iTrust Electical

Can I Install an EV Charger Myself at Home?

Home Charging for Your EV

Like most homeowners, you’re probably always looking for ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and environmental friendliness. Installing an electric vehicle charger (EVCH) in your home is one way to accomplish this. This installation allows you to charge your electric car or truck at home, reducing pollutants and saving money on gas. Can you, however, install an EV charger yourself? In a nutshell, no. Here are some reasons you should leave the installation to professionals.

Many new Electric Vehicle (EV) buyers do not consider the need for a proper home charging solution when buying the vehicle. Salespeople don’t necessarily raise the issue during the sale, as it is another added expense when moving to an EV. Also, many buyers expect to use the Level 3 Supercharger at work or at another commercial venue. That is until they experience the lack of availability caused by other like-minded EV owners. Some buyers just have not considered the need or thought the existing 120V outlet in the garage would suffice.

While 120 volts will work, the charging rate in terms of miles per hour of charge is extremely low at 3-4 miles per hour of charge. Adding a dedicated 240V line from your electrical panel to the garage increases your charge rate to 18 to 32 Miles of Range per Hour of Charge (RPH) or more.

Actual rates are specific to your EV and the charging solution, but 240v based charging solution is a must-have for any homeowner.

For more details on charging basics, see the U.S. DOE’s site at https://afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_charging_home.html.

Hire a Professional to Install Your EV Charger

Cutting corners here is not a good idea, even if you hadn’t planned or budgeted for a Level 2 home charging solution.

Your EV charger may be your home’s most significant electrical draw, and installing it to meet or exceed code requirements is paramount. Why? Because your safety and the safety of your family means not cutting corners.

Hiring a licensed electrical contractor experienced and knowledgeable with EV Charger installation is key to ensuring a safe and quality installation.  

Here is an example of a recent job that exemplifies the need for the proper experience and qualifications. 

A homeowner called us to say his EV charger breaker on the electrical panel was regularly tripping. He had an “electrical” install it, and also, a friend looked at the installation.   He wasn’t 100% sure the installation of his Tesla Wall connector was correctly done, and he called us to inspect and correct the issue(s) if necessary. 

First, whenever a breaker repeatedly trips (more than twice a day for unknown causes), it is best to place it in the off position and call an electrician.   Heat build-up is the main reason breakers trip; they were designed specifically for this purpose. Too much heat leads to melting wire insulation, smoldering, and potentially fire.

The wire must be properly sized for the breaker size and electrical flow (amperage) running through it. The longer the wire, the more resistance is created.

Therefore, the wire size or gauge and the line length must be sized accordingly to avoid excess heat build-up.

What we found in the garage

Unsafe electrical is one reason hiring a professional to Install an EV charger is important.
Unsafe electrical in garage
  • Severely undersized gauge wire from the electrical panel to the cutoff box
  • Irrigation PVS was used in place of proper electrical conduits.
  • Improper grounding/bonding of the neutral and ground wires

What we found in the attic

Melted wires in the attic
  • Melted wires & insulation
  • Charred Romex casing

If you need an EV charger for your home, using a professional is always the best way to go.

iTrust Home Services is an integrated General contractor providing high-value services to discerning homeowners in North Atlanta. We are licensed, insured, and bonded. We offer a wide range of electrical services. For more information, please contact us at (470) 369-0000.

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