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14-50 outlet on a 120V circuit?

dgb62

Member
Dec 7, 2020
26
10
Salem
I saw a mention on a fb forum about a guy who has a 14-50 outlet on a 120V/20A circuit. He says he gets around 12-15 m/hr charge. My situation is that I live in a condo where I may not be able to upgrade my garage to 220V. If I change my standard outlet to a 14-50 will that allow for faster charging? I'm not sure what the amps on the line are. If I could get that additional charge it is probably all I would need. Just curious if anyone here has done this or heard of it? (I'm electrically dumb, fwiw).
 
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355rockit

Member
Apr 9, 2016
264
308
San Marcos, CA
A NEMA 14-50 outlet is connected to a 50Amp circuit . Adding a 14-50 outlet to a 15 or 20Amp circuit doesn't make much sense since you can get an adapter for the UMC to plug into the correct 110V outlet. You cannot charge at a higher amperage than what your outlet provides.
 
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Vines

Active Member
Jul 20, 2018
1,870
2,189
Silicon Valley, CA
If there is anything reasonable to this story it is possible to convert a dedicated 120V 20A outlet into a 240V supply, by repurposing the neutral to be the second phase conductor of the 240V circuit.

However that is certainly not safe or code compliant for a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,251
9,108
Riverside Co. CA
I saw a mention on a fb forum about a guy who has a 14-50 outlet on a 120V/20A circuit. He says he gets around 12-15 m/hr charge. My situation is that I live in a condo where I may not be able to upgrade my garage to 220V. If I change my standard outlet to a 14-50 will that allow for faster charging? I'm not sure what the amps on the line are. If I could get that additional charge it is probably all I would need. Just curious if anyone here has done this or heard of it? (I'm electrically dumb, fwiw).

Just changing the outlet does not change anything about the wiring to the outlet, nor the breaker that the outlet is on, nor the other outlets / devices that are likely on that circuit. I am going to guess you didnt read what you think you read, because just changing the outlet does nothing to increase charging speed.

TL ; DR .. no that will not help you, in addition to being against electrical code and unsafe.
 
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MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.15
Mar 8, 2015
9,586
8,801
Colorado
You can use a device such as the Quick 220 to connect two out of phase 120V outlets. A better solution would be to have an electrician install a proper outlet as using the Quick 220 would most likely involve running extension cords to other rooms in the house to find the out of phase outlets.
 

paulk

Member
Jan 26, 2019
91
109
hartford, ct
It is simple to convert a standard 120v-20a outlet (NEMA 5-20) into a 240v-20a outlet (NEMA 6-20) by changing around the wires at the breaker. keep in mind it will affect everything on that circuit, so if youve got anything else on that circuit you'll start a fire.

a 6-20 outlet will give you exactly double the wattage for charging. if theres just the one outlet on that circuit, pull the breaker and replace it with a double pole 20a. put the black wire on one side and the white wire (with a piece of electrical tape on the end as a flag) into the other pole. at the outlet side do the same, putting tape on the white wire and putting in a 6-20 outlet. the ground wire isnt affected.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,251
9,108
Riverside Co. CA
It is simple to convert a standard 120v-20a outlet (NEMA 5-20) into a 240v-20a outlet (NEMA 6-20) by changing around the wires at the breaker. keep in mind it will affect everything on that circuit, so if youve got anything else on that circuit you'll start a fire.

a 6-20 outlet will give you exactly double the wattage for charging. if theres just the one outlet on that circuit, pull the breaker and replace it with a double pole 20a. put the black wire on one side and the white wire (with a piece of electrical tape on the end) into the other pole. at the outlet side do the same, putting tape on the white wire and putting in a 6-20 outlet. the ground wire isnt affected.

The OP said "Im electrically dumb fwiw", so they should not be doing anything at all themselves inside their electrical panel. They should hire an electrician to give them options based on their specific setup.

They are asking, basically, "can I go down to home depot / lowes / local hardware store, ask them for a 14-50 outlet, take it home and install it, and get faster charging?" The answer to that is "no, you cant just buy a 14-50 outlet and install it and get faster charging without changing a few other things that you likely dont know how to change".

A 14-50 outlet by itself doesnt get this OP anything, which appears to be the question they are asking.
 

paulk

Member
Jan 26, 2019
91
109
hartford, ct
I wholeheartedly agree. If you don't have experience wiring a circuit breaker you shouldn't do any of what i told you. i learned this stuff as an electrician's apprentice, not reading forum posts or watching youtube.

that said, it would be very reasonable to ask an actual electrician to wire a 6-20 outlet to existing wiring, but not possible to wire up a 14-50 to existing wiring (without doing something very dangerous/stupid).


The OP said "Im electrically dumb fwiw", so they should not be doing anything at all themselves inside their electrical panel. They should hire an electrician to give them options based on their specific setup.

They are asking, basically, "can I go down to home depot / lowes / local hardware store, ask them for a 14-50 outlet, take it home and install it, and get faster charging?" The answer to that is "no, you cant just buy a 14-50 outlet and install it and get faster charging without changing a few other things that you likely dont know how to change".

A 14-50 outlet by itself doesnt get this OP anything, which appears to be the question they are asking.
 

dgb62

Member
Dec 7, 2020
26
10
Salem
The OP said "Im electrically dumb fwiw", so they should not be doing anything at all themselves inside their electrical panel. They should hire an electrician to give them options based on their specific setup.

They are asking, basically, "can I go down to home depot / lowes / local hardware store, ask them for a 14-50 outlet, take it home and install it, and get faster charging?" The answer to that is "no, you cant just buy a 14-50 outlet and install it and get faster charging without changing a few other things that you likely dont know how to change".

A 14-50 outlet by itself doesnt get this OP anything, which appears to be the question they are asking.
Exactly right--that is the answer I was looking for.
 

Mishakim

Member
Apr 4, 2016
147
125
Boston, MA
I saw a mention on a fb forum about a guy who has a 14-50 outlet on a 120V/20A circuit. He says he gets around 12-15 m/hr charge. My situation is that I live in a condo where I may not be able to upgrade my garage to 220V. If I change my standard outlet to a 14-50 will that allow for faster charging? I'm not sure what the amps on the line are. If I could get that additional charge it is probably all I would need. Just curious if anyone here has done this or heard of it? (I'm electrically dumb, fwiw).
All the other replies telling you why this is bad/dangerous/impossible are right, but none explained what would specifically be wrong if you did this. A 14-50 outlet has four conductors, two for 120V out of phase, one neutral, and one ground. A 120V/20A circuit has only three conductors, one 120V, one neutral, one ground. So simply connecting the 14-50 to the 120V/20A wiring will give you 120V to ground on one of the Line conductors, and nothing on the other. So you'll still only be getting 120V/20A, exactly the same as if you used the correct connector. But someone can plug in an appliance that pulls more than 20A. It will either fail because there's no power on one of the Line connectors, or it will trip the circuit breaker by pulling too much current.
 

pjensen

Member
Jul 24, 2020
155
93
Highland Village, Texas
I saw a mention on a fb forum about a guy who has a 14-50 outlet on a 120V/20A circuit. He says he gets around 12-15 m/hr charge.

I just plug my car into a standard garage socket. It does 12 amps at 120 volts - which is 6 miles per hour. This is more than enough if your daily commute is less than 30 miles.

I plug in at 6pm and leave at 9am. That gives 15 hours of charging - around 90 miles of range. In winter, plan on 35% less.

This is a great solution (for me). It doesn't stress the household wiring and it costs nothing (to install). I only charge every third or fourth day. Crazy simple...
 
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DaveRZ

Member
Nov 19, 2019
164
219
Murrieta, CA
So to sum up:

- if your condo allows you to modify the wiring AND
- if your garage outlet is on a circuit all by itself AND
- if your breaker panel has room for a double-pole breaker AND
- you're willing to repurpose that outlet as a 240v outlet only (no more plugging in regular stuff) AND
- you hire a properly trained electrician AND
- he/she installs the correct outlet (6-15 or 6-20) AND
- you own/buy the correct adapter for your UMC (mobile charger).

then yes, you can get roughly double your current charging speed. Whether that a worthwhile pursuit is up to you and your charging needs.
 

DaveRZ

Member
Nov 19, 2019
164
219
Murrieta, CA
Mobile CONNECTOR. The charger is located in the car

Fully agree, and made the decision to use the word 'charger' to make it easy on any new folks just learning. After all, I'd bet 99% of the public refers to that wall-wart they charge their phone with as a "charger". Best to not confuse people with stuff like "can I borrow your A/C to D/C phone power supply?". ;)
 

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