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Does 240v NEMA 14-50 have to cost this much?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by pkz0125, Sep 4, 2015.

  1. pkz0125

    pkz0125 Member

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    I am getting my model s by the end of this month or early next month. I live in Cary, NC and got a quote from the Tesla recommended [FONT=&quot]NC Electrical Group L.L.C.[/FONT] Nick was very nice and friendly but the quote came out at $850. Does it have to cost that much? My layout is simple. The panel is already in the garage and the outlet will be on the opposite wall. The wires will run through a PVC pipe. The panel has no room left but Nick said he will combine two existing circuit breakers and make room for another one for the car.

    My question: Is this a realistic quote or should I shop around?

    BTW does anybody have recommendations for a good electrician in RTP, Cary, Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill area?
     
  2. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    Always shop around. You never know, you might find cheaper! And you might try asking for just an outlet, without saying what it's for. Some places seem to start seeing green when they hear "Tesla."

    That said, it doesn't sound too unreasonable to me (I know almost nothing here) given that it has to go across the garage. Mine cost about $400 including permit, but the outlet is directly below the panel.
     
  3. FlasherZ

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

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    It's always helpful to have 2-3 quotes in hand.

    How far is the opposite wall and how tall is your garage ceiling? Will the PVC conduit be run on the surface, or in the wall? Is your panel surface-mount, or do you have to tunnel into the wall to connect the conduit? Do you happen to know permit charges in your area?

    At retail, figure approx. $2/ft for wire price, $1/ft for conduit & fittings, $20 for breaker, $25 for box, receptacle, and cover. Assume ~$100/hr labor. Add permit and inspection fees. If work is done in attic or ceilings, add extra labor.

    So an "opposite wall" of the garage with 10 ft ceilings and 25 ft. length, surface mount panel, I'd figure a 40 ft. run (7.5 up, 7.5 down, 25 ft lateral) @ about $200 parts, 2-3 hr labor ($200-300), + permit costs (keep in mind your electrician gets paid labor while waiting for inspectors and permits too!). That's very, very rough.
     
  4. pkz0125

    pkz0125 Member

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    All great points. This is the kind of analytical help I was looking for. Your distances are correct. The PVC will run on the surface. The panel is tunneled into the wall. I will look up the service charges.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The first guy knew right away this was for Tesla without my saying anything. If I don't mention it, I have two questions:
    1. Does who installs the outlet and how affect the warranty in any way (may be a good question for my DS too)
    2. How do I ask the electrician to make the set up Tesla compliant? On the Tesla website, I don't see much other than 'use copper wires'... sorry I am not much of an electrician guy
     
  5. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

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    Who installs the outlet has no effect on your warranty.

    There isn't such a thing as Tesla compliant. As long as the outlet is installed per code you should be good to go.
     
  6. steph280

    steph280 Member

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    Just for your reference, our junction box is outside. We had our outlet installed right on the other side of the wall inside garage and it was $350. But if we ask them to route it to the other side of garage it was close to $1000. So your quote sounds about tight. But do get multiple estimates.
     
  7. Panoz

    Panoz Member

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    I can tell you I just got an estimate of $1,200 to run metal conduit from the house-wall side of the garage to the back wall of the garage (back wall meaning where the movable doors are, where the car enters the garage). I checked with my Tesla rep ("ownership specialist") and he thinks that is a fair price for an 80 amp run to the back of the garage.
     
  8. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    I recently paid ~$1800 to have two NEMA 14-50 outlets in my garage. I don't know the exact measurements but it was probably 80 to 100 feet from the main panel to the subpanel in the garage. They upgraded the breakers in the main panel from 40 to 100 amps and upgraded half of the breakers in the garage subpanel. Inside the garage, they had to do runs of about 35 feet and 50 feet (partially in conduit). It took the guy two entire days and he had help for one hour when pulling the cable through the metal conduit along the back of the house.

    While $1800 might sound expensive, It was a lot cheaper than the $7000 quote that the first electrician gave me!
     
  9. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    Personal experience:
    3 Tesla recommended electricians $1,200-$1,600
    5 Regular electricians $400-$800

    I went with the cheapest one (he seemed very competent, and had good reviews). Did a great job.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I thought so too, but they're not stupid. If you say (like I did) that you need a 50A RV outlet, in your garage/carport/etc. they will assume it's for a car.

    As soon as the electrician I used showed up (I was being paranoid that if he saw the car, he'd double his quote, so I parked it far enough away so he wouldn't see it), he asked "car charger? do you park nose in or nose out?".
     
  10. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    if you pay more than $400 you got ripped off.
     
  11. BoldSharpe

    BoldSharpe Member

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    I'd agree with the others here. Any qualified electrician will know how to install a 14-50 so utilizing a Tesla recommended installer simply is not necessary. While a HPWC drawing 80 Amps is a bit more complex, again, a good electrician can handle it no problem.

    FlasherZ's rough estimates are a great barometer to compare your quote against and I'd suggest asking for a more granular breakdown on the quote if the price doesn't align with your expectations.
     
  12. Panoz

    Panoz Member

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    I've just asked Handyman Connection for a free estimate to install a 100-amp "outlet box". I'll try to remember to update this thread to see if meets or beats my $1,200 estimate from the Tesla-approved electrician.
     
  13. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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    One more thing about the Tesla quotes, when I politely declined for them to waste my time to come to my house and give me a written quote, they kept pestering me (they told me it's free for them to come over, and they'll get a better idea of what I need -- even though I outlined the total run length, wire gauge, and run specifics of what I'd like done, blah blah blah)

    I got pissed and replied with a parts price breakdown from homedepot + permit cost and showed them that they're trying to charge me over $1k in labor for a 2 hour job. They replied with "well that was just a ballpark, we've done Tesla installs for as low as $400" (which is exactly the offer I got from a non-Tesla certified electrician).

    Don't waste your time with Tesla electricians, they try to price gouge.
     
  14. davewill

    davewill Member

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    When shopping for that "cheap" quote, watch out for guys who say you don't need a permit. You certainly DO need a permit in almost every jurisdiction, and the inspection helps protect you from burning your house down with because of shoddy electrical work.
     
  15. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    As I mentioned in other threads, I had the opposite experience with my install. The non-Tesla electrician wanted $7000. Another wanted something like $2800. The Tesla Recommended one was the cheapest at $1800...so I don't think it hurts to get multiple estimates.

    BTW, one of the recommended ones never got back to me. I notified Tesla of my repeated attempts to get an estimate. They are no longer a recommended electrician.
     
  16. FlasherZ

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

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    Come on, it's not that easy. He said the distances were about right from my analysis, so parts are going to be about $200 alone. It takes about 2-3 hours to do a job like that, so figure $200-300 labor in Cary. Then you need permit fees and inspection fees and the labor for the electrician to be there for permitting.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Just a point: in most jurisdictions, not almost every jurisdiction. There is a good portion of the US (especially predominantly rural areas) that do not have permit / inspection requirements. A majority of the larger municipalities near me do require it, though.
     
  17. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    As the others have said, there's nothing special you need for a Tesla. A standard NEMA 14-50 outlet with wiring and a breaker sized for 50A is all you need.
     
  18. pkz0125

    pkz0125 Member

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    Thank you all for the help. The permit is required in my area. Cary is expensive but $100/hour sounds too much for electrical work. It might be the norm here who knows. On a side note, I moved here from Chicago land 2 years ago. Everybody and every website that compares expenses in different areas indicated that Cary would be cheaper but they were all wrong. Chicago land is cheaper in almost every aspect except for property taxes and gas. Gas won't be an issue soon :).

    I will get more quotes and report back.
     
  19. mikeash

    mikeash Active Member

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    True, but I still think it's helpful. For one, they don't know what kind of car. The ability to gouge somebody who bought a used LEAF for $13,000 is going to be different from the ability to gouge somebody who bought a new P90DL. For another, it injects an element of doubt. Sure, it's probably for a car, but maybe it's not? You can use those outlets for other things, after all. Finally, I think it's a good signal that says, I know at least a little bit about what I'm doing, have some idea of what this should cost, and am price conscious, so don't try to rip me off if you actually want the job.

    Who knows, I could be full of it. But there's nothing wrong with just asking for exactly what you need, without unnecessary context. And once the person shows up to actually do the work, you can still talk his ear off about Tesla at that point.
     
  20. FlasherZ

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

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    I suspect it's more like $85-90/hr, but I use $100 as rule-of-thumb.
     

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