How to Install an EV Charger at Home: A Detailed Guide

Purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) is an excellent decision for reducing your carbon footprint while saving money on gas. However, keeping your EV powered requires installing a home charger. While it may seem intimidating, installing an EV charging station is an approachable process that you can tackle yourself if you’re up for a DIY project. This guide will walk you through the key steps for a successful EV charger installation.

Assess Your Needs Before selecting a charger, determine:

  • Charging speed needed: Level 1 charges 4-5 miles of range per hour using a standard 120V outlet while Level 2 offers 10-60 miles per hour through 240V.
  • Mounting location: Indoor or outdoor? Access to electricity? Distance from EV parking spot?
  • Electrical capacity: Amperage of your electrical panel and whether an upgrade is needed. An electrician can help advise.

Choose WiFi-Enabled Charger

Selecting a WiFi-enabled, app-controlled charger allows monitoring charging status, access controls, usage reports, and setting schedules to leverage cheaper overnight electricity rates – all through your smartphone. Leading home charger manufacturers include ChargePoint, ClipperCreek, and Wallbox.

Prepare the Site Proper site preparation is crucial for a safe and visually appealing installation:

  • Outdoors: Install a concrete mounting pad with conduit leading underground to the electrical panel.
  • Indoors: Ensure adequate garage space, ventilation, and wall support for mounting.
  • LED indicator lights must be visible to clearly communicate charging status.

Electrical Panel Inspection An experienced, licensed electrician should:

  • Inspect electrical panel for available capacity to handle added load from EV charger.
  • Install a new 240V circuit breaker dedicated for the EV charger.
  • Connect conduit and wiring from the new circuit breaker to the charger’s mounting location.

Charger Wall Mounting Proper mounting ensures safety and durability:

  • Use lag bolts secured into wall studs capable of bearing the full weight.
  • Heights between 24 – 48 inches above the ground provide best ergonomics.
  • Outdoors, only use chargers rated for outdoor/wet locations.

Electrical Connection Following charger manufacturer guidelines:

  • Connect the hot wires to the appropriate terminals on the charger.
  • Properly ground the charger back to the electrical panel.
  • Outdoors: Ensure connections are waterproof inside an outdoor-rated junction box.

Charger Network Configuration If installing a connected “smart” charger:

  • Connect charger to WiFi network using the smartphone app.
  • Create online monitoring account with the charger network provider.
  • Enable any access control, payment settings, or charging schedules desired.

Testing and Inspection

Prior to regular use, always:

  • Test functionality by connecting EV and ensuring proper charging activation and deactivation.
  • A licensed electrician should validate electrical safety and proper current draw.
Safety First

Follow all legal requirements for permits and inspections. Only use qualified electricians for panel and wiring work. Thoroughly research correct electrical codes for home EV chargers.

In summary, with thoughtful planning, site preparation, electrical capacity, and safe mounting, installing a home EV charger is an achievable project allowing the freedom of charging conveniently. Carefully following charger manufacturer guidance as well as applicable legal codes ensures you will enjoy the benefits of home charging for years to come.