Things to consider when DIY installing a wall charger / outlet

Nak

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I've installed two 240v wall mounted chargers. No, it's not difficult if you know what you're doing. IF. There are a number of code issues that need to be followed. Following code is important if you don't want to burn down your house or electrocute somebody. If you do it yourself, get a permit and get it inspected. Most jurisdictions allow you to do your own electrical work. The inspection is a cheap way of insuring you did everything right. ***IMPORTANT*** If you make an error in the installation and your house burns down, insurance WILL NOT cover your loss!!!!

Most houses these days the electrical service panel (circuit breaker panel) is in the garage. That usually makes it pretty easy to install a charger. The first thing you need to do is determine if your service can handle the extra load that your charger will require. I am not going to describe how to do this; if you're going to attempt this it's important you research this fully. Second, you need to see if your panel has room for an additional 240v breaker. (They're double wide breakers.) Even if you don't see any empty spaces, don't give up hope. Most panels allow a certain number of tandem circuit breakers. (A standard width breaker with two breakers instead of one.)

Next you have to decide if you are going to run conduit or run the wires in wall. Believe it or not, it's usually easier to cut out drywall and then use the cut piece to patch the wall after installation. Drywall work isn't really that hard. Plan your run. How many chargers? Are you sure you want just one? If might ever get a second EV, it's a lot easier doing all the wiring at once. Even if you don't want to buy a second charger, you could always just install a 240v outlet in it's place. Then down the road it would be easy to install that second charger. This will make your life a lot easier if you ever do get a second EV, and it will add value to your house.

Before you start, do your research. What are code requirements for securing the wire? How big does the conduit need to be? Will you run 2 or 3 conductor romex? What gauge will you use? how will you transition into and out of the conduit, the outlet boxes, the charger, the service panel? what are the grounding requirements for your install? These are all questions you need to not just know the answers to, you need to know why. Common sense does not cut it. Code does. For instance, my two Tesla wall chargers require a network cable run between them so they can talk to each other. No big deal right? It's a low voltage application, any comm cable will work, right? FAIL. You just burned your house down. Communications cable run in the same conduit as power cable MUST have the same insulation rating as the power cable, usually 600v. Finding 600v rated comm cable is very difficult; I could only find it in two online shops. (Amazon was not one of them.)

Long story short, every detail of your installation is covered by code. Every. Tiny. Detail. Do your research. Get a permit. Get your install inspected. Don't burn your house down or electrocute somebody.
 

ChasingCoral

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Many states provide rebates for the purchase and professional installation of chargers. DIY installations may not qualify. In addition to making sure you know how to do it right, you should check to see if professional installation is required to qualify for any rebates where you live.
 

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Being a retired Electrican I have repaired many homeowner's work. It is not
difficult to install but it is dangerous. One yes one loose connection will cause
a fire. Do not treat this as simple because you watched a video. Good luck
to all of you and yes many of you will succeed.
 
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Nak

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pbojanoski

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I'm pretty sure the cost of DIY installation of an EV charger is also included. (The charger itself, wiring, conduit, etc. Not labor for DIY.) The cost of adding a 240v outlet is not though.
Interesting, I was thinking about the charger installation vs. a plug for the mobile charger. If the plug for the mobile charger is not a tax credit, that might push me into the dedicated wall charger, especially if I hire someone else to do it. My electrical panel is in the basement, not the garage, so it will be a little more interesting of a job and I might not want to tackle it.
 

silverelan

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Coincidentally, a guy I know recently shorted out his unlicensed DIY NEMA 14-50 and Tesla mobile connector. Happened overnight while he and his family slept.

He's lucky he didn't burn his house down or worse. It was a foolish way to save a few hundred bucks and he knows better now.
 

zhackwyatt

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I'm pretty sure the cost of DIY installation of an EV charger is also included. (The charger itself, wiring, conduit, etc. Not labor for DIY.) The cost of adding a 240v outlet is not though.
What makes you say the 240v outlet is not? My understanding was that all costs associated with it (including labor if you were hiring the work) were covered.
 
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Nak

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What makes you say the 240v outlet is not? My understanding was that all costs associated with it (including labor if you were hiring the work) were covered.
I did a little research on this just now. It looks a little like a gray area. I found this which would indicate the outlet isn't applicable:

The part that says

not including a building and its structural components
and

such property is of a character subject to the allowance for depreciation
Rules out the 14-50 plug, because its part of the structure and it increases the value of your home.
I also found a small bit on the Intuit website that indicated the outlet would be considered part of the credit, as long as you installed the outlet during the tax year.

I read form 8911, which is the applicable tax form, and it looks pretty gray to me.

So the answer is, I have no f*&^ing idea, and I don't think anybody else does either. My personal opinion--and it is just a uninformed opinion--is that it matters who your tax auditor is. If they are an EV fan, probably an outlet qualifies. If they are an EV hater--and there are a lot of those--an outlet won't qualify. My opinion on the matter is quite valuable. Use it and $5 and you might be able to buy a cup of coffee.
 

zhackwyatt

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I did a little research on this just now. It looks a little like a gray area. I found this which would indicate the outlet isn't applicable:



I also found a small bit on the Intuit website that indicated the outlet would be considered part of the credit, as long as you installed the outlet during the tax year.

I read form 8911, which is the applicable tax form, and it looks pretty gray to me.

So the answer is, I have no f*&^ing idea, and I don't think anybody else does either. My personal opinion--and it is just a uninformed opinion--is that it matters who your tax auditor is. If they are an EV fan, probably an outlet qualifies. If they are an EV hater--and there are a lot of those--an outlet won't qualify. My opinion on the matter is quite valuable. Use it and $5 and you might be able to buy a cup of coffee.
It isn't clear. Which means you get to use it to your advantage in my opinion. My reading is that an outlet is no more structural that a box that is hard wired into the home.
 
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pbojanoski

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I agree, if it is grey and you have documentation to show the outlet is used for an EV, I'd be willing to take the credit and then show that documentation to the IRS if they ask any questions.

If you do it yourself, the cost will be low enough that the 30% won't be very much money anyway and I might not do anything with the credit. Having an electrician do the install is where you start to get into a more sizable credit and it would certainly be worth it, IMO.
 
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