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How hard is it to install NEMA 14-50 by myself?

CSFTN

Member
Aug 24, 2014
950
547
Memphis, TN
If you make even a small mistake, like not tightening the bolts adequately, you will cause a fire, which may very well burn the dwelling and, potentially kill everyone inside.

This isn't a table light we all made in shop class. This is high voltage, high amperage electrical circuitry. Unless you already know what you're doing, and your questions pretty much guarantee you don't, hire an electrician. PLEASE.

I personally am much more worried about Model 3 owners and this issue than I am about Model 3 owners and charging station overload. I expect we will see a rush of house fires caused by poor wiring of EV home charging stations.
 
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buttershrimp

Click my signature to Go Mad Max Mode
Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2017
3,256
8,529
ATX
Easy... you just need duct tape... a paperclip... some lube... and a creative spark...OK just kidding... I have no idea, but CSFTN seems to know what he's talking about.
 

KArnold

Member
May 21, 2017
712
725
Columbus OH
I did my own but with some caveats. And my experience previously would be limited to auto electricity and ceiling fans.

My my caveats:
  1. I had a guy come out for an estimate. He basically explained the while process in great detail. In my case I already had a separately fused hot tub circuit that would be re-purposed so I basically didn't need to mess with the panel part all, nor the load capacity. But that's significant too.
  2. Be absolutely sure the power is off. Check at the breaker and with a volt meter.
  3. Repeat step #2. This can kill you.
  4. If there is any doubt to #2, pull the house main breaker and check again
  5. Be sure you are using the right wire.
  6. Check voltage when you are done.
Risks are high - primarily electrocution and fire. But honestly it's not rocket science either - most everything is easily discoverable on the internet. Instead of advising you to hire someone, if I were in this field and lived nearby, I would come over and educate you. What part of the world do you live in?

I'm sure there are purists who disagree - that's fine. But in such a project I'd try to find s way to get educated instead of just hiring somebody who may charge a lot of money, primarily for the assurance of his knowledge, but not learning yourself in the process. Maybe some middle ground is to find a buddy to assist who has more experience in such things.

My $.02. Flame suit on.
 
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sandpiper

Active Member
Sep 25, 2014
2,833
2,322
Ontario, Canada
How hard is it to install nema 14-50 by myself?
And also, what things should I prepare for it?
The panel are inside the house, but there are already hole on the wall, just wonder how hard is it to do it myself as no experience in those kind of electricity work. But I am a engineer major.
I already bought, 50A breaker, 6/3 nm-b cable, receptacle. Wire cutter already have, screwdriver also.
Been reviewed some Youtube video for how to install it, for me no in the wall wiring requirement, it really looks like plug the breaker in, plug the cable in both cable and receptacle, and done.
The total amp for the board is 100A I think, and there are likely 4 window 6000 BTU AC run at same time at night while charging.
By the way, is UMC water proof?, should I unplug it if in the rain?

It's not difficult. But, when you hire a qualified contractor, you're really buying their insurance. And, especially if you're in a multi-unit, a small error can result in major liabilities and (worst case) criminal charges if something really bad were to happen.

If you're not doing any in-wall work and you have the main materials, then I'm sure you can find a guy to do it for a good price - likely no more than a few hours of labour.

240/50 will start a fire much more quickly than 120/15.
 
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tga

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Apr 8, 2014
4,025
2,995
New Hampshire
See if you can "assist" your electrician, ask him if you can help. That's what I'm doing and it will save me some $$.
I've done this - I hired a friend (licensed electrician) to do some work for me. Rather than bringing one of his guys to help, he sent him to another job and I was his assistant. Win-win!
 

SomeJoe7777

Marginally-Known Member
Mar 28, 2015
2,197
5,794
Houston, TX
@Auriga

You also have to remember that because electrical work involves so many codes, requirements, procedures, and considerations, that asking for very specific step-by-step instructions on a forum places other people in a position of liability.

The questions you're asking illustrate that you would need step-by-step directions to perform this installation. People here, even those who might be licensed electricians, can't really give you step-by-step instructions: They haven't been in your house, they haven't seen the panel, the wiring, the loads, etc. They would have to make some assumptions which might be wrong.

If someone were to post such a step-by-step procedure for you, you followed it to the best of your ability, and then something went wrong and your house was damaged or destroyed, guess who is now on the hook for that? No one posting on this forum will allow themselves to be put in such a position.

This is why electricians are licensed (so they know the requirements), and insured/bonded (so that their work is covered by liability insurance if something goes wrong). And this is also why the work requires a permit from the city (so that there are records of the modifications), and is required to be inspected (to confirm that the electrician did his job correctly and so that your homeowner's insurance company is reassured that they did not take on additional risk).
 
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Medpilot

Member
Apr 7, 2017
38
26
Phoenix
IMG_5642.JPG IMG_5643.JPG IMG_5644.JPG IMG_5645.JPG IMG_5646.JPG IMG_5647.JPG IMG_5648.JPG IMG_5650.JPG IMG_5651.JPG IMG_5676.JPG
Here are some photos from my DIY install. I've done lite electrical work in the past like ceiling fans and light switches, but nothing with this many volts/amps. I just did my research and was very careful. id say if you are handy and careful, it's not hard. Just triple and quadruple check that you have turned off the power to the box you are working on. Looks like you already have the proper gauge wire. I know the install with work with 6/2, but to meet code, 6/3 is required for a nema 14-50 receptacle. My city ordnance only required 8 gauge for a 50 amp set up, but chose to go with 6 gauge to error on the side of safety.
 

WB-MZ

New Member
Apr 27, 2016
1
2
Danville
I have been watching this thread since it started and I have a couple questions for the OP. From the original post I am making a few assumptions, it appears that you are a student and you rent a floor in a multi family house? If that is the case, how does your land lord feel about you doing that kind of electrical work to his-her building? The land lord may or may-not let you and I mean a qualified electrician make any modifications to the building at all.
I do hope you can work something out to charge your car, but don't take risky and possibly illegal steps to do it.
 
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Snerruc

Active Member
Apr 16, 2016
1,018
1,641
Palm Bay
I asked Tesla about this subject, and they said if you use a Tesla recommended electrician and have a charging related battery problem, it is covered. If you do it yourself or use a jack leg electrician, you may void the warranty. Not a common problem, but do you want to risk a $15,000 battery?
 

Buster1

Member
Oct 13, 2016
582
276
Ft Worth
My electrician and I just finished our NEMA 14-50 install today! It was pretty easy, however there were a few things that I had no clue on, and obviously some code specifics that I was unaware of too. I'm glad to have hired him and NOT tried to do this on my own.
 
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Jay Hawk

Member
Aug 19, 2016
29
12
Lawrence, KS
Please spend time and be up-front with CERTIFIED ELECTRICIAN!
It is completely worth it. You do not risk peoples lives!!!
I had mine sketched and yet i paid for the install. This circuit hums from the flow it provides.
Its like this: would you pour gas from a possibly dirty gascan into your sportscar? Just pay for it!
 

Medpilot

Member
Apr 7, 2017
38
26
Phoenix
My electrician and I just finished our NEMA 14-50 install today! It was pretty easy, however there were a few things that I had no clue on, and obviously some code specifics that I was unaware of too. I'm glad to have hired him and NOT tried to do this on my own.

What were some of the things you learned?
 

Buster1

Member
Oct 13, 2016
582
276
Ft Worth
Well, let's see:

I learned what's hot in the breaker box, and what's not. (Didn't know which bus in the back was always hot)
Not to blow the dust in the breaker box.
Learned how to figure out what the Breaker box (and house) is rated to for Amps.
How to bend EMT, and do it correctly to eliminate waste.
That a wall strap on EMT is required above a box (within 24" I think)
How phases of AC work, and how 2 x 120v breakers work together to make 240v
Learned some techniques for fishing 6 ga wire, and how to do 4 through a 3/4" EMT.
That EMT can have no more than 360 degrees of total bends, or you need a junction box.

And most importantly, I learned some of the ways you can hurt yourself or start a fire when dealing with electricity. (Not from today's efforts mind you!)
 

JHuberman

Member
Dec 28, 2016
140
153
Raleigh
I consulted with an electrician and then installed all the conduit, disconnect, mounted the charger and then the electrician returned and we pulled the wire and he connected it. There was only two hours of his time so it was quite reasonable.
 

Medpilot

Member
Apr 7, 2017
38
26
Phoenix
Well, let's see:

I learned what's hot in the breaker box, and what's not. (Didn't know which bus in the back was always hot)
Not to blow the dust in the breaker box.
Learned how to figure out what the Breaker box (and house) is rated to for Amps.
How to bend EMT, and do it correctly to eliminate waste.
That a wall strap on EMT is required above a box (within 24" I think)
How phases of AC work, and how 2 x 120v breakers work together to make 240v
Learned some techniques for fishing 6 ga wire, and how to do 4 through a 3/4" EMT.
That EMT can have no more than 360 degrees of total bends, or you need a junction box.

And most importantly, I learned some of the ways you can hurt yourself or start a fire when dealing with electricity. (Not from today's efforts mind you!)

I wish I had some tips on fishing 6 gauge wire. That stuff was hard to work with. I couldn't imagine working with 2 gauge for a 100amp set up.
 

smilepak

Active Member
May 11, 2015
1,773
579
SoCal, CA
How hard is it to install nema 14-50 by myself?
And also, what things should I prepare for it?
The panel are inside the house, but there are already hole on the wall, just wonder how hard is it to do it myself as no experience in those kind of electricity work. But I am a engineer major.
I already bought, 50A breaker, 6/3 nm-b cable, receptacle. Wire cutter already have, screwdriver also.
Been reviewed some Youtube video for how to install it, for me no in the wall wiring requirement, it really looks like plug the breaker in, plug the cable in both cable and receptacle, and done.
The total amp for the board is 100A I think, and there are likely 4 window 6000 BTU AC run at same time at night while charging.
By the way, is UMC water proof?, should I unplug it if in the rain?

Unless you know what you are doing. If not, I would hire someone. Don't forget that certain city requires a permit and inspection. If you do it wrong and end up burning your house, your insurance might not cover it.
 

oktane

Active Member
Oct 25, 2016
1,789
2,576
USA
Unless you know what you are doing. If not, I would hire someone. Don't forget that certain city requires a permit and inspection. If you do it wrong and end up burning your house, your insurance might not cover it.

Oh yeah, and besides the insurance claim being denied, another minor point is that a lot of people might burn to death too.
 
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