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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm sorry if this has been asked before but I'm a bit confused. I have a 2018 Volt Premier and I'm looking to install level 2 charging at my house. I have a couple of questions because I read that I should have a 40amp breaker in the panel and I thought I could use a 30amp for the Volt. I'm also interested in being prepared for the future as much as possible without having to run a new line.

(1) Can I get away with this? Install a 30amp breaker in the panel with a 30amp line run to garage into a 240v 30amp outlet?

(2)Am I better off running 40amp or 50amp line from the breaker to the garage with the 30amp breaker and outlet (or do I need a 40amp breaker and outlet?)?

I have gotten some quotes and the higher amp line run is obviously more expensive so wondering your thoughts if I want to keep cost reasonable but also future proof. One of the electricians mentioned that he believes the amp ratings will come down in the future anyway, is this true?

Thanks for your help for a new and slightly confused Volt owner!
 

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Volt draws less than 16 A on level 2, you need at least a 20 A. If you decide to go with a higher amperage that is for the future not for this car. I understand that putting in a higher amp line generally doesn’t cost much more than putting a 20 amp line (labor main cost) so if you are planning to have a higher charging electric car in the future maybe you wanna have that. We have two volts and I decided to put in 2 40 amp lines just so each car had its own separate line and charging system. I put in the 40 just for the future that was optional purely. But that is certainly not necessary.


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If you are running new wires and breakers,,, Future Proof.

The Volt will not be your last EV!!

Spend a few bucks more now and go big with the wire.
 

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If you are running new wires and breakers,,, Future Proof.

The Volt will not be your last EV!!

Spend a few bucks more now and go big with the wire.
Personally I agree the cost is only incrementally higher because the labor cost is almost all of it.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick replies! Yes, the quotes are about $90 difference for the entire job based on the line amps installed. Assuming the higher amperage line is a little more expensive and they probably have a little cushion in there as well. Luckily I got a few quotes because some were a lot more inflated than others!

So, sounds like I'd be good with a 40amp line (for future use). Should the amps for the breaker and outlet match whatever charger I get or do they need to match the line amps? That's where I'm a bit confused.

Also, I was thinking of some of these inexpensive charger on Amazon. Any I should avoid based on your experience or should I consider a more expensive option?

https://smile.amazon.com/Duosida-Portable-Electric-Vehicle-Charger/dp/B018A6QK7C/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&qid=1541253414&sr=8-6&keywords=level+2+charger

https://smile.amazon.com/Zencar-100-240V-Portable-Electric-Compatible/dp/B075GJK2S9/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1541253972&sr=8-15&keywords=level+2+charger
 

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We are building a new home and having a 240V/50amp line installed (6/3 Romex) It will initially be protected by a 50amp breaker but I'm told I can install a lessor amp breaker as needed based on the EVSE I use.

I'm looking to buy a Clipper Creek HCS 50 either hardwired or with a NEMA 14-50 plug. I need to decided quick as the electrician working on my house needs this info NLT Tues when they finish wiring my house.

See my post asking for help.
 

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Thanks for the quick replies! Yes, the quotes are about $90 difference for the entire job based on the line amps installed. Assuming the higher amperage line is a little more expensive and they probably have a little cushion in there as well. Luckily I got a few quotes because some were a lot more inflated than others!

So, sounds like I'd be good with a 40amp line (for future use). Should the amps for the breaker and outlet match whatever charger I get or do they need to match the line amps? That's where I'm a bit confused.

Also, I was thinking of some of these inexpensive charger on Amazon. Any I should avoid based on your experience or should I consider a more expensive option?
The circuit (essentially the wiring and breaker in this case) needs to support the maximum current draw of the Volt. For L2 charging that would be 15 amps for the generation 2 Volt without the increased charging capacity (available only in the 2019 model) or 30 amps with the increased charging capacity.

My recommendation, like others, is to future proof by installing higher amperage capable wiring (at least 40 amps, maybe more) as it is only a small, relatively speaking, incremental cost. For the breaker use a one rated for 30 amps (assuming you won't be using the increased charging capacity of the 2019 Volt). In the future if you need more than 30 amps the breaker can easily be swapped out with one that supports the higher requirements (up to the maximum supported by the rest of the circuit).
 

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A 15A EVSE needs a 20A breaker, never higher than that, and not lower. Do not use a 30A or 40A or 50A breaker on a line feeding a 15A EVSE. The breaker is there to trip and turn off the juice should the EVSE malfunction and start drawing more current than it should. A 30A breaker for a 15A EVSE could allow a malfunctioning EVSE to overheat and potentially start on fire.

The wire size for the circuit can be heavier duty (future proofing) than needed for a 20A line, but the breaker must be right-sized to the device plugged in at the other end. The EVSE manufacturer's install manual will specify the breaker size needed for their device. Use that, not a larger amp breaker.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! Appreciate all the helpful repsonses!Exactly what I needed to know! Now I just need to pick a charger! Any recommendations on lower cost unit?

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This one came with my used Volt, new in a box, no original charger, purchased by car dealer (Honda) from RV place, $199.00 Cdn. Been working fine for 6 months now. Came with a pig tail but didn't use it, I just converted my 240V 20A circuit over to twist lock outlet (a more secure connection I feel) to match the plug on the end. Says they are made in USA.

https://www.quickchargepower.com/featured-products
 

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Thanks! Appreciate all the helpful repsonses!Exactly what I needed to know! Now I just need to pick a charger! Any recommendations on lower cost unit?
Many owners on this forum, including myself, use and recommend ClipperCreek EVSE (what you're referring to as a charger). Though I can't say they're the lowest cost.
 

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Thanks! Appreciate all the helpful repsonses!Exactly what I needed to know! Now I just need to pick a charger! Any recommendations on lower cost unit?

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

I understand wanting lower cost on something. But when that something is a device charging a car with a constant high draw and will likely be use daily, I want high quality first. I balance cost against how much is your car and house are worth in case something goes wrong. Why risk an electrical fire to save a few dollars? Now, the breaker should help prevent that worst case scenario, but stuff happens.

Clipper Creek or Siemens would be my recommendations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I agree, not worth a fire risk but just trying to keep my total cash outlay reasonable. Thanks for all the feedback and recommendations! It's greatly appreciated!
 

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Thanks! Appreciate all the helpful repsonses!Exactly what I needed to know! Now I just need to pick a charger! Any recommendations on lower cost unit?

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You can install oversize (smaller gauge wiring) for future EV charging at higher amperage. If you install a 20 amp double pole breaker in the electrical service panel the receptacle (outlet) needs to match the amperage rating of the breaker, so a 6-20 receptacle would be correct but a 14-30 or 14-50 receptacle would not be per code (no electrician would install a 30 or 50 amp receptacle on a circuit with a 20 amp breaker.) I have a 230/240V 50 amp circuit (50 amp breaker and 14-50 receptacle) in my garage, currently using a Clippercreek LCS-20P with a 14-50 plug. This accommodation is allowed by code when using a plug-in EVSE even though the breaker (50 amp) exceeds the maximum rating of the EVSE (20 amp.) Clippercreek's LCS and HCS series are bulletproof. The LCS-20 EVSE can be ordered for a hard wired installation using a 20 amp breaker or with a 30 amp or 50 amp plug (but not a 20 amp plug such as 6-20, not sure why not.)
 

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My LCS-25 has been in operation for 4+ years and for 18 months it supported two Volt's. These things are bullet proof. I'm going to offer it for sale when we move into our new home in Jan. I just bought a CC HCS-50P for our new home.
 

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I’m not following the argument that the circuit breaker should be sized down to 20 amps to protect the charging cable. Circuit breakers protect the wiring buried in the house, not the appliance.

Most everything ever plugged into outlets all over the house are not anywhere close to the rating of the breaker for that circuit.

If the appliance needs breaker protection, it will have its own breaker built into the unit.
 

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The breaker needs to be sized for protecting the charger (and interior wiring). If you get a 50A charger, it will work fine with the Volt, as it will negotiate the right current with the car, and then turn off the charger if the car exceeds the negotiated rate. The car won't ask for more than it needs. There are also dual chargers, which divide the current between two cars, until one of the cars needs less or no charging, and then the other car will get the rest. This can be one charger with two cables, or two chargers which communicate with each other.

This negotiation is what makes the charger expensive. It has to monitor the current in use, and be able to turn it off for safety. One other thing to look for in a charger is UL certification. You don't want some poorly built charger burning your house down. There are several companies who do this certification to UL standards, including UL, CSA, and TUV. Certification ensures the design and manufacturing of the charger meets the UL safety standards.
 

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I’m not following the argument that the circuit breaker should be sized down to 20 amps to protect the charging cable.
Not the cable - The wiring inside the EVSE in this case

If the appliance needs breaker protection, it will have its own breaker built into the unit.
Not if it was designed to be plugged into a standard household 20 amp outlet, it won't - It will depend on that 20 amp household breaker to protect it. If you plug it into a 6/3 circuit with a 50 amp breaker, the EVSE could, in a worst case scenario, short out and start a fire without tripping the 50 amp breaker

Don
 
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