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Finally Installed 240V NEMA 14-50 Outlet - 110ft of Conduit...

After owning a Tesla Model 3 LR for ~18 months, I finally installed a 240V outlet to get much faster charging at home than with the 120V standard. 120V will only charge at around 3-5 miles per hour. 240V will charge at around 25-30 miles per hour, so huge difference! While I didn't have an issue with 120V charging, I do feel much better with the faster charging.

The most challenging part was the installation of over 110ft of 3/4" metal conduit and 6 gauge cable.

I made a video to review every part of this install providing a bunch of tips, show my strange initial charging results and then discuss whether you really need a 240V outlet:
  • Install Garage Conduit - I discovered how difficult it is to pull 6 gauge cable through conduit. Luckily I tried this in the garage and learned before installing more conduit.
  • Install House Conduit - By far the most work as I had to work from one corner of the house to the other, through a crawl space and then finished basement.
  • Wire Fuse Panel - Scary, but doable.
  • Wire New Outlet - Easy. Just like in the fuse panel, though, twist and turn the wires multiple times while re-tightening. Seems like a real easy and dangerous thing to miss as tight connections are a must with this amount of amperage.
  • Test New Outlet
  • Plug In Tesla Charger
  • Strange Issue - Not sure why it took the computer so long to recognize the increased charging rate.
  • Do You Need a 240V Outlet? Depends, but I lived without one for over a year.
  • Should You Buy the Tesla Wall Charger? In my opinion, no, save your money. Unless you're driving so much that you need to come home to quickly charge in the middle of your day, I fail to see the need.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
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Boise, ID
Wire Fuse Panel - Scary, but doable.
Well, it looks like you just used a standard breaker. National Electric Code requires that if you are installing a receptacle for EV charging, it must use a stupid expensive GFCI breaker, which are at least $100 more than the standard ones. So you "saved money" by violating code.

Should You Buy the Tesla Wall Charger? In my opinion, no, save your money.
There's very little money savings, though, especially when you're getting to a run over 100 feet. If you had done the wall connector, you would not have needed to include a neutral wire at all, so that would have been cheaper. And you wouldn't have needed to use the GFCI breaker, since it is not required for hard-wired EV charging devices. And you wouldn't have needed to buy the 14-50 adapter for the cord, or the outlet itself.

So with spending the $500 for the wall connector, it avoids a lot of costs of doing the outlet, where it's really only about $200 extra, but you end up with an EXTRA charging device.

Strange Issue - Not sure why it took the computer so long to recognize the increased charging rate.
And that part is normal behavior, where it will show 0 mph charging rate at the very beginning for a little while. It's Winter. It's diverting all of the power to heating up the battery for a little bit before beginning to charge.

The 33/32 amps is weird, though. It doesn't usually do that. I would see if a screen reboot clears that part up.
 
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Well, it looks like you just used a standard breaker. National Electric Code requires that if you are installing a receptacle for EV charging, it must use a stupid expensive GFCI breaker, which are at least $100 more than the standard ones. So you "saved money" by violating code.


There's very little money savings, though, especially when you're getting to a run over 100 feet. If you had done the wall connector, you would not have needed to include a neutral wire at all, so that would have been cheaper. And you wouldn't have needed to use the GFCI breaker, since it is not required for hard-wired EV charging devices. And you wouldn't have needed to buy the 14-50 adapter for the cord, or the outlet itself.

So with spending the $500 for the wall connector, it avoids a lot of costs of doing the outlet, where it's really only about $200 extra, but you end up with an EXTRA charging device.


And that part is normal behavior, where it will show 0 mph charging rate at the very beginning for a little while. It's Winter. It's diverting all of the power to heating up the battery for a little bit before beginning to charge.

The 33/32 amps is weird, though. It doesn't usually do that. I would see if a screen reboot clears that part up.
Thanks for the info.
The GFCI breaker is a bummer - I need to look into that further.
The 14-50 outlet also allows me to run a small 240v heater for my garage, which I highly recommend. (
)
My Tesla charger came with the 14-50 adapter, so no added expense there.
 
It looks like you did a great job and have a very clean install! I couldn't help but notice that the outlet looks like a $10 Leviton one, no? It had to cost over $1,000 for all that conduit and wire but you didn't spend the extra $75 for a Hubbell 14-50 outlet 😄

 
Thanks! And yes, it is a $10 outlet from Home Depot. It's the only one they had in stock and I didn't realize there were ones that were so much better out there. In my video I do advise to tighten the wires down then twist and turn and retighten a few times. I think the better outlets avoid this issue with their designs and are easier to tighten further...
Luckily I bought the wire, etc before the price of copper shot up so high! I think I spent around $300 total, but I could be off a bit...
If I was doing it now I would consider/compare thicker aluminum wire instead of copper.

Just checked and now that Bryant 14-50 is almost $90 (it was $21 in 2019...)
 
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Nice write - up, I ended up using a 50 amp GFCI for a slightly different reason. My garage (where the main power comes in) is detached from the house, and the house is basically a 60amp subpanel from the main.

So in order to charge my tesla, I have to get power from the garage to deliver to my driveway. About 80 linear feet from the garage to where I park my car.

I accomplish this with an outdoor garage mounted outlet (rv temp power enclosure) with a 100' 6 gauge RV extension cord. I lose about 3-4 volts due to the drop (about 140' total line from breaker to tesla) (and power sags from 236 to 228 at 40amps) (corded mobile connector).

Since the EVSE is ultimately attached to an extension cord, while I have a nice cinder block wall mounted cord loop (made from 2x4 lumber and hangs over the cinder block wall and allows the extra slack to be caddied) for it, it's still never 100% guaranteed that the receptacle end of that extension cord or EVSE won't end up moist.

The GFCI is added insurance to protect against electrocution. I believe mine cost $129, 2 years ago and was a special order...
Now I don't ever see any in stock at HD or Lowe's...

Square D QO 50 Amp 2-Pole GFCI Breaker
SKU# 1001603 16
 
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