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Cost of upgrading 110V outlet in garage to 240V 30Amp in chicago suburb?

Discussion in 'Model S' started by bakchod87, Mar 18, 2017.

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  1. bakchod87

    bakchod87 Member

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    So the garage has a regular 3 pin outlet (110V). Can anyone please give me a high level estimate of what the cost will be to upgrade the outlet to 240V 30Amp so I can charge my Model S at home? I understand that the cost will vary but I am looking for a high level estimate. I am in the chicago suburbs if that matters. Thanks.
     
  2. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

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    You can't upgrade the outlet. What you have to do is run a new set of wires from the breaker box to the garage and add a new outlet (which could be installed in the same place if so desired.) You can't reuse the wires, and you need a larger space in the breaker box.

    Mine was put in while the electrician was doing other work for my solar installation. He charged an extra $300 for it as I recall - but as you said, it's highly dependent on what the wiring run looks like and details of the installation.
     
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  3. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

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    The answer is... it depends.
    You can upgrade a 3 pin outlet to 240v for Tesla charging but you'll need to pay attention to wire gauge and space in the breaker box.
    30 amp requires 10 gauge wire.
    It depends on the existing wire... probably 12 or 14 gauge. If it's 12 gauge, max current is 20 amps, 14 gauge, 15 amps. You'll need to run new wire. It may be less expensive to just run new wire (depends on distance, difficulty, conduit, etc.)
    If there are any other outlets on the same circuit, these will need to be removed.
    So...
    - what is the wire gauge?
    - are there other outlets on the circuit?
    - is there space in the breaker box?
     
  4. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    And, of course, where is the breaker box? In the garage? That makes it easy to run a new circuit, the best answer, if there's room for a new breaker.
     
  5. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Chicago area uses metal conduit, which may reduce or increase cost. Main breaker panels are seldom in the garage.

    No cost savings doing 30 amps. Do 50. If you running wire to the garage underground you may as well size it for a future 100 amp sub panel.
     
  6. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

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    Main breaker panels are seldom in the garage where? In Chicago? If so, that's definitely a cost-increasing factor. Hate to think what my 100 Amp circuit would have cost from the basement!
     
  7. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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  8. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Not much in parts. Putting in two 50 amp breakers would be the least expensive. Those are about $10 each.

    Of course electricians quote prices that they think homeowners will pay.
     
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  9. Hugh Mannity

    Hugh Mannity Mediocre Member

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    I got my electrician buddy to install exactly what you want. I got a 3 foot run of metal conduit to a NEMA 14-50 on a 30 amp breaker, (the car charges at 24 amps).

    He charged me $300 for that.
     
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  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    I hope that's a typo and you meant a NEMA 14-30 outlet. You can't put a 14-50 outlet on a 30A breaker.
     
  11. Webeevdrivers

    Webeevdrivers Member

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    You should be looking at under 500 if the box is not too far. And that's if you do your own drywall work after to fix any runs or holes. Don't even think of a wimpy 30 amp circuit. Go 50 amp 240 with 6 gauge wire and use dual 50 amp breakers.

    We paid 300 Canadian dollars but the box was pretty close.
     
  12. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    You can. Probably won't like it much since you can't actually draw 50A from it, but there's nothing inherently unsafe about it.

    The other way around - putting a 14-30 outlet on a 50A breaker is the dangerous one.
     
  13. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    How is it not unsafe to put a 14-50 outlet on a 30A circuit? When someone plugs a 14-50 UMC adapter into it the car will try to draw 40A. Then when he sells the house the next owner may try to plug an RV into it because it looks like a 50A outlet.

    It it's a 30A circuit, put a 30A outlet on it. Why make things difficult?
     
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  14. SMAlset

    SMAlset Member

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    #14 SMAlset, Mar 18, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
    Not in the Chicago area now, but thought I'd mention we needed to apply for a city permit where we live now for our electrical work (50 amp circuit with NEMA 14-50), so that figured into our costs as well (200 for permit fee/his time applying for permit at city/inspection + 925 install). We wanted the line run inside the drywall for a cleaner look (more $ than running conduit on the surface of the wall) and the inspector required our electrician to seal up the drywall cutout before passing (fire code). He didn't have to make it look perfect just sealed. We'll have the wall area redone at some point when we paint the walls. The job would have cost less if we had just open studs in the garage but most homes today have their garages at least drywalled if not finished.

    BTW our town has online, public, archived monthly permit records for one year that I found useful for gauging electrical work in our city. Listed project amount, scope of work, contractor. Sometimes permit was listed for EV electrical work, 50amp service, even saw one as Tesla charger installation. We use to live in Chicago and I know some of the suburbs have similar records online.

    Really the best way to get a realistic idea of the cost is to call for a few estimates from electricians in your area who can see the scope of your work.

    BTW an additional expense we had to incur was bringing the house up to code with regards to smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. This was necessary as we wanted a clean in-wall install for the NEMA 14-50 as opposed to mounting it on the surface of the wall and the drywall had to be opened up. That triggered the code update. Most garages in our area have had their walls at least drywalled if not finished. It was probably time to replace the smoke detectors anyway which the developer had hardwired, so we ended up with 8 new smoke detectors and 2 combo smoke/carbon monoxide units (one carbon monoxide for each floor). Didn't really mind and it was for our safety but just an unanticipated expense that got triggered by our NEMA 14-50 install. Also was a bit tricky replacing the units as models had changed and all units needed to work together (Kidde customer service helped with the compatibility) and we opted for wiring adapters for the design change to save on install time. All totaled just over $210. Some inspectors may require a house inspection for this but ours gave his approval with the receipt for the units, and a box of packaging for the new ones along with the old units we removed. Hubby was able to do all the replacements.
     
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  15. clarkbariowa

    clarkbariowa Member

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    Went with Kapital Electric. Was a 100 foot run from my basement breaker. $13/foot. $1300 NEMA 14-50
     
  16. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    Underground?
     
  17. BlindBanana

    BlindBanana Member

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    Hi bakchod87,

    I'm also in the Chicago suburbs and learned that much of the price depends on the location, the age of your home, and type of your existing panel(s). I contacted Mr. Handyman who are well-known for wall charger installations in the Chicago area (they are out of Naperville but service other suburbs) and were recommended by my DS. Given the age and setup of my home, I needed both an additional subpanel and a junction box, as well as ~100 feet of pipe through the basement ceiling and other rooms prior to getting it into the garage. The total cost of the job was around $1600 but it was professionally done. If you, like me, are unable to do the work yourself, the best way is to ask a few professionals to come out and provide you with estimates.
     
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  18. deonb

    deonb Supporting Member

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    #18 deonb, Mar 19, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
    So?

    If you have 4x NEMA 5-15 outlets on one 20A circuit (very common), and you plug in a 10A device in each of them, you're also trying to draw 40A over an even smaller circuit, and you're going to trip out the breaker.

    This is completely normal, completely up to code, and completely annoying... but not specifically unsafe.

    99.9% of users have no idea which outlets in their house share the same circuits. Plug in 4 high-end PC's in different outlets in your house, and it's luck of the draw whether they work or not.

    You could also say the same thing if you had 2x 14-30's on a single 30A or 40A circuit - though admittedly we don't generally share 240V circuits in the U.S. since 240V over here is for specialty products. However, 240V circuits are shared all the time in Europe.


    Outlet combinations that can draw more power than their circuits can handle is the norm, not the exception. If this was inherently unsafe, it would have been the other way around.
     
  19. electracity

    electracity Active Member

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    One thought on future proofing is to have heavier wire pulled. 6/3 romex is probably the most typically installed wire for 50 amps. But 4/3 romex would usually support 80 amps.

    So for now pull 4/3 romex, and 50 amp circuit breaker with the Tesla charger set at 50 amps. But in the future a second "slave" charger could be added to the circuit and the breaker upgraded to 80 amps. The master charger would then be set at 80 amps.

    The 80 amp scenario assumes the main house breaker is adequate to support 80 amps. But two Tesla could also be set up to share say 60 amps. 99.9% of households would not notice the difference. The Tesla charger can be set to what is safe for the circuit and for the house load.

    Even those people installing 15-50 plugs could have heavier wire pulled, especially when the labor cost of installing the wire is a substantial. Everyone with their main panel in their unfinished garage need not bother.
     
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  20. S90Dan

    S90Dan New Member

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    Here in SF Bay Area, I paid $5,000 to install the Tesla wall adapter, 60 -amp breaker, 70 -amp sub-panel, 100 feet of #4 thnn, 1" steel conduit, 20 feet pvc, sweeps and couplings, 35 feet of #4 Romex, assorted lbends, pull boxes and replacement circuit breakers

    I could have saved ~$300 if I had used a 14-50.

    The wall charger runs 240 at 48 amps. ~35 miles per hour
     
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