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Outdoor installation in Canada?


I was thinking of purchasing the Deluxe 30A kit and had a few questions:

- Can the Poly-Carbonate enclosure be installed outside?

- What operating temperature range for the unit once installed? (I live in Ottawa/Canada and temps can go down to -30C in the winter).

- Has anyone used the 32A Yazaki J1772 charging cord for their install? Here's a link:


Martin Provost

Hello Martin,

I built a basic kit for my Leaf, this station is bolted on my house outside (rain, sun, ice & snow) since this summer in Quebec City still working fine (240Vac). It's watertight if well built.

I think the LED and the electronics warm will suffice to avoid damage even at -30C, anyway I'll be able to validate it this spring but I don't have doubts. Let's see how many years it will stay alive !

I'm working in marine electronics industry and I can say that polycarbonate is a really good material for outside condition. 

I bought a 32A J1772 cord assembly at Newark Canada.

Maybe the LCD on the Deluxe kit could find our winter a little bit rough but...just try it and tell us :)

A really funny project !

O.F. Quebec

I decided to go ahead and order and I'm quite excited! I will definitely keep you posted as to how the unit handles the Ottawa weather. Not nearly as cold as Quebec City! :) Chris said that the components are rated to operate down to -40C. So I think I'll be good for an outdoor hardwired install. I'll keep everyone posted! :)

Is the Open EVSE "legal" in Canada? Meaning: will my insurance company be happy with it, and will Québec’s grant program apply ?

Hello JP

There is no approvals as UL, CSA, they are test/development kits, so for the insurers...and the grant program... not sure.

The only way to have the Quebec grant program is to buy the Wattzilla which is UL listed, to be confirmed.

Quebec grant is 50% (home) and 75% (business) of the total, installation included by a qualified electrician max 1000$. As per the Quebec electrical code you need a GFCI breaker also because the wiring is going outside...


I'm in Winnipeg and have a 50A deluxe unit I use at home (inside my unheated garage), and a 30A basic unit I just started using at work (outside) so have some experience with the units in the cold!  When it gets to -20C the LCD screen in the 50A unit starts to get hard to read. Unit still works fine (V4 board and firmware ver 3.10.4) and you can tell the units state by the LCD colour, and once the charger warms up during the charging cycle the screen reads fine.  No issues so far with the 30A basic unit as it only has the LED indictor light (running V4 board and firmware ver 3.10.3).  

I have the 40A J1772 cable from Openevse on both units.  It uses four 12 ga wires (two black & two red) instead of two 8 ga (40A) or two 10 ga (30A) wires so is very flexible in the cold.  This is a very nice feature for our cold climate.  Hopefully the 32A cable you bought works as well in the cold.

You are going to really like Openevse chargers.  Keep us posted on how it works for you.

Cheers, Jim

Note that there seems to be a firmware bug on V3.10.3 and V3.10.4 that causes unit to give the 'over temp' fault and screen goes red when outside temperatures (and thus temp of unit itself) get around -10 or -15C.   There is another thread on this subject under 'Troubleshooting'.  Fix right now as suggested by Chris is to disable the temperature monitoring at cold temperatures using the button / menu.  I don't know if it is an issue with earlier versions of firmware back to 3.7.8 (I believe this is when temp monitoring was introduced) and units with LCD or LED with temp monitoring chip, but it may be.

Hi Martin:

I'm in Ottawa too, and just bought a BMW i3 and was just about to "pull the plug" on buying the 50A kit. Did you purchase it and install it? Any issues in Ottawa climate?

As for some of the other questions in this thread - no this won't be eligible for grants as it is not sourced in Canada, nor on the approved rebate list.


Other than the firmware bug causing temperature not work in cold weather which Chris will get fixed soon I'm sure, both my 50a and 30a units work very well in Winnipeg. Temperatures this weekend dropped to -28C and no issue (With the temp monitoring disabled as recommended by Chris). I'm very pleased with both my units and I'm sure one will work well for you in Ottawa. Jim Ps: I bought the 49a J1772 plug and cable from open evse as well as it remains very flexible in our cold weather.

Hi Roger,

Unfortunately I haven't installed it yet. It is all assembled and ready to plug in but I was just waiting to get the circuit checked out by an electrician. But as far as I can read here - it should perform quite well in our climate. :)

I'm leaving on vacation for 2 weeks so I won't be able to plug it in... But will get it ready when I get back. Feel free to come over and check it out in action. I'd love to see an i3 up close! :)



Thanks Jim & Martin.

I'm still up in the air. The issue is that with exchange rate, taxes, (duty?) etc, I guess we are looking at C$700 for the kit + a cable, and there is no rebate on that. If I buy a commercial unit that costs more, there is a 50% rebate available. However, I don't really like the available products in Ontario that are on the rebate list. I'm looking for something with programmable current (due to my electrical infrastructure at home) and eventually networking would be nice.

I'm surprised you are having it looked at by an electrician. I presume they can just give you an opinion but you wouldn't be able to pass an inspection because the unit itself is not certified (?)

I'm not sure how private messages are done on this site, or if they are supported. Martin, can you drop me a line at rpc000 at gmail dot com

Thanks, ...Roger

Hi Roger, I'm actually getting my 30amp rated circuit inspected, not the unit itself. I've decided to use a receptacle/plug for my install and it will stay in the garage. :) I'll drop you a line! Cheers. Martin


Still working fine after 3 years, 12 snowstorms, always been outside in Quebec City. Of course at -30C the LCD is slow but... it works.

Did it myself for the pleasure of promoting the fact that an electric used car including the basic setup is not expensive and is quite simple. Below : pics of my basic station and the LCD update after our bigger snow storm this year.

I'm doing a solar installation with a shift between a 120Vac (from batt bank and inverter) and the 240Vac from the grid depending on the power available from the battery bank. The basic station is on auto mode (120 or 240) Let's see this summer !



Olivier F.

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