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Gen 3 Wall Charger plugged into NEMA 14-50 outlet with 60 amp circuit

Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
In preparation for getting my new M3 this weekend, I had wanted to get set up for charging at home. I’m renting so I didn’t really want to hardwire a Gen 3 WC, plus they’ve been on back order for awhile (until just recently). My landlord allowed me to put in a 60 amp circuit with a NEMA 14-50 outlet. I’ve seen here where some have used a WC with a NEMA 14-50 plug or pigtail, plugged into a 50 amp 14-50 outlet as I recall. Apparently that plug-in WC is no longer sold by Tesla. If I wire the Gen 3 WC with a NEMA 14-50 plug and plug into my existing 60 amp circuit, will I be able to pull 48 amps and get the maximal charge rate (I believe 42 mi/he?). Or will I be stuck at a lower max? I’d still like to get maximal charging rate with a gen 3 WC but be able to take it with me when I move.
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
519
745
Sacramento
I’m sure others will go into more details, so here are a few bullet points.

  • A NEMA 14-50 outlet should only be used with a 50A breaker. (1)It’s not safe to use a breaker rated higher cause it might be dangerous and (2) it’s probably breaking one or more code violations.
  • Yes, you can install a NEMA 14-50 outlet to a HPWC and plug it into an outlet. Go to a home improvement store or Best Buy and look for a replacement plug for an electric range. Just make sure it is a 14-50 and not a 14-30. I did this with my Gen2 HPWC.
  • With a 50A breaker, you can pull 42A to charge the car. However, looking at a Gen 3 manual, it looks like the option for a 50A breaker is 40A max output. Yes, using a 14-50 plug will allow you to safely charge at 40A and you will be able to take the charger with you if/when you move. Even at 40A charge rate, this will satisfy a vast majority of owners.
 
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Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
Thanks. It’s definitely a 60 watt breaker and I recall checking the stated gauge the electrician used was for a 60 amp circuit. He was licensed and did a “minor permit” subject only to random inspection. I’m using it now with the Tesla 14-50 adapter. I understand your suggested option, but I guess I could also spring to have him come back and install the WC hardwired into the receptacle box and just remove the WC when I move, returning the box into a 14-50 receptacle. Not sure it would be worth the added cost for the electrician though.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
12,953
38,376
Michigan
Yes it should work. The wall connector is 48A on a 60A circuit.
The outlet is only rated for 50 Amps, so 40A is the max allowable charge rate (unclear if you were replying to original post or the follow up)

However, @Ron6 , the WC does not have a pigtail/plug called out as a valid connection means, so it is non code compliant.

If you really need the max charge rate, the best course of action is to have the electrician connect the WC where the 14-50 outlet currently is (use it as a junction box).

Also, a 60Amp breaker feeding a 14-50 is not up to code.
 

Black306

Member
Oct 14, 2019
519
745
Sacramento
  • With a 50A breaker, you can pull 42A to charge the car. However, looking at a Gen 3 manual, it looks like the option for a 50A breaker is 40A max output. Yes, using a 14-50 plug will allow you to safely charge at 40A and you will be able to take the charger with you if/when you move. Even at 40A charge rate, this will satisfy a vast majority of owners.
Correction. No clue why I was thinking 42A. Should have been 40A. :oops:


Thanks. It’s definitely a 60 watt breaker and I recall checking the stated gauge the electrician used was for a 60 amp circuit. He was licensed and did a “minor permit” subject only to random inspection. I’m using it now with the Tesla 14-50 adapter. I understand your suggested option, but I guess I could also spring to have him come back and install the WC hardwired into the receptacle box and just remove the WC when I move, returning the box into a 14-50 receptacle. Not sure it would be worth the added cost for the electrician though.
Wiring and breaker might be rated for 60A, but a 14-50 isn’t. Even 14-50s of different brands have significant quality differences. Check out this thread: Definitive 14-50 NEMA Outlet Guide

Personally, I like having a 14-50 outlet. I don’t need 48A of charging and having an outlet gives the flexibility to run other things (I have a welder). So I’d probably swap out the breaker for a 50A unit (to be safe) instead of having the HPWC hardwired. But I do recognize other people have other considerations. :D

What kind of Model 3 did you get? Cause if it is an SR/SR+, charging will be limited to 32A.

BTW, congrats on the purchase!
 

Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
The outlet is only rated for 50 Amps, so 40A is the max allowable charge rate (unclear if you were replying to original post or the follow up)

However, @Ron6 , the WC does not have a pigtail/plug called out as a valid connection means, so it is non code compliant.

If you really need the max charge rate, the best course of action is to have the electrician connect the WC where the 14-50 outlet currently is (use it as a junction box).

Also, a 60Amp breaker feeding a 14-50 is not up to code.

thanks. So much for using a licensed electrician, eh?
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,093
7,053
Boise, ID
Oh boy.
I’m renting so I didn’t really want to hardwire a Gen 3 WC
"I didn't want to wire the device as the manual says it should be wired because...[reasons]." That reason doesn't really make sense. You had an electrician come do work on the property anyway. It would have been just as easy to get it hardwired in the same place, the way it's supposed to be. And removal later is really easy, regardless of what is there.
My landlord allowed me to put in a 60 amp circuit with a NEMA 14-50 outlet.
Well, your landlord doesn't know electrical code.
He was licensed and did a “minor permit” subject only to random inspection.
OK, so now your (exaggerated air quotes) "electrician" doesn't know electrical code either, which is scarier.
It’s definitely a 60 watt breaker
60 amp
There are some allowed options that people can do with things like this if they are future proofing. You are allowed to use oversized wire if you want, but the breaker and outlet situation must be appropriate. Code states that the breaker must not be higher than the outlet rating, so a 14-50 outlet cannot have a breaker higher than 50A. But if you wanted to have thicker wire there, that's OK, so that later, you could remove the outlet, put on a wall connector, and then put in a higher breaker.
 
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Ritz

Member
Mar 16, 2020
159
134
Virginia
I'd just replace the 60A breaker with a 50A and call it a day. I had a 14-50 outlet installed a few feet away from where I park in my garage and the 32A charge rate seems to always get me topped off long before morning when I plug in at the end of the day.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,155
5,748
Los Altos, CA
Just to be obtuse, since you're talking about installing a pigtail on a EVSE that is supposed to be hardwired, why not use a 14-60 outlet and plug so that you can actually keep the 60A circuit? Not that I would actually recommend any of this....
 
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Ritz

Member
Mar 16, 2020
159
134
Virginia
Just to be obtuse, since you're talking about installing a pigtail on a EVSE that is supposed to be hardwired, why not use a 14-60 outlet and plug so that you can actually keep the 60A circuit? Not that I would actually recommend any of this....

My worry there would be that the same fool that put a 14-50 outlet at the end may have skimped on the wiring as well. Why not just stick to the more ubiquitous 14-50. There really isn't any improvement in charging time for a new model 3 which is limited to 32A.

Best,
 
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Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
Oh boy.

"I didn't want to wire the device as the manual says it should be wired because...[reasons]." That reason doesn't really make sense.

Nor to me either. It’s not what I said.

I think we’ve established the electrician doesn’t know what he is doing. Just because I ask if something that doesn’t conform to code can be done (not knowing the code) doesn’t mean I should get it. And to be fair to my landlord, who I agree also doesn’t know the code, I “misquoted” what I said to him and I actually asked if I could get a 240v circuit installed to charge my Tesla, to which he replied sure, just get a licensed electrician to do it with a permit (I did).

As I stated I will stick with the NEMA 14-50 outlet for now but looks like I need to switch over to a 50 amp breaker.
 

Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
I'd just replace the 60A breaker with a 50A and call it a day. I had a 14-50 outlet installed a few feet away from where I park in my garage and the 32A charge rate seems to always get me topped off long before morning when I plug in at the end of the day.

this makes the most sense to me and what I plan to do. Thanks for your thoughtful advice.
 
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Ron6

Member
Jul 16, 2020
6
6
West Linn
My worry there would be that the same fool that put a 14-50 outlet at the end may have skimped on the wiring as well. Why not just stick to the more ubiquitous 14-50. There really isn't any improvement in charging time for a new model 3 which is limited to 32A.

Best,

Agree! Thanks very much.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,155
5,748
Los Altos, CA
My worry there would be that the same fool that put a 14-50 outlet at the end may have skimped on the wiring as well. Why not just stick to the more ubiquitous 14-50. There really isn't any improvement in charging time for a new model 3 which is limited to 32A.
This is not correct. Only the MR/SR/SR+ Model 3 is internally limited to 32A AC charging. A LR Model 3 will charge at 48 amps.
The Mobile Connector that comes with the car is limited to 32A. If you use a Wall Connector or other EVSE, you can charge a LR Model 3 with up to 48A.
 

Ritz

Member
Mar 16, 2020
159
134
Virginia
This is not correct. Only the MR/SR/SR+ Model 3 is internally limited to 32A AC charging. A LR Model 3 will charge at 48 amps.
The Mobile Connector that comes with the car is limited to 32A. If you use a Wall Connector or other EVSE, you can charge a LR Model 3 with up to 48A.

The post I replied to was someone charging from a wall outlet, not someone using a wall connector or EVSE. But let's say they have a car capable of consuming 48A and are willing to splurge 1-2k to have a suitable charger installed rather than consuming the cable delivered with the car. Congrats, they can now charge the car 50% faster so that it's gone from flat to full in the wee hours of the night rather than closer to the morning when the person would normally need it. :)

*shrug*
 

TORQU3

Member
Sep 6, 2018
381
273
MA
They do also make 60 amp plugs. Everything from Hubble Pin and sleeve to twist lock. If you want a regular blade type receptacle look up 15-60P. All of these options are less common in residential and generally industrial use, some of them are three phase. Do your homework.
 

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