good idea. This should be left to a professional who’s received training and has their permit.
Can Anyone Install an EV Charger?
Hiring a professional to install an EV charger is a big expense. It’s a high price on top of buying the charger itself. Insurance is yet another expense on top of those. But it’s worth it in the end. Not hiring a professional to install the charger can result in electrical circuit damage, and more. Electrical accidents from an installation could prove severe, if not fatal. Not to mention the need for a professional to determine the best placement for the charger. To quickly answer the question: Not everyone can install an EV charger. Hire a professional.