TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Installing NEMA 14-50, would appreciate your thoughts

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Sylvius, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Sylvius

    Sylvius Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I'm collecting quotes to have a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed in our garage. Model S to be coming soon! One of the Tesla-listed contractors came by today. We have 2 200 amp panels, so power isn't a problem. However, he mentioned that he's recommending that, for Tesla installs, residential customers upgrade their panels to commercial grade because of the 42 amp draw of the Tesla. Forgive me if I use incorrect terms...electrical work is NOT my strong suit. He said that that level of power draw can cause degradation of the connection to the bus which could lead to problems with the car not charging. There is no fire risk, just malfunction of the breaker and then damage to the panel which, if it happened, would REQUIRE a replacement panel. The commercial grade panel install would be about $1800. He invited me to do some research online, and I can't think of a better place to start than here. Our house was built in 2005. I've read many posts about people installing both NEMA 14-50 and HPWC, but nobody has ever mentioned having to upgrade their panel to commercial grade.

    I'd appreciate any input. Please let me know if I need to provide more information.

    Thanks!
     
  2. spooky981

    spooky981 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Washington DC
    You've got to get at least one or two other companies in there for an estimate. I can't tell you if that's bullshit or not but you could definitely bounce it off other estimators for free.
     
  3. Sylvius

    Sylvius Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    The other contractor that came by didn't mention it at all. The third, which was another Tesla-listed electrician, said that he does these for a flat fee of $995 and didn't mention anything about the panel.
     
  4. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    42amp draw?

    50amp breaker = NEMA 14-50 = 40amp continuous draw
    60amp breaker = HPWC with 48A continuous draw
    etc.
     
    • Like x 2
  5. Sylvius

    Sylvius Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2016
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I'm pretty sure he said 42 amp, but perhaps he misspoke.
     
  6. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Messages:
    1,160
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Granted there isn't enough information in your post to judge what is and is nice necessary but my BS alarm when off a full power when I read "commercial grade panel"...

    Jeff
     
    • Like x 5
  7. dedicatedtek

    dedicatedtek Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2016
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    central texas
    My opinion - don't tell the electrician that this is for a Tesla. Electricians should be charging for the supplies and the time/labor. If that was the case, then how can there be a "flat fee".

    My house was built in 2007 - it was a cheap tract-builder / cookie cutter builder. I've got a single 200 amp panel. The electrician I called was a recommendation. I payed, for parts & labor, $375.00 for a Nema 14-50 to be installed.

    This is with my panel on the outside of the opposite wall of the 2 car garage.
     
  8. jaguar36

    jaguar36 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    NJ
    Certainly sounds like BS to me. I'd stay far away from that electrician.

    Even if its not, based on his logic you might as well just use your existing panel, if it causes a problem in the future then just pay the $1800 then.
     
    • Like x 1
  9. Galve2000

    Galve2000 Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2013
    Messages:
    373
    Location:
    NYC
    To be fair to the 1st electrician who wanted you to upgrade to commercial power, we do not know what the current draw is on each of your 200 amp panels.

    That said, I would be very surprised that there was not enough power in one of those panels for an extra 40 amps.

    in my parents summer home we have 2 x 200 Amp panels and I have a Clipper Creek CS-100 EVSE that gives 80 Amps max power. (currently set at Max 74 amps b/c that's the default dip-switch setting and I never had my electrician change it) But my Model S only has a single on-board charger so the car currently can only pull max 40 amps.

    I purchased an 80 amp EVSE long before I got my Model S b/c I wanted to future-proof, and there were not SuperChargers and other Level 3 chargers all over the place as there are today. If I was getting an EVSE today, i would stick with a NEMA 14-50 that maxes out at 40 amps, similar to u...

    Meantime $995 doesn't sound that bad for San Fran. can u tell us a bit more about your install?

    Things like:
    how far are the panels from the garage where yr car will be parked?
     
  10. Snerruc

    Snerruc Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2016
    Messages:
    228
    Location:
    Kailua kona
    If the panel has room for another 50 amp circuit, you have plenty of capacity for it. No one has said you don't. The first guy was right as far as new equipment. My installer, Tesla certified, used commercial breaker and receptical. For comparison, my install was $600 including permit. I live in Hawaii we and are pretty expensive.
     
  11. Hazelwood

    Hazelwood Member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2016
    Messages:
    59
    Location:
    94583
    I paid $375 as well and didn't require a commercial grade anything. One thing about this outlet is it's likely about the only thing you have drawing power(assuming you're running at night). I run my pool pump and charge car at night, but that's pretty much it.

    If you are charging during the day, while running a bunch of other appliances and air conditioning, then I'd be worried about draw. My $.02
     
  12. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    I agree, either the panel is rated for the installation or it's not. There's no such thing as a "commercial panel". The only time I would recommend someone replacing the entire panel is if either 1) the existing panel does not have enough power, or 2) it uses very old components that are known to be problematic, like the old Federal breakers.

    Commercial/industrial electrical installations typically use wire in conduit as opposed to sheathed cable like residential installations, is normally 3-phase vice single-phase, and sometimes uses more robust insulation on the wiring to protect against corrosive atmospheres like in factory/industrial plants. Some of that is required by code in those installations, but NONE of that is required at a standard residence.

    With 2x 200A panels, a simple NEMA 14-50 outlet should not require any panel upgrade unless you have a gigantic home and the load calculations wouldn't allow it.

    Make sure your electrician has quoted the cost of the permit and inspection. Those items are required by code, and necessary to make sure your homeowner's insurance covers any future problems.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2015
    Messages:
    4,866
    Location:
    NoVa
    Not all jurisdictions have permitting requirements.
     
  14. brantse

    brantse Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2015
    Messages:
    398
    Location:
    Somerset, PA
    I agree that this doesn't pass the sniff test to me. What make/model are your current panels? Save for a few exceptions, which FlasherZ could list for you, all compliant panels are designed for and should be safe to be used. Unless you happen to have one of those rare exceptions, I certainly wouldn't entertain replacing it; and especially not at that price.
     
  15. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2015
    Messages:
    531
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    True, if he happens to live where permitting isn't required, then no permit and inspection is necessary. However, I think those locales are not very common.
     
  16. Bimbels

    Bimbels GoldMember

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2016
    Messages:
    536
    Location:
    Newport, RI
    I agree that you should not tell the electrician it is for a Tesla - sad but it sounds like they are jacking the price because you can afford an expensive car.

    A NEMA 14-50 is a dryer plug. Would they require a commercial panel for a dryer? Or an RV? We have a 14-50 installed and did not require a commercial panel. Sounds like total BS.
     
  17. RAM_Eh

    RAM_Eh Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Messages:
    307
    Location:
    Toronto ON
    I am an electrician, estimator and electrical contractor.

    I call BS on the commercial panel.

    Call someone else. What I would use for the 14-50 receptacle is the commercial equal to the "stove" plug. The difference is price is about $
    $ 10.00 from one to the other. Everything else can be residential grade.

    If you have any specific questions just PM me. upload_2016-10-17_15-33-51.png
     
    • Like x 4
    • Helpful x 1
    • Informative x 1
  18. bart513

    bart513 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    978
    Location:
    East Hampton
    My local electrician charged me about $500 to install the NEMA 14-50 outlet. Part of it depends on how far from the circuit breaker box the outlet will be and, of course, if you have enough juice to power it.
     
  19. rypalmer

    rypalmer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    271
    Location:
    Canada
    You only need a commercial grade panel if you are using commercial grade electrons.
     
    • Like x 2
    • Funny x 2
    • Love x 1
  20. coolgj

    coolgj Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2014
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Lol
     

Share This Page