Amperage & Safety Circuit Breaker Required for Home 110v Outlet?
I have an electrician coming over in a few days and would like him to check on the suitability of the existing 110 volt outlets in my garage for Level 1 charging of my Volt (on order). Can anyone tell me the maximum amperage required and what type of safety breakers (GFI?) are needed?
Apologies in advance if this has long ago been discussed.
J1772 level one charging is 12 amps. Presuming it's dedicated, any 15 amp circuit should be more than enough. The adapter will probably draw a little more than 12 amps (parasitics in the controller), but not much.
The Level 1 charging needs between 6 and 8 amperes, so any 110 VAC outlet will be sufficient, as long as there is no other heavy load on the same branch circuit from the distribution panel. This will depend on the actual house wiring. Calling in an electrician is a good idea, especially if you have no technical knowledge.
Most of us who do have the knowledge and training (I am an Electrical Engineer) will recommend adding a new branch circuit with its own 20 Amp circuit breaker. A GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) is needed according to the NEC and local code if the charger will be in a humid environment. If the outlet is in a dry place, an ordinary 20 Amp breaker and #12 wire (line, neutral, and ground) will comply. Although the Volt will not pull more then 8 amps, the outlet can supply up to 16 amps (80% of breaker limit) continuously with no problem.
I also recommend buying a Kill-A-Watt power monitor (about $20 at hardware stores) to read and record the power consumed by the Volt charging, and it will tell you how much you will be paying for each Volt charge. Here is a link to one site to buy it: http://www.killawattplus.com/?gclid=...FVVi2godq3I-lw
Just plug the Kill-A-Watt into the outlet (you can leave it there permanently) and plug the volt charger cable into the Kill-A-Watt outlet. Set it up and read the display daily after every charging session, or once every billing cycle.
The level 1 EVSE has a GFI built in, and it is selectable to pull either 12 amps (faster charge) or 8 amps (slower for use on shared circuits).
A GFCI outlet may be needed if your local code requires it in garages.
Ideally, a single outlet on its own 20-amp circuit with 12-gauge wire should be used. As long as there aren't other significant loads on the same circuit, a shared circuit is probably OK at 12 amps charge setting. A heater or vacuum cleaner along with the EVSE would be a bad idea. A floor lamp or a radio isn't going to cause problems. If you trip the breaker at 12 amps you can go down to 8 amps or have a dedicated outlet installed.