EV Charging Safety: Which Charger to Buy And Who To Call For Install
It’s National Electrical Safety Month this month, so we decided to blog about EV (electric vehicle) charging safety. The reason for this is because we want new EV customers to know a thing or two about EV charging safety before purchasing an EV charger, and attempting to install it yourself. There are a few safety tips to look for when purchasing an EV charger, as well as NEC knowledge needed to ensure a correct and safe installation. This is why KB Electric LLC recommends taking the following actions:
Purchase any EV Charger that has been tested and certified by a NRTL ONLY
To ensure safety at the highest level for you, your family, your vehicle, and your home, we only recommend installing EV charging stations that are NRTL (National Recognized Testing Laboratory) certified. Any brand with a great review will suffice, as long as the EV charger has been safety certified by a NRTL.
This means that you should ONLY choose an electric vehicle charger manufacturer that has tested its charger through either Intertek (ETL) or Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL), and it has been certified by one of these labs. These two laboratories are the most common in Northern America, and would most likely be used for safety testing and certification in the U.S.
This isn’t just KB Electric talking here…it’s mandatory under the NEC (National Electric Code) that all home EV chargers installed be NRTL tested and certified.
Most “big box” home improvement retailers that sell EV chargers/charging stations like Home Depot or Lowes will sell ETL or UL rated chargers. If you want to purchase an EV charger online, be aware that some products are NOT NRTL tested and certified. Online retailers like Amazon and direct seller websites may carry EV chargers that are not safety tested by ETL or UL, and should not be used.
To identify if an EV charger has been tested and certified by ETL or UL, there will be markings on the product’s rating sticker that look like this:
Hire a Licensed Electrician for EV Charging Installation
It’s crucial and for safety purposes that you do NOT install your electric vehicle charger yourself. If you are unfamiliar with the NEC (National Electric Code), and do not have experience with electrical wiring, call a licensed and insured electrician who has the experience with installing EV chargers.
For EV charging safety, this is the number 2 most important thing an EV owner can do besides purchasing an EV charger that has been tested and certified by a NRTL. There are many safety codes and field knowledge needed to ensure that your EV charging station is installed properly for it to work correctly, and for your home’s main electrical system to work properly as well.
Electricians familiar with installing EV chargers/charging stations know the NEC and know what is required for proper installation. This is just a no-brainer to hire an electrician for EV charging installation.
The Wrap Up
If you need help in figuring out which EV charger to purchase, a licensed electrician can help with that as well. There are three different types of EV chargers on the market (see our other blog here for the different types), and many many different brands. Choosing the brand is all in preference, but making certain it has been tested and certified by a NRTL is very important.
Hiring a licensed and insured electrician for EV charging installation is crucial for safety measures. They know the ins and outs of electrical wiring, NEC compliance, and safety standards.