Having an EV charger installed in your Shakopee, MN home will save you both time and money. These increasingly popular home features are convenient and easy to use. Certain options can also add to the value and marketability of your property. Here are 10 tips to help you get the most from your EV charger.
1. Always Start With Professional Installation
Having a licensed professional install your EV charging station is the first and most important step in prolonging its life span. Although homeowners can certainly find and purchase both Level 1 and Level 2 chargers on their own, it’s always best to have knowledgeable electricians install them. An electrician will make sure that all related wiring and outlets are up to code and safe for use.
Another important benefit of having your EV charger professionally installed is finding the ideal location. When possible, these units should be positioned close to electrical panels. This limits the amount of wiring between the panel and the charger so that the cost of installation is reasonably low.
If convenience is your primary concern, your electrician can position your charger closer to the garage door than to the panel so that multiple vehicles can access it. If you prefer to have your charger installed outdoors instead, your provider will make sure that it has a proper, weatherproof cover and that it’s in a safe and accessible location.
If you’ve installed your own EV charging station, start your maintenance plan by having an electrician review your work. This way, if any wiring or other issues exist, they’ll be identified and resolved early on and before they’ve spiraled out of control or caused any equipment damage or building damage. Contrary to popular belief, using an electrical outlet that’s rated for a clothes dryer isn’t a safe or effective way to complete these installations.
2. Know Your EV Charger Type
There are multiple charger types for residential use and a fast-growing range of EV charger models and manufacturers. Always start by reading through your owner’s manual to learn more about the specific care your charger needs.
- Level 1 chargers that use standard 120V outlets
- Level 2 chargers that require specially installed 240V outlets
- Smart chargers for residential use that are Wi-Fi-connected and feature-rich
Given that their electrical requirements and connections are quite different, you’ll find that maintenance recommendations vary greatly between each of these charger types.
3. Learn the Terms of Your Manufacturer’s Warranty
Another important step in caring for your EV charger is protecting its manufacturer’s warranty. Depending upon the brand you purchased, your warranty likely lasts one to three years and covers all replacements and repairs resulting from defective components or shoddy manufacturing.
Like all manufacturer warranties, these agreements are mutually binding. When you read through the terms of your warranty, you’ll find that you’re required to keep your charger protected from water, excess dirt, dust and other particulates, and impact-related damages. Your charger’s manufacturer could additionally require routine replacement of the connected outlet and professional charger inspections. Knowing these terms is key to remaining compliant and ensuring that your warranty is never unintentionally voided.
4. Schedule Timely Repairs With a Licensed Professional
If your charger is making strange buzzing or crackling sounds, failing to charge your EV, constantly tripping the circuit breaker, or taking longer than normal to fully charge your battery, contact a licensed electrician right away. Not only will this prevent minor problems from escalating, but it will also greatly reduce the risk of electrical fires and complete charger failure.
5. Keep the Unit’s Exterior Clean
Your job in hands-on EV maintenance is actually pretty simple. You want to keep the exterior of this equipment clean. This begins with a strategic selection of your EV charger’s location, but you should also routinely wipe this unit down with a soft, damp cloth. If you have an excessively dusty garage or if the exterior of your charger ever develops a greasy coating, you can dip your cleaning rag in a mild soap and water solution. For most charger types, adding several drops of mild dishwashing detergent to a bucket of lukewarm water works best.
6. Regularly Inspect and Properly Store Your Charger Cables
EV chargers are noted for their convenience. After all, it’s infinitely easier to drive home after work and plug your vehicle in than it is to wait in a long line at a local charging station. However, using your charger isn’t as simple as connecting and disconnecting the charging cable. Your charging cables should be thoroughly inspected for damage both before and after each use. You should always store them according to the manufacturer’s specifications when charging is complete. Depending upon the EV model you own and the type of charger you have, your charging cables should either be coiled and stored or removed completely. Diligence in this area will prevent your cords from becoming frayed or crushed.
7. Cover Your EV Charger
For outside installations, EV charger covers are always recommended. These are often simple, freestanding shelters that block wind, rain, snow, and sunlight so that this equipment isn’t constantly subjected to the ravages of the elements. EV charger covers are usually installed by electricians at the time of initial charger installation. However, if your unit doesn’t have one, you can get one now.
You should also think about installing a protective covering for your indoor charger if it’s located near or directly beneath any water-reliant appliances or plumbing fixtures. Indoor covers are also advisable when garages are used for both parking and woodworking, crafting, or any other dust-generating activity. All charger covers should provide adequate ventilation.
8. Have Your EV Charger Outlet Changed
With proper installation and care, most EV chargers are expected to last approximately 10 years. However, the outlets that support these appliances will not. If you have a Level 2 charger or smart charger installed in your home, you should have the related outlet inspected by a licensed electrician every one to two years and changed every two to three years as needed.
9. Install Whole-house Surge Protection
Power surges occur whenever there are short or long-term interruptions in the main power supply. For instance, if your utility company has a local power outage, far more voltage than normal will travel through your electrical wires when the power is restored. On excessively windy days, you may notice your lights flickering off and on. Each flicker represents a mini power surge in which the power supply is disrupted for several seconds and then rapidly restored.
These and other surge events take a tremendous toll on electrical equipment. Having whole-house surge protection installed will extend the life span of your EV charger and of all your other appliances and devices. If your EV charger is installed outdoors, you’ll need both indoor and outdoor surge protection.
10. Monitor the Performance of Your EV Charger
Keep a log of how long your charger takes to power your EV’s battery. This way, identifying changes in its performance will be easy. You can keep a notepad or a small-sized whiteboard near your charger. If you opt to have a smart charger installed, your EV charger will log this data for you.
We’re committed to helping residents of Shakopee, MN find and leverage the latest green energy technologies. We offer car charger installation, maintenance, and repair services. We also provide electrical panels, lighting upgrades, and rewiring services. Contact Finch Home Solutions now to schedule an appointment.