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Old 05-07-2019, 10:04 AM   #1
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Default EV Charger Code Interpretation

Hey Everyone,

We installed a 60 amp Tesla Wall Connector last week, complete with 1" conduit and a 60 amp load shedder. Panel is in the garage, in line of sight.

Booked the inspection for yesterday. Inspector shows up, has a look, and says "I think you need a disconnect withing 1M of the charger". Off to his vehicle to grab the code book.

He cited rule 86-304

86-304 Disconnecting means
(1) A separate disconnecting means for shall be provided for each installation of electric vehicle supply equipment rated at 60 A or more, or more than 150 volts-to-ground.
(2) The disconnecting means required in Subrule (1) shall be
(a) on the supply side of the point of connection of the electric vehicle supply equipment;
(b) located withing sight of and accessible to the electric vehicle supply equipment, and;
(c) capable of being locked in the open position.


Inspector said that the disconnecting means cannot be overcurrent protection, it has to be something like a non-fusible disconnect switch or an A/C disconnect switch, and has to be separate from the breaker in the panel. We know this because we asked if we could put a permanent locking means on the breaker in the panel.

We ended up just changing it to a 50 amp breaker and lowering the charging current.

If we are not mistaken, rule 1 is stating a separate disconnect for EACH electric vehicle charger... As in not 2 chargers on one breaker. Not what he is saying, saying we need a totally separate disconnecting means separate from the breaker. At least he was wrong about the disconnect having to be within 1M... But he said it has to be as close as possible... (there's no code reference for that!).

I have done installs like this before with another electrical contractor and they have passed without a disconnect switch... Which makes this even more confusing.

How do you interpret this code?
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Old 05-07-2019, 10:58 AM   #2
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I don’t know about your particular question. However, many people in both the US and Canada believe that you have to wire that charger (with user selectable current output) to its maximum current. Meaning you would have to install conductors that could handle the maximum current and therefore install a disconnect. If that’s true, you lowering the size of the breaker to 50A wouldn’t make any difference.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:17 AM   #3
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FWIW, from the Handbook:

Rule 86-304 Disconnecting means
To ensure safe servicing of EVSE, a separate, accessible, visible disconnecting means is essential.
Subrule 1) requires that a separate disconnecting means for each EVSE be provided when the supply equipment is rated at 60 A or more or has a voltage rating of more than 150 volts-to-ground.
Subrule 2) requires that the disconnecting means required for each EVSE:
• be on the supply side of the point of connection of the electric vehicle supply equipment;
• be located within sight of the electric vehicle supply equipment;
• be accessible to the electric vehicle supply equipment; and
• be capable of being locked in the open position.


By that, regardless of what you set it to, the equipment is still rated for 60 amps, so you'd have to add a separate disconnect.
Is the panel in sight, accessible, and able to be locked? Some places won't consider a breaker a disconnect, because it can be mislabelled, not lockable, not easy to verify isolation, etc. Also is a 60 amp non-fused disconnect the battle you want to get into with your inspector?
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:21 AM   #4
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I'd install the disconnect. If you have to eat it on this job, that's the cost of an education. How much can it cost? This way you were as compliant as you could have been and when some dead guy sues you, your defense is you did everything possible to make it as safe as you can and he is the one who erred. Doesn't seem like a big deal. Easy fix.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glen1971 View Post
FWIW, from the Handbook:

Rule 86-304 Disconnecting means
To ensure safe servicing of EVSE, a separate, accessible, visible disconnecting means is essential.
Subrule 1) requires that a separate disconnecting means for each EVSE be provided when the supply equipment is rated at 60 A or more or has a voltage rating of more than 150 volts-to-ground.
Subrule 2) requires that the disconnecting means required for each EVSE:
• be on the supply side of the point of connection of the electric vehicle supply equipment;
• be located within sight of the electric vehicle supply equipment;
• be accessible to the electric vehicle supply equipment; and
• be capable of being locked in the open position.


By that, regardless of what you set it to, the equipment is still rated for 60 amps, so you'd have to add a separate disconnect.
Is the panel in sight, accessible, and able to be locked? Some places won't consider a breaker a disconnect, because it can be mislabelled, not lockable, not easy to verify isolation, etc. Also is a 60 amp non-fused disconnect the battle you want to get into with your inspector?
"By that, regardless of what you set it to, the equipment is still rated for 60 amps, so you'd have to add a separate disconnect."

That charger can be set to 80A output which requires 100A breaker and conductors. Because it is just a dial used to easily make that setting, which the homeowner is shown how to do it in the owner's manual, many people believe that the charger has to be wired up for 100A, which then means a disco is required.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:40 AM   #6
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I don't see how Keven's interpretation came out of that piece of code. It states a separate disconnect is required. It states a separate disconnect is required. Simple as that. A separate disconnect is required. Tesla should make a fancy looking one just for you Ontario fella's so homeowners will love having a fancy thing put into the garage in case they get a chance to brag about it .....
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackWork View Post
Many people in both the US and Canada believe that you have to wire that charger (with user selectable current output) to its maximum current. Meaning you would have to install conductors that could handle the maximum current and therefore install a disconnect. If that’s true, you lowering the size of the breaker to 50A wouldn’t make any difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HackWork View Post
"By that, regardless of what you set it to, the equipment is still rated for 60 amps, so you'd have to add a separate disconnect."

That charger can be set to 80A output which requires 100A breaker and conductors. Because it is just a dial used to easily make that setting, which the homeowner is shown how to do it in the owner's manual, many people believe that the charger has to be wired up for 100A, which then means a disco is required.
Here we have never been told to size it for is maximum. It seems silly to make someone wire it with 100 amp rated equipment. That would be like labeling a fusible disconnect "Max 70 amp fuses" but needing to use 100 amp wire in case someone decides they want 100 amp fuses instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by glen1971 View Post
Is the panel in sight, accessible, and able to be locked? Some places won't consider a breaker a disconnect, because it can be mislabelled, not lockable, not easy to verify isolation, etc. Also is a 60 amp non-fused disconnect the battle you want to get into with your inspector?
Yes, the panel is in sight, and accessible. If I had known when we wired it that it had to be lockable, I would have just put it on a 50 amp breaker to begin with.


Quote:
Originally Posted by macmikeman View Post
I don't see how Kevin's interpretation came out of that piece of code. It states a separate disconnect is required. Simple as that. A separate disconnect is required. Tesla should make a fancy looking one just for you Ontario fella's so homeowners will love having a fancy thing put into the garage in case they get a chance to brag about it...
I've done several of these with one of the few companies here in Ottawa that are Tesla Approved installers... This is the first one I've seen him have an issue with other than not being lockable in the open position... That being said, doesn't mean it isn't right the way we have done them. The way that I interpret the code, it means don't go putting a bunch of car chargers on one disconnect switch. Instead have A separate disconnecting means shall be provided for EACH installation of electric vehicle supply equipment rated at 60 A or more, or more than 150 volts-to-ground.

Tesla making a fancy disconnect switch would be a good idea actually... I'm sure they could somehow make it pair with the wall connectors somehow...
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Old 05-07-2019, 03:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Essiambre View Post
I've done several of these with one of the few companies here in Ottawa that are Tesla Approved installers... This is the first one I've seen him have an issue with other than not being lockable in the open position... That being said, doesn't mean it isn't right the way we have done them. The way that I interpret the code, it means don't go putting a bunch of car chargers on one disconnect switch. Instead have A separate disconnecting means shall be provided for EACH installation of electric vehicle supply equipment rated at 60 A or more, or more than 150 volts-to-ground.

Tesla making a fancy disconnect switch would be a good idea actually... I'm sure they could somehow make it pair with the wall connectors somehow...
Is a quantity of one considered "each"?
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Essiambre View Post
Inspector said that the disconnecting means cannot be overcurrent protection, it has to be something like a non-fusible disconnect switch or an A/C disconnect switch, and has to be separate from the breaker in the panel. We know this because we asked if we could put a permanent locking means on the breaker in the panel.
I say he is wrong here. Breaker is a valid disconnect (provided it's lockable and within sight)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin_Essiambre View Post
If we are not mistaken, rule 1 is stating a separate disconnect for EACH electric vehicle charger... As in not 2 chargers on one breaker.
As @glen1971 said, 'each' applies to ONE. They put this in because anything lower than 60A is on a plug in receptacle, and has the required disconnect. So even for ONE charger, you need the disconnect if 60A or greater.


As for wiring for the Max charging available, there is an Ontario bulletin on this stating that setting the charger for a lower current is acceptable.
There is a thread on this already. I think it was Eddy Current that posted the bulletin, and a very handsome EmtNut also said that
I'm too lazy to look for the thread ... I'll leave that up to you.
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Old 05-07-2019, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emtnut View Post
As @glen1971 said, 'each' applies to ONE. They put this in because anything lower than 60A is on a plug in receptacle, and has the required disconnect. So even for ONE charger, you need the disconnect if 60A or greater.
I'm not sure if the chargers listed for use in Canada are different, but down here we can get both hardwired and plugin chargers under 60A. I installed a 40A hardwired charger this morning.

Quote:
As for wiring for the Max charging available, there is an Ontario bulletin on this stating that setting the charger for a lower current is acceptable.
There is a thread on this already. I think it was Eddy Current that posted the bulletin, and a very handsome EmtNut also said that
I'm too lazy to look for the thread ... I'll leave that up to you.
I think Eddy was originally one of the people who said he thought you need to wire it for it's max size, so it's good that they put out a bulletin.

Out of curiosity, does the bulletin clarify the code, essentially saying that they believe the code allows this? Or is it more of an amendment to the code?

Down here they are not very clear on these types of things and we go decades asking the same questions because they leave too much to interpretation.
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Old 05-07-2019, 07:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HackWork View Post
I'm not sure if the chargers listed for use in Canada are different, but down here we can get both hardwired and plugin chargers under 60A. I installed a 40A hardwired charger this morning.

Out of curiosity, does the bulletin clarify the code, essentially saying that they believe the code allows this? Or is it more of an amendment to the code?
I couldn't find the bulletin, but found the comment on an old thread here.

I haven't seen any hardwired chargers here that are less than 60A, but I think the code says needs a disconnect either way, just that 60A or larger would 'absolutely' need it. My take on it anyways.

Post #48 in this thread.
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