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UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
I have been looking at Teslas for 8 mo’s and am getting ready to order a Model 3 AWD, non FSD. Ordered the wall charger, got an estimate from a trusted electrical company that does commercial and residential and has installed public chargers at local stores. Our breaker panel is full, so they are putting a new 100A panel with service to the garage. This part will be expensive.

Have reached out to the salesman who set up an overnight test drive last fall so he can get credit for helping me. He wants to talk about available incentives but we haven’t caught up yet.

I think that, aside from ordering, I’ve pretty much done everything a person can do to get ready.

Have looked at delivery checklists and plan to arrive with one on dleivery day. Suscribing to TeslaFi and downloading Stats app so I can unlock with watch.

Swear that I have spent an unhealthy amount of time “studying” for this car.

Anything else?
 

Runnergirl

Member
Sep 26, 2018
322
605
NC, USA
Order the car!!!

Btw, our electrician moved things around to make room in our existing panel. We added two charging stations without adding a new box. Maybe get a second opinion. We also simply used the the chargers that come with the car. Saved us a LOT of money.

Also check with your energy company. We will get a $500 rebate for EACH charging station- so essentially installed both for free since each one was $500.

Enjoy your car.
 
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ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
4,269
Buford, GA
Don't assume that you have to increase the panel size. You may not need 40+A charging. Look at you daily usage and see just how much you really need. There are a lot of folks who can charge off of a 120V 15A or 20A plug.
Also look for Superchargers nearby to top off if needed and charging at work options.

I've got a NEMA 14-50 that I plug my Model 3 in only once or twice a week, it's overkill. And my wife's Leaf charges off of 120V 15A, and again only a few times a week.

Remember, you can always start with plugging in to 120V and then upgrade if you have the need.
 

Watts_Up

Active Member
Mar 4, 2019
3,708
2,684
In a galaxy far, far away
Ordered the wall charger, ....

How many mile do you drive every day? Why not just use the provided charger?

Our breaker panel is full, so they are putting a new 100A panel with service to the garage.
This part will be expensive.
In general you might be able to use some tandem circuits breakers, allowing to share the same slot instead of using two slots..

Note: By putting a new 100 A panel, you might also need to increase the electric meter capacity if you system is already max out?

What the current capacity (or Ampacity) of your main panel?

- How many major appliances do you have and might run at the same time?
(like oven range, dryer, water heater, Air Conditioning or heating, refrigerator and congelator...)

So this will give you an idea of how much Ampacity is available for charging, especially at night.

The advice I received was to stay about 1/3 to 1/2 of the total ampacity of my panel for selecting my charging rate.

In my case I installed a 14-30 plug (so I charge at 24 A)
I could have installed a 14-50 plug (and charge at 32 A)
This was plenty enough for an overnight charging.

The worse case would have been charging from 40% to 90%, or about 150 miles, which never occur.
(would take from 5 hours to 7 hours using the portable charger)

If I plan to have a second EV, I would then may be install two wall chargers,
so they could share the same line, and adjust the load automatically.
 
Last edited:

UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
Order the car!!!

I just did! So easy, except I got confused when the page asked for proof of insurance for a car that doesneven have a VIN. I can update that later.

Btw, our electrician moved things around to make room in our existing panel. We added two charging stations without adding a new box. Maybe get a second opinion. We also simply used the the chargers that come with the car. Saved us a LOT of money.

Also check with your energy company. We will get a $500 rebate for EACH charging station- so essentially installed both for free since each one was $500.

I will check with Ameren. The majority of the cost will be LABOR.

Enjoy your car.

It was fun just ordering it, plus I got a referral code link from one of my partners.
 
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UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
Don't assume that you have to increase the panel size. You may not need 40+A charging. Look at you daily usage and see just how much you really need. There are a lot of folks who can charge off of a 120V 15A or 20A plug.
Also look for Superchargers nearby to top off if needed and charging at work options.

I've got a NEMA 14-50 that I plug my Model 3 in only once or twice a week, it's overkill. And my wife's Leaf charges off of 120V 15A, and again only a few times a week.

Remember, you can always start with plugging in to 120V and then upgrade if you have the need.

Good point, but my weekly mileage will probably outstrip 120V charging, and some weeks that will definitely happen.

Two things about NEMA 14-50:
1) The garage will need 100A service if we purchase another electric; I see that as inevitable. I’m not putting in a 50 A line, then doing that all again in 5 years. So if I go the NEMA route, then we will need a box in the garage because the amperage needs to be stepped down, right? I don’t know the technical terms for it, but you can’t terminate a 100A line with a 50A plug.
2) If I use the supplied adapter in the garage, then I guarantee that I will forget it the day that I need it out in the wild. That’s just me. Plugging in and removing an adapter has a cost: contacts wear down and resistance increases. Receptacles go bad. I don’t want a hot receptacle in my garage in ten years, plus I’m too lazy to go plugging and unplugging every day. So let’s say that I buy a duplicate set and keep that in the garage. That’s a wash because the cost plus a breaker box will cost the same as just biting the bullet and buying the charger.

Maybe there’s a hole in my reasoning, but from a convenience standpoint this works best.
 
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UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
How many mile do you drive every day? Why not just use the provided charger?


In general you might be able to use some tandem circuits breakers, allowing to share the same slot instead of using two slots..

Note: By putting a new 100 A panel, you might also need to increase the electric meter capacity if you system is already max out?

What the current capacity (or Ampacity) of your main panel?

- How many major appliances do you have and might run at the same time?
(like oven range, dryer, water heater, Air Conditioning or heating, refrigerator and congelator...)

So this will give you an idea of how much Ampacity is available for charging, especially at night.

The advice I received was to stay about 1/3 to 1/2 of the total ampacity of my panel for selecting my charging rate.

In my case I installed a 14-30 plug (so I charge at 24 A)
I could have installed a 14-50 plug (and charge at 32 A)
This was plenty enough for an overnight charging.

The worse case would have been charging from 40% to 90%, or about 150 miles, which never occur.
(would take from 5 hours to 7 hours using the portable charger)

If I plan to have a second EV, I would then may be install two wall chargers,
so they could share the same line, and adjust the load automatically.

Good questions and points. I have a little homework to do. I’ll ask our electrician about ampacity but I think that he said that we should be good. We don’t have a separate congelator, but do have two fridges. I could see a scenario where we return from a weekend trip and I have a Monday that requires more range than usual.
 

robski

Member
Aug 16, 2016
419
608
Bay Area
You could also:
  1. Make sure WiFi reaches the garage
  2. Get a decent sized USB (Can no longer get away with just 16GB because it's now 3 dashcams + Sentry mode + Music)
  3. Think of a name for your new baby
  4. Find an old XBOX or PS4 controller for TeslAtari
 
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UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
You could also:
  1. Make sure WiFi reaches the garage
  2. Get a decent sized USB (Can no longer get away with just 16GB because it's now 3 dashcams + Sentry mode + Music)
  3. Think of a name for your new baby
  4. Find an old XBOX or PS4 controller for TeslAtari
We have a decent WiFi signal in the garage. That may need some tweaking, though.
I’m wondering if it is worth it to use a USB hub so that I’m not fiddling with partitions.
Might leave the last two to my son.
 
Sep 24, 2015
837
725
San Diego (Oceanside)
You can put in an 100a line. It's just money. If you have it, there's no downside to putting it in. I did it in case I get another Tesla at some point, but now that I've had the car for some time, I doubt I'd ever use it. I did this before I bought the car just like you and I didn't fully realize the charging speeds.

You may not need to charge two cars at the same time. If you are on Time of Use pricing and want to charge at night, you can schedule the charging so one charges after the other. My M3 typically makes a 60mile round trip M-F. It starts charging at 10p and is complete by 11:30 or so charging at 48a which would require a 60a line. If I had another Tesla, I could have it charge at midnight or even 1am. Even if you had two cars and a 200 mile round trip on each, they should easily charge in 6-8 hours consecutively.

If you aren't on TOU pricing, then your charging window is even greater.
 

UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
I realized that I hadn’t completed the order process. They ask for proof of insurance for the Tesla, not just generic proof. But there is no VIN, so the carrier can’t create a policy. Catch 22. So as a placeholder, I uploaded my current proof. Eh?
 

jrh007

Member
Mar 24, 2019
102
170
Florida
I realized that I hadn’t completed the order process. They ask for proof of insurance for the Tesla, not just generic proof. But there is no VIN, so the carrier can’t create a policy. Catch 22. So as a placeholder, I uploaded my current proof. Eh?

That’s fine. You’ll just need the Tesla VIN proof of insurance before you take delivery.
 

Tron 3

Member
Nov 1, 2018
203
285
Colorado
Our laundry room is next to the garage, and we use a gas dryer so there was a 30 amp circuit unused about 6 feet from the garage wall. It was a simple job to install a junction box next to the dryer plug and extend the circuit into the garage.
A 30 amp circuit gives me around 24 miles per hour of charge which is plenty for my needs. The total cost to me was about $50 for the adapter for the car's charging cable from Tesla, the outlet I needed, and 8 feet of 10 gauge wiring.
 
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Runt8

Active Member
May 19, 2017
1,986
2,446
Colorado
I don’t know the technical terms for it, but you can’t terminate a 100A line with a 50A plug.
What you can do is run the proper gauge wire between the panel and the receptacle for 100a, but install a 50a breaker. Having larger wire is perfectly acceptable as long as you can actually get it connected to the breaker and the receptacle (ie, it’s difficult to connect 6 gauge wire to a 14-50, but it can be done). Then upgrading is easy - replace the breaker and hardwire the wall charger (or whatever you’re planning on doing) and you’re all set.
 
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UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
What you can do is run the proper gauge wire between the panel and the receptacle for 100a, but install a 50a breaker. Having larger wire is perfectly acceptable as long as you can actually get it connected to the breaker and the receptacle (ie, it’s difficult to connect 6 gauge wire to a 14-50, but it can be done). Then upgrading is easy - replace the breaker and hardwire the wall charger (or whatever you’re planning on doing) and you’re all set.


Thank you.
Looks like I’m going to find out how well 120V meets my needs. The charger is in limbo, no status updates from the Tesla shop. The electrician is waiting for word on delivery of the charger.

And the car is scheduled for delivery on the 25th! Holey cow. Guess this is a quasi-inventory car? I’m so excited; kind of wondering how well I’m going to sleep tonight...

The electrician(s) want to put an actual service line into the garage and then do what you are saying, using the appropriate breaker. They have done commercial and residential for me for three years. The guy who will do the install actually fixed a circuit that was installed by the contractor who built our house. That circuit fried, we think, because the sub pulled wire through a hand-cut metal hole and stripped the wire in the process. I’m just saying that I trust them to do this correctly and safely, and, like you said “it’s just money.”
 

Eno Deb

Active Member
Aug 17, 2018
2,622
3,361
SF Bay Area
120V charging is really slow (around 3-5 miles/hour). I'd recommend a 240V circuit, but you'll probably not need the full 50A. If you have a dryer outlet (usually 30A) in or near the garage that should be more than enough (around 22 miles/hour charging speed). If you later buy a second EV you could consider sharing one circuit (which you can even automate using two linked wall connectors, in case both cars are Teslas). But it all depends on how much money you want to spend on the charging setup.

BTW, why would you want to unlock your car with a smartwatch? It unlocks automatically when you carry your phone, and probably much faster than using the watch (which has to connect to the car through the Internet and wake it up first). Generally, I'd be careful entering my Tesla password in random 3rd party apps. If the password ever leaks or gets hacked, someone can easily steal your car with it.
 

StealthP3D

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2018
9,894
81,317
Maple Falls, WA
Good point, but my weekly mileage will probably outstrip 120V charging, and some weeks that will definitely happen.

Two things about NEMA 14-50:
1) The garage will need 100A service if we purchase another electric; I see that as inevitable. I’m not putting in a 50 A line, then doing that all again in 5 years. So if I go the NEMA route, then we will need a box in the garage because the amperage needs to be stepped down, right? I don’t know the technical terms for it, but you can’t terminate a 100A line with a 50A plug.

You don't need to step the amperage down. Amperage is not "pushed" into outlets, it's "pulled" by whatever you have plugged in or connected. It will only draw as much amperage as it needs.

We needed to a new electrical service installed in our carport and my electrician told me it would be just as inexpensive and maybe cost even less to install a 200A service instead of the requested 100A service. So you might look into that. Check with your power company to see if there is a higher monthly flat service fee for 200A service and also with your electrician who will know the prices for 100A and 200A breaker panels and breakers. When I questioned him why the price would be the same (or less) for the 200A service he indicated the equipment was more common.


2) If I use the supplied adapter in the garage, then I guarantee that I will forget it the day that I need it out in the wild. That’s just me. Plugging in and removing an adapter has a cost: contacts wear down and resistance increases. Receptacles go bad. I don’t want a hot receptacle in my garage in ten years, plus I’m too lazy to go plugging and unplugging every day. So let’s say that I buy a duplicate set and keep that in the garage. That’s a wash because the cost plus a breaker box will cost the same as just biting the bullet and buying the charger.

Maybe there’s a hole in my reasoning, but from a convenience standpoint this works best.

Personally, I think your reasoning is solid but a lot of people do make it work with just the UMC. I like keeping the UMC in the car.
 

UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
BTW, why would you want to unlock your car with a smartwatch? It unlocks automatically when you carry your phone, and probably much faster than using the watch (which has to connect to the car through the Internet and wake it up first). Generally, I'd be careful entering my Tesla password in random 3rd party apps. If the password ever leaks or gets hacked, someone can easily steal your car with it.

I go running without my phone; the watch has all the podcasts and music. Don’t want to carry a card or key fob if I don’t have to. Not usually a consideration since 99% of my runs start and end at. Home.

But your comment gives me pause. Should I stick with Teslafi and the tesla app only.
 

UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
You don't need to step the amperage down. Amperage is not "pushed" into outlets, it's "pulled" by whatever you have plugged in or connected. It will only draw as much amperage as it needs.

We needed to a new electrical service installed in our carport and my electrician told me it would be just as inexpensive and maybe cost even less to install a 200A service instead of the requested 100A service. So you might look into that. Check with your power company to see if there is a higher monthly flat service fee for 200A service and also with your electrician who will know the prices for 100A and 200A breaker panels and breakers. When I questioned him why the price would be the same (or less) for the 200A service he indicated the equipment was more common.




Personally, I think your reasoning is solid but a lot of people do make it work with just the UMC. I like keeping the UMC in the car.
Thanks, I will ask about 200A svc.
 

UTMB

Member
Mar 2, 2019
157
133
St Louis
120V charging is really slow (around 3-5 miles/hour). I'd recommend a 240V circuit, but you'll probably not need the full 50A. If you have a dryer outlet (usually 30A) in or near the garage that should be more than enough (around 22 miles/hour charging speed). If you later buy a second EV you could consider sharing one circuit (which you can even automate using two linked wall connectors, in case both cars are Teslas). But it all depends on how much money you want to spend on the charging setup.

BTW, why would you want to unlock your car with a smartwatch? It unlocks automatically when you carry your phone, and probably much faster than using the watch (which has to connect to the car through the Internet and wake it up first). Generally, I'd be careful entering my Tesla password in random 3rd party apps. If the password ever leaks or gets hacked, someone can easily steal your car with it.

The reason I ask about TeslaFi is that it uses a token instead of the password, so it would be more secure, right?
 

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