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Cost of 50 amp circuit and Nema 14-50 Plug installation in SFBay area (Oakland)?

I've been receiving estimates to have a 50 amp circuit and nema 14-50 plug installed in my garage. The service panel is just outside the garage so they would just have to drill a hole in the wall and install the plug on the other side. The second option is to run some conduit to the other side of the garage so the plug would be 3 feet from the charge port. Using the Tesla recommended vendors I'm getting estimates of $1800 or so to do this. This price seems super high.

Does anyone have a more reasonably priced electrician they would recommend to do this in Oakland CA?

Thanks!
 

LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,413
1,646
Arkansas
That's absurd. Even if that's the going rate for the area I wouldn't pay it. I understand service prices are regional, but I had a 50A circuit run in my garage in Arkansas for less than $300, parts and labor included. Panel is on one side of the garage, cable runs up into the attic, down inside the wall, and to the outlet.
 
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Any licensed electrician can do this work. No need to use the Tesla "recommended" electricians. When I had my electrical wiring done (a very difficult job - as I was bringing 100 amp wiring from one side of my house to the other - it was like a complicated puzzle!), I had quotes vary by 50-60%. I think some people see that you just bought a new Tesla so you are indifferent to the costs.
 
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Any licensed electrician can do this work. No need to use the Tesla "recommended" electricians. When I had my electrical wiring done (a very difficult job - as I was bringing 100 amp wiring from one side of my house to the other - it was like a complicated puzzle!), I had quotes vary by 50-60%. I think some people see that you just bought a new Tesla so you are indifferent to the costs.
That is clearly the case. I can't see charging $1800 to install a circuit and outlet for a dyer...
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,636
Canyon Lake,CA
reommended electricians are usually familiar with the installation options. They communicate with Tesla before and after the installation to keep everybody on the same page. Each electrician/company will set their own pricing, and can vary. Pays to shop around, but for most installations a charging plug is a relatively small job that ties them up from taking a more profitable job.
 
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jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,308
5,770
Maryland
In 2016 I paid $1,700 for a 50A circuit, NEMA 14-50 receptacle installed in my garage; the service panel is on the other side of the house from the garage, this required 70 foot of armored cable. I requested that the electrician pull a permit for the work to ensure I would not my compromise my homeowner's insurance. This did not include the $400 cost of the EVSE I installed. The work was performed by a Master Electrician with more than 30 years of experience. What I have learned about electricians: good electricians are not cheap, cheap electricians are not good. When you upgrade your electrical service, replace the service panel or add a circuit this is considered a permanent improvement to the property. When you sell the home the cost of these upgrades goes towards your cost basis for the home, may reduce any taxes owed from the sale of the property.
 
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I suggest call around different places. I have 100A main panel with a sub panel 25 ft away. The plan is run a 50A breaker and cables from the subpanel back to the wall behind the main panel for the Tesla charger.

EVcharge4U (Tesla Approved) is quoting $1300 for the work to be done.

I scheduled mine with Brent @ Lights Out Online 415.806.9608. If you want to get a quote from him, tell him Willy from the medical center refers you to him. I chose Lights Out Inc because I worked with him and his team In the past. His price is competitive to EVcharge4U too.

Good luck!
 
I suggest call around different places. I have 100A main panel with a sub panel 25 ft away. The plan is run a 50A breaker and cables from the subpanel back to the wall behind the main panel for the Tesla charger.

EVcharge4U (Tesla Approved) is quoting $1300 for the work to be done.

I scheduled mine with Brent @ Lights Out Online 415.806.9608. If you want to get a quote from him, tell him Willy from the medical center refers you to him. I chose Lights Out Inc because I worked with him and his team In the past. His price is competitive to EVcharge4U too.

Good luck!
Does that $1300 include the permits and inspections? I have roughly the same quote from them for a similar job, about 20 ft. They are quoting $640 for the permits and inspection on top of the $1375 installation.
 
Unfortunately living in the Bay Area, you're paying the premium for the labor cost. In the South Bay, electricians charge at least $300/hour, and a typical installation is at least 2 hours unless its a very short run of the circuit. Next time you get a quote, ask them do a breakdown of the labor vs materials vs permit. You'll see just how much of the quote is going to labor, its eye opening. Some of the electricians I've gotten a quote from even flat out refused to provide a breakdown, or asked a fee ($30) to break it down to deter me from getting the breakdown. They don't want you to know exactly how much profit they're making.

If you are able to find an electrician that charge a modest fee for the labor portion, they oftentimes overcharge for the materials in the quote to make it up. For example, I had an electrician put $200 + tax for 200 ft of 12/2 Romex cable, while I can get the exact cable at Home Depot for around $100. Simililarly in the same quote, they charged me $40 for a 20A 120V breaker and the same breaker is $20 at Lowes. I ended up signing an agreement with this same electrician but I told them that I'll be buying & providing them with all the materials (except conduit, since I don't know how to shop for that) and they will do the installation for the labor fee. I saved nearly 30% of the total cost. Be smart about it!

The service panel is just outside the garage so they would just have to drill a hole in the wall and install the plug on the other side.
Honestly, I'd just go with this option. Less length also means less voltage drop with load. The EVSE cord should be long enough to reach the other side of the garage where the charge port is. You can run it along the garage walls so you don't drive over the cord daily. Alternatively, there are solutions that can hang the EVSE cord overhead and then drop down exactly where the charge port is. Then it's out of the way.
Perhaps it's also possible to shuffle cars around and/or back in to the garage to get as close to the area where the panel is as possible?
 
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LoudMusic

Active Member
Jul 21, 2020
1,413
1,646
Arkansas
Unfortunately living in the Bay Area, you're paying the premium for the labor cost. In the South Bay, electricians charge at least $300/hour, and a typical installation is at least 2 hours unless its a very short run of the circuit. Next time you get a quote, ask them do a breakdown of the labor vs materials vs permit. You'll see just how much of the quote is going to labor, its eye opening. Some of the electricians I've gotten a quote from even flat out refused to provide a breakdown, or asked a fee ($30) to break it down to deter me from getting the breakdown. They don't want you to know exactly how much profit they're making.

If you are able to find an electrician that charge a modest fee for the labor portion, they oftentimes overcharge for the materials in the quote to make it up. For example, I had an electrician put $200 + tax for 200 ft of 12/2 Romex cable, while I can get the exact cable at Home Depot for around $100. Simililarly in the same quote, they charged me $40 for a 20A 120V breaker and the same breaker is $20 at Lowes. I ended up signing an agreement with this same electrician but I told them that I'll be buying & providing them with all the materials (except conduit, since I don't know how to shop for that) and they will do the installation for the labor fee. I saved nearly 30% of the total cost. Be smart about it!


Honestly, I'd just go with this option. Less length also means less voltage drop with load. The EVSE cord should be long enough to reach the other side of the garage where the charge port is. You can run it along the garage walls so you don't drive over the cord daily. Alternatively, there are solutions that can hang the EVSE cord overhead and then drop down exactly where the charge port is. Then it's out of the way.
Perhaps it's also possible to shuffle cars around and/or back in to the garage to get as close to the area where the panel is as possible?

Sounds like I need to be an electrician in the Bay! Shame I'm a network administrator on the east coast.
 

Big Dog

Active Member
Mar 7, 2016
1,807
1,974
Irvine, CA
I've been receiving estimates to have a 50 amp circuit and nema 14-50 plug installed in my garage. The service panel is just outside the garage so they would just have to drill a hole in the wall and install the plug on the other side. The second option is to run some conduit to the other side of the garage so the plug would be 3 feet from the charge port. Using the Tesla recommended vendors I'm getting estimates of $1800 or so to do this. This price seems super high.

Does anyone have a more reasonably priced electrician they would recommend to do this in Oakland CA?

Thanks!
It was my experience that the electricians on the Tesla website were a lot more expensive than others. This is an extremely simple job for any licensed & bonded electrician. Ask your neighbors for some recs of electricians that they have used for other electrical needs.

tbf: labor rates are outrageous in the BA.
 
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house9

Member
Supporting Member
Nov 16, 2019
422
496
California

dont forget about fed rebate - not sure if it applies for installing plugs (I have come across people on this forum who claimed it does), definitely valid for installing chargers.
 
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jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,308
5,770
Maryland
Following! I got 2 quotes so far and it’s from $1900 to almost $3000. So I’m sticking with 110V for now. I don’t drive much so it should be alight, but would be sweet to have L2 charging at home.
For comparison call another electrician, ask for a quote for a dryer circuit (240V/30A), NEMA 14-30 receptacle instead. If the quote for the dryer circuit is significantly lower then the alleged Tesla tax charged by some electricians when installing a circuit for charging a Tesla or other EV is alive and well in your area. (According to Tesla the NEMA 14-30 would enable the Tesla Model Y to add up to 21 miles of range per hour of charging.)

Alternate solutions:

If the 120V circuit you use or plan to use to charge has a 20A circuit breaker check the wiring; if the wiring of the receptacle is correct for a 20A circuit, i.e. 12 gauge (not the standard 14 gauge wire used for 15A circuits) the receptacle can be changed from a 5-15R to a 5-20R. With the NEMA 5-20 plug adapter the Tesla Mobile Connector will enable the Tesla vehicle to charge at 4 miles per hour (instead of 3 mile per hour with the 5-15 plug adapter.)

If the 120V, 15A circuit has only one receptacle, i.e. the one you will use to charge the Tesla vehicle, an electrician can easily rewire the circuit to be 240V (240V/15A) without having to run new wire. The receptacle would be changed to NEMA 6-15 (or 6-20 if it is a 20A circuit.) The Tesla Mobile Connector will enable the Tesla vehicle to charge at up to 10 miles per hour using the NEMA 6-15 plug adapter (14 miles per hour for the NEMA 6-20 plug adapter.)
 
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If you are able to find an electrician that charge a modest fee for the labor portion, they oftentimes overcharge for the materials in the quote to make it up. For example, I had an electrician put $200 + tax for 200 ft of 12/2 Romex cable, while I can get the exact cable at Home Depot for around $100. Simililarly in the same quote, they charged me $40 for a 20A 120V breaker and the same breaker is $20 at Lowes. I ended up signing an agreement with this same electrician but I told them that I'll be buying & providing them with all the materials (except conduit, since I don't know how to shop for that) and they will do the installation for the labor fee. I saved nearly 30% of the total cost. Be smart about it!
You aren't paying for materials at Home Depot though, you're paying for them at your house, at the time they are needed. It's also worth mentioning that there are probably a ton of other smaller parts and pieces required that aren't itemized. I'm also not clear on why electricians are obligated to charge only a "modest fee" while providing a valuable service (which requires licensing and ongoing liability) for owners of luxury vehicles? If I was a business coach for electricians I would say it's not your job to make rich people richer. If you've got training, expertise and availability that is in demand, you should charge what the market will bear. If you don't think that's appropriate, maybe you should invite the electrician to determine much money you should be making.
 
Here's where it's good to have some experience doing wiring. I installed a 14-50 outlet in my daughter's garage, where I just punched a hole in the wall into the meter outside the garage. Ran about a foot of #6 wire into a 50 amp breaker. Took maybe an hour. Cost? the price of the outlet and wire from The Home Depot.

Eliminating the electrician is legal if it's your own home up here in N. Cal, which I interpret as my daughter's home, too. Find yourself a neighbor who enjoys DIY projects, and then watch and learn. Thousands of dollars is exorbitant.
 

jcanoe

Well-Known Member
Oct 2, 2020
5,308
5,770
Maryland
Installing an electrical circuit is no different than any other home improvement; get at least 3 quotes and go with the one that best meets your needs. The larger contractors spend money on advertising, sometimes even television advertising. Your cost will reflect their overhead and operating expenses. Some contractors may automatically mark up their price quote based on your Zip Code or the size of your home or the vehicles they see in the driveway. It can pay to shop around.
 
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