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Home Wall Connector Installation Concern

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by HighZ, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    I had a wall connector installed in my home back in July, but only recently noticed that the electrician installed a 50A breaker instead of a 60A breaker in my panel. I remember reading that there should be around a 20% buffer between the breaker and the connector output.

    I have been using it fairly often and it provides a full 48A and 44 miles/hour charge. This may be due to the settings inside of the connector being set for that. But the breaker hasn't popped once.

    When I originally contacted the electrician to install it, I know I told him of the 60A requirement and gave him the manual digitally to review.

    I am concerned about any safety issues and whether I need to get this corrected. I was told by another electrician that had he used a 60A breaker, I would have needed to install a cut off switch near the connector, which he didn't do. Maybe he stayed within code that way.

    Do I have an issue?
     
  2. msm859

    msm859 Member

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    If you are charging for more than 3 hours at a time "continuous load" you should reduce the charging rate to 40A. But you should probably talk to an electrician. Also, what gauge wire do you have? May have been why the electrician used a 50 A breaker.
     
  3. gfunkdave

    gfunkdave Member

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    Did the electrician use Romex or wires in conduit? Which size wires did he use?

    Depending on what he put in, you would either be able to change the breaker to a 60A or set the wheel inside the wall connector to match the 50A breaker.
     
  4. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums

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    OP, in the short term, you are much better off turning the dial in the wall connector down to 50 amps, so the car charges at 40 amps instead of 48. Then, you can decide what you want to do.

    You will likely find that it makes almost no difference in your charging routine. With that being said, if you think you paid your electrician for the 60amp solution, you could contact them and ask them to come back out and correct it. What needs to be done to correct it would hopefully be done by them, provided you have all your receipts AND they say that they were installing a 60 amp circuit.

    My guess is, however, you "told" them about 60amps, and gave them the manual to review, but what they likely put on your receipt is that they installed a 50amp breaker.

    If they wont do it for free to correct it, you have to decide do you want the faster speed or not. You likely dont need it, but if you "want" it, you should get the breaker / wiring etc corrected. I wouldnt recommend just leaving it alone without changing anything, even though that would likely be "ok". Better to turn down the wall connector and then do nothing, if you dont want to be bothered.
     
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  5. miimura

    miimura Well-Known Member

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    Even a 60A breaker does not require a disconnect, according to the NEC. The voltage must be over 120V to ground or over 60A before a disconnect is required. A 240V 60A circuit does not trigger that requirement.

    You should immediately turn down the car so it only draws 40A. If you are able, you should open the Wall Connector and change the dial to the 50A breaker stetting. Beyond that, the gauge of wire needs to be evaluated to see if the 50A or 60A breaker is appropriate.
     
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  6. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    Thanks to everyone for the replies.

    I am checking what gauge was used. I am hoping it was 6 AWG and not 8. If it was 6, then I am understanding that I can change out the breaker, or my risk is that the breaker might pop, but not really a fire hazard?

    You are correct - I sent him the manual and told him I wanted a 60A breaker, but the estimate and invoice didn't itemize anything. It just said 240V Heavy Circuit.

    He used metal conduit in the garage.

    I will turn down the car to 40A until I can change the wall connector setting. You are probably right that it won't make a lot of difference since I typically charge overnight on weekends. I just wonder if having this mismatch has caused any damage to the car battery. I, like others, have experienced an almost 10% decrease in battery capacity since I installed it. I am guessing not since it was pulling 48A according to the car and the breaker probably had enough headroom to allow that. But you never know.

    I do feel I overpaid for the installation, but I didn't have many options. So I think I should be entitled to get it fixed.

    I'll post what ends up happening with the electrician.
     
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  7. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums

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    No, you wouldnt have done any damage to the car battery in this situation. If there was / will be damage, it would be on the cabling connecting the wiring to the breaker, or fire risk because of overheated wiring in the wall / behind the wall connector.

    The "range loss" most are experiencing is likely either BMS drift (car not knowing exactly how much power it has) and / or change in charging "constants" such that the range is actually more realistic based on tires etc.
     
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  8. Sophias_dad

    Sophias_dad Supporting Member

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    You mention he used conduit "in the garage"... is there a section of the wiring that's not in the garage, and is romex?
     
  9. ucmndd

    ucmndd Well-Known Member

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    The only thing that really matters here is the size of the conductors. If 6awg in conduit, the only “bad” thing that might happen when charging at 48A is a nuisance trip of the undersized 50amp breaker.
     
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  10. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    #10 HighZ, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    Long story short, the electrician came back this morning and replaced the 50A breaker with a 60A breaker. He showed me the wire was six gauge.

    No, they ran conduit right from the panel into the garage. I am guessing you were asking so I could try to tell the wire gauge without having to disassembly anything? Or because it was a potential fire hazard if it was smaller than 6 in Romex?

    I was going to try take off the wall connector cover so I could see. When the electrician took off the breaker panel, the wire had nothing stamped on it so I wouldn’t have been able to tell myself based on the thickness, but it is pretty thick wire.

    Thanks again for the responses. I charged at 40A last night and was getting I think 36 mi/hr charge instead of 44. Not terrible, but glad I can now go to full speed.
     
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  11. Sophias_dad

    Sophias_dad Supporting Member

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    Its actually a fire hazard(in theory) if its 6 in Romex. That was my concern. That being said, the NEC is very conservative in its ratings. 6AWG is allowed in conduit because they allow it to be used at its 75C rating(65Amp). NEC requires romex(NM-B) wire to be used at the 60C rating(55 amp), and because they have a somewhat arbitrary 1.25x multiplier in the formula for continuous(EV) use, your true 48 amp load requires a 60 amp circuit.
     
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  12. qdeathstar

    qdeathstar Active Member

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    EVs are considered a continuous load.


    My guess is that the electrician installed 6-2 Romex thinking 60 amps on 6-2. however, the inspector told him that 6-2 is only rated for 55 amps and so he just stuck a 50 amp breaker there to pass inspection, since the inspector is not going to check dip switch setting on the wall charger.

    however, I think the risk of you having a real issue is low.
     
  13. HighZ

    HighZ MDNT SLV M3

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    This is the picture of the sub-panel before they replaced the breaker.

    Does adding a wall charger require an inspection? Does it require a permit?
     

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  14. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums

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    I doubt it "requires" a permit, as it is something that can reasonably be self installed by the handy homeowner with some skill. Many (many many) here have done so. With that being said, it "can" be permitted, for sure. Speaking only for myself, I wanted to get my install both installed by a professional, and permitted. This cost me extra money but for me, it was worth it. If "anything happened" for example, like some sort of fire in my garage, etc., I wanted proof that everything had been done correctly and "to code", so there would be no questions from any insurance company on that front.

    So, not necessary, but if you want one, you can.
     
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  15. qdeathstar

    qdeathstar Active Member

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    It is absolutely a requirement that an electrician obtain a permit when installing a wall charger in most places.
     
  16. jjrandorin

    jjrandorin Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums

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    But its not a requirement that YOU, obtain a permit if you do it yourself. The question was "is a permit required?", and if you do it yourself, is it? No, I dont think so. "should"? probably.. but how many of the people here who self installed their wall connectors went to their local city / county and requested a permit?

    Rhetorical question, but definitely not all, or even "most" of them.
     
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  17. Sophias_dad

    Sophias_dad Supporting Member

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    #17 Sophias_dad, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    Whether it requires a permit/inspection is likely a state/local thing. Your insurance company will likely resist paying for any home damage(fire) that occurs related to anything electrical if you don't get it permitted/inspected and you were supposed to. They may even resist paying if the permit/inspection wasn't required, if the EV charger/outlet was improperly installed.

    I presume someone checked the feeder lines and breaker(and load) for that subpanel before adding the EV charger. Its not like you are adding an inconsequential load.... you are likely more than doubling the consumption of that subpanel.

    City of Rockford

    certainly seems to suggest you should have a permit/inspection in Rockford, IL.


    Adding a standard 120V outlet or other related small load also appears to require a permit there, but I bet that's frequently ignored.

    You are installing a pretty high load device that will run for hours at a time, probably while you and your wife/kids are sleeping nearby, and the wiring/breaker will be running near their design limits. The permit fee for Rockford seems to be just over $42... cheap insurance to keep your insurance paying out and your family alive.
     
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  18. qdeathstar

    qdeathstar Active Member

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    nah bro, your wrong about that to. Even if you do the work yourself you are supposed to get a permit. You just don’t have to be liscensed the way a contractor does.
     
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  19. MN-MS100D

    MN-MS100D Member

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    I'm not seeing a ground wire in the previous posted picture. I'd be very interested in how (if) the HPWC end is bonded. Probably not, due to lack of room inside the knockout.

    Please check to see that you have a properly grounded installation.
     
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  20. qdeathstar

    qdeathstar Active Member

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    good catch.
     

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