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Best 50 Amp Breaker for an EV Charger

If you’re seeking the best 50 amp breaker for an EV charger, you’re likely navigating between replacing a faulty Level 2 charger circuit breaker or installing a new one. Home Level 2 chargers commonly utilize 50-amp breakers, contrasting with the lower amperages needed for Level 1 EV chargers (20 amps and below) and the higher demands of Level 3 EV chargers (100 amps and above).

A 50-amp breaker safeguards your Level 2 EV charging circuits against overload, instantly disconnecting power in the event of an electrical fault, thus preventing potential electrical hazards like shocks or fires.

Detailed diagram of a Level 2 EV charger wiring system, including the main breaker, ground bus, terminal block, P1 and P2 connections, 240VAC supply, and 50 amp breakers.  The diagram also specifies wire gauge (6 AWG), conduit size (1-¼"), and temperature rating (90° C+).

Replacing a 50-amp circuit breaker is typically straightforward, given its plug-and-play nature. However, selecting the right one can be challenging for some shoppers.

Whether you’re searching for the best overall, budget-friendly, outdoor features, double pole or renewable energy EV charging support, or other specific features in a 50-amp circuit breaker, our expertise in installing and replacing Level 2 EV chargers circuit breakers equips us to offer tailored recommendations based on first-hand experience, installation scenarios, and client feedback.

Here, we present our expert picks for 50-amp breakers suited for Home Level 2 EV charger installations.

Table of Contents

Best 50 Amp Breaker for an EV Charger

Our list of the best 50 amp breakers for an EV charger features a comprehensive range of the best amp breakers for a 50 amps Home Level 2 EV charger installation.

Best Bang For The Buck

Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker

The Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker is our number one pick because the manufacturer is reputable and reliable for high-quality, durable, and budget-friendly electronic components, and most electricians and homeowners are familiar with the brand and recommend them for use in residential electrical installations due to their reliability, availability, and compatibility with common electrical panels.

This means there is a higher chance your electrical panel already consists of Square D single pole breakers for other electronic devices making it easy to integrate, install, and use them without incompatibility issues with your EV panel or components of your EV charging set-up.

The Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker takes only one slot in the EV charging main electrical panel or EV charging subpanel leaving a lot of space for other EV charging components such as smart meters, wiring, sensors, etc.

Positive
  • High-quality and reliable circuit breakers from the world’s best-known electronic brands.
  • Suitable for both installation in the main electrical panel and the dedicated EV charging subpanel.
  • Can be used indoors and outdoors for EV charging installations
  • Square D is one of the most environmentally friendly brands that manufacture recyclable products without toxic metals.
Negatives
  • Although rare you might be lucky and receive a damaged product due to poor packaging.

Best Overall For Home EV Charger

Siemens 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker

Siemens 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker is also a common electronic component in many residential buildings, Siemens is known to manufacture service panels, circuit breakers, and various electrical components you are already familiar with in your home electrical installation.

The Siemens 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker is a direct competitor of the Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker when it comes to 50-amp circuit breaker installations in EV charging electrical panels, the performance of the two-level 2 electrical circuits is similar including the same level of EV charging overcurrent protections, and EV charging load management.

However, the Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker is competitively priced, making it more budget-friendly than the Siemens 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker, ultimately both circuit breakers are commonly used for Level 2 EV charger installations and they offer excellent functionality, the choice will probably be the cost, and load center compatibility depending on your EV charger electrical panel.

Positive
  • The Siemens 50A single pole breaker is compatible with many electrical panel load centers as it’s from a leading brand that is heavily involved in electronic components
  • Siemens circuit breakers are easy to install, especially in their service panels and ES series load centers thanks to its Insta-wire feature that makes it easy to install and saves time.
  • The Siemens 50A breaker can be used for overload and short-circuit protection of the EV charger.
Negatives
  • Incompatibility issues with non-Siemens and ES series EV charger panels.

Best For Outdoor Installation

Square D 50A Molded CASE Circuit Breaker

If your level 2 EV charger service panel is outdoors, we highly recommend considering the Square D 50A Molded Case Circuit Breaker, they offer the same functionality as the Square D 50A Single Pole Circuit Breaker, however, they differ in design, features, and suitability for outdoor installation.

Molded Case Circuit Breakers (MCCBs) prove their worth in EV charger installations due to their robust, molded case construction. This design offers superior durability, withstanding the demands of smart EV chargers with long charging sessions and high currents typical of Level 2 EV charging. MCCBs also excel in environmental protection, resisting damage from moisture, dust, and temperature fluctuations, common concerns within electrical panels.

The Square D 50A MCCB emerges as a strong candidate for long charging sessions and high-current EV charging applications. It incorporates both thermal and magnetic protection mechanisms, safeguarding against sustained overloads and reacting swiftly to short-circuit events. This combined protection surpasses basic circuit breakers, offering a comprehensive solution for overcurrent protection in your EV charging system.

Positive
  • Tough for outdoor installation applications.
  • Suitable for long charging sessions and high currents EV charging sessions especially used on electric vehicles with bigger batteries, due to their thermal and magnetic protection they offer better protection over such applications.
Negatives
  • Its one of the most premium and costly 50 amps breaker for level 2 EV charger

Best Double Pole

Siemen 50A Double Pole Circuit Breaker

Most single-family home EV charger installations in the United States are connected with single-pole electrical systems, however, there are some residential homes with double-pole electrical panels that require a 240V supply to power the big breaker box that requires more space in the electrical panel, to be specific to two slots.

Electrical wiring diagram comparing single-pole and double-pole breakers. The single-pole breaker diagram shows one hot (P) connected for a 50-amp circuit. The double-pole breaker diagram shows one hot (P) conductors and one neutral (N) conductor connected for a 50-amp circuit. Both diagrams illustrate incoming and outgoing power connections for supplying a load.

Our top recommendation for double-pole circuit breakers is the Siemens 50A. It’s specifically designed to handle the high current requirements of electric vehicle (EV) charging systems. With a 10,000-ampere interrupt rating, it safeguards your EV charger and vehicle from electrical faults.

In some cases when a single pole 50 amps breaker for an EV charger is not available, and you have a 50 amps double pole breaker, you can use it to replace the single pole 50 amp breaker while wiring the 50 amps double pole breaker to the single pole electrical panel you will only need to wire one side and make sure there is enough space for a double pole breaker to fit in the EV charging electrical panel.

Image showing a diagram of connecting a double pole 50 amp breaker into a single pole circuit for an EV charger. The diagram illustrates the process of wiring one side of the double pole breaker to the single pole electrical panel
WARNING: Using a double-pole breaker in a single-pole application can be dangerous if not done by a qualified electrician. It’s generally not recommended to use a double-pole breaker in a single-pole circuit unless specifically advised by a qualified electrician.
Positive
  • High-quality level 2 circuit breaker that can be used in residential and commercial applications without causing damage to itself or the electric vehicles.
  • The circuit breaker can be used in both single and double-phase load centers.
  • Easy to install and replace.
Negatives
  • Requires bigger space that might require service panel upgrades for EV charger installation, which will be costly.

Best For Solar EV Charging System

Chtaixi 50A Single Pole Protector for PV Systems

For home EV chargers connected to renewable energy EV charging systems such as solar EV charging, a 50 amps circuit breaker that offers a Solar AC disconnect switch allows you to isolate the AC (Alternating Current) side of the solar panels from the rest of your electrical system might be the ideal circuit breaker for you.

The Chtaixi 50A Single Pole Protector for PV Systems is the best solar EV charging system that can serve as a solar AC disconnect switch and also be used to protect your complete EV charging system integrated with renewable energy systems from overload and short circuit damage, and can also be used for control and isolate current in the complete EV charging environment.

The inclusion of silver alloy contacts, a flame-retardant material shell, and a color indicator in Chtaixi 50A Single Pole circuit breaker offers significant benefits. Silver alloy contacts enhance conductivity and durability, ensuring efficient charging and long-term reliability. The flame retardant shell mitigates fire hazards, providing added safety during charging operations and ensuring compliance with safety standards.

Additionally, the color indicator provides intuitive visual feedback, enhancing user-friendliness and facilitating quick identification and resolution of any issues that may arise during the charging process. Collectively, these features contribute to the safety, efficiency, and user experience of EV charging, making them essential components of reliable and user-friendly charging infrastructure.

Positive
  • Compact and high-quality circuit breaker that is compatible with renewable energy systems
  • when using renewable energy the circuit breaker offers faster protection against short-circuit currents, which are typically higher in magnitude and require immediate disconnection to prevent damage to the electrical system or equipment in such applications.
Negatives
  • Failure of the electrical equipment to establish proper connections despite being designed for screw clamp wire installation or 35mm DIN rail mounting

Upgrading to a 50 Amp Breaker for EV Charging.

If you have a smaller rated circuit breaker such as a 30 amp breaker, and you would like to upgrade to a 50 amps breaker as you upgrade from a 100 electric panel to an EV charging recommended 200 Amp panel it’s important to follow this guide to find its ideal 50-amps circuit breaker.

Assessing Your Electrical Panel’s Capacity for a 50-Amp Breaker Installation

The electrical panel rating, the main circuit breaker, and the wire ratings of a 50 amp circuit breaker should be able to support a 50 amps breaker before upgrading to a 50 amps breaker, you can consult with a licensed electrician or a certified EV charger installer about panel upgrades.

Choosing the Best 50-Amp Circuit Breaker for Your Needs.

As you can see from our list, we recommend only top brands well-known in the electronics industry. These products have been on the market for quite some time, signifying their reliability and adherence to safety standards.

Shut-off Service Panel Power

Before installing your newly purchased 50-amp EV circuit breaker, ensure safety by turning off the main disconnect switch on your electrical panel.

Installation of a 50-Amp EV Charger Circuit Breaker.

Connect the service wires from the main breaker to the dedicated EV charger breaker, ensuring no wire terminals are exposed on the dedicated circuit breaker lugs, and install the circuit breaker to the load control center of the electrical panel.

Test The EV Charging Circuit.

Before connecting an EV charger to the plug-in receptacle for plug-in EV chargers, or the vehicle for hardwired EV charger installations, we recommend checking if there is current in the circuits, you can use a voltage tester (non-contact).

Troubleshooting Common 50-Amp EV Charger Breaker Issues

Even with proper installation, a Level 2 EV charger is a highly exposed device to high voltage electrical currents, and high thermal environments, over time the circuit breaker might start showing the following signs:

  • Tripping: If your 50 amps EV circuit breaker is tripping, it can mean that you are using a high-current EV charger such as the 80 amps Grizzl-E EV charger that is overloading your 50 amps circuit, your home might also be overloading the circuit, we recommend first checking your electrical panel smart meters and check which devices are overloading the electricity main breakers.
  • Burning Smell: You might also experience heat and burning smell from the electrical panel after long use of a Level 2 EV charger, the problem might be caused by a loose connection EV circuit breaker or faulty wiring system in your EV charger installations, a mismatched EV charger or faulty electrical vehicle charging system. In case you smell or see fire or burn marks around the electrical panel, switch of the power using the emergency power off (EPO) Button and consult an electrician immediately.
James Ndungu

About the Author: James Ndungu

James Ndungu, founder and editor-in-chief of Electric Vehicle Geek, brings over five years of hands-on experience in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) selection, permitting, and installation. He specializes in assisting businesses and homeowners in the United States with a seamless transition to electric vehicles.

As a certified EV charger installer and holder of advanced certifications, including the EVITP (Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program), Diploma in Electric Vehicle Technology, and Diploma in Engineering Fundamentals of Electric Vehicles, I provide expert guidance and in-depth reviews on the latest EV charging equipment.

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Last update on 2024-07-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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