Installing A Level 2 Charger For A Chevy Bolt EV: Video

JAN 24 2019 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 34

We must remember, EV education is a primary goal.

While we try to spend most of our time bringing you the latest news surrounding EVs, we have to continue to remind ourselves of the utmost importance of EV advocacy. In addition to promoting EVs, we try to provide educational articles for new and soon-to-be electric car owners. Lack of information is one of the biggest obstacles that restricts EV adoption. On top of this, we find it refreshing to see new YouTubers with few followers and views, who attempt to educate and inform EV owners, despite the fact that they’re clearly not making money or winning referral-based incentives.

YouTuber MrKristel runs a small DIY YouTube channel, in an effort to help people with various tasks. He also happens to be a new Chevrolet Bolt EV owner. Since he doesn’t cover Tesla, very few people have watched his informative, well-produced video share. In fact, sadly, few viewers have watched any of his videos. If you own an EV and haven’t yet invested in an EVSE for home charging, this video should help immensely. Additionally, if you’re considering buying an electric car, this video should give you a solid idea of what you need to do to prepare your home.

Check out MrKristel’s educational video and let us know your take in the comment section below. Please remember, as EV owners and advocates, it’s part of our job to help and inform newbies.

Video Description via MrKistel on YouTube:

Electric Car Charger Installation, Bolt EV Level 2 Charger Install

A video demonstrating the installation of a at home, level 2 electric vehicle charger. I show how I installed a Siemens VersiCharge EV charger in a garage to charge a 2019 Chevy Bolt EV. This is a hardwired car charger install demonstration where the EV charger is wired directly to a 240 breaker inside the house electrical panel.

Categories: Charging, Chevrolet, Videos

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34 Comments on "Installing A Level 2 Charger For A Chevy Bolt EV: Video"

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Nice! Some great tips on work order.

It looks like the guy wanted a plug-in unit and ordered the wrong configuration. Then he said, “Oh well,” and pretended the unit had a plug. But the absolute worse thing was leaving 220 volt wires hanging loose inside the wall. That’s plain nuts!!

Awesome responses, and yup, now more awake agree with all. mostly I like the order he did things in to make the work more straight forward, but yes, conduit, no loose cables in wall, grommet to protect wires entering the electric panel…

While we’re talking about L2s, I should mention that I got some really great service from ClipperCreek recently. Our Pacifica Hybrid’s wheel split the cord when we accidentally ran it over and metal was showing, so I called to ask if the cord could simply be replaced. They said it couldn’t, but that it’s supposed to withstand being run over, so they sent a free replacement unit as long as I sent back the damaged one for them to inspect to make sure they were doing everything they needed to keep it rated for safety.

Wow! Nice!

Dang, I almost forgot what good service looks like. Thanks for the reminder.

This is a prime example of a “Good Job if you don’t Look Too Closely”. Problems any Electrical Inspector would surely find: 1). No legal wiring method buried in the wall. He COULD have made it legal by using some of his liquid-tight but that would have been more work for him. Random wires in the wall was always a big no-no. Knob and Tube 100 years ago was better than this. I’m sure even the general readership knows you can’t do this. That is why the big box stores sell Romex, BX and Metal-Clad. 2). If the box cover was a metal cover plate – he didn’t ground it. 3). He didn’t properly attach the liquid-tite to the box connectors, if that is what it was.. But at least he didn’t continue the random wiring OUTSIDE the drywall. I couldn’t quite see but if he was using the extra cheap ‘flexible non-metalic Conduit’, it might be deemed by an Electrical Inspector as ‘unprotected’ against snow shovels, etc, and he would have had to protect it with external piping or some other method to prevent gouging it accidentally. 4). Pride of installation – and Article 100 of the NEC requires… Read more »

I agree with everything you have said.

I am surprised that he didn’t get a permit for it also.

This installation wouldn’t be allowed where I live for sure.

But I am guessing his box cover is plastic based on the look of it.

Here in MA, I got the plug in version of the Siemens and they wouldn’t even allow it to be plugged in outdoors. The code only allowed a hardwired install. When you have 7kW of power, that’s a lot of fire and electrocution risk. Sometimes it is better safe than homeless or dead.

I was in Lowe’s the other day and saw one of these ‘weather proof’ light socket things (what they’re mainly used for with the triple 1/2″ threads), and it was a grey plastic looking thing, but it was metal.

What a lousy job he’s done.
Close to the panel, a qualified electrician would have used Romex and buried the wire in the wall out of sight, out of any hazardous hit.
Besides, the way he did it was more labor intensive with useless outlet box and of course illegal with those loose wires that cannot be installed anywhere.
Around here electrical installation requires differentiating neutral and ground also.
Like he said, if you don’t know how to do it, hire an electrician, which is obviously his case but he didn’t.

But the question here is: Why insideevs show this stupid DIY video without even having a professional opinion?

This is just a ‘feel good’ video – and the authors here just reach out to their buddies. They talk among themselves and then mutually agree everything is ok.

If only there was a licensed master electrician that regularly commented on this discussion who could show us all how it’s really supposed to be done…

Well I think Djoni is one in Quebec, and I have received a master electrician’s license in my town, and I’m in NY State. But they all just usually tell me to get lost anyway, that I know nothing about engineering or Thermodynamics or any kind of science even though I got an A in the course.

I don’t usually comment on ‘how things are supposed to be done’ because there are 10 different ways to do the same thing. I just comment when something isn’t legal – and then all the big experts like the SuperDope tell me I know nothing, and then when I quote the article and Paragraph from several editions of the 1999, 2011, and 2017 electrical codes I’m told they don’t apply because this is a “supercharger”.

So – I don’t know – perhaps people just want to be TOLD one way to do things – but then that won’t work either since few people ever give you the benefit of the doubt.

Agree on all points, especially your last question. This site desperately needs tighter editorial control so it’s more of a trusted source and less of a naive clipping service.

Steven Loveday – Thank you for posting this! It’s a great discussion starter even if it’s a non-ideal (ok… pretty bad) install. For what it’s worth, I’ve seen licensed, bonded, insured, permitted, and inspected electrical work that was ALMOST this bad. To add to what Bill H said (which I agree with, Bill is very wise on electrical stuff), the blue box with the strain relief ears used in the video is not rated for this gage of wire, even if he did use NM (Romex) or some form of conduit. He could have used a dual gang box with 3/4 knockouts and proper strain reliefs (3/4 in. Non-Metallic (NM) Twin-Screw Clamp Connectors) with NM sheathed wire. Also there was no strain relief or proper conduit connection made at the EVSE. What I would have done differently: 1.) Pull a homeowners electrical permit at L&I. (maybe $50, incredibly easy in my county) 2.) Run 6-2 NMB wire completely behind the drywall and directly into the back of the EVSE with proper strain reliefs at the panel and EVSE. This could be accomplished easily by making one square cut in the drywall over the stud adjacent to the panel, plunge cut… Read more »

Yes, at a minimum pull a homeowner’s electrical permit in jurisdictions that allow it.
Maybe you’ll get an inspector that will give you free advice before having to do it twice😀

Second what Bill Howland said. This might look like a good installation to someone who knows nothing about electrical, but it’s not even close. Has this guy never heard of Romex or metal conduit? Good grief. I’ve only done relatively minor electrical work, but I read the code and know enough to never do things this way.

Hold up folks. Major code violations.
Don’t try this at home without consulting with someone familiar with local practices and the National Electrical Code.
I admire the DIY spirit, but don’t tackle this project without a basic understanding of proper wiring installation. Those wires are not meant to float around inside walls or enter a breaker box without physical protection. They have to be enclosed in conduit. Not garden hose or plumbing pipe, but listed electrical conduit. Sure, NM cable (Romex) can be fished into walls. That was not Romex, but building wire that needs protection entering panels and conduit covering it when run outside of walls.
If it’s metalic conduit, then it damn-well has to be properly grounded to prevent sparking, fires and electrocution.
Hate it when I see this stuff. It might work ok for a while, but it’s not safe and it’s not code.
The National electric code is a MINIMUM standard remember.
At least talk to someone knowledgeable in electrical at a Big Box or hardware store. Even there you still need to be careful.

You can run the Chevy issued charger at 240v and use it as a level 2 charger. Assuming you have a 240v outlet, take a 220v dryer cord and put a 110v 20 amp outlet connector on the end. Plug it into the 220v outlet and plug the charger into the pigtail’s 110v outlet. If you do some searching on the Chevy volt forum you will see a ton of detail on this. In been charging my bolt for over a year using this setup. No need to waste your money on a level 2 charger, you already own one.

So that’s around 2.9 kw? If it will repeatedly work for 20 hours at a time and not overheat, I guess people can try it if they want it, but I’d be a bit careful about having 220 volt cords around with 110 receptacles on them.

Of course its not legal, and you are doing this at your own risk – just as long as everyone understands that.

Proper 240 volt wall boxes or connector cords are really quite inexpensive these days, and it really isn’t much money to put in a low-cost outlet with a 16, 24, 30, or 40 ampere charging cord.

One additional expense is that all 120/240 volt outlets in jurisdictions that follow the 2017 NEC (such as Massachusetts) is that all such outlets must be ground-fault-protected. If the high price (sometimes around $150) of the GFI breaker makes you catch your breath, you can install an $80 hot-tub panel that includes a 50 ampere double pole GFI breaker that can be used at any of the above currents, as long as the feeding breaker in the originating loadcenter protects the wiring to it.

One lesson may be to have national code require all new residential construction at least rough in connections in the garage for EVSE charging. This would probably cost next to nothing, but head off amateur efforts to add this on the cheap at a later point — and, if one assumes that the future of transportation will be electric, there absolute will be a need for charging provisions during the lifetime of the house.. I think some individual areas have such requirements for new construction, but this should be done everywhere.

Certainly in ‘upscale areas’ (where people are most likely to purchase EV’s anyway) – there can be little objection to just having a very inexpensive 1″ pvc 40 Plastic pipe run to the Garage area from the main electrics. It would be a bit of an additional expense in a detached garage, but there perhaps the option could be worded in the law such that it is the owner’s choice whether the ‘ducting’ is initially wired or not. If wired, it could also contain the other wired circuits necessary for the garage, plus enough for 2 simultaneously operating wallboxes. Giving the home owner the option of providing either an empty duct or a wired duct should handle most eventualities.

IN the latest code, there is the following requirement.

At least one – 20 ampere 120 volt circuit running receptacles in the garage (and optionally an outdoor outlet on this same garage), plus a receptacle at the end of every car stall.

Of course this means, that even a 6 – car garage would have its electrical requirements satisfied by having 1 – 15 ampere lighting circuit for the ceiling lights (that may be combined with other general lighting in the home), and then one additional 20 ampere dedicated ckt for the garage, as long as there was a receptacle for each of the 6 stalls.

But in a 1 or 2 car garage, at least that would be convenient level 1 charging for at least 1 ev, or if they are both GM cars, they could both run at the standard (for GM) 8 ampere charging rate.

(Of course, in a detached garage, these requirements only apply if it is decided to have electricity in it. The owner COULD decide that the new detached garage have NO electricity. They are only absolutely mandatory for attached garages.)

I didn’t mention the wording in the requirement for a dedicated “120 volt circuit”. I jumped to the fact that converting a single 120V circuit to 240V can be done easily enough and provide up to 3.8kW. Just change the breaker and the outlet (and mark the romex to indicate it’s now 240 volts) Safety first!

The ‘dedicated’ circuit to the garage may have as many as 10 receptacles on it. You’d have to have a 3rd ckt that was ‘dedicated’ to a specific L1 charging cord.

It’s in the 2017 NEC to provide a dedicated 20 amp circuit per garage bay in new construction. So 3.8 kW @ 240V isn’t a bad start for building codes. It’s up to the local city and state inspectors to enforce that however.
The NEC constantly evolves, and updates every 3 years. So I’m confident it will eventually require at least one dedicated 240V, 50 amp EVSE in new homes.

WRONG !!!! Not true. It says there must be a receptacle connected to the ‘dedicated garage circuit’ (running all the plugs in the garage) at each bay.

There are 2 articles that apply :

210.11c(4): At least one 120 volt 20 amp branch ckt shall be installed to supply the receptacles in Attached garages and in Detached garages with electric power. This ckt shall have no other outlets.

210.52g(2): At least one receptacle outlet shall be installed in each vehicle bay, not more than 5 1/2 feet above the floor.

There IS ONLY ONE CIRCUIT FOR GARAGE RECEPTACLES REQUIRED.

Now, if it is desired to put in ‘dedicated EVSE equipment’, then those devices will require their own circuits. But it is not a requirement in general for the home’s construction. Most ev owners in such a home would just use their charging cord and plug it into the required bay receptacle that is daisy-chained to all the OTHER receptacles including all the other bays.

So for practical purposes – all attached garages will legally HAVE to have at least 1 -15 ampere lighting circuit, and 1 – 20 ampere receptacle circuit IF THE GARAGE has a door for people. An automotive ‘door’ does not require a light. The only way a garage could have only a single 20 amp ckt would be if there was no ‘people door’ (hence no light required), or if the ‘light’ was a wall switch controlled gas-light.

There is only 1 additional circuit breaker required for the home (20 amp) because the 15 amp (minimum) circuit REQUIRED for the lighting circuit may be run with other lighting in the home.

210.70a2(2) – At least one wall switch controlled lighting outlet shall be installed to provide illumination on the exterior side of outdoor entrances or exits with grade-level access.. A vehicle door in a garage shall not be considered as an outdoor entrance or exit.

Bill, you sly code expert!

I thought I’d better open the code book after I spouted off. It appears that I’m now a code fabulist. From the last code change I got it in my head that each garage bay required a GFCI outlet on a separate 120 volt, 20 amp circuit (intended for EVs but useful for much more). Now I can’t find anything of the sort.
The only thing I could find regarding EVSE branch circuits in 2017 NEC is
625.40:
“EV Branch Circuit. Each outlet installed for the purpose of charging EVs shall be supplied by an individual branch circuit. Each circuit shall have no other outlets.”

Kind of fast and loose. Nothing about circuit size or having one in each bay for EV charging.
Hey, I’m not that old. But now I’m creating my own NEC out of whole cloth and thin air. I promise next time I’ll verify chapter and verse.

You’re adult enough to go back and re-read the article. One of the frustrating things about the later NEC’s are that you have to read all over the place to see what they ARE, and more importantly sometimes, ARE NOT saying..

Yes, if you are INSTALLING an EVSE (i.e. making it permanent) then it must have its own circuit. Also keep in mind that ANYTHING on a cord and plug (thereby requiring an OUTLET), must be on a Ground Fault Interrupter – even if on 240 volt circuits and even if the GFI costs $158. As I say, one way to reduce the price is to put an $88 Hot Tub panel in the line to satisfy that requirement. (Good for 40 or 48 ampere docking stations on plug in cords – of course cord and plug connected 60 ampere devices are, at present, rather rare).

I’m all for GFCI protection, a zealot really. Where is that requirement for 240V outlets? (Besides swimming pools, hot tubs, temporary power) I know it’s required for 120V outlets in all the usual suspect locations (wet, garages,outdoors)
I’ve installed 14-50 outlets for Model S and 3 owners in their garages, pulling permits to protect expensive cars, expensive homes and me. The inspectors have not cited me for that. I think I even asked the chief inspector of my fair city on that subject for the 2017 code.
Isn’t internal GFCI protection one of the functions of listed EVSE?

I beg your pardon – I mispoke – this is not a requirement for DWELLING UNITS in the 2017 NEC (we’ll have to see if they add that in 2020). It IS a requirement for other structures, however…. Art: 210.8(B) OTHER THAN DWELLING UNITS… aLL SINGLE PHASE RECEPTACLES RATED 150 VOLTS TO GROUND OR LESS, 50 AMPERES OR LESS, and Three-Phase receptacles rated 150 volts to ground or less, 100 amperes or less installed in the following locations shall have ground-fault circuit interrupter protection for personnel. (ed: in other words – 5 milliampere trip point). Bathrooms, kitchens , Rooftops (other than inaccessible heat tape outlets with GF protection on the tape itself), outdoors,within 6 ft of sinks, indoor wet locations ,locker rooms with showers, Garages and service bays. (ed: the reasoning here is that if it is a Receptacle, it COULD be use for something else other than an EVSE, but as I say, I was mistaken when saying it is currently a requirement for homes – sometimes the NEC does these things and them implements them on Dwelling Units also on a later code – after the grumbling has stopped about all the COMMERCIAL requirements). In other words it… Read more »

Great to watch another family put another nail into the coffin of gasoline.