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FrankenCharging at my parent's Will it work?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by efusco, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    #1 efusco, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 16, 2012
    So my dad has a Nema 6-20 220V outlet in his workshop that is accessible easily via a garage door. I don't think there will be a 6-20 adapter for the Model S anytime soon, and even if there was, drawing 20 amps (if that is even possible..probably just 16 continuous I'd guess) wouldn't do much for charging. They live about 120 miles from me, so a single charge round trip is theoretically possible, any local driving and the realities of the roads and speeds mean it would be a bit marginal.

    Anyway, I found the following pieces that I'm thinking will make charging there somewhat practical....

    First I found this adapter from the 6-20 to a 6-30 outlet (obviously still only able to pull 20 amps):
    Amazon.com: 6-20P to L6-30R Power Cord Plug Adapter: Home Improvement
    41TZoIJxvoL.jpg

    I think that, combined with this cool device with a NEMA 14-50 female connector that will allow me to draw from both the 20amp/240V line and a standard 15 amp/120V at the same time for a combined 30amps which will allow me to charge at around 20 miles of range per hour connected to the standard Tesla EVSE.

    Camco 55025 RV Power Grip Maximizer 45 Amp Adapter : Amazon.com : Automotive
    41khhxQs2wL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

    I'll need this little adapter too to get from the 6-30 to a standard RV type 30amp plug on the splicer gizmo:
    Amazon.com: Camco 55333 RV 30 Amp Generator Adapter: Automotive
    31RahcGSSXL._SS500_.jpg

    A lot of pieces, but I suspect I'll be able to use most of them elsewhere at times too. That first piece is the most painful, at $40 it was $24 cheaper than the next least expensive I could find.
     
  2. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    How long are you normally there when you visit? You might be able to get by with a 110V outlet if you're normally there for more than 24 hours.
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    I try to avoid being there overnight!
    Actually, most often it's a day visit and other times I actually go to fish camp in the area and may need to use their place to charge before going home, so would prefer to limit to 3-4 hours of time.
     
  4. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

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    Would installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet for your use be possible or likely prohibitively expensive? 40A would get you a lot rather than 16A during 4 hours. Good luck.
     
  5. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    Prohibitively expensive for the infrequency of use. (couple times a year at most)
     
  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I think you're better off wiring your own 6-20P to 14-50R and set the car to pull 16 amps. I don't think that Power Grip Maximizer will work for your purposes since you're using 240 V (not 120 V).
     
  7. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  8. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    +1 that adapter takes a standard 120V outlet and a "TT-30" (Travel Trailer 30A 120V outlet) and simulates a 14-50.

    I think it would be safer & less expensive to build your own adapter, a 6-20P to a 14-50R, just need a piece of 12/2 SOOW or SJO cable.
    If you are uncomfortable building the adapter, I could build one for you, I have built many in the past.
    Amazon has all of the parts.. minus the 12/2 cable, that you get at Home Depot/Lowes etc. You can build it any length you need as well.

    CAMCO 14-50R, $16.22: Amazon.com: Camco® PowerGrip™ Replacement Receptacle Female: Automotive
    (ignore the picture, they show the TT-30 but ship you the correct device)

    Leviton 6-20P, $7.87: Leviton 620PV 20 Amp, 250 Volt, Plug, Grounding, Yellow - Amazon.com

    Edit: Damn, that Doug is quick, Jinx!
     
  9. efusco

    efusco Moderator - Model S & X forums

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    thanks guys.
     
  10. GDH

    GDH Banned

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    lmao

    and +1
     
  11. 4sevens.com

    4sevens.com Member

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    I love amazon
     
  12. montgom626

    montgom626 Active Member

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    Try it! Go for it! Electrons are electrons. If it works, then you have more miles.
     
  13. FlasherZ

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

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    #13 FlasherZ, Dec 16, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
    As mentioned this will not work. The "maximizer" attempts to make a 240V service out of two opposite-leg plugs. This works in many RV parks because adjacent breakers feed a 15A, 120V service from one leg and a 30A, 120V service from another leg of single-phase 240V service. If your father has a NEMA 6-20 outlet, adding the 120V NEMA 5-15 to it won't add any capacity because the car is a 240V-only load and the NEMA 5-15 doesn't supply any additional capacity there.

    Just as I've done in the other 6-20 and 6-30 threads, I'll place a few warnings out there again, because this stuff is dangerous and you can burn down a house if you're not careful:

    1. If something happens to your father's house while your "special adapter" is connected, expect to fight the insurance company regardless of the reason the house burned, because you connected a non-UL-listed device that explicitly breaks provisions in the NEC.
    2. Ensure your father does NOT have a Federal-Pacific Electric or Zinsco breaker panel, where breakers fail to trip in up to 80% of the cases of overload, in case you forget to set charge current to 16A. The car will attempt to draw 40A across 12 gauge wire and you'll have a great heater in the wall.
    3. Mark your charge cord "FOR TESLA CHARGING ONLY - CAN DESTROY OTHER APPLIANCES" clearly, so that it can't be torn off or removed, and cut the cable in half when you disposition the car. This is critical, because if used with other appliances it will do one of two things - allow 120V load return current to flow via safety ground (if you've jumpered neutral to ground) which is a safety and fire hazard, or it will have a floating neutral that can destroy 120V appliances (if you haven't).

    I have a plea for those of you who advocate making adapter cords: please add this information each time, or at least point to one of my posts. This stuff is dangerous, and no matter how careful *you* are, others aren't necessarily careful -- whether your spouse, your family staying with you, the person who finds your cord after you sell your house, etc. I've seen houses burn from these types of "solutions".

    They're right up there with the solutions that permit generators to be backfed into a panel without an interlock. The (usually engineering-type) owner writes down the procedure to properly kill the main breaker, then open the generator's breaker, connect a suicide cord (two male plugs) between the generator and a dryer outlet, then start the generator. Undoubtedly, the engineering type is gone and the non-engineering partner or teenager attempts to follow it. (S)he forgets step 3 and starts the generator, connects the L14-30 to the generator, then grabs the (now live) plug by the hot terminals and gets one hell of a shock... or (s)he forgets to throw the main and connects it and a lineman gets a 7.2 kV shock. Please -- this stuff kills.
     
  14. alexkiritz

    alexkiritz Member

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    Just convince your parents to buy an EV. Problem solved.
     
  15. Ceilidh

    Ceilidh Member

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    FlasherZ: Thanks for always stepping in with the safety bit.

    Another thing to mention about the Maximizer RV park connector is that it will not work with GFCI. Most modern RV parks have GFCI. It's really only useful for really old RV park setups where 1) there is no 14-50 outlet and 2) There is also no GFCI. It really can't be used for anything else, at least not anything even remotely commonly found.

    Having said that, did I get one? Yes. Gonna keep it in my adapter bag because you never know where you may find yourself someday.

    I also know "someone" who made a number of adapters with 14-50 R (Female) to a few other types of plugs, 4 pin and 3 pin dryer and 6-50. All of them are marked similarly and obviously to FlasherZ's description and you can bet that the user will keep a very close eye on things in any scenario where they are required. For the 4 pin dryer cord the connection is easy, because there are all the same wires from one end to the other. For the 3 pin configs, this person bridged the neutral and ground but as FlasherZ mentioned this is really bad if an RV tries to use it or someone else hooks anything other than a Tesla to it. By all means you can use these but you have to be very cautious, and the insurance ramifications are important to consider so if you do make them then you have to be very vigilant, particularly the first time you use the plugs in a given new location you haven't used them before. You also need to be very sure that your connections are done tight and that the insulation is good, etc. Also make sure you get as heavy gauge wire as is practical because that increases both safety and efficiency (within reason).

    Cheers.
     
  16. xhawk101

    xhawk101 Active Member

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    Wow makes it sound like rocket science!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  17. Babylonfive

    Babylonfive Power12

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    Thank you FlasherZ. We appreciate this feedback, and all the warnings. Your warnings are one reason this engineering-type is (and will continue to be) more careful.

    David
     
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  18. FlasherZ

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

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    Nah, it's really not. It's just too easy to mis-use / re-purpose something currently installed incorrectly, so you end up with something that will be dangerous. The problem is similar to having a pump with a regular gas nozzle from the 70's and trying to use it to deliver unleaded gas to one of today's cars... it doesn't fit, so you engineer a solution using some clear beverage hose, 3 hose clamps, a flexible siphon hose, and some duct tape. Oh, and you have to hold it in just the right spot or it spews gasoline into the air. It may *work* but can be really dangerous if the wrong person uses it.

    It scares me because I've seen houses that have burned from this, and I've read stories of linemen killed as a result of things like this. It's why I'm a staunch advocate of making the right investments instead of trying to rig something up.
     
  19. PattyChuck

    PattyChuck P6703 VIN4080

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    I want to add my thanks to your expertise. After reading your very thorough post about engineering your own solutions and how dangerous that could be, I decided it would be best to just bite the bullet and purchase the gaggle of adapters once they're available from Tesla. $800 seems like a small price to pay in order to save my house from burning down!
     
  20. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    +1 to that comment. As a lifetime electric utility employee, I too have seen more than my fair share of damage, injury and death from stuff like this. There is a tremendous amount of energy on tap, and you don't want to abuse it or work with it unsafely.
     

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