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Install Wall Connector before or after receiving car?

I'm looking to take delivery of my 3 in about a month and want to have my charging setup ready. In my 2 years of anticipation waiting for this car, I already had an electrician install wiring terminated to a NEMA 14-50. But I was foolish and didn't consider that I might be plugging and unplugging this in the rain, because the charger is in an outdoor location. I have decided to go for the HPWC, and now I'm wondering when is a good time to have the electrician come swap out the 14-50 to the HPWC. Should it be done before or after I have the car?

I want to have it done as soon as possible so its ready, but I'm wary that I can't test that the HPWC will be functional and installed correctly until I have the car to try charging with it. Is this something that can normally go wrong, or is swapping the outlet from the 14-50 to the HPWC pretty straightforward and I should just have it done before my delivery? Note I also have not tried whether the 14-50 is functional (I was told it is, but have never used it).
 

TT97

Active Member
Aug 6, 2017
2,179
3,007
Los Angeles
I had my HPWC installed when I added solar to my house a couple months ago (and currently waiting for my 3 to be delivered). Every morning I walk into my garage and I see that little green light on the HPWC mocking me that I am still driving an ICE!

As you do not know if the 14-50 is functional yet, I would wait so you can test the outlet first with the UMC and then convert to the HPWC - if something is amiss in the set-up, it will be easier to identify where the issue lies.
 

SDKoala

M3LR RWD / MYLR
Apr 11, 2018
875
988
San Diego
If you know you're going to get the HPWC, there's really no reason to wait, especially if you're not sure the 14-50 is functional. Any electrician should be able to ensure the circuit is working before altering it. Also keep in mind that there may be a delay in getting the HPWC from Tesla. I don't know how it is now, but it took about 2 weeks to get it from Tesla, then I had to wait another 2 weeks for the electrician I hired to be available for the job. I didn't think to do any of this until after being invited to configure and the installation was done just a few days before I took delivery.
 
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Reactions: SW2Fiddler

TechVP

Active Poster
Nov 12, 2016
416
325
Corvallis, OR
Maybe you've already done this, but I would check w/ the Electrician who installed your NEMA 14-50 --- see if your wiring (the part he did) is the correct gauge to convert to a HPWC? In most cases, you'll need heavier gauge wire for the 72A the HPWC can pull. Which may have not been allowed for. Essentially the HPWC requires 2 gauge or larger (there is a 20% overage rule to consider). Codes vary based on municipalities, so check w/ your local electrician.

-TechVP
 
  • Disagree
Reactions: Rocky_H

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,577
11,127
Boise, ID
Maybe you've already done this, but I would check w/ the Electrician who installed your NEMA 14-50 --- see if your wiring (the part he did) is the correct gauge to convert to a HPWC? In most cases, you'll need heavier gauge wire for the 72A the HPWC can pull. Which may have not been allowed for. Essentially the HPWC requires 2 gauge or larger (there is a 20% overage rule to consider).
None of this is true. The wall connector does not "require" a high amp circuit. It can be selected to run on circuits as low as 15A. It can be on the existing 50A circuit that the 14-50 outlet is currently on. No wiring change is needed.
 
None of this is true. The wall connector does not "require" a high amp circuit. It can be selected to run on circuits as low as 15A. It can be on the existing 50A circuit that the 14-50 outlet is currently on. No wiring change is needed.
Yup. I had my HPWC installed on the same 50A circuit and had my electrician leave the NEMA 14-50 outlet in place so I could use it if the HPWC ever had an issue.
 

pilotSteve

Active Member
Jul 14, 2012
1,615
1,595
Prescott Az
Yup. I had my HPWC installed on the same 50A circuit and had my electrician leave the NEMA 14-50 outlet in place so I could use it if the HPWC ever had an issue.
apples and oranges here..... the HPWC can be set (dip switches) to deliver a range of power depending on what amperage you supply it. However.... if you want to have 80A max available then you do need to upgrade wire from that required of a 14-50.

So: if you want the easiest install, set HPWC to whatever your wiring and breaker allow; if you want to fastest charging possible, the upgrade the wiring (if needed) and install a 100A breaker. Your choice.
 
apples and oranges here..... the HPWC can be set (dip switches) to deliver a range of power depending on what amperage you supply it. However.... if you want to have 80A max available then you do need to upgrade wire from that required of a 14-50.

So: if you want the easiest install, set HPWC to whatever your wiring and breaker allow; if you want to fastest charging possible, the upgrade the wiring (if needed) and install a 100A breaker. Your choice.

This is true.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
8,577
11,127
Boise, ID
apples and oranges here..... the HPWC can be set (dip switches) to deliver a range of power depending on what amperage you supply it. However.... if you want to have 80A max available then you do need to upgrade wire from that required of a 14-50.
Of course, but one of those fruits is this misinformation that the wall connector can only be installed on high amp circuits, which I see people saying from time to time, and people need to get accurate information, that there are other options.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
16,095
58,021
Michigan
I'm looking to take delivery of my 3 in about a month and want to have my charging setup ready. In my 2 years of anticipation waiting for this car, I already had an electrician install wiring terminated to a NEMA 14-50. But I was foolish and didn't consider that I might be plugging and unplugging this in the rain, because the charger is in an outdoor location. I have decided to go for the HPWC, and now I'm wondering when is a good time to have the electrician come swap out the 14-50 to the HPWC. Should it be done before or after I have the car?

I want to have it done as soon as possible so its ready, but I'm wary that I can't test that the HPWC will be functional and installed correctly until I have the car to try charging with it. Is this something that can normally go wrong, or is swapping the outlet from the 14-50 to the HPWC pretty straightforward and I should just have it done before my delivery? Note I also have not tried whether the 14-50 is functional (I was told it is, but have never used it).

Assuming they installed the outdoor outlet with a GFCI breaker, I'd suggest upgrading to the HPWC now to avoid plugging/ unplugging cycles and potential nuisances GFCI trips. Invite a fellow NY TMCer over to test it.

See this thread for possibly relevant details:
 
  • Informative
Reactions: James K
Thanks everyone for all the tips. I'm gonna get in touch with my electrician to swap to the HPWC soon. When I initially did the install, I gave the electrician the spec sheet for the HPWC and said I wanted wiring to eventually upgrade to this, but for now I just want it terminated with a NEMA 14-50, so hopefully he used a large enough gauge. The difference in charge rate hopefully won't be too much of a concern for us as we don't drive too often (we're in NYC ). Just out of curiosity, how would I be able to tell if my outdoor outlet is GFCI? I know for household outlets, they have a little light, but not sure how to spot it on a NEMA 14-50.
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
16,095
58,021
Michigan
Thanks everyone for all the tips. I'm gonna get in touch with my electrician to swap to the HPWC soon. When I initially did the install, I gave the electrician the spec sheet for the HPWC and said I wanted wiring to eventually upgrade to this, but for now I just want it terminated with a NEMA 14-50, so hopefully he used a large enough gauge. The difference in charge rate hopefully won't be too much of a concern for us as we don't drive too often (we're in NYC ). Just out of curiosity, how would I be able to tell if my outdoor outlet is GFCI? I know for household outlets, they have a little light, but not sure how to spot it on a NEMA 14-50.
The outlet will be standard.The breaker will have a TEST buttom (image in thread I linked to above)
 
  • Informative
Reactions: James K and Rocky_H
The outlet will be standard.The breaker will have a TEST buttom (image in thread I linked to above)

Got it, just finished reading that thread and it answered all my questions. For the record here, my breaker doesn't have a TEST button, so it appears it is not GFCI. I'll be switching it to the HPWC anyway, so it shouldn't be a problem (according to that thread). Thanks!
 
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Reactions: mongo

bmah

Moderator, Supercharger Hunter
Global Moderator
Mar 17, 2015
5,189
11,343
Lafayette, CA, USA
Either way, if you absolutely want to be sure that your charging setup works, just invite a friend who owns a Tesla over to grab some electrons from you. Did that with the (first) NEMA 14-50 outlet in my garage, so I knew everything was ready when my car arrived.

Then you go back to waiting. :)

Bruce.
 
I decided to go for an HPWC because the cost was basically only the difference of the HPWC vs. the outlet (industrial multi-cycle ready 14-50 is about $100). Main reason for me was that I would end up buying a 2nd mobile adapter anyway because it seems like a good idea to just always have one in the car and never have to move it. That's $300, so basically cost difference ended up being about $100.

If I had my choice, it'd be installed within a day or 2 (either side) of the car, but because Tesla's been a bit slow in their window, the connector will proceed the car by about a month. On the plus side, if they run into any issues there's plenty of time to sort it out. And the company is one of Tesla's recommended, so I assume should charging somehow not work when the car arrives, I won't have any real issue with getting them to fix it.
 

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