You have just bought a new home charger and now you should spend some time learning how to look after it! Just like you would want to keep your EV in top condition, it’s important to apply the same level of care and regular maintenance to the EV charger.
So let’s explore what essential maintenance an EV charger needs, this article will look at the components of an EV charger and work through how best to keep those elements working well.
What maintenance do EV chargers need?
In order to look after your EV charger you should keep on top of a regular maintenance schedule. We have put together a list of the most common ways to look after your EV charger below. The exact tasks may vary depending on the make and model, and you should always refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations, but we hope our list will give you a good starting point:
- Schedule a note to inspect the charger regularly
Step 1 is to be sure to properly inspect the charging unit regularly. When we complete repetitive tasks like plugging in a car, we sometimes go blind to the surrounding objects. Add a diary note to take a proper look for any visible damage, loose connections, or signs of wear and tear. Inspect the back of the charger not just the part you can see. Look at the cables, plugs, connectors, and housing for any signs of damage.
- Cleaning the EV charger
Keeping the charger clean is important to help keep it working correctly. Regularly clean the charging cables, connectors, and charging ports to remove dirt and debris that can mess up the electrical contact needed to charge.
- Firmware updates are important
Many EV chargers will update automatically. These updates are supposed to improve charging efficiency, address bugs or glitches and add new features. Stay updated with the manufacturer’s recommendations for firmware updates and ensure they are installed as required.
- Electrical safety checks
It is worth regularly checking the electrical safety of the charger, even more so if the charger is in a workplace or public place. Electrical tests, performed by a qualified EV charger installer, will ensure that the charger is safe and in compliance with UK standards.
- Look after your cables
Cables can be tossed about, tangled and handled pretty roughly. They get damaged, so inspect the charging cables for problems like cuts or exposed wires. Damaged cables should be repaired or replaced right away for safety reasons.
- Run through the control screen
Test the user interface of the charger, such as the display screen and buttons. Even ones you never use! Just ensure they are functioning properly.
- User feedback
If your EV charger is at work or in a public location, ask the people using it to provide feedback on any issues they encounter. This will help you quickly get on top of any charger maintenance issues before they get worse.
How long do EV chargers last?
On average, EV chargers are designed to have a lifespan of around 10 to 15 years. However, some chargers can last even longer with proper maintenance and replacement parts. How long an EV charger lasts depends on the quality of internal components and the charger’s exposure to harsh weather conditions or physical damage. If you look after it, there’s a good chance it will keep going.
It is important to note that while the charger itself may have a long lifespan, individual components will probably need changing over time. Charging cables and connectors are the parts of an EV charger that see the most wear and tear. Investing time and effort in maintaining your EV charger not only helps it last longer but also reduces the risk of costly EV repairs by helping the overall reliability and performance of your electric vehicle.
Let’s compare EV charger warranties
Newly installed EV chargers will come with warranties, these vary between manufacturers and models. EV charger warranties start at 1 year, with 3 years being the most standard. Some manufacturers may offer extended warranties for an additional cost.
When comparing warranties, look and the warranty documents and think about what components are included and whether there are any limitations – it’s not just about which warranty is longer.
Do some research on the manufacturer’s reputation for customer support and service. It’s also a good idea to read customer reviews and seek recommendations from EV owners on the customer support of charger brands.
We have put together a comparison of warranty lengths for the leading UK EV charger brands below:
|EV Charger||Warranty Details||Terms and Conditions|
|Pod Point||3-year warranty with the option to extend to 5 years||Pod Point warranty documents|
|EO Charging||1-year warranty||EO Charging warranty documents|
|Rolec EV||3-year warranty||Rolec EV warranty documents|
|Andersen||3-year warranty||Anderson warranty documents|
|Zappi||3-year warranty with the option to extend to 5 years||Zappi warranty documents|
|Wallbox||3-year warranty||Wallbox warranty documents|
|Ohme||3-year warranty||Ohme warranty documents|
How do I clean my EV charger?
We have put together a checklist of steps to help you properly clean your EV charger:
Power off the charger
As with any piece of electrical equipment, before cleaning, ensure that the charger is turned off and disconnected from the main electricity supply.
What to clean it with?
Use a soft cloth or sponge with washing up liquid and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive cleaners, or solvents that can damage the charger’s surface.
Use a damp cloth or sponge to gently wipe the exterior surfaces of the charging unit, including the housing, display screen, buttons, and external cables. Make sure that no water enters the charger’s electrical components.
You can wipe the cables clean with a damp cloth but don’t get any water on the connectors.
Dry the unit after it’s been cleaned
Moisture can lead to corrosion or electrical damage, so it’s important to ensure everything is completely dry before you turn it back on. So after cleaning, use a dry cloth or towel to thoroughly dry all surfaces of the charger.
What are the problems that stop EV chargers from working?
Common issues with electric car chargers can range from minor inconveniences to more serious problems that require professional assistance. Here are some typical issues and troubleshooting tips:
1 No power to the charging unit
- Check if the power outlet and circuit breaker are functioning properly.
- Ensure the charging unit is correctly plugged in and switched on.
- Inspect the charging cable and connectors for any visible damage.
2 Slower than usual EV charging
- If your EV is charging slower than usual, check that the charging unit and the vehicle are actually compatible.
- Confirm the charging rate is set correctly on the vehicle or the charging unit.
3 Faulty or damaged charging cable
- Inspect the charging cable for damage or fraying.
- Replace the cable if damaged or if it fails to establish a reliable connection.
4 Error messages on the charging unit display
- Check the charging unit’s manual for specific error codes and troubleshooting steps.
- Reset the charging unit by turning it off, waiting for a minute, and then turning it back on.
How to keep safe when handling an EV charger
An EV charger is a powerful electric device and you have to be careful and take steps to protect yourself and your family, the vehicle, and your house. So the first step is to read the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines for your charging unit.
If you are using a granny charger, try to avoid using EV charger extension cables for long periods of time, as they can overload the system.
Ensure there is good ventilation around the charging unit and be sure to unplug the charging unit from the power source and disconnect it from the vehicle before performing any repairs.
Tell anyone else in the house who is using the charger how to use or maintain the charger safely, to promote a safe environment for all users.
Finally, being prepared for emergencies is essential. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby and familiarise yourself with the steps to dealing with an electrical fire.
How to stop your EV cable from being stolen?
Theft of EV charging cables is on the rise, and it’s not just to sell on the cable, thieves are even targeting the precious metals inside the cables.
There are a number of steps you can take as an EV owner to stop your charging cable from being stolen:
- Use a cable lock
Get yourself a cable lock specifically designed for EV charging cables. These locks usually secure the connector to the charging port, making it difficult for thieves to detach the cable without the key.
- Lock the charging port
Some electric vehicles have built-in locking mechanisms for the charging port that engages when the vehicle is locked. Check your vehicle’s manual to see if this feature is available and how to activate it.
- Park in well-lit, secure areas
When charging in public places, try to choose a charger in a well-lit area with high visibility and traffic. This can deter potential thieves. Also, try to choose charging stations with security cameras or security personnel if they exist in your area.
- Mark your cable and make it stand out
Label your charging cable with your name, phone number, or a unique pattern using a permanent marker or stickers. This can help deter thieves and make it easier to recover the cable if it is stolen.
Hopefully, these tips will help reduce the risk of your EV charging cable being stolen
How should I store EV charging cables?
We are all guilty of tossing the cable to the side of the unit and dashing off to be somewhere – but what if we actually had some time to properly look after our EV charging cables? Here are some useful guidelines for storing your EV charging cables:
- Keep them clean and dry
After each use, ensure the cable and connectors are clean and dry before storing. This helps prevent any potential damage from moisture.
- Coil the cable neatly
To avoid tangles and kinks, coil the cable into a neat loop when not in use. This also makes it easier to manage and transport the cable. Avoid wrapping the cable tightly, as this can strain and damage the internal wiring.
- Use cable management accessories
Some charging units come with built-in cable management systems, such as hooks or brackets, to store the cable neatly when not in use. Alternatively, you can use separate cable organisers, such as Velcro straps or cable ties, to keep the cable coiled and secure.
- Protect the connectors
Ensure that the connectors are protected. Some connectors come with protective caps or covers; use them whenever the cable is not connected to a vehicle or charging unit. Don’t just throw the cable on the ground where it can be stepped on by unsuspecting family members!
The final word on EV charger maintenance tips
With EV chargers lasting between 10 and 15 years, it’s well worth investing some time into proper maintenance and care of the unit.
It’s a large electrical device and so it’s vital to keep it well maintained for safety reasons alone, not to mention the efficiency, and longevity of both the EV and the charger.
By following the guidelines provided in this article, such as regular inspections, proper storage, and securing your charging cables against theft, you have a good chance of keeping your EV charging system in optimal condition for years to come.
Ready to dive even deeper...
John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.