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Can this 50A 120/240 VAC/VCA breaker charge my Tesla Model 3?

ereecksoo

New Member
May 23, 2021
2
0
Los Angeles, California
Hey all, first time Tesla owner (Model 3) and first time poster here. I would really appreciate the community's help's on this. I recently bought a home that had a 50A 120/240 VAC/VCA breaker installed in the garage with a thick black cord sticking out of it that has a prong that states "30A 125/250V" on the side of it. Please see attached pictures to see what setup I currently have. I've also attached pictures of the prong.
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From all my research, I think most people opt for the Tesla Wall Charger or getting a 14-50 outlet installed, but I would like to ask the community if there is any way I can charge my Tesla Model 3 with this current setup that was installed by the previous home owner. If I can avoid paying extra money for a Wall Charger and calling an electrician, that would be idea.

Thanks so much!
 

Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,944
7,727
Visalia, CA
...50A 120/240 VAC/VCA breaker..

It would be helpful if you please open up that breaker lid to see what's the fuse specs are under the lid.

I assume the cord is 240V 30A so you could replace that plug with a standard 240V 30A clothes dryer outlet and Tesla Shop sells those Nema 14-30 adapters for your mobile connector for $35 as well.

14-30_individual_1104937-00-B_0.png


It's already there so there's no need for a city permit. It's a simple replacement that you can unscrew the current one and install a 240V 30A clothes dryer outlet.

You just have to make sure you match up the 4 wires correctly: I think 2 hot wires are for those straight vertical blades. Ground wire is for the semi-lunar hole. Neutral wire is for the crooked L shape hole.



$13.50 NEMA 14-30 30 Amp Single Surface Mounted Single Outlet, Black by Leviton at Home Depot

black-leviton-electrical-outlets-receptacles-r20-55054-p00-64_145.jpg
 
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ereecksoo

New Member
May 23, 2021
2
0
Los Angeles, California
It would be helpful if you please open up that breaker lid to see what's the fuse specs are under the lid.

I assume the cord is 240V 30A so you could replace that plug with a standard 240V 30A clothes dryer outlet and Tesla Shop sell those adapters for your mobile connector as well.

It's already there so there's no need for a city permit. It's a simple replacement that you can unscrew the current one and install a 240V 30A clothes dryer outlet.

You just have to make sure you match up the 4 wires correctly.
I will post a picture shortly. However, I do remember opening it and all I saw were a bunch of colorful wires in there. There was no outlet (e.g. nothing to plug into) when I opened up that box.

I was hoping to use the prong that I currently have (as attahced in the picture), and to see if there was some sort of adapter or converter out there where I can use that prong, connect that to the adapter, which could then connect to my Tesla.

Thanks for the input so far.
 
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Tam

Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2012
8,944
7,727
Visalia, CA
...I was hoping to use the prong that I currently have (as attahced in the picture), and to see if there was some sort of adapter or converter out there where I can use that prong, connect that to the adapter, which could then connect to my Tesla...

You might want to order a custom-made one from EvseAdapters.com because Tesla does not carry that adapter. I think it's NEMA L14-30. Just provide the link for this thread and they could figure out your customized needs. It will cost you due to the customization.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,716
12,620
California
I suspect that is an input for a home generator backup. If it’s installed correctly it should lead back to a breaker in your main panel connected to an interlock such that it can never be energized at the same time as your main home breaker. If it can, that’s a major red flag safety issue with a male plug like that for obvious electrocution-based reasons.

In any case, this isn’t something you want to be using for EV charging.
 
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NOLA21SGuy

Member
Jan 25, 2021
203
522
New Orleans, Louisiana
I suspect that is an input for a home generator backup. If it’s installed correctly it should lead back to a breaker in your main panel connected to an interlock such that it can never be energized at the same time as your main home breaker. If it can, that’s a major red flag safety issue with a male plug like that for obvious electrocution-based reasons.

In any case, this isn’t something you want to be using for EV charging.
What you may be able to do is have an election come look. If it is indeed for a generator, which is my suspicion as well, you have useful wire already run. An electrician could safely move the wire to another circuit and remove the interlocking device, which is usually a metal plate. Running wire is a big part of the expense in wiring up a new outlet. Though you would incur some cost, a generator interlock is not to be trifled with.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,716
12,620
California
What you may be able to do is have an election come look. If it is indeed for a generator, which is my suspicion as well, you have useful wire already run. An electrician could safely move the wire to another circuit and remove the interlocking device, which is usually a metal plate. Running wire is a big part of the expense in wiring up a new outlet. Though you would incur some cost, a generator interlock is not to be trifled with.
Yes, fair enough and good point. It could be repurposed if OP had no interest in the backup generator capability.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,445
7,675
Boise, ID
Wow, that is absolutely freaking scary. Agree that it's the kind of thing used for a generator input, but holy frick! Leaving exposed prongs like that is something that is just not done. And the mismatch of a 50A breaker to a 30A outlet type is also a code violation.

I would say to just start over from square 1:
What size wires and how many?
When you know what gauge the wires are and how many there are, then you can select both ends appropriate, to get a proper breaker and a proper outlet that match.
 
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jm404

New Member
May 27, 2021
3
4
Atlanta
Wow, that is absolutely freaking scary. Agree that it's the kind of thing used for a generator input, but holy frick! Leaving exposed prongs like that is something that is just not done. And the mismatch of a 50A breaker to a 30A outlet type is also a code violation.

I would say to just start over from square 1:
What size wires and how many?
When you know what gauge the wires are and how many there are, then you can select both ends appropriate, to get a proper breaker and a proper outlet that match.

It's not scary, it's extremely common. There is likely a generator interlock in the main breaker box. So there is no physical way for that circuit to be live unless the main breaker is off. Also, a 50a breaker on a 30a outlet is not a code violation in my area, maybe it is in some others, but is certainly not dangerous or an issue.

Ultimately to the OP, if you post pics of the main breaker and inside the boxes you can likely get some help. It MAY be as simple as replacing that 30 amp male plug with a female 30 amp outlet. REALLY you should have an electrician come look at the setup. If you're already wired for 50a 240v (and they should physically check the wiring all the way back to the main panel) then you could use a 50a 240v outlet to charge. OP also go look through the inspection report from when you bought your home. I would bet that there are some notes as to what the setup is.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,445
7,675
Boise, ID
Also, a 50a breaker on a 30a outlet is not a code violation in my area, maybe it is in some others,
If you live in the United States, it absolutely is a code violation, because every state uses some version of the National Electric Code regulations, and that has ALWAYS been forbidden. It is iron clad clear that the breaker must never be higher rated than the outlet.
 
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ucmndd

Well-Known Member
Mar 10, 2016
6,716
12,620
California
If you live in the United States, it absolutely is a code violation, because every state uses some version of the National Electric Code regulations, and that has ALWAYS been forbidden. It is iron clad clear that the breaker must never be higher rated than the outlet.

I believe the section you're citing is 210.21(b)(1):

(1) Single Receptacle on an Individual Branch Circuit.
A single receptacle installed on an individual branch circuit shall have an ampere rating not less than that of the branch circuit.

210.21(b)(3) goes on to allow the common exception in the case of circuits that supply more than one outlet (i.e. 15 amp NEMA 5-15 receptacles on a 20 amp circuit).
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,445
7,675
Boise, ID
Right, and this is a single connection. Now perhaps there is some different special thing for this kind of generator feed-in with exposed male prongs, where that's maybe not considered a receptacle. (?) I have not seen that part and if it would have different requirements.
 
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