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Best placement for an external L2 charger?

NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
I have a LR AWD Y on order, my first EV, and have an electrician lined up for a L2 charger installation run, but wondering your advice on where to tell him to terminate it/ hang the charger.

I’m leaning toward the left side of the exterior of the garage, so I could charge either parking spot, and if I really wanted to in the future I could flip the wires for the charger inside the garage.

The house has a tiny useless garage from the model T days with no room to get in and out of cars without dinging the doors, and no power currently so I expect we’ll still use it as a shed.

I was initially thinking just ask him to put a NEMA 14-50 on the right of the side door by the meter, but then realized stepping past the cord while charging with strollers and groceries etc would get old fast.

wondering those with EVs opinions/ advice.

edit: I should add this is in New England so -5F to 105F, snow, ice, heat waves etc

Also any disadvantages of going with a chargepoint flex at 40 amps off an outdoor rated nema 14-50? i can get $300 off a chargepoint or juicebox evse from my electric provider, so the extra 8 amps from a hardwired Tesla hpwc doesn’t seem worth it to me personally, unless I’m missing something. Plus I like the idea of having a universal plug vs proprietary

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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
There are two different houses shown in the photos. Which one?

First, where is the electrical service panel located (ignore the location of the power meter)? Are you certain that your home's current electrical service has capacity for a 50A circuit? If not, what about a 40A or a 30A circuit?

If you are charging a Tesla the charging port is at the left rear corner of the vehicle. Make sure your charging cord will reach the charging port.

Personally, for an outdoor installation, I would only install a hard-wired EVSE, i.e. no receptacle. The benefits include being fully sealed against the weather, requiring only two wires (plus ground wire) instead of three wires (plus the ground wire.) Chargepoint, Juicebox sell EVSE designed for hard wired installation (as with the Tesla Wall Connector.) I like the idea of the electric utility providing the EVSE at a reduced cost. Otherwise consider ClipperCreek for the EVSE.

If you have an EVSE installed this may quality for a tax credit (See IRS form 8911), consult with your tax advisor.
 
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NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
There are two different houses shown in the photos. Which one?

First, where is the electrical service panel located (ignore the location of the power meter)? Are you certain that your home's current electrical service has capacity for a 50A circuit? If not, what about a 40A or a 30A circuit?

If you are charging a Tesla the charging port is at the left rear corner of the vehicle. Make sure your charging cord will reach the charging port.

Personally, for an outdoor installation, I would only install a hard-wired EVSE, i.e. no receptacle. The benefits include being fully sealed against the weather, requiring only two wires (plus ground wire) instead of three wires (plus the ground wire.) Chargepoint, Juicebox sell EVSE designed for hard wired installation (as with the Tesla Wall Connector.) I like the idea of the electric utility providing the EVSE at a reduced cost. Otherwise consider ClipperCreek for the EVSE.

If you have an EVSE installed this may quality for a tax credit (See IRS form 8911), consult with your tax advisor.
Thanks for the response and info jcanoe.
So sounds like instead of using a nema 14-50 I should just have him hardwire the chargepoint evse. That makes sense. Unfortunately they’re out of stock atm.

To answer your questions:
1. Same house, sorry for the confusion but I took a screenshot from google street view that was older and had different colors, since it showed the house situation without a car blocking the view. The most up to date photo is the one with the car, and gravel driveway

2. the electrical service panel is in the front left corner of the house, in the basement, just below that meter. Which is why I was initially targeting that corner of the house for the evse, but don’t want to be tripping over the charge wire all the time.

3. I’m having him install a new 200 amp service and panel while I’m at it, so capacity shouldn’t be an issue. (Adding a new dryer and more hvac etc so now’s the time)

The electrician suggested I consider a sub panel in the garage, for future expandability but that seems like overkill.

I’m thinking the far left side, just to the left of the garage door is the best spot. My neighbors will just have to get used to the blinking lights at night...
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
Thanks for the response and info jcanoe.
So sounds like instead of using a nema 14-50 I should just have him hardwire the chargepoint evse. That makes sense. Unfortunately they’re out of stock atm.

To answer your questions:
1. Same house, sorry for the confusion but I took a screenshot from google street view that was older and had different colors, since it showed the house situation without a car blocking the view. The most up to date photo is the one with the car, and gravel driveway

2. the electrical service panel is in the front left corner of the house, in the basement, just below that meter. Which is why I was initially targeting that corner of the house for the evse, but don’t want to be tripping over the charge wire all the time.

I’m thinking the far left side just to the left of the garage door is the best spot. My neighbors will just have to get used to the blinking lights at night...
Hopefully the Chargepoint EVSE will be available again soon. The far left corner of the house looks tight, too close to the down spout. The original location you noted by the meter (since the panel is directly below the meter in the basement) would work better. Make certain that the Chargepoint or Juicebox EVSE have at least a 24 or 25 foot long charging cord. (ClipperCreek EVSEs come with a 25 foot charging cord.) That should be long enough but to be sure use the garden hose, measure 24 ft of hose and see if it will reach the location of the charging port where the Tesla would be parked.

With any of these non-Tesla EVSE you will need to use the Tesla J1772 adapter. (I use one every time I charge.) If you want to keep a second J1772 adapter inside the Tesla vehicle for use at public Level 2 charging locations you can purchase the J1772 adapter on the Tesla site. (When the Tesla J1772 adapter is inserted into the Tesla's charging port and the Tesla is locked the charging cord can be removed from the J1772 adapter but the J1772 adapter cannot be removed (i.e. easily stolen) without first unlocking the charging port. (Normally, after charging I will unlock the Tesla's charging port and remove the J1772 adapter and the J1772 charging cable at the same time, always make sure to pocket the adapter so I don't lose it.)

I am not familiar with the Chargepoint or Juicebox EVSE to know if they normally have any blinking LEDs. The Tesla Model Y's charge port will light up either green (charging), blue (charging complete) or yellow (the Tesla detected a problem with the electrical circuit and may have either switched to 120V or reduced the charging amperage.) The Tesla charging port may blink if you have set up Scheduled Charging.
 
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NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
Hopefully the Chargepoint EVSE will be available again soon. The far left corner of the house looks tight, too close to the down spout. The original location you noted by the meter (since the panel is directly below the meter in the basement) would work better. Make certain that the Chargepoint or Juicebox EVSE have at least a 24 or 25 foot long charging cord. (ClipperCreek EVSEs come with a 25 foot charging cord.) That should be long enough but to be sure use the garden hose, measure 24 ft of hose and see if it will reach the location of the charging port where the Tesla would be parked.

With any of these non-Tesla EVSE you will need to use the Tesla J1772 adapter. (I use one every time I charge.) If you want to keep a second J1772 adapter inside the Tesla vehicle for use at public Level 2 charging locations you can purchase the J1772 adapter on the Tesla site. (When the Tesla J1772 adapter is inserted into the Tesla's charging port and the Tesla is locked the charging cord can be removed from the J1772 adapter but the J1772 adapter cannot be removed (i.e. easily stolen) without first unlocking the charging port. (Normally, after charging I will unlock the Tesla's charging port and remove the J1772 adapter and the J1772 charging cable at the same time, always make sure to pocket the adapter so I don't lose it.)

I am not familiar with the Chargepoint or Juicebox EVSE to know if they normally have any blinking LEDs. The Tesla Model Y's charge port will light up either green (charging), blue (charging complete) or yellow (the Tesla detected a problem with the electrical circuit and may have either switched to 120V or reduced the charging amperage.) The Tesla charging port may blink if you have set up Scheduled Charging.

Good tip with the garden hose.
I was wondering how the j1772 adapter worked with the locking mechanism, that explains it.
 

NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
I’ve read great reviews of the clipper creek, but unfortunately my utility wont reimburse those, I guess they don’t have the same data sharing agreements as chargepoint and others :-/
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
Chargepoint, Juicebox are major brands. ClipperCreek has a large offering of EVSE products for almost any scenario. Do you know for certain that your home's electrical service has capacity for an additional 50A circuit, room inside the panel for an additional double pole circuit breaker? My main concern with the Tesla Wall Connector is that the charging cord is only 18 feet long, that can be a limitation. Also, the face plate of the Wall Connector is made of glass. Not a great choice of material for an appliance that could get struck by a yard tool, rock or baseball.
 

NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
Chargepoint, Juicebox are major brands. ClipperCreek has a large offering of EVSE products for almost any scenario. Do you know for certain that your home's electrical service has capacity for an additional 50A circuit, room inside the panel for an additional double pole circuit breaker?
I know for a fact it does not have room, the ancient 100 amp panel has one single pole unused, so I’m going to upgrade the panel for other unrelated reasons this summer anyway. Should definitely have room for a double pole breaker or multiple after that new panel goes in
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
I know for a fact it does not have room, the ancient 100 amp panel has one single pole unused, so I’m going to upgrade the panel for other unrelated reasons this summer anyway. Should definitely have room for a double pole breaker or multiple after that new panel goes in
Look into having the electrician also upgrade the service to 200A (the electrical trade, power utility calls this a Heavy Up) when they obtain the permit for this work. The power utility will determine if the line from the utility pole to the meter is able to accommodate the 200A service. The electrician will need to run a new connection from the meter to the service panel as part of the panel upgrade/replacement. The electrician should be able to provide you a quote for the additional work to install the 200A service. The upgrade to 200A is totally worth any incremental cost when you are already replacing the original service panel.
 
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NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
Look into having the electrician also upgrade the service to 200A (the power utility calls this a Heavy Up) when they obtain the permit for this work. The power utility will determine if the line from the utility pole to the meter is able to accommodate the 200A service. The electrician will need to run a new connection from the meter to the service panel as part of the panel upgrade/replacement. The electrician should be able to provide you a quote for the additional work to install the 200A service.
Good stuff, thanks. He did mention he was going to look into it, I didn’t catch all the specific but unfortunately it sounded like I’d need new thicker wires from my main shutoff to the utility pole (I think he said 2 inch, but I’m sure I misheard him, that seems really thick for residential service )
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
Good stuff, thanks. He did mention he was going to look into it, I didn’t catch all the specific but unfortunately it sounded like I’d need new thicker wires from my main shutoff to the utility pole (I think he said 2 inch, but I’m sure I misheard him, that seems really thick for residential service )
When I had the 200A service installed I noticed that the new power cable from the meter to the new service panel is quite thick, i.e 2 inches. (I believe this line is aluminum.) When my house was built it originally had 150A service. The line from the utility pole to the meter did not need to be replaced.
 

NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
When I had the 200A service installed I noticed that the new power cable from the meter to the new service panel is quite thick, i.e 2 inches. (I believe this line is aluminum.) When my house was built it originally had 150A service. The line from the utility pole did not need to be replaced.
Oh maybe that was it then, maybe a new run just from the meter to the shutoff and panel
 

NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
One last question: do any of you have the charger inside your garage, and charge outside on the driveway? Don’t want to leave it open all night, Wondering if the garage door would eventually crimp / damage the charging cord over time.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
One last question: do any of you have the charger inside your garage, and charge outside on the driveway? Don’t want to leave it open all night, Wondering if the garage door would eventually crimp / damage the charging cord over time.
Two issues: As you noted the bottom edge of the garage door may damage the charging cord. (You may be able to place a 3/4" board so that the garage door does not contact the charging cord when the door closes. If you have a powered garage door mechanism this can usually be adjusted to stop the door at a specific position. This would leave a small gap that could be used by unwanted pests.

The second issue that the Tesla charging cord is only 18 feet long. It may only be able to reach the charging port if you back in the Tesla onto the driveway.
 

MD-2000

Member
May 1, 2019
595
402
Winnipeg
Or... you could chip out a channel for the cord on the garage floor at the door just to be sure. A channel maybe an inch wide and a few inches long should avoid a crimp and allow the door to close.

Or put a little awning/overhang/hood above the outdoor charger. Or have a hook around the corner in the little alcove to allow the cable to be left out of the garage all the time, but the charger inside.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,198
3,171
Maryland
It may be possible to cut a hole in the the wall of the garage adjacent to the garage door. Then you can install a cable hatch like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/4-inch-Round-Electrical-Cable-Hatch/dp/B07JGC7WNK/

Since the Tesla charging connector is fairly narrow it should be possible to fit the Tesla charging connector through the cable hatch when you need to charge and the vehicle is outside the garage. (Note that passing the charging cord through a wall is probably not to code.)
 
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TomServo

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
1,529
988
Belleville IL
My Clipper Creek has a 25 ft cord and when friends have been over they can charge in my driveway, but I haven't needed to close the garage door, but to echo what jcanoe said, you'd want to protect the cord should you have to close the grge door.
 
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ArcticStation

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2018
181
270
Maine
The electrician suggested I consider a sub panel in the garage, for future expandability but that seems like overkill.
Three years ago when we first took delivery of our Model 3, I felt the same way. In my case, that was a mistake. Three years on, we are considering a second EV. Our son, who visits often, has purchased an EV. My single NEMA 50-14 will support all three, but not at the same time. I would have much more flexibility with a sub-panel. You should consider it while the work is being done if the cost is reasonable.
 
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NikolaTs

Member
Mar 14, 2021
63
30
New England, US
Three years ago when we first took delivery of our Model 3, I felt the same way. In my case, that was a mistake. Three years on, we are considering a second EV. Our son, who visits often, has purchased an EV. My single NEMA 50-14 will support all three, but not at the same time. I would have much more flexibility with a sub-panel. You should consider it while the work is being done if the cost is reasonable.
Thanks for the advice. I’m gonna heed it - my electrician said if he’s already doing the 4 or 6 gauge run of wires, and have the leftover old 100 amp panel it’s almost the same amount of work to just put the old panel in as a sub panel.

And to your point, this would remove obstacles later to going fully electric
 
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MD-2000

Member
May 1, 2019
595
402
Winnipeg
Three years ago when we first took delivery of our Model 3, I felt the same way. In my case, that was a mistake. Three years on, we are considering a second EV. Our son, who visits often, has purchased an EV. My single NEMA 50-14 will support all three, but not at the same time. I would have much more flexibility with a sub-panel. You should consider it while the work is being done if the cost is reasonable.
As I understand, if you have two Gen2 or Gen3 Tesla Wall Chargers, they can be connected to communicate so they share a single circuit - I.e. one will wait for the other to finish so they can both use the same breaker/circuit. So the only question would be - can you charge both vehicles as full as you want in the time available? (and unless you live in the cold north, you don't need to "fill up" every day).
 

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