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How Do You Power Your Electric Vehicle?
Many people plan a route to drive their EV past several charging stations including one at work, so they can always keep the battery at a safe level. Still, the most convenient location for EV charging is usually at home, if there’s a charging station available. At Mister Sparky of Wilmington, NC, our electricians install dedicated circuits for many purposes, including EV charging stations. Homeowners are learning about their options and having our electricians add the right type for their vehicles, so they can charge overnight.
Since the use of EVs is considered by many to be a big factor in environmental improvements, charging stations are being encouraged at offices, public parking areas, and other accessible charging locations. Homeowners are also considering having a licensed professional add convenient home EV charging. While a Level 1 charger is easy to add almost everywhere by just plugging it into a standard three-prong 110 Volt outlet, it’s also the slowest option available, running almost a full day to charge some EVs when they’re on empty. If you have a 240 Volt dedicated circuit, your options expand and a quick overnight charge becomes a viable option.
Dedicated Circuits for Many Uses, Including EV Charging
Many of our customers have requested that our electricians install dedicated circuits to provide the power for appliances, shop equipment such as welding and woodworking gear, and other high-powered home equipment. These devices require higher voltages such as 240 Volts to operate or need enough power that using higher voltages reduces the current that the wiring must carry. Customers also order additional circuits to provide outdoor power for electric landscaping equipment, auto repair and maintenance tools, lighting, and garage-based freezers and refrigerators. Adding a circuit involves installing an additional circuit breaker, wiring, and termination, plus related changes.
Electric Vehicle Charging Circuits May Be Required in New Homes
Even new construction usually doesn’t include these dedicated and add-on circuits in every home built, so homeowners have our electrician provide the upgrades that they need. As of 2021, the North Carolina state government is considering adding one requirement to add a dedicated circuit in each newly built home in the state. The reason is the anticipated popularity of electric vehicles, or EVs, and the need for charging stations at each home to keep them “topped off.” These charging stations use a dedicated circuit, with any required modifications to the home’s electric service to support them.
Adding Wiring to Your Home for Safety and Convenience
In modern homes, having plenty of access to the right types of electricity is a convenience, because you don’t have to create makeshift arrangements or hunt for outlets. It’s also a matter of safety because those makeshift arrangements often present fire and shock hazards. Some examples of these are extension cords, especially multiple instances, and ground plug adapters that, improperly used, remove the safety feature provided by electrical grounding. Bringing older homes up to modern code, ensuring that they have grounded outlets, proper outlet spacing in each room, usually six feet apart, and GFCI shock prevention where water and electricity cross paths, can make a big difference in safety. If children are present, new child-proof or tamper-resistant outlets help as well, by resisting insertion of metal objects that might lead to shock.
Upgrading Wiring to Ensure it Handles Modern Loads
Ancient cloth-covered or knob and tube wiring systems aren’t made to live up to modern electrical demands, and aluminum wiring has too many ways it can go wrong to be left in place. The same goes for old-school fuse boxes and some types of circuit breaker systems that are no longer the standard to follow. Your electrician can inspect the wiring that’s in place in your home and note any urgent upgrades that should be done, along with other changes that would improve your life and lower your risk of fire and shock. A full inspection also covers the types of wires that are used, even if they’re modern copper wires, to ensure that the full circuit is using materials and protection that’s rated to the circuit’s use, such as 15 or 20 Amps at 120 Volts.
Anticipating the EV Future When Your Electrician Performs Other Upgrades
The best starting point for adding dedicated circuits is a modern electrical service and panel, with enough space in the panel for the additional circuit breakers and a bit of room to spare for the future. The line coming into the house should also have the capacity required for your needs. Many homes require some degree of upgrade in addition to the dedicated circuit wiring since the charging current for EVs can be substantial. This is also true if you’re adding dedicated circuits for power equipment in your workshop or other high-wattage gear such as your garage or basement freezer or even a high-quality home theater setup. With the future in mind, combining jobs for your electrician to prepare for other upgrades can be a cost-saving decision, and help to estimate your overall power needs so you don’t wind up making incremental upgrades that require a lot of work overtime.
Your Wilmington, NC Electrician, Wiring Your Home to Meet Your Future Needs
If you know you’ll have an electric vehicle in your driveway charging every night in the near future, now’s the time to talk with your local electrician at Mister Sparky of Wilmington. We can help you understand your options and the power requirements involved. We’ll make a plan of the upgrades you expect to need in the coming years, and what overall changes in your electric service and equipment will require. Don’t forget, many homeowners will eventually own more than one EV, and well-drawn wiring plans may have charging space for at least two. How can we help you plan for your dedicated circuit and other wiring needs? Give us a call and let’s talk.