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My outdoor charging box

GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
1,045
CA
Finished up my outdoor charging box this weekend. I used a "Temporary Outlet Panel" for my 14-50 plug which allows me to have a circuit breaker disconnect right at the station as well as a 120V outlet for other uses in my driveway where I would have to run a long extension cord before. With the panel I also only had to run one set of wires to get both outlets.

For longevity of the box and UMC as well as a bit of driveway decor I fashioned a wooden box to house it from the elements and 3D printed a receiver for the UMC plug. I think it turned out pretty well:
IMG_20180610_104215.jpg
IMG_20180610_104252.jpg
IMG_20180610_104308.jpg
 

Derek Kessler

Active Member
Apr 15, 2016
1,193
1,806
Cincinnati
I'm digging it! My only improvement would be a brush or rubber flap style passthrough to limit the amount of critters and dirt that get up inside. Maybe a pair of segments cut from a tall door sweep?
 
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GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
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CA
I'm digging it! My only improvement would be a brush or rubber flap style passthrough to limit the amount of critters and dirt that get up inside. Maybe a pair of segments cut from a tall door sweep?

Ha! That is a battle that can't be won. But I'll probably use some bug/spider spray to deter most critters from taking up residence and the persistent ones will occasionally meet the leaf blower.
 
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eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,074
2,517
Beaverton, OR
Finished up my outdoor charging box this weekend. I used a "Temporary Outlet Panel" for my 14-50 plug which allows me to have a circuit breaker disconnect right at the station as well as a 120V outlet for other uses in my driveway where I would have to run a long extension cord before. With the panel I also only had to run one set of wires to get both outlets.

For longevity of the box and UMC as well as a bit of driveway decor I fashioned a wooden box to house it from the elements and 3D printed a receiver for the UMC plug. I think it turned out pretty well:
View attachment 309023 View attachment 309024 View attachment 309025

Classy! Nicely done!

Does someone sell a box with a 14-50 plug by default? Like for construction trailers or something? Or I guess that is probably more of an RV box (just weird not to have a TT-30).

I take it you have no concerns with someone stealing the UMC? ;-) Or I guess you can lock that with the latch eh?

I do agree with the critters concern. Any reason not to block off the entire bottom effectively?

What size circuit breaker feeds that and what kind/size of wire did you use? (conduit is pretty small which is why I ask - 6 awg copper? Does that meet load calcs with a NEMA 14-50 and a 120v 20a?)

Edit: Just realized you linked to the box you purchased. Nice!
 

GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
1,045
CA
I take it you have no concerns with someone stealing the UMC? ;-) Or I guess you can lock that with the latch eh?

I do agree with the critters concern. Any reason not to block off the entire bottom effectively?

What size circuit breaker feeds that and what kind/size of wire did you use? (conduit is pretty small which is why I ask - 6 awg copper? Does that meet load calcs with a NEMA 14-50 and a 120v 20a?)

Thanks.

Not too concerned with someone stealing the UMC. Mostly out of sight out of mind security. But I could put a lock on the tiny latch that holds the door closed and could even add a lock to the panel at the bottom corners which would make it nearly impossible to unplug. Beyond all that the burglar will have to thwart the super strong velcro holding the UMC in place!

I had thought of ways to close up the bottom, but will soon be changing up our parking area so needed to be able to switch between a long run/short run and left/right access. So I chose the simple solution of leaving it mostly open, but routed a nice radius along that lower edge to keep from chaffing the cord. If it becomes an issue I can always add an insert in the bottom later.

Good eye on the conduit (1"). Ran it with 6 gauge copper since its prime purpose is the 32 amp charging with occasional 15 amp 120V use. But in case anyone tries to rack up more use it is protected upstream by a 50 amp breaker.
 

eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,074
2,517
Beaverton, OR
Good eye on the conduit (1"). Ran it with 6 gauge copper since its prime purpose is the 32 amp charging with occasional 15 amp 120V use. But in case anyone tries to rack up more use it is protected upstream by a 50 amp breaker.

Question: What size ground wire did you run?

My reading of the table in 2017 NEC 310.15(B)(16) would allow you to use #6 AWG copper at 65 amps assuming the entire run is in conduit (ok for 75c rating - terminals on both ends need to support this too - which most do).

You could definitely then swap the 50a breaker at the main panel feeding this with a 60a one which would give you a little more headroom for simultaneous use of the 20a 120v plug. Actually, you might be able to do a 70a breaker due to the "next size up" rule - but don't quote me on that. I am not sure if it is applicable to feeders to a subpanel? I have not read that section of the code in depth yet...

P.S. I am not sure what the NEC load calculations say about feeding that application with only a 50a breaker. From a practical standpoint I am sure it will not be an issue for your use cases, but I wonder what the official designation would be? Not sure if you calculate the 50a plug with the intended load (a 32a car charger), or if you need to calculate it at worst case scenario of 40a continuous / 50a intermittent and then add the 20a circuit on top of that (not sure if that is calculated at 1500va like a small appliance branch circuit or not). Also, it might be able to fall under the non-coincident loads rule so you only have to calculate for the higher of the two circuits.
 

GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
1,045
CA
Question: What size ground wire did you run?

My reading of the table in 2017 NEC 310.15(B)(16) would allow you to use #6 AWG copper at 65 amps assuming the entire run is in conduit (ok for 75c rating - terminals on both ends need to support this too - which most do).

You could definitely then swap the 50a breaker at the main panel feeding this with a 60a one which would give you a little more headroom for simultaneous use of the 20a 120v plug. Actually, you might be able to do a 70a breaker due to the "next size up" rule - but don't quote me on that. I am not sure if it is applicable to feeders to a subpanel? I have not read that section of the code in depth yet...

I ran an 8 gauge ground wire in the conduit. For half of the run from the main panel under the house I ran 6/3 romex style cable, I believe that only had a 10 gauge ground in it.

My main service panel is already maxed out with the 50amp breaker so I have no desire to increase that.
 

eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,074
2,517
Beaverton, OR
I ran an 8 gauge ground wire in the conduit. For half of the run from the main panel under the house I ran 6/3 romex style cable, I believe that only had a 10 gauge ground in it.

My main service panel is already maxed out with the 50amp breaker so I have no desire to increase that.

Ahh, gotcha. Yeah, the 6/3 romex will limit you to 60c insulation rating so max of 50a breaker.

Though FWIW, if you did have it all in conduit and could do a 60a breaker that would have no impact on your main panel "load". The load calcs are based on the end branch circuits (and the things connected to them) regardless of the feeder (conductors to the subpanel) capacity. So if the wire was of sufficient capacity I would install the larger breaker just because it provides more flexibility.

Really nice job though!
 

hmmm

Member
May 12, 2015
884
590
Driver Seat
Finished up my outdoor charging box this weekend. I used a "Temporary Outlet Panel" for my 14-50 plug which allows me to have a circuit breaker disconnect right at the station as well as a 120V outlet for other uses in my driveway where I would have to run a long extension cord before. With the panel I also only had to run one set of wires to get both outlets.

For longevity of the box and UMC as well as a bit of driveway decor I fashioned a wooden box to house it from the elements and 3D printed a receiver for the UMC plug. I think it turned out pretty well:
View attachment 309023 View attachment 309024 View attachment 309025

Now you're just showing off! :)

Nice work!
 
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ezevphl

Member
Aug 31, 2017
314
444
Philadelphia
I love the design. It would be the perfect upgrade to our current charger whenever we get the car. Our current setup is just 120 on a 20amp breaker. The wire is is heavy enough to be upgraded to 50amp breaker with a 14-50 outlet at the end.

Do you feel that the exterior wooden box is necessary? Isn't the temporary panel supposed to be weatherpoof?

charger.jpg
 

GregRF

Squirrel Power
Supporting Member
Jul 22, 2014
521
1,045
CA
I love the design. It would be the perfect upgrade to our current charger whenever we get the car. Our current setup is just 120 on a 20amp breaker. The wire is is heavy enough to be upgraded to 50amp breaker with a 14-50 outlet at the end.
A 14-50 would require an extra wire than a 120V setup, though not necessary if you go with a HPWC.

Do you feel that the exterior wooden box is necessary? Isn't the temporary panel supposed to be weatherpoof?
About as necessary as a $50k car.
 
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ezevphl

Member
Aug 31, 2017
314
444
Philadelphia
A 14-50 would require an extra wire than a 120V setup, though not necessary if you go with a HPWC.
About as necessary as a $50k car.
Ours is wired for it. Just a 120 at the end since thats the charger the current PHEV came with.
Good point about the box. I'll think about it more once we get our actual connector.

There was a bit of a fight with the city when they wanted to remove the EV parking objecting to large chargers in 'right of way'.
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,828
1,981
San Diego, CA, US
@ezevphl, I"d certainly be inclined to add some security and protection from the elements to that setup, if you decide to use a UMC there. I'd even worry a bit about that 120v EVSE, they can be expensive to replace. A Wall Connector I would feel comfortable just mounting securely on the existing post.

Maybe it's just the angle the picture is taken from, but that post DOES seem rather in the way on that sidewalk. Wouldn't it have been better closer to the street, like the sign is?. It also seems a bit odd that the equipment isn't on the street side of the post.

That said, it's very cool that you were able to do a curbside install like that.
 

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