TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Convert NEMA 5-20 to 6-20?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by ratsbew, May 17, 2018.

  1. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    What all is required to convert a NEMA 5-20 outlet to a 6-20?

    I have a 5-20 in my garage (just discovered it under a wall plate....score!!!) that is in the perfect spot for my UMC. What is needed to upgrade it to a 6-20? Isn't it basically as simple as swapping the neutral wire for the other hot wire and changing the plug in the wall?

    I may tackle it myself (with due studying), but what I'm really looking for is if it's this simple, it should be a $100 job max from an electrician, right?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    I've been digging in studying and it really looks as simple as swapping the neutral for the other phase (black and white hot wires) which requires a new 240V gang breaker.

    Total bill of materials should be under $20 and will allow 15 miles/hour of charging.
     
  3. scaesare

    scaesare Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2013
    Messages:
    7,129
    Location:
    NoVA
    Make sure there are no other outlets on that circuit.

    Make sure to tape/mark the white wire so it's no longer assumed to be a neutral
     
    • Informative x 1
    • Like x 1
  4. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Yep, I already tested for other outlets. It's labeled "freezer" and it's in the garage so I'm assuming it was an addition at some point previously just for a deep freeze.
     
    • Like x 1
  5. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    2,851
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    All this. Make sure it's the only outlet on the circuit, because this will be changing the whole circuit to double the voltage, and you don't want some other unpleasant surprise on some other outlet. So test this by turning off the existing circuit breaker for it and checking all of the other outlets around that room and maybe if there is another room on the other side of that same wall.

    Then yes, you change out the breaker to a 240V double pole breaker. So instead of Hot, Neutral, and ground, you end up with Hot1, Hot2, and ground. And yes, the white wire is then required by code to be marked at both ends that it is a live hot wire now, instead of Neutral.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    I just bought all of the parts for about $20. I'll do it today and report back.
     
    • Like x 1
  7. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    I just completed the conversion from 5-20 to 6-20. Total cost was under $15 and took less than 30 minutes.

    Tesla claims that a 6-20 can charge the Model 3 at 15 miles per hour which should be enough for me. I can't think of any situations where I arrive home with no charge and then need more than the 150 miles that I could gain over night. I have a supercharger within 150 miles of me in any direction.
     
    • Like x 2
  8. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    2,851
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    I think you'll be pretty pleased with it. I sometimes roll my eyes just a little at how many people here seem to think that too much still isn't enough. For a really easy and inexpensive install that can get you 150 miles every night, that is a good solid solution.
     
  9. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    haha, don't get me wrong, I'd love to pull in 48 Amps from a HPWC and dim the lights on the whole block, but it isn't worth the expense. Now I only have to save $15 until the gas savings are making me money.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    2,851
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    See, that's what I mean. You and I think 48A would be plenty, or even a lot, because literally, that is the most your car can use. But most of the time, people are recommending at least 100A to make sure it's future proof for the extra 2 or 3 EVs you will be getting in the future for load sharing, etc. It's crazy. I've always had a personality with my hobby with computers that gets a different kind of sense of accomplishment from what is the way that can make the best use of what I have with a low spending good value solution that gets the job done? Not wasting money is a good thing. It eventually leads to you having some.
     
    • Like x 2
  11. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Absolutely! I'm able to afford my Model 3 because I've spent my life not wasting money up to this point. The Model 3 is an anomalous purchase for my wife and me, but all of that not wasting money for years has allowed us to pay cash which subsequently means no interest payments on a car loan....it's a self perpetuating cycle once you are able to get on that path.
     
    • Like x 2
  12. davewill

    davewill Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Messages:
    934
    Location:
    San Diego, CA, US
    Sounds great. I do feel obligated to point out that this change may require a permit and inspection in your area.

    Especially when so many people don't stay in the same house long term. It's one thing if a couple hundred bucks gets you a bigger circuit, but quite another if you're dropping an extra kilobuck on something that may never see use.
     
  13. cmyke

    cmyke Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    I'm going through this now (a bit more work; I'm running dedicated 12 gauge from the panel). Did you just buy Tesla's 6-20 adapter from their site for the mobile charger?
     
  14. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Yep. Just bought it from the store. Still loving 6-20 charging.
     
  15. cmyke

    cmyke Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2018
    Messages:
    257
    Location:
    Silver Spring, MD
    Awesome! I should be done this work by the end of the week! Looking forward to it. I drive (max) 60 miles/day, so this solution will be perfect.
     
  16. Kermee

    Kermee It's Not Easy Being Green

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    WA, BC & HKG
    If you drive about 60 miles/day, 6-20 will "top-up" your M3 in about 5 hours. 5-20 to 6-20 conversion is one of the most inexpensive ways to get a decent charge rate over 5-15, but not having to step into 14-50 or HPWC realm.
     
  17. CruzinTX

    CruzinTX Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2018
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Texas
    Sorry to ask an ignorant question, but wouldn't the ampere draw be the same if it's from a 5-20 or 6-20? The only difference is the connector that you're going to use but charging wise, you'd have the same current draw?!
     
  18. Kermee

    Kermee It's Not Easy Being Green

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2018
    Messages:
    488
    Location:
    WA, BC & HKG
    You are correct. The ampere draw is the same...

    But double the voltage. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
    • Like x 1
  19. ratsbew

    ratsbew Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2012
    Messages:
    815
    Volts * Amps = Watts. Double the voltage is actually greater than double the charge rate though due to overhead and 240V being more efficient at being converted to pack Voltage.
     
  20. wws

    wws Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2014
    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Northern California
    Same amps (16 max), 2x volts.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC