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14-50 adapters vs multiple extension cords

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by ajw, May 27, 2014.

  1. ajw

    ajw Member

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    So maybe I'm thinking about this incorrectly....so please help me out. I've been researching extension cords....and stumbled upon the 14-50 adapters. Apparently you can just get 1 extension cord for the 14-50 and just get multiple adapters to all sorts of outlets. They basically just make any outlet adaptable to the 14-50 plug. I originally figured you'd need an extension cord for each outlet...but this 14-50 extension cord seems pretty great, although it seems dubious that voltage and amperage adjust based on the adapter. Have others in the forum used both....or at least 1 option?
    My purpose here is mostly in terms of destination charging....with extension cords. In laws have a super old lake house with old dryer plug..which needs extension cord. We also travel to outer banks which has newer outlets or just 120 volt at our rental.
    im just looking for the best extension cord or adapter options to be prepared...
    lil help.
     
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Yes that is indeed the idea. You are correct that the 14-50 adapter that you use WILL NOT adapt to the correct amperage draw if you are using something like a dryer plug. So you need to manually set the correct amperage (24A) in the charging screen on the car before plugging in. The car will remember this amperage setting for that location, so you'll only have to do this once.

    Lots more information contained here:

    http://cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf
     
  3. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I am afraid of solutions that require too much thought by the end user. Specifically if anyone in your family uses them and forgets to set the right amperage, you are risking that the breaker will do its job before a fire starts. That's why after careful thought, I chose not to go with solutions that stick a 30A socket into Tesla's 14-50 adapter. Instead, I would do 30A sockets to Tesla's 14-30 or 10-30, and 50A sockets to Tesla's 14-50 adapter. That way they can't be messed up. It does cost a bit more, but in my mind, more than worth it. I did end up buying the 10-30 adapter for older dryer socket and I installed a 14-30 at my parent's so I use that one too. Then the only one I potentially really miss is a L6-30 which is common with generators and data center equipment.
     
  4. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    That works too, techmaven, but you end up with more than one extension cord.
     
  5. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    The FAQ (see my signature) takes this position, too - mostly because I've seen complicated solutions get botched because a step gets forgotten or something like that.

    As for the adapter, most generators supply an L14-30 so that there's a neutral for 120V loads. Data centers will offer L6-20's and L6-30's for 208V equipment, since most data center equipment is based on switching power supplies and it reduces conductor size.
     
  6. ajw

    ajw Member

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    I'm less concerned with the cost, and more concerned with having to lug around multiple heavy extension cords. It seems I could lug around multiple adapters without a problem....and just one extension cord. But like techmaven noted,,,this route could be riddled with potential complications regarding manual amperage adjustments.
    I know the lakehouse has a 10-30.....but I can see lots of future situations with beach rentals, etc...where I don't know the charging situation at the house before showing up. In those cases I'm envisioning bringing like 5 extension cords for each potential outlet...which I'd like to avoid if possible.
    It sounds like the 14-50 extension cord,,,with outlet adapters would help especially in the 'unknown charging source' situation....but I'd have to be careful to not try and pull too many amps from lower amperage outlets.
    Sound about right?
    I'll continue to research....
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Here is a thought. If you only want to carry one extension cord, and not leave opportunities for drawing too much current, then only carry a 10-30 extension cord around, with adapters to a 10-30 receptacle. The 10-30 extension cord is the lightest because it has the smallest and fewest conductors, and you don't have to worry about a floating neutral or finding a ground going up to a 14-50 from a 6-30, 6-50, 10-30, or 10-50.

    This solution still gives you 24 Amps at 240 Volts which is way better than 120 Volts at 12, 16, or 20 Amps. Most of the time I have used an extension cord has been to get to the dryer outlet in the laundry room. There are very few times that I have run an extension cord from the kitchen for 40 Amps from the range outlet.
     
  8. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Or just get/make one long 6-3 extension cord, and buy all of the common male plugs. You will have to have a screwdriver in the car to switch these over when a different plug is encountered, but it takes much less space/costs much less than multiple adapters. You will also find that you will hardly ever need to switch the plug. The most common 240 sockets in the wild besides the 14-50 are 10-30's, and 10-50's. The UMC adapters are quick and easy, but I have found that they are nearly useless, because the UMC is not long enough in 90% of cases when traveling.
     
  9. ajw

    ajw Member

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    NEMA 14-50R to 10-30P or 10-50P Adapter

    nema10-30p-to-14-50r-360x360.jpg

    Product Code: NEMA14-50R_10-30P
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $55.00

    Available Options


    *Plug Type:
    nema_10-30p-50x50.png 10-30
    nema_10-50p-50x50.png 10-50 (+$3.00)
    nema_10-30_50p-50x50.png Universal plug - fits 10-30 and 10-50 (+$14.00)
    *Connector Type:
    14-50r-leviton-50x50.jpg NEMA 14-50 (Leviton)
    14-50r-camco-50x50.jpg NEMA 14-50 (Camco) - with handle (+$10.00)

    Cosmacelf,,,,this seems like the same(or similar) setup that you described in your link, no? I wonder if the EVSEadapter.com is legit? Have others ordered adapters from there? I found it interesting that it didn't mention anything about the dangers of pulling too many amps with the 14-50 hookup, adapted to lower amp outlets....
    I kind of like this solution though.....having maybe a 30 foot, 50amp extension cord,,,,,and having a few of these adapters. Just need to remember to 'dial it down' for the 24 amp draw.
    Or like Cottonwood suggested,,,just get the 10-30 cord...with adapters, and always charge at lower amps....which should be plenty overnight. Although I'm not sure if there are tons of lower amp adapters,,it seems like these are all for the 14-50.
     
  10. Chris TX

    Chris TX Active Member

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    That's what I did. For non-50A circuits, I have the 14-30 adapter that plugs into my home made adapters (10-30, TT-30 single and dual, dual 5-15s, etc.)
    However, I don't like your first sentence: I do like the fact that when I'm in an unfamiliar place to charge, I have to think about it. Not thinking about it could lead to problems.
     
  11. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #11 linkster, May 28, 2014
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    +1


    from my previous post since you did mention destination charging:

    I currently use EVSEupgrade.com molded end adapters:
    NEMA 6-50 (typical welder receptacle) to L6-30
    NEMA 10-30 (usually '95 earlier construction) to L6-30
    NEMA 14-30 (usually '96 later construction) to L6-30
    (the above referenced 14-30 will also plug into a 14-50 and 14-60 receptacle)


    Along with with (2) Stayonline.com molded end 25' L6-30 extension cords and an L6-30P to NEMA 10-30R connector (the 10-30R is the only hand assembled part)


    I prefer this 10AWG combination since it is lightweight, the connections lock together, does NOT have an extraneous neutral conductor, and my S requires no manual amp setting intervention (unless the circuit is utilizing a 2-pole 20A breaker)

    OR

    You might consider having TonyWilliams/QuickChargePower.com build you a very slick spare/travel Tesla UMC with a 50' total cord length (instead of the OEM 20') that requires NO manual amp adjustment since it utilizes all Tesla OEM UMC adapters.
     
  12. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I really like the idea of the L6-30 intermediate cord with the locking connectors. You get into the issue of connecting the neutral of the 10-30 to the ground of the L6-30, etc, but that is what a dryer does, even a new dryer connected to an old outlet; it does not bother me...

    I did not realize that Tony Williams and QuickChargePower.com would make a modified UMC with a longer cord. As a travel/spare UMC, this is a very nice solution with no extra intermediate connections and all the choices! The only special adapters (non Tesla) that you would need are a 6-50, 10-50, and a TT-30 to be able to charge from almost all sources in the North American Wilds.

    Great info! Thanks!!!
     
  13. KenN

    KenN Member

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    I've just started to put together a similar solution, but rather using a "master" cable with L14-30 locking connectors either end. I ordered a 40 ft cable from Amazon, just got notification it shipped yesterday. I also purchase the NEMA 14-30 adapter from Tesla, so I have that plus the two (14-50 and 5-15) that come with the UMC kit. To complete the package I'll build a few pigtails that connect to either end of the extension cable. This way, by choosing correct UMC adapters and pigtails, the charging current will automagically set to the correct amount. No thinking needed. Match adapter to pigtail to outlet and all is good and only one cable. Of course, it means I won't have an extension for 50 amp outlets, but I can live with building up a pigtail to a 14-50 plug that would just be limited to 24 amps charging.

    My (possibly flawed) thinking is that the need for an extension for 14-50 would be quite rare. If at an RV or other "charging" location, an extension shouldn't be needed. When visiting family/friends, I'm guessing that they're more likely willing to move their dryer for charging access then their stove.
     
  14. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Good solid thinking and in many new homes the laundry area is close to the garage...also, the 17 mph charge rate from a laundry outlet adds up to 200 miles in 12 hours; not too shabby.
     
  15. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Yeah, there really aren't many situations where you really need to extend a 50 amp outlet. There are a few - like a marina, construction site temporary power, and a welding plug all come to mind.
     
  16. ajw

    ajw Member

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    #16 ajw, Jun 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2014

    Ok, so I like this idea more and more. Yes, no practical need for a 14-50 extension cord, as you can normally park right near it. I like all the adapters listed above essentially adapting to a L6-30 outlets, then using a 'master' L6-30 extension cord.....

    So here is where I get fuzzy....is there an L6-30 adapter for the UMC? What is the NEMA 10-30R hand assembled part of all this? Does the nema 10-30 connector(which I assume is just another adapter), plug into the end of the L6-30 cord,,,,then the UMC 10-30 adapter plugs into THAT..which then plugs into the car? I'm confused on which UMC adapter you end up using....but it seems like you use the 10-30 all the time, at least for this 'in the wild' charging situation. Yes? No?
    Thanks. Sorry for all the questions.
     
  17. KenN

    KenN Member

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    IMO, the L14-30 is the better choice over the L6-30. The only real difference is that the L14-30 has an extra conductor for the neutral. While I understand that the Tesla UMC doesn't actually use a neutral (based on cosmacelf's fantastic adapter document!), I feel better having it in the cable all the way up to the UMC adapter. Also, there's some comfort that I'm future-proofed, should Tesla later need to modify the UMC and carry the neutral all they way up to the charge port! Reading between the lines a bit, this could happen, given that T has dropped most of the UMC adapters that don't carry a neutral (the sole exception being the 10-30). Cost difference between a L6-30 and a L14-30 cable is minimal to none. Here's the 40 foot cable that I've purchased:

    Amazon.com : Conntek 20601-040 40-Feet 10/4 30-Amp 125/250-volt 4-Prong L14-30 Transfer Switch Cord/Generator Extension Cord : Patio, Lawn Garden

    I've just got the email that my cable and a bunch of other bits was delivered, so I'll be spending some time putting together pigtails for either end. I'll throw up some pics later.
     
  18. ajw

    ajw Member

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    Where did you find this?
     
  19. linkster

    linkster Member

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    Bryant 9337NC Straight Blade Connector, 30A, 125/250V sold by: globalindustrial.com
     

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  20. ajw

    ajw Member

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    Hmm...so is there a L6-30p on the bottom side of that thing?
    Assuming there is...at that point you just plug in the ole tesla 10-30 adapter from the UMC, and plug into the car?
     

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