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HPWC Installation Cost

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by breser, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I've ordered my car with the HPWC and the Dual Chargers. I got a quote from the Tesla recommended electrician in my area today and it just seems high for the job. I asked them to break out the labor and materials but they say they have a simple flat fee to "keep our overhead costs down":
    $545.00 base price including 100amp breaker.
    $150.00 permit fees
    $1020.00 (17/foot for feeder length, based on the 65’ length you provided minus the 5’ included in our base price.)
    TOTAL: $1715.00

    This doesn't appear to include an upgraded main panel (I already have a 200 Amp panel and at least as I figure the load I have plenty of capacity even if you derate that 200 Amps). I asked him for clarification on this and he didn't respond to that part yet.

    This is going in an attached 3 car garage that the whole house panel is in with the HPWC on the bay farthest from the panel (unfortunately the bays are not the same size and the car can only fit in the first or second bays and the second bay is the only bay big enough to hold my truck, so I don't have a lot of choice).

    I actually told him 64' feet from the panel, which includes probably at least 2-3 extra feet of slack. The garage is not finished so the wiring runs across the open joists in the ceiling of the garage. I realize that the wiring can be expensive but the $17 per foot cost for the run seems pricy. Especially since I anticipate that it'll be rather easy to run the wiring across the garage. As can be seen in the below pictures:

    Wiring coming out of the load center:
    IMG_20140828_170656.jpg

    Wiring start to cross the joists:
    IMG_20140828_170713.jpg

    Wires reaching the other side of the garage and heading toward the front to support outlets and lighting on the front of the house:
    IMG_20140828_170809.jpg

    Where I ultimately want the install done, just below the previous picture. Roughly where the first broom is from the left:
    IMG_20140828_170825.jpg
     
  2. internauts

    internauts Member

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    This is exactly the information that I am seeking. I have not ordered the HPWC until I investigate the installation cost. My electrician said $1800 to install two 14-50 plugs, but $6000 to upgrade my home to a 400-amp system to deliver the full 80-amp. That shocked me (pun intended) so I asked Tesla for a referral to an electrician for a second opinion. I will look further here for other's experience.
     
  3. Seven7

    Seven7 Member

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    I doubt you need to upgrade to 400 amps, I have been getting away with 200 amp service while charging with the HPWC and a 100 amp breaker for over a year without popping any breakers.
     
  4. DiversifiedOne

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    I am also installing an HPWC w/100 amp circuit in an all-electric home with 200 amp service. I received three separate quotes for installation, none of which included a recommendation to upgrade past 200 amps. I would assume that for you, as in my case, charging will be performed at night during the lowest demand.
     
  5. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I may end up doing this install myself. Buddy of mine was doing electrical work but isn't anymore (ended up buying into another business from a friend and stopped). I called to ask him about the quote I got, he thought it was high as well. He's offered to help me do the install.
     
  6. iadbound

    iadbound Member

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    Having the work done right now at my house. I believe the HPWC part of the install is $1,250. This includes a roughly 50 foot run (not sure of the exact length) from my panel out to the far end of the garage. However, I am also having an unsafe 200 AMP panel replaced, a 14-50 installed, and a second meter installed. So the figure may reflect a discount.
     
  7. cpa

    cpa Member

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    Here in the middle of California our electrician installed a 14-50 plug, a new 50A breaker on our 200A service with about 65 feet of six-gauge wire enclosed in a metal conduit for $650. While this is comparing apples to oranges, your quoted price of nearly three times this amount seems extreme. The job took him less than four hours, so I figure his labor charge was about $125 per hour.

    I would be suspicious of any contractor who would not split out labor and materials. Have you checked with the Washington State Contractors' Licensing Board?

    Maybe electrical code in coastal Washington has more requirements than California.
     
  8. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    I expect it to be more than the install you describe because Telsa says you need 3 AWG wire for 80A charging (and I've seen some people suggest 2 AWG because they think Tesla is not being conservative enough). The difference in cost for a 50A vs 100A breaker is probably $40. My understanding also is anything over 60A needs to be in a conduit if exposed. But your wire run is pretty close to mine and you say you're putting it in a metal conduit. So I can't imagine there would be that much difference. I'd also expect your labor to probably be higher.

    I agree it's strange but I don't think there's anything illegal about it. They are the Tesla recommend electrician, I'm guessing they've chosen a price to make it quick and easy to quote and do the jobs.

    We follow the National Electric Code. So I doubt it very much.
     
  9. jcaspar

    jcaspar Member

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    This looks like a pretty easy self install if you are handy. I did something similar but had to open up a few walls to get a 100 amp panel in the garage, then ran two 14-50 outlets off of this. I used 2/3 NM for the 100 Amp panel which is about 6.50$ per foot:
    Shop 2-3 Indoor Non-Metallic Jacket Wire (By-the-Foot) at Lowes.com

    You can use 3g, some even use 4g (not enough) but I wanted to do it right.
     
  10. Zroiron

    Zroiron Poodle Pack Leader

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    The Tesla referred electrician here in Vegas quoted me $2700 to run 100 ft. We have 400 amp service panel so all he had to do was add 100 amp breakers to the panel. We had the system installed by our solar contractor instead at a significantly lower cost.
     
  11. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    There has always been a very wide range of quotes from electricians, plumbers, contractors, ... Always get several quotes. A lot of these guys will quote high for a job because sometimes people just take the first quote they get. Or sometimes they quote high because they think it will be a PITA job or it's far from home or they didn't like the home owner or they just wing it. One thing you can do is ask them about the details of the job.

    If a quote seems to high for me, I will ask them things about each part of the project - how many hours and what kind of materials. At least half the time, they are actually thoughtful about the quote and it shows. Usually I hire them. If they don't call me back or respond to the questions, that pretty tells me they didn't really want the job and I move on.
     
  12. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    #12 mitch672, Sep 6, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
    I wired mine myself (I have a 75A OpenEVSE, but it's the same thing). I used 1" SCH40 PVC, and #3AWG THHN wire for each hot (used red and black because it was easily availble from "Stayonline" at the time for .75 per foot), used a #6AWG green THHN for the ground. My panel is a SquareD Homeline, 100A 2-pole breakers are about $35 at Home Depot/Lowes. The PVC conduit is very inexpensive as well, the fittings generally cost more.. The project is easily doable on a Saturday, if you have it planned out and have all of the parts ahead of time.

    Stayonline THHN: 600 Volt THHN Cord

    They still have red, white and blue #3 for .75 per foot, they only ship via FedEx Ground, and they are in North Carolina... If you measure your run carefully you can save a lot by ordering the wire in advance from them. You'll have to go with red and blue for the hots though, they are out of black.
    I wouldn't bother with #2 it's nearly impossible to work with in tight bends, and the #3 handles the ampacity just fine.
     
  13. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    My panel is about five feet from the outlet location and I did not need an upgraded panel. With that, it cost me about $400 for the electrician to install a 50 amp breaker and a 14-50 outlet and also install a 100 amp breaker and run wire for an HPWC. I didn't have the HPWC at the time, so he just capped the wires and left them for later. Later, after I bought the HPWC, it was a trivial matter for me to attach the HPWC to the existing wires, leaving the 14-50 as a fallback.
     
  14. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    #14 breser, Sep 6, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
    So looking into this some more (translated as actually reading the NEC). There is one large wrinkle in adding a HPWC. The NEC requires a disconnect (I recall hearing about some people mentioning an inspector forcing them to add this):

    Looking for safety disconnects like they are describing they cost around $200-300. That right there doubles my expected material cost from what I was figuring. Brings his quote up into the more reasonable range.
     
  15. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    You may not need the disconnect, it's really up to the local electrical inspector. It depends if the circuit breaker panel is visible from the HPWC and the distance, the circuit breaker can act as the "disconnect", and circuit breaker lockouts are readily availble as well.
     
  16. mmh

    mmh Member

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  17. Solarguy

    Solarguy Member

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    #17 Solarguy, Sep 7, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2014
    Here is a link to buy a high quality disconnect that retails for more than $450 for less than $100 including shipping on eBay:

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=SQUARE+D+DU323&_geositeid=0&_trksid=m194&ssPageName=STRK:MEFSRCHX:SRCH

    I started a thread asking for pictures of HPWC installations that now shows my completed installations and lots of ideas from others:

    http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/27750-Post-Pictures-of-HPWC-Installations-%28Residential-and-Commercial%29/page2
     
  18. internauts

    internauts Member

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    It is probably not reasonable to ask a forum for electrical code advice. These responses are helpful though to compare what others have paid for an 80 amp wall connection.

    I trust the contractor. I still think he is making this job harder than it needs to be. Replies here confirm that much. He says we need a new line from the utility pole to the house. I really think the upgrade to 400 amp for the house makes sense. We probably will have a second EV in our future, and by then 80 amp charging should be the standard for the new car, so it seems appropriate to prepare for two EV cars charging at the same time. In Seattle we don't have discounted rates at night, but someday we will, so I plan to have two cars charging just in the wee hours.

    Does anyone have insight about the charging system that might be used for the Model III?
     
  19. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    No one does. But I'd have to ask, why would they change the connector used on the Model S/X and on hundreds of SuperChargers? Answer: they won't, as it would be very costly to them, and since they manufacture that custom designed connector, manufacturing it in larger quantities is just going to reduce the cost.
     
  20. breser

    breser AutoPilot Nostradamus

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    That price makes total sense for a service upgrade. If I needed the service upgrade I would pull the trigger on that easily.

    I did find the load calculation spreadsheet that was discussed towards the end helpful. It was one of the more detailed ones I've seen.

    Thanks for this. The circuit breaker lockout is like $3. Given that apparently you can have the disconnects behind locked doors as long as "a key or lock combination is available to those for whom ready access is necessary." I can't imagine having it on the opposite side of the garage in the breaker box should be a problem.

    See the "Readily Accessible" section here:
    Inkling

    Based on what I've found the explanatory text below is taken from this OSHA interpretation:
    10/24/2005 - The definition of does not necessarily preclude the locking of electrical panels, provided those needing ready access are provided a key or lock combination.

    Yup I started the thread because I was just shocked by the quote and have been trying to figure out (other than being high if there was something I was missing). I've seen a lot of people talking about prices to put 14-50's in but few giving much info about their HPWC installation experiences. After talking with a friend I think I'm going to try doing it myself, which has led me into reading up on the National Electrical Code, so I can make sure we do it correctly.

    In your case if you're upgrading service you may very well need a new line from the pole. There are tables in the NEC describing what wire is suitable for different loads. I'd imagine your electrician can tell you what wire you have and what wire he's going to install and you should be able to look it up in the tables (or for that matter you can ask him to show you that).
     

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