Can I use my Dryer Outlet to Charge my EV

If you wish to save on the installation of an outlet for your electric car, you probably have checked out the present set up in your home.  You will notice that some dryer outlets are 220 volts and may be wired for a 30 amp circuit. Charging an electric car at 220 volts is faster than using the regular 110 v that used by a regular outlet.  Lots of hybrid cars are ok with 110 volts since they can be charged easily overnight, but if you have a car like a Tesla, charging with the lower voltage would be a nightmare.

Can I use my dryer outlet to charge my EV?  Yes, you can use your dryer outlet to charge your EV.  Nevertheless, you will have to make the adjustments that are necessary that take electrical knowledge.  You will need to be able to switch from the dryer to the electric car outlet in order for it to work.  Having the dryer and the electric car charging at the same time will overload the circuit and the power would be then be cut off.  It is possible that you could cause a fire, so make sure that you hand this project over to an electrical professional. 

Do electric cars charge on 110 or 220 with the typical at-home set up?

If you are new to the Electric Car world, the first question you might have is whether you will be charging your EV at home at 110v, or will it somehow charge at 220 volts? The typical electric outlet that we all use uses 110 v.  For instance, if you were to plug in a tv set, you will use a regular wall outlet that is at 110 volts.  The circuit board in your house will be set at that voltage. If the circuit gets overloaded somehow, the circuit breaker will flip to the off position, and power to the circuit will be turned off.  This a safety feature, so that a fire does not start.

The typical consumer, such as a hybrid owner will be fine with plugging into the typical outlet since they could charge overnight to get a full charge.  I used to own a hybrid sonata, it would charge fully in about 8 hours.  Nevertheless, I could only use the electrical charge built up to travel 25 miles.  This is ok in a small community or within city limits, but if you have to travel long distances, an electric car is better in order to travel long distances on electricity only.

Since the typical voltage on a dryer outlet is 220 volts, you can theoretically plug your EV into this outlet.  It would act as a  level 2 charging point.  It takes electrical know how to do so, did not expect to watch a simple video and then to get to work on this project in a few hours.

Here is a good tip for you to improve your knowledge level regarding charging at 110 volts.  Make sure that you are not using a shared circuit.  The added draw in power might flip the breaker, meaning that the circuit will be turned off until you turn it back on in the electric box.

If you are frustrated with the at-home charging time, it is time to think about making the leap over to 220 volts for your electric vehicle.  The cost is there, of course, it could cost a few thousand dollars depending on the installation charge that your electrician will charge you.  Make sure that you charge with local government officials for rebates that they usually provide owners of electric cars that wish to install a charging point within their homes.

If you are planning on installing the 220 v charging port, you may be wondering if it will be really worth it.  I will explain the benefits to you in the following section.

Does 220v charge an electric car faster than 110v?

If you charge your electric car at 220v or 240v, you are going to find that it is nearly twice as fast as using 110v.  Personally, I would install the wiring so that you could use 220v. If you need a quick charge, you can do it at home.  Or if you are charging overnight, you may be able to fully charge a vehicle such as a Tesla car.  It is best to have as much of a charge as possible in case you end up being far away from a charging port.  Running on a low battery in an electric car is not going to be pretty.

Once you have the 220v option, try to charge to just 80 percent since that will use less electricity than if you fully charge it.  From 80 to 100 percent, a greater percentage of electricity gets used.  This is due to the build-up in heat during the charging time causing the electricity transfer to become less efficient.

I have heard of electric car owners that will charge to 80 percent using their 220v outlet, and then they charge the remainder using just 110v. Nevertheless, at 80 percent, you can still travel quite the distance on electricity in an electric car when compared to the distances possible with just a simple hybrid car.  Some hybrids will allow you to travel just 25 miles on a full charge.

Now that you know that faster charges are possible with 220v, how simple and costly is it going to be to have one installed? I have read in forums that people are using their dryer’s outlet to set up a charging port at 220v since that is usually the rating for a dryer.  The wiring to the electric box in the form of a circuit is already there. Just think of the savings if you could alter the wiring so that you could select to charge your electric car with the circuit that already exists.  Adding a circuit to your electrical box is definitely something that is not a weekend home project; using an existing one is a no brainer.

Just how difficult is it to install your own EV charging point using a Dryer Outlet?

It is quite difficult to install your own charging port using your dryer outlet, but it is doable.  As mentioned above, get an electrician to do so.  Nevertheless, I feel that it is always advisable to know the steps involved so that you do not end up getting overcharged by an electrician.  If he or she tells you will need to spend thousands on parts, perhaps you will need to show around for a different person to do the conversion of the dryer outlet.

Here are the general steps for creating a switch so that you can charge your EV or use the dryer outlet for the dryer:

  1. You need to buy a double-throw switch that is usually offered by general electric.
  2. You can buy the charging box new online, which will provide you with a warranty.
  3. The switch will need to be rated at 30 amps.
  4. You can use EMT tubing for connecting the wiring from the switch to the original dryer outlet.
  5. Make sure that the wiring to the switch is grounded.
  6. In fact ground: new receptacle, boxes, and tubing.
  7. The receptacle is installed just above the switch box.
  8. Here is a splitter switch for switching between the dryer and EV that will simplify your life: click to see pricing on Amazon.

This is how this dryer outlet conversion works:

  • When the double-throw switch is in the down position, electricity will flow to the dryer outlet so that you can still use your dryer.
  • When you push the handle to the upper position, you will be sending electricity to your EV charging station.
  • You can turn off the power to both receptacles just by having the handle in the middle position.
  •  Also, for safety, you can only open the box when the switch is in the off position.
  • Just be aware, the box is always charged, so make sure that you keep the box locked in case there are children around.

A simple video on how to charge a Tesla slightly faster with just a regular outlet:

Can you simply buy a 110v to 220 EV Charger converter?

Would not it be nice if you could just go online and buy a converter so that you switch 110v to 220v without having to add circuits or to pay hundreds of dollars to an electrician just to take a peek at the electrical box?

Click to see a converter by Beleeb on Amazon for 110-120v to 220-240v.  Check with your electrician to see if this will work in your set up.

It is possible, to do so. Nevertheless, the trick is that will need to use outlets that are not on the same circuit in your electrical box.  How many people that newbies are going to be able to figure out what outlets go with what circuits? It is not as if you can simply follow the wiring that is encased within a wall.

If you are knowledgeable enough to figure out the circuitry in your electrical box, perhaps you should try one of these converters.  What could happen is that the breaker will flip if you overload it.  For instance, in your garage, you might have a light sharing a circuit with another device.  If you were to try to branch together two outlets that appear to be on separate circuits to use this 110 to 220 converter for an EV, it might be lights on in your garage.

Nevertheless, here is where you check out on the pricing of the in amazon.

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