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Level 2 Charging Question

7194 Views 38 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  wassct
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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I would be comfortable with an Amazing-E unit, and they are on sale now too, I believe for $219.

Service and support is by Clipper Creek. it may actually use CC internals.
This is just not true. Is there a wiring code that addresses this?
The Circuit Breakers are there to protect the wiring. Period.

If I plug my dingleberry into a 15A-120V outlet, it can happily go up in smoke on only 3 amps,,, for example...
(I don't have, nor recommend a dingleberry...:rolleyes:)

Any consumer item can go up in smoke on a 20A breaker and not trip the breaker....
The breaker is there to protect the wires in the walls. It has no idea what is using the current.
I think you are absolutely correct in regards to a non-dedicated circuit, like a 120v circuit with several outlets on it. You could have a lamp with 18 gauge cord rated at only 5 amps continuous. Having to then put a 5 amp breaker on that circuit to protect the lamp cord, would make for a pretty impractical circuit.

It's a different situation when it comes to a dedicated circuit however, with just one appliance using it. Then it makes sense to me, and also sounds like it's code, that the breaker be sized no larger than the capacity of the appliance in question.

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There must be an exception in the NEC for level 2 EVSE that plug in. Otherwise every ClipperCreek Level 2 EVSE would have to be hard wired, that is clearly not the case.

For example, the popular ClipperCreek LCS-20 EVSE is rated for use on a dedicated 240V 20 amp circuit. The LCS-20 EVSE is available for hard wired installation (for the hard wire install the installation guide specifies a 20 amp breaker.) The LCS-20P (the P standing for plug) EVSE is also available in four popular plug configurations: 6-30, 14-30, 6-50 and 14-50. The LCS-20P installation guide species a 30 amp breaker for the 6-30 and 14-30 plug version, a 50 amp breaker for the 6-50 and 14-50 plug version. If there was a NEC issue with the plug-in version of the LCS-20 being used with 30 and 50 amp breakers ClipperCreek would have responded by changing the documentation.
That's an excellent point and got me to thinking about dedicated circuits in general. Our dishwasher is on a dedicated 20 amp circuit, and while the old one may have needed that, the new one probably doesn't.

In fact I believe the manual says it can be on a 15 amp OR 20 amp circuit. So I'm not required to replace the 20 amp breaker with a 15 amp one.

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There's no need for that - Short an 18 gauge hot conductor to neutral and you will instantly trip a 20 amp circuit breaker. This is also why a 5 watt LED table lamp fed with 18 gauge wire is perfectly safe on any 20 amp breaker or fuse. You're not going to start a fire with anything plugged into a 20 amp breaker, which is why they are pretty much standard on any outlet in any newer home

Now, what it takes to trip a 50 amp breaker is a completely different subject - Many things could start a fire before you trip one of those

In the end, it's your house (or garage) - You're not looking to pay for advice from a licensed electrician . . . . you just want to save a few bucks, so do whatever makes you comfortable and doesn't cause you to lose sleep at night. There's a thread here on this forum which advocates plugging the stock EVSE (rated on it's label for 120 volts only) into 240 volts with most any breaker you have handy in your garage and the 'experts' here are telling everyone they have nothing to worry about

Cruise on!

Those are good points. It does seem like the safest bet, even if it's not dictated by code, is to use a circuit breaker no larger than the minimum required by the EVSE. That is what I did when installing our CC LCS-20; use a 20 amp breaker. Of course in my case it's only 12 ga wire to the detached garage so I had to do it for the wiring anyway.

I would have gone with heavier gauge wire for future proofing. However, I am just using the pre-existing and unused 85' run of underground feeder from the house to the garage. It is buried alongside the 14 ga wire that powers the garage circuit. And being UF cable, it's not in conduit, so I can't just pull new wire.

I too would be reluctant to use the stock EVSE @240 volts, although it sounds like it's been well researched, and many have done so with no issues. After spending $30k+ on a new Volt, buying an actual Level 2 EVSE seems like a trivial expense to me.

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