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Installing Charger in Garage

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by Dr Doom, Jan 9, 2017.

  1. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    Hi guys:

    I am picking up my model x and I am moving into a home with a garage without a charger. I want to install it off the electrical panel that is opposite side of the home in the basement level.

    Has anyone run into this issue? Can I run the wiring outside the home? Also how much of cost is this approximately? I know this is rough estimate. thanks
     
  2. thimel

    thimel Member

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    You'll just have to get quotes from a few electricians. I'd guess it would will be $1,000 within a factor of two.
     
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  3. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    I would have a washer/dryer nearby the garage. would an electrician be able to use that for the charger?
     
  4. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    You are not installing a charger. You may be installing an electrical outlet. The charger is built into the X.
     
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  5. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure this All Out

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    You can only plug one in at a time.

    I can't see plugging and unplugging a dryer every time you want to charge the car or dry your clothes, let alone the safety factor.
     
  6. trmmcd

    trmmcd Member

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    I had this same issue and the install was expensive - about 2k if I recall. The run was from one end of the house to the other. They were able to run the cable through the attic so I don't know about running it outside the house. I think I likely overpaid, but at least you now have a benchmark to try to beat.
     
  7. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

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    Not knowing the distance is an outright guess on everyone's part.

    Distance=
    finished basement?

    50' of 3/3 armor cable is approximately $180.00 - Romex is not much cheaper in my experience.
     
  8. wiredprairie

    wiredprairie Member

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    We had two options for getting 2 NEMA 14-50 circuits installed for our new Model S in Wisconsin.

    Our electrical panel is in our basement, in a finished area of a room. To pull the cable, the electrician had to cut two holes in the drywall, make a few holes in the ceiling, and then pull the cable to our garage, that is also finished (drywalled, insulated, and painted). In the garage, we opted for a surface mount, with the cable in metal conduit. That terminated at a 240V plug (for future use), and the electrician installed a Tesla wall connector.Total cable length is about 70 foot for each run.

    We had two estimates, one from a local Tesla trained electrician and another licensed electrician we've for other projects. The estimates were both within $50 and in the end we paid the Tesla trained electrician to do the work for $1950.

    The option we selected for pulling the cable was completely an indoor route. However, our second option was to route the electrical cable through conduit outside the house. There weren't any issues with that other than it meant a few holes would need to be drilled to the outside of the house. (And the other issue was the day they were scheduled to do the work, the high temperature was going to be -12F).

    And we also have 34 solar panels that use conduit outside the house to feed DC power. The electrician painted the conduit to match the house, so it doesn't stand out and looks fine. But, depending on your situation, conduit (and painting it) may not be a great option.

    So, while I'm a long way from being a licensed electrician, depending on your local electrical code, it seems likely that you could route the electric cabling outside.

    Also, we checked with an electrician BEFORE we put a deposit on our car to make sure we weren't going to run into any issues.

    Best advice: call an electrician for an estimate. It may not be as simple as pulling new cable. You may need upgraded panels, service, etc.

    Check to see if there's a local Tesla expert here.
     
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  9. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    thanks for the help everyone. the approximate distance from panel to the garage would be about 100 feet. it's almost at opposite ends of the home. the reason why i was hoping to do a cable outside would be because i have a finished basement and it would be a hassle to run the cable thru the whole basement.

    is there a safety issue of running it outside if there is snow or rain outside? i am rather clueless to this all. thanks.
     
  10. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    Well local electrical code compliance is going to dictate whether its safe and permissible. I hope you are using a licensed electrician and I hope he's pulling a permit from your city/county. If later you decide to sell your house, you don't want to be worrying about making that circuit legal. If its metal conduit going outside around the house, its going to be visible. You want it done right. But you should not be asking us if its going to be okay to do it. Its a "electrical code" issue. Get some quotes. Will your existing service panel support a dedicated 50 amp circuit being added to your house draw?

    (Mine did not. I live in a townhouse. I had to get HOA approval, city/county approval then allow the licensed contractor to replace my service panel and upgrade my house from 100 amp to 200 amp service. $3,000. Lucky for me, I was adding another round of solar panels to my house, and the city required the upgrade before I could install the panels. So, it became part of the solar panel project and therefore qualified for fed and state tax credits in conjunction with the solar panel installation. )
     
  11. wiredprairie

    wiredprairie Member

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    Call at least one licensed and bonded electrician for an estimate.

    They'll come out to evaluate the situation. I'm sure there are options in your area. Any guesstimates you get here are just guesses. Assuming the work is done to local code, weather shouldn't be an issue. Ask questions to understand their proposals. If they can't answer reasonable questions and explain their process and the work, find another electrician.

    You'll only get generic advice here that may not be applicable to your local laws and situation. Also check your deed restrictions if you have any. They may restrict your options as well. Some neighborhoods don't allow outside visible wiring in conduit or otherwise.

    To set expectations, good busy electricians may be scheduling more than a few weeks out from the day you sign a contract. Further, as permits are likely needed, it may further delay the installation.
     
  12. wiredprairie

    wiredprairie Member

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    Here are two photos of some of the work I'd mentioned in an earlier post.

    The top image is where the electric vehicle (and solar) conduit is in our garage. As I mentioned, it's all surface mounted. The junction boxes are for the connection where the cabling enters from an unfinished basement area and then crosses that unfinished area to a finished part of our basement.

    inside1.jpg

    This is of a small portion of the work that was done for our solar panels. Here, the electrician used conduit which was painted to blend in better with the house. It's tucked under a deck in a discreet area of our house, so most people wouldn't know it's there. As you can see, it's hardly inconspicuous though and I'd not want to see long runs of that on the outside of our house. (Ignore the black cable underneath as that's not electrical).

    outside1.jpg
     
  13. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    thanks for the help guys! I reached out the electrician my delivery specialist recommended and will try to get a quote soon.

    I don't think the current panel can handle 50 amps so I am already estimating the cost of upgrading the panel and installation to be expensive. like a couple thousands dollars worth expensive. I have heard there is a federal tax credit of 1000 dollars for installing electric car charger?
     
  14. wiredprairie

    wiredprairie Member

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    The tax credit I believe you're referring to expired for the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit December 31, 2016.

    Alternative Fuels Data Center

    Check here for what might apply for your situation.
     
  15. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    crap! damn I wished i had moved into the new home sooner. oh well.
     
  16. acadapter

    acadapter Member

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    You posted my exact same scenario --- Finished basement, panel opposite end of the house in the basement. Run was about 95feet. I went with the 100A circuit and Tesla Charging Station. I had 5 quotes, include 2 that mentioned the run would have to be external to avoid several drywall holes throughout my house. My very last quote was from an electrician with far more experience in EV than the others (including the company that actually wired my entire home when it was built). He pulled all of the permits, scheduled the inspector, installed the emergency off switch in the garage that is required in my state and only put two holes in my drywall in the room where my panel is (including installing panel covers). All for cheaper than every other quote I received.

    Definitely shop around.
     
  17. timx

    timx Member

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    As a point of reference, upgraded outside transformer to 37.5, ran new underground feeds, added a second 200A power meter outside house (400A total), ran conduit 60ft through utility chase in basement, added new 200A panel with 90A breaker, ran line from breaker 20ft to powerwall. Cost: $2800 electrician labor/materials (not including powerwall). Utility upgrades were free luckily. No drywall cutting needed thanks to access panels.

    A previous install of just adding a 40A wall charger running 30ft to existing panel with new breaker cost $600 for electrician labor/materials.

    Around my area, electricians bill around $100/hr.
     
  18. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

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    That sounds like a bargain for the amount of work done.

    One of the best things about this forum is hearing the experiences of others. It makes us more knowledgeable, helps us understand processes and gives us a warm and fuzzy that what we are going through is reasonable and acceptable.
     
  19. Dr Doom

    Dr Doom Member

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    how did the electrician run the wire in the basement? was it run up the ceiling? do you have any pics I could see of how the wire is running? I'm going to get a couple quotes but likely use the Tesla recommended one.
     
  20. wiredprairie

    wiredprairie Member

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    Can you tell what way the joists/beams are running that support the first floor? If they run perpendicular, fishing a 50A circuit cable through your ceiling inexpensively will be far more unlikely. In our house for example they run perpendicular to the width of the house meaning a run of a new cable inside is extremely difficult. Actually, without a drywall cut the entire distance, it would not be possible.

    If you have any unfinished area of your basement, check the beams there.

    Expect phrases like: "Until I start cutting I won't know for sure."
     

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