I live in a shared condo where two units share an electrical panel in an electrical closet behind the garage. I'm thinking of buying (well, leasing) an electric car and in order to charge it, would like to install a 30A 240VAC Level 2 charger (which requires a 40A breaker).
Before I pay an electrician to come out to do a site survey, I wanted to see if what I had in mind is even possible given the panel that I have now.
It's a shared panel with 2 meters, each unit has a 100A main breaker (under the plastic cover below the meters), but there are no other breakers or slots in the panel that I'm aware of. The meters and disconnect breaker for each unit on on the right-hand side of the panel, the cover on the left side of the panel is sealed with a tamper-proof seal with a tag from my local electrical inspector so I don't know what's inside.
My dwelling's electrical service runs about 40 feet underground to the kitchen in the middle of my unit, so I don't think that adding a circuit on my main panel and pulling it out to the garage is feasible. It's a straight shot about 20 feet from the electrical wiring closet to the garage wall where I'd want the charger so it'd be a pretty easy cabling run.
Since there don't seem to be any open breaker slots, it doesn't look like I can just pop in a 40A breaker in that main panel and run a circuit to the garage. But I was thinking that I may be able to:
- Put a subpanel with a 40A breaker next to the main panel and somehow tap into the feed coming off the 100A breaker inside the main panel to feed that subpanel, then run suitable wiring from the subpanel to the charger. However, the subpanel may have clearance issues, it looks like there's room in the closet to mount it to the left of the main panel, but it wouldn't be in front of the door and would only have around 18" of clearance in front of it so that may not be sufficient.
- If a subpanel in the closet won't work, then I was thinking that maybe I could tap into the 100A circuit and run 100A wiring to a subpanel in the garage with a 40A breaker for the charger.
(and when I say "I", I mean a licensed electrician, since this is not something I'd do myself, and it will have to be done under permit with approval by my HOA).
Does this sound at all feasible? I guess my biggest question is whether or not it's possible to tap into the feed coming off of my 100A breaker -- I'm guessing that there's no convenient bus bar to screw new wires into so I'm envisioning some sort of big pigtail with split-bolt connectors?
Is there anything else I need to consider? The 1000 sq ft house has gas heat and appliances and no air conditioning, so I don't think a 30A charger will push me over the safe loading for my 100A service.
Also as a part of this work, I'd like to run a 20A 120VAC utility outlet so I can plug in a vacuum cleaner or something, but I'm assuming that will be a relatively easy piece of this project.
Here's a picture of the panel:
And a closeup of the label on the left-side panel: