Nitroracer UltraDork
7/24/19 10:08 p.m.

I have been reading up on installing a Level 2 electric vehicle charger at my house and I have one question left that I would like some help with. For my application, I would like to have a 4x4 post mounted beside the driveway about 15 feet from the house, much like in the image below. I've figured out the equipment I'll need on the post and in the house to support everything, but I'm lacking the information I need to run the cable from the house to the post properly. I assume I'll need a pass through on the exterior of the house and conduit running underground, but I don't know what size conduit to use for 6-2 cable or how deep to dig. It also looks like there are different types of cable I can buy for this type of job. If it matters, I live in Pennsylvania and we currently go by the 2014 NEC code.


Other Background info:

I have an existing 50A circuit breaker in the home that is no longer in use, and it will be my dedicated branch circuit for this EV charger install. I will be using a NEMA 6-50 receptacle in an outdoor rated box, not a hardwired version as the picture below shows. The charger is a Siemens VersiCharge 30A model that is NEMA 4 rated for outdoor use.


sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
7/25/19 4:13 a.m.

I have no information to add.  But I'm interested in following along, because this is something sleepywife and I have been talking about the last couple-three days.

alfadriver MegaDork
7/25/19 6:23 a.m.

Are you really considering a high power electrical install for DIY?  

EvanB MegaDork
7/25/19 6:26 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

Why not?

alfadriver MegaDork
7/25/19 6:37 a.m.

In reply to EvanB :

Codes, electrical safety, etc...  If you are asking about how to run high power lines outside, well.....    Especially the code part, given that this is outside for the world to see, the odds of a person who would make sure it was done with in the requirements of the law (for everyone's safety) is pretty high.

This isn't adding an additional outlet to an electrical line.  


chaparral Dork
7/25/19 7:15 a.m.

UF cable, run in 3/4" steel conduit; ideally, the whole underground run is bent rather than joined. Bury 18"-24" deep in urban Pennsylvania. Use a NEMA 14-50 rather than 6-50.

I would pull a permit just to get the electrical inspection that's included. 


GameboyRMH MegaDork
7/25/19 1:50 p.m.

While you're at it, you may want to consider also running 120V for other random doodads you may want to run out there (like vacuum cleaners, orbital polishers, ICE battery maintainers or engine block heaters), and maybe some Cat6 or Cat7 for data...can't think of why you'd need that at the moment, but it's real easy to run at the same time and could be useful in the future.

Nitroracer UltraDork
7/25/19 9:11 p.m.

Thanks for the input guys.  This project is a bit of a stop gap for me, I'd like to upgrade the service to the garage but I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.  If I was able to mount it right on the side of the house I don't think anyone would bat an eyelash but the fact that I need to cross 15-20 feet of dirt complicates things a bit.  

cdeforrest Reader
7/25/19 9:54 p.m.

I suppose it depends on your HOA or if you have super nosy neighbors. We did 3 240v outlet drops to our parking lot and it wasn't even a thing. In California no less. The fact that it's a car charger doesn't make it magic (stick to the basics in your wording - people hear Electric Car and see $ signs) It's just a dryer outlet. If it makes you feel better, be sure to use a plug for the EVSE and have a local power shutoff (of course we have a padlock on ours..)

Wally MegaDork
7/26/19 2:14 a.m.

In reply to alfadriver :

I dug the trench and ran the power to my garage myself doing everything but tying it into my panel then paid an electrician to make the connection. It was very easy but having be electrocuted before I was a bit gun shy to play with the live panel.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/26/19 7:12 a.m.

I built (from a kit) my charger myself, then installed it myself, too. It was cheap and easy, but I also have a decent bit of electrical experience. Tbh, I want to help you but don’t think you should pull the cover off your panel until you understand exactly how what you’re doing works and what your local codes are. I think people hurt themselves when they open a panel reading “ok, black to black, it says I’m doing this right... don’t know what these wires are for, etc.”

Assume the last person that touched it cut corners, used the wrong color wires, left things loose, etc.

Answers to your depth, wiring, and conduit sizes should be in the code. 

An electrician friend told me that chargers lose their outdoor rating when not hardwired, btw. I never checked if that was true. I put mine inside the garage and hardwired it; every connection you can remove from the circuit lowers your risk. 

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
7/26/19 7:13 a.m.

Oh, and you can usually save a decent bit on an electrician if you dig the trench yourself. Just rent the fancy trencher from Home Depot for $75 and knock it out in 20 min.  

Nofive_0 New Reader
7/26/19 7:53 a.m.

2nd on the renting the trencher. It will be well worth it. 

As far as the actual work goes it should be pretty easy. Burial depth depends on how you want to bury it. You can get direct burial rated cable, but it has to be in a deeper trench. A shallower dig means a stronger conduit.

Local codes supersede IEC but usually they're all the same. Definitely pull the permit. Probably not worth it if you ever go to sell the house, or if you have neighbors that can't mind their own business. 

Wiring the ends should be pretty straight forward. If you're really concerned about it, invest in some electrical PPE and insulated tools. Lots of YouTube resources for wiring breakers. 

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