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Do EV chargers need an earth rod?

Do EV chargers need an earth rod?

Are you considering installing an electric vehicle (EV) charger at home? If you’ve been scouring the internet for home electric car chargers, you may have come across the term – earth rod. But what is an earth rod? Do EV chargers need an earth rod?

In this blog post, we’ll explore whether or not an earth rod is necessary for your EV charger installation, provide alternatives to earth rods, and suggest the best EV chargers that don’t require an earth rod.

What is an earth rod?

An earth rod, also known as an earth electrode, is a conductive metal rod made of copper or steel that is inserted into the earth and connected to an EV charger. The earth rod serves as a means of protection for electrical equipment and installations by providing a path to ground for any stray electrical currents, helping to prevent lethal electrical shocks and other hazards in the event of a fault in the property’s electricity distribution system.

Why do you need an earth rod for EV charging stations?

An earth rod is needed to provide a safe and reliable connection between an electrical system and the ground. Without this connection, electrical equipment and installations can become extremely hazardous. In fact, installing an earth rod is also part of the 18th edition wiring regulations (unless other methods are used), which seeks to prevent a shock hazard which could occur if a fault develops.

UK homes have three earthing types: TT, TNCS (PME), and TNS. An earth rod is only needed to be installed if you have a TNCS (PME) or TNS earthing system. The vast majority of new and existing properties make use of either a TNCS (PME) or TNS earthing system.

A certified EV charger installer, such as We Power Your Car, can identify your earthing type and whether you need an earth rod.

do EV chargers require earth rods

What are the disadvantages of an earth rod?

Firstly, earth rods are difficult and time-consuming to install – which could lead to added EV charger installation costs. For example, inserting the rod into the ground can be difficult, especially on rocky terrain. Moreover, some customers may not want you to drill into their driveway or want a metal pipe to ruin the aesthetics of their property.

Earth rods are also potentially dangerous to install. Home electric car chargers are usually installed near the incoming electrical supply cable, gas meter, water mains, and sewerage pipes. As such, when installing a rod into the ground, there is a potential risk of hitting one of these, which can cause issues and damage.


What are the alternatives to earth rods for EV chargers?

Many modern EV charging units have been designed to adhere to the 18th Edition wiring regulations and can be installed without requiring an earth rod. These chargers have built-in Open PEN fault protection, which removes the need for an earth rod.

A PEN fault protection system will continuously monitor the voltages on your incoming supply to detect low or high-voltage supplies and potential earth-neutral faults. If an issue is detected, it will cut off your charging point, preventing any lethal electrical shocks and other hazards.

If a charger does not have built-in PEN fault protection, this type of device can be supplied and installed separately with the charger itself, such as a matt:e. This device works the same as those built into the charger but is a separate device that must be purchased. As such, this can lead to an additional cost for an EV charger installation.

earth rods and ev charger

Do all EV chargers need earth rods? Why your EV charger may NOT need an earth rod:

Despite being essential for compliance with 18th edition wiring regulations, not all EV chargers need earth rods. If your home is already on an earth rod, you do not require a dedicated earth rod for an EV charger as you are already protected. Your EV charger installer will be able to identify if this is the case for you.

Again, you don’t need an earth rod if you are installing the charge point in a garage AND charging the car in the garage itself because the house earthing is sufficient to earth your car charger. 

Another circumstance is if the EV charger you are installing has built-in PEN fault protection, you do not need to install an earth rod.

Lastly, if the charger you are installing does not have this built-in, but you are installing a separate PEN fault protection device at the same time as the charger, then you do not need to install an earth rod. This is because PEN fault protection devices serve the same function and level of protection as an earth rod.

EV charger earth rod requirements:

Earth rods are essential for EV chargers for safety and compliance with the 18th edition wiring regulations. That said, it’s highly unlikely your EV charger will need an earth rod in 2024 as almost all modern EV chargers are designed to meet wiring regulations, replacing earth rods will PEN fault protection (except for the Tesla Wall Connector that requires an earth rod). PEN fault protection monitors incoming supply voltages and prevents hazards.

Best EV Chargers that don’t require an earth rod?

Our range of market leading EV chargers, such as the Easee One, Ohme Home Pro, Ohme ePod and more, have built-in PEN fault protection, promising you a cheaper, safer electric car charger installation. Not only that, but we have expert engineers across the UK, meaning we can deliver the highest quality electric car charge installation wherever you are, with fast installation times.

Call us at 03333 44 96 99 or fill in our contact form below, and one of our industry experts will be in touch.



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Tethered charger

This type of electric charger has it's own cable to charge your car.

Socketed charger

This type of electric charger requires a seperate cable to charge your car.

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Underground cable

We lay SWA cable laid at 600mm deep, with a protective cable warning tape laid 150mm above the cable. These are laid on a sand or sifted sand soil bed then backfilled.

Overhead cable

We position overhead cables at a minimum height of 3.5m and are run along a catenary wire. The cable run should not be accessible to vehicles.

Standard Installation
Our instant price is fixed if it falls within our standard installation package plus any additions that you have selected (extra cabling for example). This package covers the majority of homes in the UK. Before we undertake your installation we will carry out a digital survey to check that nothing has been missed. After reviewing the survey results some additional work may be required in order to complete your installation safely and to the required standards. If this is the case, we will contact you well before the installation date and advise the cost of any required work. You can then continue with your installation, or alternatively we will refund you in full if you do not want to proceed.

Included in our standard installation is :
• Fitting of a single phase charge point to a brick or plaster wall or other suitable permanent structure
• Up to 10 metres of cable, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the electricity supply meter / distribution board and the charge point.
• Routing of the cable through a drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick if this is needed.
• The fitting and testing of electrical connections and protections required for the charge point.
• An additional three way consumer unit, if required
• Installation of a Type A RCBO in an RCBO enclosure
• Up to 3 metres of plastic trunking to conceal interior wiring.
• An O-pen earth protection device if the charge point requires it. (This is NOT an earth rod)
• Up to 4 hours of labour from your installer to complete the work.
• Electrical testing of the whole installation.
• Handover and setup of the charge point and any app that may be needed.

Not included in our standard installation (additional work) :
• Where the installation requires additional cabling over and above the amount you have told us about.
• Upgrade/replacement of the main incoming supply fuse where the local DNO (eg Northern Powergrid) would need to attend site.
• If the charge point is to be mounted on a post/pedestal rather than an existing wall and where you have not selected a post as an extra cost option in your order.
• Installation of a charge point to a three phase supply.
• Where gas and water mains bonding (earthing) is not in place at your property. If this is not in place, additional work would be required before installation of the charge point.
• Any groundwork that has not been selected during the order process.

A Surge Protection Device is not included in our standard installation. 

What else you need to know :
• On the day of installation, please ensure that the area around your consumer unit (fuse box), incoming electricity supply meter and proposed charge point location (including where the cable is expected to be run) is clear and free of obstructions.
• We will need your WiFi password as part of the installation process in order to connect your charge point to the internet. Please have this available for the installer. Details will not be kept.
• The charge point must be on your own designated off road parking.
• The charger will be fixed in line with current guidelines at a height where it cannot be hit by a vehicle.
• Our installers are not able to enter loft spaces; lift floorboards or flooring; take apart any furniture of work above a height of 2m. If you anticipate that any of this may be required, then please contact us and we can discuss in more detail and provide you with a quotation.
• Should there be extreme weather conditions our installers may not be able to continue with you installation if it is not safe to do so (for example flooding). They will always do their best to complete the work where they can.

If you have any questions then please contact our customer service team who will be happy to help. Please also read our terms and conditions.