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Charging Challenged - Service Panel Too Small

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by habanero69, Aug 5, 2016.

  1. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I just had the electrician over to assess adding the 14-50 wall outlet. No go. My service panel is 125A and the ONLY addition I can make is adding ONE measly 115v 20A circuit. I would have to replace my house disconnect, wires from meter to main panel and the main panel itself to add a 14-50 at a cost of $4,000+. Not going there...

    I have a dryer outlet 10-30 in the laundry room off of the garage, but I can't reach even backing in without some form of extension. Can someone be so kind as to tell me or link me to a extension cable/adapter that I could use? Otherwise, at the 115v 20A I might get 6 mph... Although that would probably work for during the week as my work commute is ridiculously short, weekend's mean a trip to a super charger for sure... :(

    THX,

    M
     
  2. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    Can you not just remove the Dryer outlet and "relocate" it in the form of a 14-30 to where you can safely plug in?
     
  3. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I still gotta use my dryer too, so swapping was what I had planned... I use dryer maybe once/twice a week. I know that's pretty crappy too, but......
     
  4. Ingineer

    Ingineer Electrical Engineer

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    I would not go the "swap" route. The outlets are not rated for daily insertion/removal cycles and will quickly wear out and could become a danger.

    Best bet is to bite the bullet and upgrade the panel. There will be many more EV's in your homes future, and you may also elect to install solar at some point. Why not spend a bit and future-proof?
     
  5. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Add a 240V 20A circuit instead. You could also ask the electrician to use coincidental loads rule. Your dryer should not be on at the same time as charging.
     
  6. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I've heard some talk on the swap wear issue, so I guess that's not an answer to my prob. I'm in a condo so no solar will ever be for me. I also may consider moving, so the $4000 would probably be a throw away. Maybe I should just give up on the stove and use that circuit for MS. I could lose a few pounds and since I don;t need gas, maybe the savings can be used to buy a $1 value meal every meal/day. :( And I thought waiting to get the car was going to be the most stressful? :eek:
     
  7. ABCCBA

    ABCCBA Member

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    @habanero69 Is your house fed with overhead wires from the power transformer? How far is it from your existing meter base to where you will charge your car? I have an idea, depending on the layout of your electrical service.
     
  8. DSBS4

    DSBS4 Member

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    I have a 125A panel and just had no more room in the panel. I paid $700 to change it out to one with more space to accommodate the extra breaker and 6AWG wire. It didn't require an additional wiring to replace the panel itself.
     
  9. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    Wait a minute, just how ridiculously short is your commute? 120V 20A circuit should get you about 4mph IIRC. If your commute is that short, and maybe a few trips to the store, average 20 miles in a day, you'd still add 140 miles between Sunday night and Saturday morning. (Figuring charging 10 hours/night, 40 miles.)

    If you can make that a 240V 20A circuit, you can get 8 mph; that'd mean adding 80 miles per night, using 20 per day, so you could add several hundred miles during the week and start the weekend with a full charge by Saturday morning.
     
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  10. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I'm in a condo. The feed to the meter is underground to a transformer pad/enclosure. The meter feeds my 125A disconnect adjacent to the meter, then the wires go underground/under-pad to my garage where they enter the service panel. Short of pulling new wires from disconnect to main panel, not much I can do. Even then, both disconnect and main and disconnect panel have to be replaced. The main panel is marked max 125A.

    I don't know why, but pulling a permit in my area an electrician is about $350 give or take. Highest in the county and maybe state... The person that posted adding a 240V 20A circuit seems to be the most plausible and cheap. I can do myself; no permit. That might be my best bet. Doing google on a 240v outlet yields quite a few options. That is where I may need Mr Fixit. ;)
     
  11. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    +1 I think that is my best bet. No permit and can do myself. BTW, daily commute is about 5 miles ROUND TRIP...:cool:
     
  12. linkster

    linkster Member

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    Do you have any room/additional capacity to install a 6-20 (20A 240V aka an air conditioner outlet) receptacle and deploy a $45 Tesla UMC 6-15 adapter for ~9mph charge rate? You may also consider sending your UMC to QCP to "stretch" it up to 50'.

    Good-Luck!
     
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  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I second the idea of the 20A circuit. Adapters, extensions, and other kludges are for rare use when traveling and should not be used for routine charging at home.
     
  14. JPP

    JPP Active Member

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    Can you change to a gas dryer to free up the circuit?
     
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  15. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    You could also have the electrician wire a transfer switch into the dryer's circuit so that you could select A/B for the car's outlet or the dryer's outlet. That is the best I can think of if the load calcs can't support another circuit. However, I think the electrician may not be trying very hard to fit in an additional 240V 30A to 50A circuit. He may just want to get the bigger job of upgrading your service - after all, you can afford a Tesla car, you can afford that too right? ;)
     
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  16. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    Yes, I can add a double pole 20A breaker in my panel no problem. I have room along entire wall by service panel to install a 6-20 outlet/box thru pvc conduit using appropriate wire size ( #10 I think, but will verify BEFORE i buy). I may not be the fasting charging MS in my hood, but by damn I wont be doing it at 4-6 mph. :p Getting the adapter you suggest is the only outstanding need...
     
  17. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #17 linkster, Aug 5, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2016
    +1

    I am having difficulty finding this transfer switch part/strategy from an old post.

    Not sure if this is the correct device.....

    Leviton 3033-2I 30 Amp, 120/277 Volt, Toggle 3-Way AC Quiet Switch, Extra Heavy Duty Spec Grade, Self Grounding, Back and Side Wired, Ivory - Wall Light Switches - Amazon.com
     
  18. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

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    I actually watched him do the calcs and he DID cheat a bit on my A/C AND water heater. I still was short. Of course its so close it could be done, but not if I have a permit and Mr inspector does a drive by...:confused:
     
  19. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    I don't see a 6-20 adapter on the Tesla site. If you go the 240V 20A route, and If you're a DIY kind of person, I'd suggest getting the 5-20 adapter and wiring an outlet for that adapter with 240V. Of course anything else you plug into that outlet would blow up, so label it "240V-Tesla exclusive use!" The UMC doesn't care what voltage it is, between 90 and 250 (IIRC), as long as there isn't much of a drop when the current ramps up. Running it through the 5-20 means never having to worry about the charge current setting in the car.

    The best solution though sounds like the transfer switch idea. Just run #8 from the drier to the car.
    Ya, I see a nice big double-pole double-throw knife switch, like from the old sci-fi movies - that'd be so awesome!
    It looks like a Leviton 1288 should do the trick, double pole double throw 30A center off maintained. Looks to be $80-$100. And I think I read that Tesla is going to make some more 30A adapters later this year.
     
  20. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    The UMC 6-15 adapter fits into the 6-20 outlet.
     

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