The Best Practices for Maintaining Your EV Charger

by | Aug 4, 2023 | Editorial

As the popularity of electric vehicles (EVs) continues to soar, it’s crucial to ensure that your EV charger remains in optimal condition for efficient and hassle-free charging. Proper maintenance is not something that is commonly discussed online, but is important to know what to do including regular cleaning and choosing the right location. These aspects play a vital role in ensuring the longevity and performance of your EV charger. Additionally, being aware of how weather conditions can impact the charger’s functionality is essential. In this blog post, we will explore the best practices for maintaining your EV charger, discussing cleaning methods, ideal placement, and the impact of weather on charger performance.

Choosing an Ideal Location

Before installing your EV charger it is crucial to select the right location for your EV charger now only for convenience but also safety, and optimal performance. Consider the following factors when determining the placement of your electric vehicle charger:

Accessibility:

When selecting a charger location you should always choose a location that provides easy access to the charger for both you and other EV owners that may utilise it, ensuring efficient charging without obstructions and limited trip hazards.

 

Protection from the Elements:

For the charger to fun at its best for the longest amount of time the charger should Ideally be installed in an area sheltered from direct sunlight, rain, and other extreme weather conditions. If this is improbable for you consider using protective covers or enclosures to shield the charger from harsher weather conditions when not in use.

 

Ventilation:

Chargers can get quite hot and due to this you should ensure that the charger has sufficient airflow to prevent overheating. Try avoid enclosed spaces that limit ventilation and consider using a wall-mounted charger to maximize airflow and affordability.

 

Electrical Infrastructure:

You should always place the charger near a reliable power source to minimize voltage drop and ensure efficient charging. This can also help with the cost of the installation as less cable will be required. Ensure you always consult an electrician to ensure proper electrical installation.

 

Safety and Security:

Try to choose a location that is well-lit and offers security measures to help prevent theft or tampering. You should also consider installing security cameras or using a lockable charging station for added protection. This will stop people using your charger and therefore power for their own vehicle.

 

Cleaning Your EV Charger

Keeping your EV charger clean is vital for both aesthetic appeal and efficient functionality. Here are some essential cleaning tips to maintain your charger and keep it in top working condition:

  • Regular Inspection: Conduct routine visual inspections to help identify any signs of damage or debris accumulation that may have happened.
  • Safe Cleaning Solutions: Use mild, non-abrasive cleaning solutions and a soft cloth to wipe down the charger’s exterior. Avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the charger’s components. Using a microfiber cloth with warm soapy water is recommended (Think what you’d clean your car with).
  • Unplug Before Cleaning: Always disconnect the charger from the power source before cleaning to prevent electric shock. If this is too complex to do, just turn off your power at your power supply while cleaning.
  • Keep Vents Clear: Ensure that any vents on the charger are free from dust and debris. Use compressed air to blow out any obstructions that may hinder airflow.
  • Cable Management: Keep the charging cables neat and organized to prevent damage or tripping hazards. Avoid bending or kinking the cables excessively. As well as visually checking the cables every few months for any signs of damage.

 

Weather’s Impact on Charger Performance

Weather conditions can significantly affect the performance of your EV charger. Here’s how different weather elements can impact the charger’s performance:

Extreme Temperatures:

High temperatures can cause the charger’s components to overheat, with in some cases can potentially reduce charging efficiency. Similarly, extremely low temperatures can affect battery performance due to the slower chemical reactions. Whenever possible, park your EV in a shaded area during hot weather and use a charger designed for cold climates during winter.

 

Rain and Moisture:

Rain and moisture have the potential to damage the charger’s electrical components and pose safety hazards. Most chargers are designed to be safe under these weather conditions but extreme/ ongoing weather like this can still cause damage so always try to ensure the charger is protected from rain or install a weatherproof enclosure, if possible.

 

Lightning and Surges:

Lightning strikes or power surges can damage the charger’s electronics and while there is no way to avoid these from happening. Using surge protectors and installing a lightning protection system can help reduce damage of the charger if this did happen. Make sure you speak to your electrician about these concerns when discussing plans.

 

Snow and Ice:

You should always remove any snow or ice buildup from the charger and charging cables before use. Ice can hinder proper connection and damage the charger if left for extended amounts of time, as well as reduce your battery power due to the slower chemical reaction.

Routine Inspection and Testing for Compliance

For businesses, routine inspection and testing of EV chargers are crucial for compliance with regulations and standards. So it is important to consider the following steps:

  • Scheduled Inspections: Conduct thorough inspections at least every six months, adhering to regulatory guidelines, this should be don’t via the installer that installed your chargepoint or an alternative electrician if your installer does not offer this. Check for any damage, wear, or non-compliant features each time.
  • Electrical Testing: Speak to qualified electricians to perform electrical tests, ensuring the charger meets safety and performance standards. This includes checking voltage, grounding, insulation resistance, and protective features.
  • Record-Keeping: Ensure you always maintain detailed records of inspections and testing, including dates, findings, and corrective actions taken. This documentation demonstrates compliance and helps track maintenance history if any issues were to occur.
  • Compliance Verification: Consult with regulatory bodies or local authorities to ensure your EV chargers meet all necessary compliance requirements.

 

Conclusion

Maintaining your EV charger involves various different aspects; including cleaning, strategic placement, weather considerations, and routine inspection and testing for compliance, particularly for businesses. By following these best practices, you can ensure optimal charger performance, meet regulatory standards, and contribute to a greener future powered by electric vehicles.

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