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Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Electrician for an EV Charger Installation

Here Are the Key Questions to Ask Any Electrician About EV Installation

Before scheduling an EV charger installation for your home, there’s a lot of information you’ll need first. No two homes are the same, and on top of that every EV driver has different needs and wants when it comes to EV charging capabilities for their home.

As Vancouver’s leading EV charging experts, we’re often answering questions from homeowners about what they’ll need for an EV installation and how to choose a Vancouver electrician for the job. In fact, some of these questions are asked by almost every homeowner we talk to—while others definitely should be. So let’s take a look at the questions you should ask before hiring an electrician for an EV charger installation!

Do I need to pull an electrical permit?

For any EV charger installation, you will need an electrical permit before getting started. In fact, this is true of most electrical projects aside from very minor upgrades or installations. Any time you’re making alterations to your home’s electrical systems, a permit is necessary to ensure that all safety protocols are followed and everything is up to code.

The good news here is you shouldn’t have to do this yourself. Any professional and reputable electrician will handle all permitting requirements for your project before starting. This both saves you the headache of navigating the permitting process and ensures all requirements are adhered to. 

Do you have liability insurance?

Whenever you need electrical work done on your home, you want to be sure you’re hiring a licensed and qualified electrician for the job. And while there are many criteria you can use to choose the best electrician, at a bare minimum every electrician you consider should have liability insurance.

Liability insurance doesn’t just protect your electrical contractor. It also ensures that you aren’t held responsible for any issues (such as injuries) that may occur during an electrical project. If you hire an uninsured electrician, the liability for any mishaps is likely to fall on you as the homeowner. Because of this, you should never hire an electrician that can’t provide proof of insurance.

Do I have enough power?

Like any new addition to your home, installation of an EV charger will require additional power from your service panel. While it’s possible that your home has enough power to support this upgrade, it’s important to be sure beforehand. Overloading your breaker panel can cause more frequent trips and compromise the electrical safety of your home.

To determine if your home has enough power to support an EV installation, an electrician will need to perform a load calculation on your home’s electrical system. This calculation involves adding up the amperage of all fixtures and appliances in your home and ensuring that your usage does not exceed a certain portion of your electrical service capacity (typically 80%).

What are my EV installation options if I don’t have enough power?

If your electrical service can’t support an EV charger installation as is, you have a couple of options. The first is to upgrade your home’s electrical panel and service. If your home uses a 100-amp panel, it’s likely best to upgrade your panel to 200-amp service if at all possible. This is because 100-amp panels simply weren’t made with today’s electrical demands in mind, and these older units will need to be upgraded at some point.

If a service upgrade doesn’t work with your budget, however, another option is to install a Load Management Unit or a Transfer Switch. These devices help to avoid overloads by either cutting power to certain devices when your electrical panel reaches a certain amount of usage or enabling you to toggle between devices at a given time—for example, you might be able to use your dryer only while your electrical vehicle isn’t charging. 

Your electrician will be able to recommend the best option for your budget and usage.

TCA Electric: Expert EV Installation in Vancouver

TCA Electric is Vancouver’s leading expert when it comes to EV charger installation. We work with a wide variety of chargers from leading brands such as Tesla and Flo, and we’ve helped many homeowners find the perfect charging solution for their needs, whether it’s for a single-family home, a multifamily residential building, or even a commercial setting. We also offer service upgrades and can even help you apply for EV charging rebates to reduce the cost of installing a charger.

Ready to enjoy complete freedom from the gas pump? Contact us today to start planning your EV installation!

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