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Advice on short term home charging

BeccaM3

Member
Feb 7, 2018
32
15
Portland
i finally have a delivery date for my M3. We will be listing our house for sale in the next 5 months so don’t want to spend much money on installation for home charging. What would you suggest? My husband is somewhat handy. His brother is a commercial electrician so can help with phone questions if the suggestion is to try and install something ourselves.

I’ve been driving my daughter’s Volt and then charging when I get home at night. That has worked, although there are times when it’s run out of battery and the slow charging is inconvenient.

Also, I sometimes charge the Volt at my office building, which I own. So I’m kicking around the idea of installing something there and charging during the day and doing a slow charge at home in the evenings and weekends. I’m also 5 miles away from a supercharger.

Any advice? We’ll be building a new house so it will be 1.5 years before we’re in a more stable living situation.
 

Nocturnal

Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2018
6,207
31,313
In the middle
If you can charge fully at your office you should be just fine. For weekends depending on your habits the 4 miles an hour you get on 110 may be more than sufficient. Picking up an adapter for your dryer outlet might be smart in case of emergency.
 
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Jul 5, 2018
135
56
The North
If you can charge at your office during the day and consistently, then a slow charge at home would probably be fine. It gets a little tougher in the winter time in cold region states, but is still doable depending on how many miles you drive. I'm in MN, and my range has been cut by about 30-40% due to the cold. I have a 50 mile round trip commute to work which means during the summer I can fully regain my trip by charging for about 10-11 hours every night on a regular 110. But during the winter it's not possible.

If you can roll in the price of installation to your business and want a temporary solution at home it sounds like that would be a pretty good choice. Good luck on whatever you decide!
 
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Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
486
Austin, TX
Depends on your commute. If it's under 70 miles, I'd suggest just installing a 20A 120V outlet in your garage/charging area (NEMA 5-20). Usually the wire is already 12ga (you can see if the breaker to the garage area is 20 amps or not, if it is 20A then by code it should all be at least 12ga). If so, swap out the 5-15 outlet for a 5-20 and you should get 7mi/hr of charging. The cost would be the outlet, which is only ~$5, plus the pigtail for the UMC ($35?).

That's the charging I use at the apartment I rent, which handles my 45mi round trip commute easily plus some margin.
 

BeccaM3

Member
Feb 7, 2018
32
15
Portland
Depends on your commute. If it's under 70 miles, I'd suggest just installing a 20A 120V outlet in your garage/charging area (NEMA 5-20). Usually the wire is already 12ga (you can see if the breaker to the garage area is 20 amps or not, if it is 20A then by code it should all be at least 12ga). If so, swap out the 5-15 outlet for a 5-20 and you should get 7mi/hr of charging. The cost would be the outlet, which is only ~$5, plus the pigtail for the UMC ($35?).

That's the charging I use at the apartment I rent, which handles my 45mi round trip commute easily plus some margin.

My daily round trip commute is 55 miles.
 

Need

Active Member
Nov 22, 2017
2,879
2,196
SoCal
Also, I sometimes charge the Volt at my office building, which I own. So I’m kicking around the idea of installing something there and charging during the day and doing a slow charge at home in the evenings and weekends. I’m also 5 miles away from a supercharger.

Tesla provides free Wall Connectors to business owner for their employees to charge at workplace. But you won't be able to charge the Volt though or other non-Tesla EVs. Can Volt even do Level 2 charging? I think you could also partnered with Chargepoint to install their chargers at your business.
 

Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
486
Austin, TX
My daily round trip commute is 55 miles.
If your husband knows how to replace an outlet (sounds like he does), then I'd say that is the best choice for basically no money. Just make sure the wiring can handle a 20A outlet. 12 hours of charging (e.g. 7PM to 7AM) should net you 84mi of added range. That gives you 30mi of buffer for side trips, worse efficiency, etc.

Usually on the weekends I slowly accumulate range since I don't end up driving as much as my daily commute and I leave it plugged in for longer, so even if I end up taking a lot of trips to go over the ~80mi/day, I still slowly top up over time.
 

Petrlol

Member
Oct 16, 2018
399
537
Ohio
If you have a dedicated breaker to the garage (that doesn't include the opener on it) or dedicated outside outlet, you could convert to Nema 6-15 or 6-20 for the cost of the breaker, the Tesla adapter, and the outlet (< $55 total most likely). That would depend on the wire size to the existing outlet, and it would have to be the only thing on the breaker. Would give you 11-15MPH depending on whether you can use 6-15 or 6-20.

It would take < 1hr to do, and <1hr to put back to normal when you leave.
 

BeccaM3

Member
Feb 7, 2018
32
15
Portland
Tesla provides free Wall Connectors to business owner for their employees to charge at workplace. But you won't be able to charge the Volt though or other non-Tesla EVs. Can Volt even do Level 2 charging? I think you could also partnered with Chargepoint to install their chargers at your business.

Interesting. I’ll look into this.
 

Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
486
Austin, TX
If you have a dedicated breaker to the garage (that doesn't include the opener on it) or dedicated outside outlet, you could convert to Nema 6-15 or 6-20 for the cost of the breaker, the Tesla adapter, and the outlet (< $55 total most likely). That would depend on the wire size to the existing outlet, and it would have to be the only thing on the breaker. Would give you 11-15MPH depending on whether you can use 6-15 or 6-20.

It would take < 1hr to do, and <1hr to put back to normal when you leave.

This would also work, and definitely make things less concerning for range anxiety. That being said, I've yet to find a garage that has a single outlet dedicated to a breaker... Usually all the places I see end up daisy-chaining 5 outlets together in some mess. Maybe that's indicative of the places I end up renting/visiting.
 
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suwaneedad

Member
Dec 11, 2016
921
1,113
Atlanta
i finally have a delivery date for my M3. We will be listing our house for sale in the next 5 months so don’t want to spend much money on installation for home charging. What would you suggest? My husband is somewhat handy. His brother is a commercial electrician so can help with phone questions if the suggestion is to try and install something ourselves.

I’ve been driving my daughter’s Volt and then charging when I get home at night. That has worked, although there are times when it’s run out of battery and the slow charging is inconvenient.

Also, I sometimes charge the Volt at my office building, which I own. So I’m kicking around the idea of installing something there and charging during the day and doing a slow charge at home in the evenings and weekends. I’m also 5 miles away from a supercharger.

Any advice? We’ll be building a new house so it will be 1.5 years before we’re in a more stable living situation.
I'd hit the supercharger twice a week and be done with it.

If you control your office building/decisions, then a destination charger would be a cool thing to do for the community as well as yourself, but who knows how long that takes to accomplish (both getting the hardware and the permitting/install locally). Back when I got my LEAF, it took me over six months to convince the building manager at my place (we were just renters though, not owners) to merely expose a 110 outlet in the parking deck so I could trickle charge while at work. If you do go the destination charging path, and pay your work power bills, you're already aware that commercial power rates are way higher than residential rates since companies don't vote. Beware.
 

BeccaM3

Member
Feb 7, 2018
32
15
Portland
These are my home panels.

488D627F-C934-4A58-93B5-DC4E726B2699.jpeg
473FB6E2-B6B4-47DC-943B-B14315D00AE8.jpeg
 

Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
486
Austin, TX
These are my home panels.

Every single breaker there is at least 20 amps, by code that means you have at minimum 12ga wire to all outlets. Assuming your breakers are labeled 'Garage Plugs' plural on purpose, it sounds like you don't have a single dedicated breaker to any outlet, so easily swapping one to a NEMA 6-20 isn't practical.

A NEMA 5-20 (120V 20A) is a cinch though. Literally just swap the outlet and swap the UMC pigtail and you're done. It would take 2 minutes.

Does your garage have any heavy electrical draws? (e.g. fridges) If so, you need to figure out which one of those two breakers it's on and put the 20A outlet on the OTHER breaker so you don't accidentally trip the breaker once the fridge cycles on.
 

Dan123

Member
Jun 19, 2018
451
297
Miami
If your husband is handy and your brother-in-law is an electrician, just ask them to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in your garage or outside where you park your car. The parts (outlet + wire) shouldn't cost you more than $200. And you will leave a nice gift of the future owner of the house who might want to buy a Tesla.
 
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Kirby64

Member
Jun 28, 2018
485
486
Austin, TX
If your husband is handy and your brother-in-law is an electrician, just ask them to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in your garage or outside where you park your car. The parts (outlet + wire) shouldn't cost you more than $200. And you will leave a nice gift of the future owner of the house who might want to buy a Tesla.

Probably depends on what the service looks like to the house. Given how small that panel is, I wouldn't be surprised if it's only 100A service (or less?). If it is, adding a 14-50 would put you over the proper load calcs. EDIT: Nevermind... I didn't see that there were two panels in her screenshots. Probably fine to add a NEMA 14-50 then. Still depends on load calcs though.

Also, personally, given a 55mi commute, I would be a cheapskate and stick with a 5-20. Throwing away $200 that you'll never see again is a tad annoying.

Then again, I've spent north of $200 on cabling and adapters for charging... but I get to keep those for the life of the car :)
 

BeccaM3

Member
Feb 7, 2018
32
15
Portland
Here's my update: I've put in a workplace charging program request with TESLA and I'll wait to hear back from them before I buy a charging wall unit. I will definitely install something at my building. I'm in manufacturing and we run heavy equipment. I have an open 220v plug available on it's own 100 amp breaker. So for short term until I hear from TESLA, I can have charging for the cost of wire and 2 connectors and I'll just run it under the bay doors. My husband said that's a pretty simple and quick job.

I'll install the 5-20 at home until I can get my husband to fit in a home project and install a 14-50 outlet.

Thanks for the help!
 

eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,065
2,484
Beaverton, OR
Here's my update: I've put in a workplace charging program request with TESLA and I'll wait to hear back from them before I buy a charging wall unit. I will definitely install something at my building. I'm in manufacturing and we run heavy equipment. I have an open 220v plug available on it's own 100 amp breaker. So for short term until I hear from TESLA, I can have charging for the cost of wire and 2 connectors and I'll just run it under the bay doors. My husband said that's a pretty simple and quick job.

I'll install the 5-20 at home until I can get my husband to fit in a home project and install a 14-50 outlet.

Thanks for the help!

Yeah, I would probably install a 14-50 at home for sure. The parts are actually probably under $100 if you can put it right at the panel. I hate being limited by the car.

Can you post pictures of any factory stickers on the panels so we can tell what the specs are (specifically which breaker positions in the main panel are valid for installing “tandem” breakers)?

Also I want to see what the main breaker amperage is as well as I can’t see the handle label on the breaker to the subpanel. How many amps is that?

I am guessing you only have a 200a service and you have a LOT of stuff on it, so I would not be surprised if load calculations wise you would be pushing it to add a 14-50. Though I suspect from a practical standpoint you would be fine.

How much power do you use monthly on your utility bill? Does your utility provide detailed graphs that show peak usage?

The UMC Gen 2 only draws 32 amps max, so that is not bad.
 

SMAlset

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2017
8,840
9,435
SF Bay Area
I think living in the Portland area that installing an L14-50 might enhance the value of the home more than its cost to potential EV home buyers, especially given your brother in law is an electrician. Then you can use the provided charger [email protected] which will give ~25 MPH of charge.

@BeccaM3 Sounds like you have made great progress. Even though you have only 5+ months you intend to live at your home, I think I too would look into the cost of adding a NEMA 14-50 outlet to your garage area if not too cost prohibited. Gives your future home purchaser a universal place to plug in and as @rdunniii mentioned can be used as a selling point on the home when you do list (and I would be sure to include it in your listing--"garage EV charging ready"). Having a commercial electrian in the family makes it all the more convenient for you to add it and hopefully save on labor too ;).

While some people aren't bothered by doing construction projects to a new home they are moving into, including electrical, I think most would prefer to just have a "ready made" home to move into and use immediately, and spend the money later on things they feel would be nice to have after living there a while. Plus they have lots of closing costs and moving expenses initially so adding a 14-50 would maybe get you a few more potential buyers interested. I wouldn't install an EVSE however because that would be overkill. The 14-50 route is also nice to have for the handyman homeowner who might need it for certain tools. We had some remodeling work and landscaping of our yard done a few years back, and the workmen were continually blowing the fuse on our outdoor and garage outlets while using their power tools. This was before we bought our first Tesla and hadn't installed our 14-50 yet or added outdoor recepticles that were 20A--think about that in your new home. Another benefit to installing the 14-50 now would be you would get the benefit of faster charging during the winter month ahead when you probably could really use it. It really is nice to just plug in on the weekend at home when you know you'll be running errands with the car.

Glad to see you are working on the charging options at your office. Let us know how that goes.
 
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