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Finally Finished: Model Y Charging in Underground Condo Garage

DonLafferty

Member
Nov 11, 2018
19
13
Los Angeles
Just a comment but a building that was built in 2000 is NOT old. My house was built in 1953. And I installed a plug like you did and obviously since it's my house it was considerably cheaper.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,176
5,774
Los Altos, CA
The only improvement I would suggest is to install a large locking box around the NEMA outlet so that the entire Mobile Connector fits inside. Something like the picture below, or even larger. With a Gen2 Mobile connector, you don't have to install the outlet on the side of the box like the one below.

Charging Box 2018-05-06_09-43-29_895.jpeg
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
8,959
67,499
Maple Falls, WA
Only $8000? To put things in perspective, if I were going to buy a condo in your building I would easily pay the $8000 extra for Your unit. With more and more EVs getting out there and not everybody wanting to own a regular house, talk about an appreciating real estate improvement...:cool:

Exactly! $8000.00 probably adds well under 1% to the cost of the condo! And like the owner said, 30% is covered by the state! That's just a smart investment because almost every condo buyer is going to have electric cars in a few years and when buying a residence they will be giving priority to those that are "turn-key".

As to people who are worried about theft, it makes me wonder where everybody lives that this would be a risk worth worrying about. Seriously, the garage is a secure under-ground vault owned by the condo owners! And in the unlikely event it were stolen for some weird reason, you can buy a Gen II Mobile Connector Bundle with adapter for $275 plus $35 for the adapter. Hardly something to worry about! I don't know who would do such a thing but it would be good sport to catch a neighbor stealing my charge cord on Sentry Mode!

What I recommend for people who worry about this kind of thing is to buy some TSLA shares. In a few years you will laugh at yourself that you were ever concerned someone might take your charge cord. ;)
 

scottfe

2008 Roadster #282
Jan 12, 2009
29
19
Bellevue, WA
A fellow Bellevue, WA condo resident!!
20200723_131501.jpg
My story is similar but different: Moved to a downtown high-rise condo in 2010 with my Tesla Roadster. My townhome unit has an enclosed private garage within the secured open garage; so a very nice situation. We had a 14-50 outlet written into the contract with the developer, so I don't know the exact cost but assume it was similar with power coming from 3 or 4 floors below. They installed it without consulting the HOA, which being new to condo living I didn't realize was a no-no. The power, like all the public and private garage lighting and outlet power, came from the "common" source and was not on my meter/bill. A couple of years later when the HOA discovered the situation they connected an RF meter and added it to our bill as well as collecting estimated back usage. (Ironically, some owners with private garages have freezers and refrigerators plugged into their ("common") outlets probably use as much or more power than we do to charge our cars!!) At least we got to keep our outlet and are grandfathered in. We split the circuit for an additional outlet when we got our Model S. We served a while on our EV Charging Subcommittee to try and get charging for other residents. You are very lucky that your HOA let you do what you did! Our HOA is unwilling to let residents run their own power even at their own expense because they fear that if they let one do it they'll have to let them all do it and they're concerned about limited power consumption and distribution chaos. But there's not enough EV owner clout at present to sway the negative majority and pay for the required additional infrastructure. It's a true dead-end. But... the complex is actually just now converting three visitor parking spots to 30-amp (?) "J" charger spots. Paid for by PSE’s Up & Go Electric home charger program. It's a start, maybe better than nothing, but will be difficult coordinating usage for just three slow spots. At least they are EV/charging use only, and our concierge group are infamous for their ability to enforce parking rules.
20200728_185117.jpg
 

laservet

Member
Mar 9, 2020
279
182
Williamsburg, Virginia
Well done! I was on the HOA board when I had a condo and it was impossible to get the owners to agree to anything even if it was in everyone's best interest.

Now that I'm in a house my electrician charged me $125 to install the Tesla charger in my garage, but it was two feet away from a 200 amp panel. My old condo would never have approved it no matter what.
 

Ficheh

Member
Jul 3, 2018
75
46
SF
Looks good. Think I would've asked the installer if they could've used a larger lock box that could've contained both the outlet and top half of the Tesla charging unit. I couldn't spend the 8k that it would've cost to add the WC to my house (long story short, they would've had to up my main panel which would've required them to tear up the concrete sidewalk from the box to my house that I'd've had to pay for). I use the 240v dryer outlet for charging. Congrats great car. I'm very happy with my Model 3, and am sure the Y is a good choice.
 

BestyS

Member
Feb 22, 2020
21
42
Kansas
Yikes! I live 6 miles from a local supercharger in NJ and that's the only place I currently charge my model 3. $10 for ~ 200 miles. It's convenient because rates are low and it's at a Wawa hoagie (sandwich) shop that also sells coffee, water, snacks and drinks. They also sell gasoline, so by having Tesla superchargers (8) they future-proofed themselves.According to Bellevue, WA | Tesla it's coming in "2020" to your area but with pandemic, who knows.
Condo ASSociation should have done a survey and built common infrastructure for all residents - $8K would have been enough to run separate 200AMP circuit on its own meter and install 2 to 4 chargers. If they went with automated billing, EV Charging for Condos: Get Your HOA to Say “Yes” | ChargePoint it would still be cheaper if they build costs into pricing.
What about city itself? VW dieselgate settlement should have paid for at least 2 chargers in town :)
I used supercharger one way as I work >100 mi and drive that twice a week. I switched to 110 charger and have a 220 on the other end. I am now permanently slowed down on supercharging. I drive about 25k miles per year. Now I supercharge only about 75 mi a week (110 won’t get me enough charge in a week to get to my other end and stay above 20%). Not sure if going less than 20% is better for battery than supercharging this smount.
 

RDavis9

New Member
May 5, 2019
3
3
Portland, Oregon
Fun to read. I was living in a 16-unit condo in 2018 when my Model 3 was ordered. I got permission to install a DC-9 and our meters were in the garage so no drilling of concrete! I think my bid from the electrician was around $3,000 and I paid a bit over $1,000 for the DC-9. Before the Tesla showed up I moved to a high-rise with a underground garage with a parking spot for an EV, and they charge me $15 a month for electricity. So I am the proud owner of a brand new, never used DC-9 that I will gladly sell for $500. It really is a good solution for a dicey situation. But HOAs are hard pressed to say no if it requires no additional power feeds or shared building circuits. DCC-9 small.jpg
 

NeverFollow

Active Member
Aug 9, 2010
1,278
732
Summary:
- ~800' total of wire, some ~200' conduit if I recall correctly
- Drilled through 3 floors of concrete to reach my space from the electrical room
(lucky me, my space is on the bottom floor of the garage)
- Billed directly to my meter using a DCC-9 (50 amp) energy management system
- NEMA 14-50 outlet​
img_3601-jpg.569969
Hi, interesting project and great accomplishment.

- Can you show some picture of the wiring in the meter room?

- Do you know the diameter of the conduit and the type of wires used?
It seems to me that the conduit is 3/4" or 1"?
I wonder if you used AWG 8, or AWG 6.... for such distance as 200 ft and 800 ft

Putting 5 wires in a conduit is not easy. Were you present when this was done?
Did they put all the wires at once after putting the whole conduit line,
or did they put the conduit piece by piece with the wires already inside?​

- Do you have internet access from inside your garage?
I am in a similar situation, and I used the electrical wires from my home to the garage to carry
the Internet signal using some WiFi Extender that I hided in a plastic box (NetGear PowerLine)
So I can get the Tesla updates installed and I can also access remotely my Webcam.
- Here is the cabinet that I used to keep my UMC charger and the cable hidden when I am not using it.
I also installed a small Wattmeter to check my consumption.

digital-current-voltage-power-energy-analyzer-jpg.359052

2018-11-28-evse-cabinet-closed-jpg.358314


2018-11-28-evse-cabinet-open-jpg.358315
 

David29

Supporting Member
Aug 1, 2015
2,187
1,801
DEDHAM, MA
Congratulations. Very nice to have a charger.

I have a charger installed in front of my townhouse and I, also, had to deal with an HOA. Now they want to pass a standard requiring me to provide insurance covering them for $1M and also pay any additional charge for the HOAs insurance policy. Were you required to provide insurance for the HOA? If so, how much did it cost. Thanks, Norm

For my installation in a condo in Massachusetts, my condo board also asked for a million dollars of liability protection, with the condo association as a named insured. I get my household insurance from USAA (as well as my car's), and making the limit $1 million was fairly cheap. I forget the exact amount, but it was not an obstacle. Otherwise, no, I did not provide insurance for the condo association, other than making them a named insured. With all the risks a condo association faces, I cannot imagine having one EV charging station is a material difference. (But then again, I am not an insurance adjuster!)
 
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TLCTimFL

Member
Apr 27, 2020
31
26
Bradenton, FL
This makes the hassles I had wiring A 14/50 in my detached garage look like “child’s play”. Well done!!
I believe EV infrastructure should be required in all multi-dwelling parking facilities in the future. At a minimum it could be a common charging spot with a usage charge. No one should have to go through what you did.

My thought was to turn it into a charging station where other user could actually pay to hook up. I know ChargePoint offers something like that which would allow any EV driver to connect and "help pay" for the install. Does Tesla have a setup like that?

When I added my charging station to my older house, I had a 150 line coming in house which we changed to 200. Of course my breaker box needed replaced with no spaces left. To do this, they had to pull a permit and bring everything up to code. $7k later. Why so much? Everything outside (east side of house) needed replaced and a ground added. The breaker box is on an inside wall toward the SW side of the house. Once the main feed was pulled up through the attic, they pulled 3 more lines to the garage which is on the NE side. Why 3 lines? Call it over doing the project but I needed a dedicated 110 line for everyday use. The other 2 lines are for the car. A 50 amp wired directly to the charger and a 30 amp for an 220 outlet just in case the charger would go down. Luckily Uncle Sam gave me $3700 for buying an EV to pay for half of it. All this with a FREE charging station at Culvers Restaurant 3 blocks away which I used regularly until I had my own installed. To top everything off, I have a single car garage full of "Stuff". So my M3 sits outside. Therefore, I ran the charging cable out to the front of the garage.
Charger 2020-01-10 12.17.23-1.jpg
 
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Reactions: David29

andrewmunsell

Member
May 18, 2020
29
91
Bellevue, WA
Hi, interesting project and great accomplishment.

- Can you show some picture of the wiring in the meter room?

- Do you know the diameter of the conduit and the type of wires used?
It seems to me that the conduit is 3/4" or 1"?
I wonder if you used AWG 8, or AWG 6.... for such distance as 200 ft and 800 ft

Putting 5 wires in a conduit is not easy. Were you present when this was done?
Did they put all the wires at once after putting the whole conduit line,
or did they put the conduit piece by piece with the wires already inside?​

- Do you have internet access from inside your garage?
I am in a similar situation, and I used the electrical wires from my home to the garage to carry
the Internet signal using some WiFi Extender that I hided in a plastic box (NetGear PowerLine)
So I can get the Tesla updates installed and I can also access remotely my Webcam.

Here's some photos of the DCC-9 (my meter was on the bottom so it was easy to install) and the conduit coming from the electrical room and down into the garage.

IMG_3590.jpg IMG_3582.jpg IMG_3581.jpg

My bid sheet tells me it's 3/4" conduit with 8 gauge. I don't know the exact length of the run, but the estimate was ~200 ft total. I wasn't there when they pulled the wire, but the whole job took 2 guys ~1.5 days (concrete coring was done in parallel by a subcontractor). They prepped everything so well that they only had to turn the power off to my unit for ~5 minutes, which I was surprised by.

I do not have Internet in the garage itself, but I have a mobile hotspot in the Tesla that is basically always on since I have Sentry Mode enabled and the car is always awake. This basically gives me "WiFi" in the garage, and it's sufficiently fast to download updates over time.
 
Last edited:

Kevin-rf

Member
Oct 12, 2018
102
87
New England
Shame you could not have also pulled an Ethernet cable down at the same time. Would have made updates easier.

For my house, we found it easier to work with the power company to install a second (actually third) meter that only feeds the car. Doesn't touch the house's wiring or breaker box.
 

andrewmunsell

Member
May 18, 2020
29
91
Bellevue, WA
Shame you could not have also pulled an Ethernet cable down at the same time. Would have made updates easier.

For my house, we found it easier to work with the power company to install a second (actually third) meter that only feeds the car. Doesn't touch the house's wiring or breaker box.

This would have required separate conduit (and therefore another hole drilled) due to electrical code, the low voltage and high voltage cables have to be separated. Plus there's no real place I could have connected the Ethernet to Internet service on the 1st floor

Hello @andrewmunsell trying to also work with our HOA to do this. Would you be able to pm me and share what you submitted to the hoa? Not so much technical details but on the high level justification? Thank you!

Yes, I can send you a Google Doc with all the options I presented
 
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SageBrush

REJECT Fascism
May 7, 2015
12,252
15,180
New Mexico
Andrew, I apologize for being a curmudgeon but I really want to ask --

Why didn't the HOA swap your spot to one near the panel ?
Why didn't the HOA put in a new dedicated meter for EV charging, and run a line that would supply in the future up to ~ 8 cars ?
 

andrewmunsell

Member
May 18, 2020
29
91
Bellevue, WA
Andrew, I apologize for being a curmudgeon but I really want to ask --

Why didn't the HOA swap your spot to one near the panel ?
Why didn't the HOA put in a new dedicated meter for EV charging, and run a line that would supply in the future up to ~ 8 cars ?

I like my spot, it's a former handicap spot (from when this place had unrestricted parking) that has no cars around it and is pretty much right next to to the elevator. This same spot a floor above is actually smaller too, so I think it's the best spot in the building. I could have traded for another, but it still would have required drilling, and the difference between 3 holes and 2 wasn't worth giving this one up :)

The HOA would have to cover the cost of a new transformer (since it's common infra, unless we did something really weird such as me fronting the cost as a form of a loan to the HOA, which I'm not sure I would want to do anyways), which could be $15k+ all said and done. This would have required budget adjustments (likely with dues increases) and a vote from the residents, which pretty much would have failed by default.

In the future, I expect that there will be a tipping point where we get a bunch of new EV drivers all wanting chargers. At that point, I've offered my assistance to the HOA to plan the project, but if I had to bet it will be a more substantial one-time upgrade (like the aforementioned transformer or using a vendor like EverCharge.
 

ai4px

Wes
May 2, 2018
447
478
Sumter SC USA
I'm a little late to the party... VERY nice install. Wow that's expensive! For locking the UMC, you can buy a lockable 14-50 box https://www.amazon.com/Power-Outlet...t=&hvlocphy=9010357&hvtargid=pla-900813744866 . I was in a similar circumstance having to share a j1772 charger with my wife's HPWC and I gutted my J1772 charger and replaced the guts with SmartEVSE from netherlands. I has a current sensing coil that measures total usage on a branch circuit and throttles the car in 1amp increments. A fantastic product. Smart EVSE | Open Source EV charging
 

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