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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, new volt owner being thrown into the mix! Trading in my 2013 GMC Terrain V6 AWD for a brand new 2017 Volt LT in Grey with Black Chevy Emblems. I'm so excited to be finally saving money on gas and going back into a car for commuting again. Picking it up this Saturday hopefully if everything goes smooth.

Anyways, exciting part is kind of over. Now the fun part for myself is picking a Level 2 EVSE Charger.

My only option unfortunately is to install outdoors, since I have no garage. I'm debating whether to install a 240V Outlet and adding a weatherproof box on the outside, and just making an adapter for the Volt's charger... or, just buying a Level 2 Charger altogether and hardwire/plug it in and install the correct NEMA outlet.

My electrical panel is in my basement, and unfortunately it is on the opposite side of the house from where I want it. Gotta run about 50 ft of wire form my panel to the desired location. I'd do it myself, but I don't have tools to cut a hole into the aluminum siding of my house (Unless I can somehow install it without doing that). Ceiling is open and I can run the wire easily. I will be putting a 20 amp Double Pole Breaker in my panel for whichever option I go for.

Otherwise, The only chargers I'm looking at currently are the Clipper Creek HCS-20, or the Sun Country highway SCH20, since I will be keeping this car long term and won't need to futureproof. Also, the chances of me selling my house in the next 5 years is high, since my wife is going into policing and I'm going where she's going.

My questions are this. Is there anybody on the forum that lives in Southwestern Ontario that installed a NEMA-6-20 outlet outdoors, and if so, how much did it cost you out of pocket? Or anybody that has a hardwired EVSE installed and the cost to install one of those?

Thanks!!
 

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If you can spare the cash, I'd go for the second EVSE route.
It's more convenient to just always have the OEM unit in the trunk when needed on the go instead of it being forgotten at home or you have to roll it up and put it in the car each day.
You also get 50% off the new unit with the provincial rebate.

If you have open access to the basement and are capable of wiring a simple circuit, you can install it yourself for cheap and still get the rebate after ESA inspection.

As for tools to cut a hole in aluminum siding - this isn't a problem if you go hard-wired route. Just drill a hole for the EVSE pigtail to go through the wall (with a standard drill bit) and then have your junction box on the inside of that wall in the basement joist area. That's how I set mine up.

When you move, you can disconnect the hard wired EVSE and put a plug on it for your new place. Easier option than trying to put a plug in for something that probably won't be moving for 5 years.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you can spare the cash, I'd go for the second EVSE route.
It's more convenient to just always have the OEM unit in the trunk when needed on the go instead of it being forgotten at home or you have to roll it up and put it in the car each day.
You also get 50% off the new unit with the provincial rebate.

If you have open access to the basement and are capable of wiring a simple circuit, you can install it yourself for cheap and still get the rebate after ESA inspection.

As for tools to cut a hole in aluminum siding - this isn't a problem if you go hard-wired route. Just drill a hole for the EVSE pigtail to go through the wall (with a standard drill bit) and then have your junction box on the inside of that wall in the basement joist area. That's how I set mine up.

When you move, you can disconnect the hard wired EVSE and put a plug on it for your new place. Easier option than trying to put a plug in for something that probably won't be moving for 5 years.
Money isn't really an issue, it's just doing it right the first time is all I care about so it doesn't cost me down the road. If I can do the install right now and pay ESA to come out and inspect, I'm a happy camper, provided I install it correctly lol.

For doing the hardwire, I have replaced outlets, breakers, and wiring for an outlet in the past and worked with junction boxes, and never had any problems. Just don't want to pay huge $ in labour if it isn't necessary.

Since you have done it before, I do want to ask you which EVSE did you purchase and which wire did you use? I found 30M of 12/2 wire for a good price if I decided to go for a 20 Amp Unit like the SCH20 from Sun Country, but would like to see if there are cheaper alternatives that pull the same Amps. Also is there an ESA code for the EVSE itself and its placement? Like, does it have to be a certain height off the ground, and do I have to use conduit if I'm running the EVSE wire on the inside?
I'm probably going to be putting it on my inactive brick Chimney if I can, about 5 ft off the ground.

Running the wire will be a piece of cake and shouldn't take me long since I haven't installed my ceiling yet (moved in a few months ago and came like that). Drilling a hole in the wall I'm okay with, just not cutting a big one for an outlet.
 

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I got LCS-25 (now labelled SCH-25) as the 20 wasn't available in Canada yet when I purchased. I don't think there are too many models in the 20A range that are available in Canada and have known reliability - I'd stick with the SCH20 or bump up the power, even though you won't use.
There are lots more to choose from in the 40A range, but not so many in the 20A range. It might also be worth bumping up to 40A for the same money so you have choice of units. Surprised at how expensive SCH20 is now. You can get the EVDuty from Elmec for $100 less (though you'll pay more for wire).

If you're going for the 20 unit, 12/2 is perfect (and cheap! :)) - my LCS-25 needed 10/2 as 12ga isn't good enough for 20A (even though I'll never use it above 13.75-16A)
Wiring is exactly the same as an outlet, light, etc. Very simple, hot-hot-ground and double-pole breaker and you're done.
As the junction box is inside the basement living space/ceiling, the way I did it, no extra conduit or anything is required. Standard romex inside from panel to the junction box and then from the outside, the EVSE should have a conduit already attached to the pigtail, just feed that through into your junction and seal the hole.

There were no requirements on EVSE for minimum height, etc. when I installed, but confirm with ESA. (I doubt they've changed in the past 3 years)
Mount it at a convenient height. Mine is chest/eye level, about the same as you're planning.
Just make sure the wire is not running through the chimney - ESA won't like that :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got LCS-25 (now labelled SCH-25) as the 20 wasn't available in Canada yet when I purchased. I don't think there are too many models in the 20A range that are available in Canada and have known reliability - I'd stick with the SCH20 or bump up the power, even though you won't use.
There are lots more to choose from in the 40A range, but not so many in the 20A range. It might also be worth bumping up to 40A for the same money so you have choice of units. Surprised at how expensive SCH20 is now. You can get the EVDuty from Elmec for $100 less (though you'll pay more for wire).

If you're going for the 20 unit, 12/2 is perfect (and cheap! :)) - my LCS-25 needed 10/2 as 12ga isn't good enough for 20A (even though I'll never use it above 13.75-16A)
Wiring is exactly the same as an outlet, light, etc. Very simple, hot-hot-ground and double-pole breaker and you're done.
As the junction box is inside the basement living space/ceiling, the way I did it, no extra conduit or anything is required. Standard romex inside from panel to the junction box and then from the outside, the EVSE should have a conduit already attached to the pigtail, just feed that through into your junction and seal the hole.

There were no requirements on EVSE for minimum height, etc. when I installed, but confirm with ESA. (I doubt they've changed in the past 3 years)
Mount it at a convenient height. Mine is chest/eye level, about the same as you're planning.
Just make sure the wire is not running through the chimney - ESA won't like that :)
Lol, yeah, no intentions of wiring through the chimney, just mounting :p

Seen the SCH25 for $30 more, compared to the SCH20. There's also a group buy thing going on from RedFlagDeals for both the EVDuty and the Sun Country Highway, so I might be able to get it cheaper. It's very tempting to pay the extra $30 to go up to the SCH25 or paying less to get the EVDuty, but I don't know if my panel can handle the EVDuty at continuous load (or would it be limited to what my Volt uses?) That's something I have to figure out I guess. I run an electric dryer, electric stove, air conditioning (20 Amps) and have an old 240V connection capped off from my old electric water heater that's not being used anymore (upgraded to gas), so I might be able to free up some room on my panel if I can figure out which breaker that's on (that's another story).

I would just have to locate the 10 gauge wire, since I haven't been able to find it anywhere I go (they sell it in 75M, but that's too much wire for my needs and it's $230 at Home Depot). Trying to find the 10 or 8 gauge in a 30M roll. If I can't get it for a decent price and if my current panel can't handle it (my panel is 100 Amps and house is about 1400 sq ft, maybe less), I might as well get the SCH20, even though it's more money.
 

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...I would just have to locate the 10 gauge wire, since I haven't been able to find it anywhere I go (they sell it in 75M, but that's too much wire for my needs and it's $230 at Home Depot). Trying to find the 10 or 8 gauge in a 30M roll...
Are you looking for romex cable or individual THHN wire spools? Home Depot has either in 10 (and 12) gauge on 100' (30.48m) spools.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Romex-100-ft-10-2-solid-SIMpull-NM-B-Cable-28829028/202316241

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwire-100-ft-10-Black-Stranded-THHN-Wire-22973237/204812489
 

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Drilling through alum. siding is very easy. Just make sure where you drill you have a clear way through the siding and the wood behind it and into the basement ceiling. Locate something else that goes outside such as a hose faucet and that will be your guide as to what you should expect inside and out. I would put a short piece of pvc conduit through the wall and use a proper exterior grade box with outlet or hardwire within the box accordingly if direct wired. The cost should be minimal and all should be available at home depot or similar. If you want to put the connection up a bit higher, put in an LB (line bend conduit elbow)with a removable faceplate to allow you to pull the wire through and then up through more conduit to the box. Put on a couple of pvc conduit pipe straps to hold it in place.

If you are running 12/2 then 3/4 conduit should be easy to work with and will give plenty of room for the cable.

Inside the basement, no need for conduit when running through the joists. It will just look like all of the other wires running through your basement ceiling.

The same drill bit used for wood is used for aluminum siding. Aluminum is very soft and easy to drill.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
...I would just have to locate the 10 gauge wire, since I haven't been able to find it anywhere I go (they sell it in 75M, but that's too much wire for my needs and it's $230 at Home Depot). Trying to find the 10 or 8 gauge in a 30M roll...
Are you looking for romex cable or individual THHN wire spools? Home Depot has either in 10 (and 12) gauge on 100' (30.48m) spools.

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Romex-100-ft-10-2-solid-SIMpull-NM-B-Cable-28829028/202316241

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Southwire-100-ft-10-Black-Stranded-THHN-Wire-22973237/204812489
That's what I'm looking for (Romex), however Home Depot USA won't ship to Canada. So that's out. I'm finding 12/2 for a good price, and I might be pushing the 50ft limit, otherwise I'll have to go to 10 gauge for sure.

Ive got a clear path in mind for the wire, which will involve drilling into the joists (won't be too bad, just have to follow the building codes in Ontario for drilling into joists).

The wiring in my basement is questionable. A lot of it is older, but hoping the ESA won't pay much attention to that and just focus on the EVSE wiring, which I plan on doing right the first time.

If I do the outlet, it'll be the cheaper option short term until I move and install something more permanent. I'm leaning towards the outlet for that reason. I got time though to think.
 

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Many local building stores sell 10/2 by the foot and I think even home depot Canada may do that. You definitely want the length of the run and no less or else you will have to put in a junction box with cover and marr the wires which is not ideal. If you can't get 12/2(20amp) or 10/2(30amp) by the foot, you can use 12/3(20 amp) or 10/3(30amp) and pay a tad more but more than likely sold by the foot somewhere. Heavier gage wire is ok on a lighter fused circuit but just costs more and is harder to work with.

Basically, 2 pole breaker in the panel, run wire though existing hole/clamp on panel or open another one up and put in a cable clamp. Run wire through ceiling above joists if possible and to hole leading to exterior. In hole, put in a short length of 3/4 PVC conduit glued to an LB and then another piece of 3/4 conduit up to a weatherproof outlet or box depending on what you require.

Secure with 3/4 pvc straps.

Pipe - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-conduit--34-in.1000101188.html
LB - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-lb-shaped-conduit-body--34-in.1000101217.html
Pipe straps - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-conduit-clamps--34-in-bag-of-5.1000100974.html
Direct Wire Junction Box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.pvc-round-junction-box--34-inch.1000175579.html
Weatherpoof Box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.outdoor-weatherproof-fse-single-gang-pvc-device-box--34-in.1000101186.html?autoSuggest=pip
Double Weatherproof box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.outdoor-weatherproof-fse-double-gang-pvc-device-box--34-in.1000101109.html

If not direct wire, the trick will be to find something weatherproof with the correct receptacle and cover. That will be the challenge but I suspect if you go to an RV store you will find that. Should be in the $25 to $50 range max

The most expensive part will be the wire. Everything else is pretty inexpensive, even the breaker which will be specific to your panel.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Many local building stores sell 10/2 by the foot and I think even home depot Canada may do that. You definitely want the length of the run and no less or else you will have to put in a junction box with cover and marr the wires which is not ideal. If you can't get 12/2(20amp) or 10/2(30amp) by the foot, you can use 12/3(20 amp) or 10/3(30amp) and pay a tad more but more than likely sold by the foot somewhere. Heavier gage wire is ok on a lighter fused circuit but just costs more and is harder to work with.

Basically, 2 pole breaker in the panel, run wire though existing hole/clamp on panel or open another one up and put in a cable clamp. Run wire through ceiling above joists if possible and to hole leading to exterior. In hole, put in a short length of 3/4 PVC conduit glued to an LB and then another piece of 3/4 conduit up to a weatherproof outlet or box depending on what you require.

Secure with 3/4 pvc straps.

Pipe - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-conduit--34-in.1000101188.html
LB - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-lb-shaped-conduit-body--34-in.1000101217.html
Pipe straps - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.schedule-40-pvc-conduit-clamps--34-in-bag-of-5.1000100974.html
Direct Wire Junction Box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.pvc-round-junction-box--34-inch.1000175579.html
Weatherpoof Box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.outdoor-weatherproof-fse-single-gang-pvc-device-box--34-in.1000101186.html?autoSuggest=pip
Double Weatherproof box - https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.outdoor-weatherproof-fse-double-gang-pvc-device-box--34-in.1000101109.html

If not direct wire, the trick will be to find something weatherproof with the correct receptacle and cover. That will be the challenge but I suspect if you go to an RV store you will find that. Should be in the $25 to $50 range max

The most expensive part will be the wire. Everything else is pretty inexpensive, even the breaker which will be specific to your panel.
Wow, that's extremely helpful!

Wife wants to keep costs low so this is perfect. I have the weatherproof cover and I bought a Leviton NEMA 6-20 receptacle already so I guess all I really need then is the rest of the PVC material and the wires.Regular parts would probably be about $20, then wire I'm guessing around $100. My run is going to be about 50 ft, probably shorter, so if I can find 20 metres (about 60 ft) in a roll, or just pick up about 55-60 ft and pay by the foot, I'm not doing too bad and I'll be a happy camper. Just gotta borrow a cutting tool to create the hole in the aluminum siding.
 

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For the wire - look for a 'dryer kit' - that's what I used. Had 10/3 wire, large box (sized for the dryer outlet), marrettes, and the receptacle. Didn't use the receptacle, but was cheaper than buying the wire by the ft. Something to consider if the precut lengths fit your needs.
You might also consider returning the 6-20 and using the included dryer receptacle if that's the case.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
For the wire - look for a 'dryer kit' - that's what I used. Had 10/3 wire, large box (sized for the dryer outlet), marrettes, and the receptacle. Didn't use the receptacle, but was cheaper than buying the wire by the ft. Something to consider if the precut lengths fit your needs.
You might also consider returning the 6-20 and using the included dryer receptacle if that's the case.
Since we have ESA, do we require GFCI on the outdoor outlets, even the 240V? I was going to go with the NEMA 6-20 but thinking I might do the NEMA 14-30/50 and getting the dryer kit. Would they have a 10/3 wiring in the dryer kit long enough to accomodate my needs?

I went to Home Depot to price out some wire and found 30M of 10/3 for $120. So far that's the cheapest 10 gauge I've seen (next up is 10/2 in 75 M roll for $224) and it's making me re-consider going the dryer plug route, but trying to find a waterproof cover to go over it outdoors is a pain in the rear.

https://evandmore.com/products/outdoor-nema-6-50-welding-outlet

Would this be a good option as well? It's $80 shipping included. Just would have to buy wire, conduit, and a NEMA 6-50 cord and create my own adapter..
 

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If you are going to all that trouble, run the bigger wire gauge for a 40 amp unit. You next EV may support it, and then all you need to do is change what's after the junction box. Personally, I would get a 40A EVSE to start with.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
If you are going to all that trouble, run the bigger wire gauge for a 40 amp unit. You next EV may support it, and then all you need to do is change what's after the junction box. Personally, I would get a 40A EVSE to start with.
The problem with that proposition, while a good idea, is I don't know if my current panel can handle the 40A EVSE. I know it'll handle the 20 just fine, and honestly, I don't plan on getting rid of my Volt for at least 6-7 years. By that time, I'll be in another house, hopefully with 200 Amp Service.

I would go for the EVDuty 30 Amp (logically it's a no brainer in comparison to the SCH20), but like I said, what's the point in getting it if my panel can't handle it at max load, and when I don't need all that charging power?

The only thing I can think of maybe...I have a capped off 240V line from my old electric water heater that is still live. Has its own shut off, and might make the perfect candidate if I can figure out which breaker it's on and figure out the amps it can handle. I can probably put a new junction box on the joist and move it up, and add 10 gauge wire to run it to the EV. I haven't had a chance to investigate the line too much, but it might be a cheaper route and I might be able to get away with using less wire :)

The only question I have is how many Amps does a 60 gallon electric water heater use on 240v? It was a newer one from Reliance Canada. We upgraded to gas so like I said, the wiring is unoccupied.


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Why do you want the plug? Do you plan to move the EVSE often? It's going to add cost and complexity for no reason if you never move it from A-B regularly. That's why I hard-wired mine.
Also means the box is entirely in the house and no weatherproofing needed (the EVSE pigtail is weatherproof conduit, right into the wall)

Your HWT circuit is probably 30A.

Regardless of which 240V EVSE you buy, your volt will never make full use of it (15A max limited by the car). So that's not really an argument for/against a larger model :)
You could technically run a 30A unit on a 20A breaker and the volt would never trip it. You'd only run into issues if a different vehicle stopped by to use it and trips the breaker.
 

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My understanding i the whole setup is outdoors.

Nevertheless, if you go with a 25 amp charger, get the biggest wiring guage you can afford.

Fyi my electric heater has 15 amp breaker I believe. They draw between 500 and 1000 watts
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My understanding i the whole setup is outdoors.

Nevertheless, if you go with a 25 amp charger, get the biggest wiring guage you can afford.

Fyi my electric heater has 15 amp breaker I believe. They draw between 500 and 1000 watts
Do you mean an actual electric heater or an electric water heater? Mine was a big 60 gallon tank on a 240V, so I'd have to guess it was drawing at least 20 Amps from the panel. But I can't remember the numbers. Doh.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Why do you want the plug? Do you plan to move the EVSE often? It's going to add cost and complexity for no reason if you never move it from A-B regularly. That's why I hard-wired mine.
Also means the box is entirely in the house and no weatherproofing needed (the EVSE pigtail is weatherproof conduit, right into the wall)

Your HWT circuit is probably 30A.

Regardless of which 240V EVSE you buy, your volt will never make full use of it (15A max limited by the car). So that's not really an argument for/against a larger model :)
You could technically run a 30A unit on a 20A breaker and the volt would never trip it. You'd only run into issues if a different vehicle stopped by to use it and trips the breaker.
I'd have to take a better look at my panel, because I switched off every single damn breaker and none of them killed the live wire to the electric water heater line. When I kill power to the whole house at once with the main panel, it kills the hydro to it. So I have no idea what's wrong there. I'll have to figure out the wire gauge as well.

I'll take pictures of it and post in a few minutes.

As for the outlet, for terms of portability (i.e. Turbocord) or using the OEM charger as Level 2, I was thinking of that. But if I can make use of that connection, I'll only be using about 25 ft of wire max and will go that route since it'll be much less complicated.
 

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Re-purposing your abandoned hot water heater circuit sounds like a great idea. There must be a double pole breaker pair for it either in the main panel or a sub-panel. It is probably a 30 amp circuit. So by the 80% rule, you could draw up to a continuous 24 amps from it. Since the Volt won't draw more than 15.something amps, it will work fine.

If you install a receptacle, the breakers should match the wiring and the receptacle. That is, if it is 10 ga wire, and you install a 30 amp receptacle, the double pole breaker should be rated at 30 amps. If you decide to install your 6-20 receptacle, you should install a 20 amp breaker. (The oversize wires are not a problem, of course.) If you decide to hard-wire the EVSE, the breaker should match the EVSE requirements.
 

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Re-purposing your abandoned hot water heater circuit sounds like a great idea. There must be a double pole breaker pair for it either in the main panel or a sub-panel. It is probably a 30 amp circuit. So by the 80% rule, you could draw up to a continuous 24 amps from it. Since the Volt won't draw more than 15.something amps, it will work fine.

If you install a receptacle, the breakers should match the wiring and the receptacle. That is, if it is 10 ga wire, and you install a 30 amp receptacle, the double pole breaker should be rated at 30 amps. If you decide to install your 6-20 receptacle, you should install a 20 amp breaker. (The oversize wires are not a problem, of course.) If you decide to hard-wire the EVSE, the breaker should match the EVSE requirements.
Sorry, I should have been clearer. I tried all the breakers in the sub panel and the main panel, none are connected to the old line. The shutoff for the hydro going from the outside to the main panel is what I was talking about. That was the only way I could kill the hydro to that connection, which is strange. I'll try it again and post results, and post some pictures.
 
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