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Charging in the rain

Hey folks! I'm fairly new to the forum and I'm still waiting to be assigned a delivery date for my new Model 3. I've never done electric charging before (on Tesla or any other EV) and I was wondering if there's a need to take any special precautions in charging your Tesla when it's raining and there's no roof or cover at your station. Or do most people try to avoid it all together?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
16,833
22,271
Riverside Co. CA
Hey folks! I'm fairly new to the forum and I'm still waiting to be assigned a delivery date for my new Model 3. I've never done electric charging before (on Tesla or any other EV) and I was wondering if there's a need to take any special precautions in charging your Tesla when it's raining and there's no roof or cover at your station. Or do most people try to avoid it all together?

Charging from what? If you are talking about from some sort of wall mounted charging device (Tesla or otherwise) then no I just plug in. The only precaution I take is to make sure I dont point the "wand" skyward before I plug in.

If you are talking about the mobile connector that comes with the car, meaning you will be plugging in the car outside, using the mobile connector, I havent done that (but many others have).
 

21miDay

Member
Supporting Member
May 26, 2014
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157
Phoenix
I agree with jjrandorin, Supercharging or wall mounted charging are different from the mobile connector that comes with the car.

I searched the car's manual and didn't find any information about charging in the rain.

Here are the precautions from the mobile connector's manual:

"Warning: Do not use the Mobile Connector when either you, the vehicle or the Mobile
Connector is exposed to severe rain, snow, electrical storm or other inclement weather."

"Warning: If rain falls during charging, do not allow rain water to run along the length of
charge cable, causing the electrical outlet or charging port to become wet."
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
884
US
It is safe to charge in the rain, but there is a possibility of damage to your "mobile connector" if you leave it out in the rain over time. That is whether you use it or not. Also, extension cord plugs and outlets shouldn't be directly exposed to water.

I've had one damaged this way, even being protected by a box. Actually its not 100% clear how it was damaged, but luckily it happened during the 1 year warranty.

So you can buy a plastic box to cover the mobile connector, or you can get an electrician to mount the "wall connector" which is safe to be exposed to rain and which will have more power than a regular socket (not that you can't get an upgraded socket for the mobile connector, just that installation of the new electrical wire and mounting the wall connector are done together).

The latest wall connector has a 5 year warranty, so it makes some sense given the likelihood of the mobile connector breaking after its warranty is expired.
 
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Thanks for the feedback, folks. For my own personal circumstance when I ultimately get my car; I live in an apartment on the 2nd floor, so I won't have a feasible option to invest in wall charger for now, and unless I'm in a very rare & desperate circumstance, I won't be using the mobile connector either. My inquiry is mostly for outside at an un-roofed charging station, whether it be Tesla or another brand.
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
884
US
Thanks for the feedback, folks. For my own personal circumstance when I ultimately get my car; I live in an apartment on the 2nd floor, so I won't have a feasible option to invest in wall charger for now, and unless I'm in a very rare & desperate circumstance, I won't be using the mobile connector either. My inquiry is mostly for outside at an un-roofed charging station, whether it be Tesla or another brand.

You are fine then. Rain water is not highly conductive, and the plugs are designed to keep the water away from the terminals.

The reason that water damages "electronics" is because of how small all the wires are on a circuit board, and how close together they are.
 

JPP

Active Member
Feb 4, 2013
3,086
1,349
SF Bay Area, CA
The bottom line is that any EVSE (Tesla Mobile Connector or Supercharger, ChargePoint or other 3rd party, etc) does not apply high voltage to the pins of the connector until all connections are secure and a low voltage 'handshake' has occurred between the EVSE and your EV (Tesla). You won't get electrocuted (assuming the equipment is not damaged). But, yes, some EVSE does not like harsh climates, like getting snow & ice into the pins on the connector.
 
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The bottom line is that any EVSE (Tesla Mobile Connector or Supercharger, ChargePoint or other 3rd party, etc) does not apply high voltage to the pins of the connector until all connections are secure and a low voltage 'handshake' has occurred between the EVSE and your EV (Tesla). You won't get electrocuted (assuming the equipment is not damaged). But, yes, some EVSE does not like harsh climates, like getting snow & ice into the pins on the connector.
That’s a great, reasonable and informative response. Thanks so much!
 
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Again, thanks for all of the feedback. I’m here in hot and sunny Texas, but we can be prone to lots of rain showers here and there and maybe only lightly snows several days worth every couple of years. 99% of the time, I’ll be charging in non-precipitous/non-inclement weather. I just wanted to make sure that for that 1% chance I’ll have to charge my vehicle in bad/rainy weather, that I’m not overlooking a precaution that’s not instinctive, having never owned an EV before.
My overall takeaway: I’ll be fine charging in the rain as long as no equipment or connector is damaged. And it’ll probably best for me not take any liberties with handling the EVSE such as waving it in the air like a wand or playing single person jump rope while I’m waiting:) lol
 
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Hey folks! I'm fairly new to the forum and I'm still waiting to be assigned a delivery date for my new Model 3. I've never done electric charging before (on Tesla or any other EV) and I was wondering if there's a need to take any special precautions in charging your Tesla when it's raining and there's no roof or cover at your station. Or do most people try to avoid it all together?

Would recommend carrying a small towel in the TM3 to wipe down the charging plug, input, and cap before and after charging sessions.
Depending on the Supercharger, the electricity could cut off during charging sessions in the rain. Just make sure to tap the 'unlock' button on the TM3's Touchscreen and press and hold the Circle Button on the top of the supercharging Plug before you Pull the Charging Equipment out of the Car. This will prevent damage.
 
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