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Is it ok to let the UMC hang on the outlet ?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by punkchip, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. punkchip

    punkchip Member

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    As the title says. Can the weight of the UMC, if plugged in a 14 -50 receptacle, damage the cord or the receptacle ? It wouldn't be the whole UMC, just the box and the cord above it, and a about 2 or 3 feet of cord below it.

    thanks
     
  2. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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  3. smsprague

    smsprague Member

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    Before I switched to the HPWC I did not like it hanging - fixed with a $5 hook from Lowes

    2d65dc8afe8b87539e407eef91ab2e24.jpg
     
  4. NigelM

    NigelM Recovering Member

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  5. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    My UMC's been hanging on the outlet for almost 2 years. No issues. Just make sure the plug is fully inserted into the outlet and you should be fine.
     
  6. PlanB

    PlanB Banned

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  7. bollar

    bollar Disgruntled Member

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    The manual is clear that you shouldn't support the UMC from the plug, but most of us do it anyway.

     
  8. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Agreed, it is prudent to remove any torque on the UMC plug. Some of the threads that Nigel references show a number of approaches to remove the weight off of the plug. Here's my approach.

    I use a hose reel to store my UMC cable when its not in use.

    attachment.php?attachmentid=30681&d=1379281691.jpg

    When the UMC is in use I use the hose reel to support the UMC and take the weight off of the hanging UMC controls and cable.

    UMC support.jpg

    Larry
     
  9. Trnsl8r

    Trnsl8r Blue 85kwh since 12/8/12

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    Same here. Verbatim.
     
  10. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Hi Todd,

    That's good to hear. I'm not suggesting that letting the UMC dangle from the outlet means that you're in imminent risk of burning down your garage. However, it's been my experience that if I dangle the full weight of the UMC from the outlet I can't get the plug to fully insert into the outlet without it slightly torquing out of the outlet.

    The illustration in the UMC manual with the red "X" accurately describes what I see when I dangle the UMC unsupported.

    UMC manual plug support.jpg


    I figure its better to be safe than sorry.

    Larry
     
  11. BlueTan85

    BlueTan85 Member

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    I've owned my S for about 14 months and every day I do this:

    * Go down to garage, pop open the trunk hatch.
    * Walk to charge port, press button on charger plug, pull out plug.
    * Holding the plug, gathering the cable, I walk over to wall, pull the plug out of NEMA 14-50 outlet
    * Walk back to trunk, roll up the cable, stow the cable and UMC and plug etc in the cubby area of trunk
    * Close trunk
    * Get in car and go.

    And then I reverse the process when I get home.

    So every single day, I pull the plug out of NEMA 14-50 outlet, and plug it back in. So I reckon, 800 opens and closes of the trunk minimum (hope THAT doesn't fail!). And 800 inserts/pullouts of the plug from NEMA outlet.

    It's a condo garage. I have no choice. Can't leave it lying around. But yeah, I let it hang from the outlet. So far so good.
     
  12. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    I have one of the brackets to hold the UMC. Of course, when traveling, no choice but to hang it from the plug. Note that the manual illustrates the 120V adapter not the more robust 14-50.
     
  13. bob_p

    bob_p Member

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    The $25 Wall Connector Cable Organizer Tesla sells/provides for use with the HPWC should also work as a hook for the UMC cable.

    Since the HPWC is hardwired into the wall, the charging cable is run inside the hook. For the UMC, the cable could be draped over the hook so the UMC can be easily disconnected for trips.
     
  14. UberEV1

    UberEV1 Member

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    The amount of current flowing through the plug is sufficient enough to warrant a good, solid connection to the wall socket. That is why many believe the UMC controller "brick" should be supported (to reduce the downward force on the plug), and over the past year a number of members have posted pretty clever ways of providing support, some costing almost nothing. Given that Tesla sells the cord and plug hangar, it is somewhat surprising they don't offer something to relieve the UMC controller weight as well. This is what inspired my son and I to put our 3D printer to the task.

    Many thanks to those above who mentioned our UMC bracket in this thread. This has been a fun little project for us, with my 16 year old son handling all "the business." Several weeks ago we had a string of orders in different colors, so we were able to take the picture below before shipping them out, but never got around to posting it. This seems like as good a place as any to show the variety that is possible from 3D printing (although black is by far the most common).

    image.jpeg
     
  15. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Supporting the weight of the UMC and not dangling is always good. As shown in the illustration from Larry, it is essential with a 5-15; with a 14-50, you should support the UMC, but I have found that it is not essential. The 14-50 is larger with a larger base, the pins are larger in the plug, and springs are stronger in the outlet; all of those multiply up to generating a larger moment that can support the UMC if an urgent need happens.
     
  16. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    I agree with the general sentiment of the posters here that the forcing the UMC head to bear the weight of the cable and electronics module is not ideal. And the manual agrees as well.

    And it's not just the weight: as the cable is moved around during normal use it's going to incur additional stress on that UMC head. The cable is not thin, and especially in cold weather that can can case some not-insiginifacnt additoinal strain.

    As the head incorporates an adapter, it is unusually long, therefore it acts a a "lever" on the electrical contact mating surfaces of the outlet, as well as the pins within the adapter itself.

    Best solution: but one of the newly price-reduced HPWC's for permanent installations and keep the UMC as what it was designed for: a Universal Mobile Connector...
     
  17. smsprague

    smsprague Member

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    Agree at $750 or even cheaper on eBay the HPWC is hard to beat - plus you have backup with your UMC if you both a 14-50 plug and HPWC
     
  18. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    I agreed that the plug is more likely to pull out of the outlet when using the 5-15 adapter. However, as I mentioned it has been my observation that even using the 14-50 adapter the weight of the controls and cable still produces enough torque on the plug to slightly back it out of the outlet. Whether or not one considers it "essential" to support the weight is really a function of how they approach avoidable risk. Many people would probably agree that backing the plug out of a 240 volt outlet is a bigger issue than backing it out of a 110 volt outlet considering the higher voltage and current we are dealing with.

    In my case it didn't even cost me anything extra to take the prudent precaution of relieving the weight off of the outlet since I needed the hose reel anyway to store the cable when not in use. When in use it is a simple matter of draping the controler over the cable reel to relieve the pressure and keep the plug firmly against the outlet.

    Larry
     
  19. tdiggity

    tdiggity Member

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  20. Cerie

    Cerie Member

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    My 14-50 has a big gray box around it and I just used some 3M velcro tape and stuck the "brick" of the UMC onto the side of the box. I imagine it would also work stuck to the wall for those of us not drill inclined :) Whatever takes the weight off.
     

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