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 and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Is it possible to add a charger outlet to my condo?

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by Rodo, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. Rodo

    Rodo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California, USA
    Hi all,

    I want to install a charger outlet, for a Model 3, in the garage of my condo and after checking the cable that supplies power to the panel inside my condo in NEC table 310.15(B)(16) .... It is not looking good at all, I think. I need some help verifying the info I got. I did call an electrician and he was here but he hasn't gotten back to me yet.

    The service cable to my condo has the following label, sorry for the caps I was just copying what's on the cable:
    "ALCAN S STABILOY(R) TYPE SE CABLE STYLE SER TYPE XHHW CDRS 600 VOLTS 3 CDRS 4 AL 1 CDR 6 AL (UL) 1985"

    This is aluminum cable. It is AWG 4 for the three conductor that are insulated (Hot) and AWG 6 for the uninsulated ground, right? That is what I see inside the breaker box if I remove the panel inside my condo.

    The main breaker to my condo is 60A. I checked the aluminum cable rating with the NEC table 310.15(B)(16). This table shows 55A (for 60C), 65A (for 75C), 75A (for 90C). It looked like I'm either 65A or 75A with cable type "XHHW". There is a note on that table to go check table 310.104. This table shows the different types. I found "XHHW" and it says that 65A is for wet locations and 75A for dry and damp locations. My cable is on the inside of the building (maybe in the external wall behind the stucco, not sure) and I don't see it going underground so I'm thinking is dry location so 75A is the max amps. The external wall faces the sunset so it gets pretty warm in the summer. I figure 75A with derating for temperature, about 60A? Breaker is maxed out no current available for charger extra breaker?

    Please tell me I'm wrong! More info available upon request ... I called another electrician, I'm getting impatient that the first hasn't called back yet, but he wanted to charge me $150 to check what was possible.

    Thanks
     
  2. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    You can probably do something but u don’t have much head room ..maybe post up pic of panel so can see what’s there now
     
  3. rdlink

    rdlink Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2018
    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Colorado
    I’m no electrician, but if your main service breaker is only 75 amp I think you’re going to have a hard time installing a 60 amp breaker in that panel. Assuming there is room in the panel for a two pole 60 amp breaker?

    I used the attached website to calculate my amperage draw. I have a 150 amp service line, and I am only drawing around 90 amps with all of my appliances and the car charger. And my car charger will only be pulling overnight, when I am in bed, and all of my heavy draw appliances are down for the night.

    Plug your numbers in and see what you get. Make sure to include all of our appliances, including the car charger, and the AC and heat.

    Whole House Load Calculator
     
  4. Charlie_T

    Charlie_T Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Foster City
    I have a 90 Amp service to my condo and was able to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet in my garage with condo and city approval. However installing a 60 amp circuit if you only have 75 amps total service would probably be pushing it. Maybe you can get your service upgraded or get an additional meter installed with EV specific service.

    By the way, I know you didn't ask about this, but California has a law prohibiting HOAs from preventing owners from installing EV charging stations in their garages except in very extraordinary circumstances. You can see the law at Civil Code § 4745 – Electric Vehicle Charging Stations .
     
  5. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    Ouch. That may be tough. So I *think* "Service Entrance" cable (you have SER which is a type of SE cable) used for a service feeder is still allowed to be used at the 75c rating (which is odd, since NM cable which has similar jacketing is only allowed to be used to 60c). So that gives you 65 amps of ampacity to your service. So a 60 amp main service breaker makes sense.

    How many miles do you drive per day on average? What is your commute distance?

    Please do post detailed pictures of your breaker panel and schedule (list of what the circuits do).

    At the end of the day, you can probably add some kind of breaker to the panel (maybe, depends on your other loads), but I doubt it would be anything greater than a 20a 240v circuit (depending on your driving habits this might be workable!)

    Actually, do you have an electric dryer in your unit? I wonder if you could get a dryer buddy and have it interlocked so either the car or the dryer could run at one time (dryer is 30a circuit - 24a continuous draw is max allowed on a 30a circuit and you have to calculate it as if it was 30a).

    Btw, how far would you need to run power to the car? Is it easy to run from your panel to the garage? Is it a dedicated garage just for your use below your unit?

    60a is a pretty amazingly small service, though if all your heating and cooling is not powered by that I see why they would go that small. I should also ask- Are you 120/208v? Or 120/240v?

    Also I wonder: There is a rule that says if you have a service entrance that feeds an entire residence, you can under-size that by only calculating it as if it was 83% of what it would otherwise be. I wonder if it would be allowed to classify your unit in that way and then be able to push a little more than 60a on your main service feed?
     
  6. 92683

    92683 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    socal, ca
    never thought of this. i dont know much about electical but i would assume they can bring in a new line for you from the main breaker.
     
  7. Rodo

    Rodo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California, USA
    Hey thanks for all the replies. Here are pictures of the panel and answers to your questions:

    The EV will be used mostly after work for local driving. Maybe 10-20 miles per day for the first few weeks of getting it but after the excitement wears off just as needed. My average miles/year for the last 10 years is about 8000 miles/year. I'll be using my old ICE car for work (20 -year old civic, I bought it brand new in 1997 ...lol). My round trip miles to/from work are only 15 miles anyhow.

    Service to my condo is 120/240v.

    The 40A breaker is for the A/C-Heater unit (on the roof of my condo). I think they call them packaged units. The heater uses gas ... like my stove. I hardly ever use the A/C except in very how summer days. There is no electric dryer or outlet for it in the garage. The outlets in the garage are 120VAC from two different breakers. I think the (gas) dryer and washing machine on one breaker and the garage door opener and another outlet in another breaker.

    The run for the charger outlet would be around 15 ft. from the panel upstairs straight down to the garage wall. The panel has a breaker for a microwave. That was a very old microwave that I removed when I moved in. there is nothing on that outlet now. I have a GE over the range microwave.

    I think I could have a 40A breaker (32A continuous) if I only use it when the A/C is not running, which is most of the time. But how do you do that and pass inspection? Is a warning label enough "Do Not Use With A/C"? That sounds silly ...lol.

    Thanks guys!
     

    Attached Files:

  8. 92683

    92683 Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    socal, ca
    this just went above my paygrade.
     
    • Funny x 1
  9. CapnLoki

    CapnLoki Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Boston
    #9 CapnLoki, Aug 8, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
    i just installed a 6-20 outlet near my driveway. Although I might have been able to do a 14-50 in the garage at some expense, the 6-20 involved re-purposing an unused A/C breaker and running a simple wire about 20 feet. The total cost (parts & labor) was $275. A Model 3 charges at 15 miles per hour on a 6-20, which means amost 200 miles in 12 hours - plenty for my needs. I would think if you have only 60A service, you'd never actually be able to use 50 amps for charging, and even 32 amps would be a problem if you also run A/C and a toaster. If you have a supercharger nearby to handle to odd time you might need a fast charge, this might be the best solution.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    What brand box is this ?
     
  11. eprosenx

    eprosenx Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2018
    Messages:
    710
    Location:
    Beaverton, OR
    I think it might be Murray.

    @Rodo can you post a picture of the sticker on he panel door that has all the specs of the panel?
     
    • Informative x 1
  12. Rodo

    Rodo Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    California, USA
    Panel is challenger. Here is the sticker. Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    I would consider a panel upgrade before adding any EV equipment ...those panels like zinsco were known for fires
     
    • Like x 1
  14. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Colorado
  15. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    In addition to his bad panel that is also a fire waiting to happen ..and is dangerous ..for something like this not good to shortcut ..should be done properly starting with a good base which is the panel
     
  16. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Colorado
    Do you have any data to backup the claim that this is dangerous? Quick220 devices are UL listed and have multiple safety circuits.
     
  17. CapnLoki

    CapnLoki Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2018
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    Boston
    Of course, this only works if the two outlets are out of phase, that is, on different legs of the house supply. Panels are often setup so that adjacent breakers are on different legs to roughly balance the load.
     
  18. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Colorado
    This is true, but it's pretty easy to rearrange breakers. Finding outlets on different circuits is the hard part.
     
  19. P85_DA

    P85_DA Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,572
    Location:
    Chula Vista, CA
    I’m not talking specifically this product more the workaround of using 2 120s to make a 240 ..the OP came with a legit question but his base line should be safe ..the panel probably needs upgrading and during that process his breakers could probably be rearranged such that he does a proper 240 ...even if he decides to stay with panel it’s still better to rearrange breakers and maybe do a lower amp 240 ...
     
  20. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2017
    Messages:
    1,255
    Location:
    Colorado
    I agree, a hardwired solution is probably preferable. However, when you start talking panel upgrades and running new circuits it starts to get pretty pricey. The nice thing about converting existing circuits is that there's no worries about capacity, which is probably the ops biggest problem. There's nothing inherently unsafe about this.
     
    • Like x 1

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC