Serving Greater Lynchburg

Getting Your Home Ready For EV Charging

Preparing Your Home For EV Charging

Preparing Your Home For EV Charging

With gas prices remaining near record highs, electric vehicles are becoming a cost-effective option for many Lynchburg area commuters. So besides choosing the right vehicle for your needs, what do you need to do to ensure your home is ready for charging an EV?

Installing an EV charger is generally a straightforward process, similar to hooking up a new appliance like an electric range or washer and dryer. The key to a successful home EV charger installation is to ensure the home’s electrical system is up to the task of providing safe, reliable power where it is needed.

Home Electrical Evaluation

Before purchasing an electric vehicle we recommend scheduling an evaluation of your home’s electrical system. Because many homes in the Lynchburg area are more than 75 years old, it’s not uncommon to find outdated electrical boxes that should be upgraded to safely power the charger, as well as the rest of the home.

First, your electrician will inspect your home’s electrical service, including the utility lines and the electric meter operated by the electrical utility company. Next, your electrical panel, the box that distributes the power throughout your home, will be checked to ensure it is in good working condition with functioning breakers. Finally, the home’s wiring, which distributes power to outlets around the home is checked for safety issues such as arc faults, shorts and other problems.

Once the home’s electrical system is inspected and any safety issues are repaired or upgraded, the EV charger installation can go forward.

EV Charger Installation

EV charger installation should be performed by a licensed, qualified electrician in accordance with all applicable local and national codes. Your electrician will take care of any permits that may be required by the city or county.

Your electrician will work with you to determine the best location to install your new charger. Depending on the design of the EV vehicle and the location of its charging port, a convenient location on the garage wall will be prepared for mounting the charger.

Most EV charger installed in residential garages are 240 volt “level 2” chargers. These will require a dedicated circuit to be installed at the electrical panel to safely provide power to the charger. Even if you’re charging your EV using a 120 volt “level 1” charger, it’s a good idea to power the outlet from a dedicated circuit and use it only for charging one vehicle per circuit (outlet box).

The EV charger plug should be installed away from walkways and protected from direct exposure to rain. It should be close enough to the vehicle that the factory charger can reach with extra slack available. An extension cord should never be used with a level 1 EV charger. After your new EV charger is installed, take the time to read the owner’s manual to ensure you know how to use it safely.

Have questions about EV charging at home? Call Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical. Our expert electricians will help answer all your home electrical questions.