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Is it better to add a 14-50 outlet or hardwire an electric charger in garage?

I had an electrician came by to give a quote for a panel upgrade and to add a 14-50 outlet near the panel in my garage.
He mentioned to add that outlet, he would need to use a GFCI breaker which cost up to $250. He asked me to consider buying an electric car charger and he can hardwire it directly instead.

Some questions:
- Does anyone know if his claim that he need to use a GFCI breaker true?
- Is it better to hardwire or just add a 14-50 outlet for charging tesla?
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,507
7,141
Austin, TX
1. Gfci breaker is required by latest version of NEC. Many jurisdictions adopt that code. So, yes, it’s common. I think the price sounds high. I would expect $100 for the breaker.

2. Depends on your wishes. The hard wired connectors can go to 48a (on a 60a circuit) vs 32a with the UMC on a 40a circuit. So that’s a plus. However, they do cost more, but as he pointed out the breaker cost narrows the gap.
 
Last edited:
I had an electrician came by to give a quote for a panel upgrade and to add a 14-50 outlet near the panel in my garage.
He mentioned to add that outlet, he would need to use a GFCI breaker which cost up to $250. He asked me to consider buying an electric car charger and he can hardwire it directly instead.

Some questions:
- Does anyone know if his claim that he need to use a GFCI breaker true?
- Is it better to hardwire or just add a 14-50 outlet for charging tesla?
$250 for a GFCI breaker? I would suggest getting another estimate.
 
Maybe I can tell him I will buy the materials instead :)
But yes, I am getting 1-2 more quotes.

Oh and I should have added to my original post, the reason I think an outlet is still better is there is more flexibility in that route. If i sell the house in future, the buyers are not stuck with a charger I chose, etc
 

arnolddeleon

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
995
1,065
SF Bay Area
Maybe I can tell him I will buy the materials instead :)
But yes, I am getting 1-2 more quotes.

Oh and I should have added to my original post, the reason I think an outlet is still better is there is more flexibility in that route. If i sell the house in future, the buyers are not stuck with a charger I chose, etc
Solve for your needs not the future buyer. It will be easy enough to put in outlet afterward even if you hardwire a wall connector now.
 
FWIW, I had my Tesla Wall Charger installed last week and the electrician said the only issue would be making sure he had a breaker (60A) in stock as there is a breaker shortage right now and it can take a while to get one.... Luckily he had one in stock.

Shortage might be why some electricians are charging an "augmented" price...
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
7,835
9,857
Boise, ID
Oh and I should have added to my original post, the reason I think an outlet is still better is there is more flexibility in that route. If i sell the house in future, the buyers are not stuck with a charger I chose, etc
That is never, ever a valid reason. It takes almost no effort or time to remove a wall connector. It's not cemented into the foundations of your house.
 
i don’t know if you are handy or not, but installing an outlet close to the panel is very easy to do.
In my case, I had to run a conduit over 20 ft to the place I wanted, and my total cost was around $250. The wire (6/3) cost was over $120, and I bought the Tesla recommended outlet which was around $80. The hardest part was running the (very) heavy wire! And, it was inspected and passed by the city inspector.
 
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patrick40363

Active Member
Mar 25, 2014
1,243
660
Cali
Maybe I can tell him I will buy the materials instead :)
But yes, I am getting 1-2 more quotes.

Oh and I should have added to my original post, the reason I think an outlet is still better is there is more flexibility in that route. If i sell the house in future, the buyers are not stuck with a charger I chose, etc
Go with the plug. It is also more flexible if your next EV isn't a Tesla. I have a plug in my main house and use a J1772 wall unit to charge my 2 teslas.. I have a plug in my vacation home and leave a Tesla mobile charger plugged in there. Next owners will be able to use what they like.
 

arnolddeleon

Member
Supporting Member
Jul 21, 2012
995
1,065
SF Bay Area
1. Gfci breaker is required by latest version of NEC. Many jurisdictions adopt that code. So, yes, it’s common. I think the price sounds high. I would expect $100 for the breaker.

2. Depends on your wishes. The hard wired connectors can go to 48a (on a 60a circuit) vs 32a with the UMC on a 40a circuit. So that’s a plus. However, they do cost more, but as he pointed out the breaker cost narrows the gap.
With the caveat of check with your tax advisor. A hardwired High Power Wall Connector may be eligible for a tax credit. It might be harder to get the tax credit for just a 14-50 receptacle
 
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i don’t know if you are handy or not, but installing an outlet close to the panel is very easy to do.
In my case, I had to run a conduit over 20 ft to the place I wanted, and my total cost was around $250. The wire (6/3) cost was over $120, and I bought the Tesla recommended outlet which was around $80. The hardest part was running the (very) heavy wire! And, it was inspected and passed by the city inspector.
My panel ran out of space so i need to upgrade the panel first, and if the electrician would do the outlet for relatively cheap, then I figured i will just let him do it. The alternative is to have them upgrade the panel and i diy like you but that seems troublesome to me.. :D
 

qdeathstar

Completely Serious
May 17, 2019
4,332
4,502
VB
1617758081568.jpeg

99 bucks. I would likely charge $225 for this breaker. Then $425 for the circuit. If you told me you wanted to buy the breaker yourself I would likely tell you no. I’m too busy to bother with you buying your own breaker.


1617758271215.jpeg


CH breakers are more expensive. 160 for this fellow. $275 for this one.
 
View attachment 651547
99 bucks. I would likely charge $225 for this breaker. Then $425 for the circuit. If you told me you wanted to buy the breaker yourself I would likely tell you no. I’m too busy to bother with you buying your own breaker.


View attachment 651549

CH breakers are more expensive. 160 for this fellow. $275 for this one.
Thanks for sharing! Mind explaining what's the difference? And why the markup I guess? Is it hard to get some of them
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,576
4,055
NE Tennessee
I put in three NEMA 14-50 in my garage as it adds greatly to the flexibility. Over the the last 10 years we went from a Roadster to a Model 3 and a Volt to a RAV4 Prime. Needed different chargers in different places and it was very easy for me reconfigure. And yes such a plug would add more to resale value as the next owner may have an EV or be a welder or have an RV and a NEMA 14-50 checks all those boxes.
 
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qdeathstar

Completely Serious
May 17, 2019
4,332
4,502
VB
Thanks for sharing! Mind explaining what's the difference? And why the markup I guess? Is it hard to get some of them

you need to buy the breaker that matches your existing panel. So it just depends on what your current panel is. CH type breakers cost more than Square D homeliness breakers.

I charge a markup because I am in the business to make money.
 
Man, am I glad I learned to use a screwdriver when I was in High School! I put a 14-50 outlet in the wall of my garage, ran my own wire (you can get all necessary information on sizes, etc. on line) and connected it to a 50 amp breaker. As my breaker was full, it was simple to buy two half-size breakers and make room for the new one. Sure, I'm happy to support a local electrician, but not when I can check with the city myself, get a permit, and do the work.
 
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drtimhill

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
2,921
3,774
Seattle
Maybe I can tell him I will buy the materials instead :)
But yes, I am getting 1-2 more quotes.

Oh and I should have added to my original post, the reason I think an outlet is still better is there is more flexibility in that route. If i sell the house in future, the buyers are not stuck with a charger I chose, etc

While that's true, I wound not factor it in .. the cost is tiny compared to the overall house value. Ultimately for me it was convenience, it's nice just to grab the Tesla charge cable, push the button, and plug it in.
 

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