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Charging woes

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by drayers, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. drayers

    drayers Member

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    Delivery 9/11
    Electrician coming by today to give estimates. I mistakenly thought that the subpanel in my garage would be easy to mod and install a 14-50 or something upgradeable to CS100 or solar. But now I realize that my meter/main panel is on my neighbors unit probably 80 ft away.

    If he tells me that I just have 100Amp to share with the whole house and he can squeeze a 14-50 through the subpanel should I do it?
    Or try to upgrade everything at one and pay for the wiring and contract work? (not even sure if it's possible).

    Might have to leave my Tesla parked at a charge station! :(
    Or God forbid, dump the deposit and cancel the Tesla :( :(
     
  2. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Whoa, you can quite successfully charge your MS @30 Amps, or even 20 Amps, if you have the whole night to do the charging. You do not need a high-amp charger unless for some reason the MS will be used to taxi family around town all night long, for example.

    Your electrician can install a 30A or even a 20A outlet for you. You will then adapt your UMC (which comes with every new MS) to the particular outlet the electrician installs. So you will just have to find (or make) the necessary adapter. The MS will limit its charging to the proper (reduced) amperage.
    --
     
  3. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    It depends on how it was built and what's there.

    You'll have to wait for the electrician to look at what you have, and what appliances you have. If built within the past 20 years or so, I really doubt that you would be limited to 100A, especially with only 80 ft. If you have mostly gas appliances, you should be able to put a 14-50 in easily, regardless of your capacity. If you have electric appliances, the electrician should be able to help you.

    You can always put in a 30A outlet and charge at that rate, you should easily have room there - and Tesla has a 14-30 adapter.

    Let us know how it goes.
     
  4. drayers

    drayers Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the quick responses.

    2 units on 1 lot, meter and main panel are on their unit.
    Each unit gets 100A. Electric range, tankless water heater

    To upgrade he would have to:
    -possibly dig out the line to the street (might be able to use existing wiring)
    -replace panel and meters to allow for 200A + 200A
    -rewire through their garage, along the sides of the houses, and into my garage
    -redo subpanel or new subpanel??
    He said he didn't have a formal estimate right now but wild ballpark $20k?

    Or:
    -replace my subpanel for bigger one (patch drywall)
    -add NEMA 14-50 (2ft from panel)
    Estimate: $1400 ($600 + $800)

    I guess I'm going to give up on the idea of solar and try to reduce my other electricity use to keep my SCE down in the lower tiers

    As an aside, is $1400 reasonable for the work in Option B? or should I shop around more?

    Thanks again for the advice! I might leave my car parked at my parent's home (no charge) and drive through the weekend, but I guess I will add a stop to the Hawthorne SC if needed!
     
  5. wycolo

    wycolo Active Member

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    Electric Range on a 100A box?? Please post photo of the box with cover removed. What cable size runs the 80 feet??
    --
     
  6. twinklejet

    twinklejet Member

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    Also depends on whether you're a doctor or some profession that requires you to be on-call such that you might need a faster charge even at night in case you need to dash out the door 2 hours after you reach home...

    Or if you're just a regular guy with a daily routine and sufficient time each night to recharge - then you can go with lower amps..
     
  7. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    I'd go with option two if you can get a 14-50 installed. The only time you really need HPWC types of charging speed are when you are traveling. At home, when you ever return home and need to charge rapidly for the next trip. This has not happened to me in over 4 years of owning a Roadster and almost a year with my Model S. As was already mentioned, you could probably live with a 30A, 14-30, and charge at 17 mph.

    If the upgrade in panel size is just physical size to fit the new 50A, 240V breaker, ask about replacing 4 of the existing breakers with the the thin, 1/2-width, pancake breakers. This will give you the physical space for a 50A, 240V breaker.

    $800 or even $600 to install one 14-50 a few feet from the breaker box sounds a little expensive. I'd check around.
     
  8. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    In terms of your load, the electric range and tankless water heater are likely to doom your car charging at 40A during the day. Oven + call for hot water + charging will likely be a bit too much. Charging only after midnight might be a good possibility - just make sure you're not cooking while doing it. :) No A/C?

    I'm going to trust you had a reasonable electrician who looked over your panel and determined suitability for tandem breakers, if it's a matter of fitting a breaker into your subpanel. Is it that the rating is low, or you need more room?

    That's a reasonable price for that work. Generally, panel swaps are in the $2k range. There may be some headroom in the cabling between the two units, and you might be able to convince whatever powers that be to up your unit to 125A, which would give you enough headroom.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Definitely possible. Pretty common in older homes that had the old fuse boxes replaced, too. They had the service feeder, 2 "main" fuses in a pull-holder that fed 4 branch circuits with edison-base fuses, and a separate "range" pull-holder that held 2 more fuses feeding an electric range.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Either way, you don't have to give up the Tesla. Charging at 24A via a 30A receptacle seems like a great possibility.
     
  9. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    Here is one that I did that sounds identical to your situation. Subpanel is in the gargage of the condo on the left side. I replaced several breakers with 1/2 width to allow room. Cut a hole in the drywall just below the panel and adjacent to a 2X4 stud. I fished about 2' of conduit out of the bottom of the plug box and into the panel. 50 amp breaker. Slight patch of the drywall , coverplate and done. 1/2 hour in Home Depot, $75 of parts and wire, and about 1.5 hours in the garage. Done! This condo has Gas water heating.

    IMG_6571.jpg
     
  10. Puyallup Bill

    Puyallup Bill Member

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    Do not give up on the Tesla.

    I live in a rental, 100 Amp panel, 40 Amp breaker for the electric stove. A 50 Amp RV extension cord, out the kitchen window from the stove outlet allows me to charge at 32 Amps - 20 MPH or so. I know, the extension cord is non-code, but we do what we have to do.

    It is a bit of a juggling act keeping both the LEAF and the Tesla charged. Have not yet needed to, but a fall back is to take one of the cars a half mile up the street where there are five free ChargePoint 30 Amp J1772s.
     
  11. drayers

    drayers Member

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    eitdfb.jpg

    Going to check around for a few more quotes.
    The subpanel is full, so I think that's why he is quoting for the switch.

    I don't have pics of the main panel, but the actual quote came in at $13k and that's too much!
    I'll choose option B - I don't cook often and will focus charging at night (regular work hours).

    Thanks a lot for the advice!

    ps - I dont think I'm anywhere handy enough to install the 14-50 myself. I wish... :)
     
  12. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Hey, if you're comfortable with the home being uninsured, who am I to complain? :)
     
  14. Zythryn

    Zythryn MS 70D, MX 90D

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    How far do you drive each day and what are your charging opportunities there?
    A lowly 110 outlet may work for you depending upon your driving patterns.
    Or is your dryer outlet nearby? If so, use it, just not at the same time as the dryer.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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  16. strider

    strider Active Member

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    As others have stated, I would just get the panel swapped and charge at night at whatever rate your existing service can handle. In our case we live in a standard piece of garbage 1960's-era California house. It has 100A service with an electric range and 2 electric ovens. No A/C. Heat and water heater are gas. We were able to get two 30A circuits into our existing panel without having to upgrade anything. 240V/24A charge rate gives me right at 20 miles/hr which is more than enough to recover from the day's driving. So don't always assume you need the maximum charge rate, you may be able to save yourself a lot of money.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Well, he did say it's a rental. I don't see why rental houses are any different than rental cars? :)
     
  17. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    I charged on 115 volt, 15 amp circuit for months until I got my NEMA 14-50. I would have killed for a 30 amp 240 v.
     
  18. jchangyy

    jchangyy Member

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    Hi,

    I have similar situation with main panel being outside of my garage, pulling in 200A. My sub panel pulls in 100A in my garage. Solarcity placed a mini sub panel next to my sub panel drawing 50A, just for NEMA 14-50. ~10ft of wiring and a small sub panel added for $450 all together. I think $1400 is bit too much. I live in Santa Clara, CA.

    I can send you pictures if you'd like. just PM me your email address. I don't know how to post pics here.
     

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