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Ludicrous price for garage 14-50 receptacle??

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by GuyGadois, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. GuyGadois

    GuyGadois Member

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    I was just about to order my first 85D when I thought it would be best to check with the Tesla recommended electrician about adding a 14-50 receptacle in our garage under our house. We were told that we needed to update our panel to a 200amp meter main and then run the conduit under the house to the garage which is about 100 feet (maybe 150 max). The price quoted was for $4665 and didn't include changing the conduit from 2" to 3" from the panel to the street which may be required by PG&E and/or our county. That was estimated to add about 5k to 10k to the already quoted amount and put us out of our house for at least 3 days. Total bummer because I went from being so excited to order my first Tesla to bummed at the price and hassle. I wasn't planning on spending this amount and am rethinking the idea. Tesla said it usually costs $800. Granted, they didn't know our panel had to be upgraded.

    Has anyone else been in a similar situation having to upgrade a main panel and run a long conduit to the garage? I plan on getting a couple of more bids this week to see if the first quote was accurate.

    Cheers,

    GG
     
  2. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #2 linkster, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
    1. is conduit required or can you run Romex?
    2. might your existing load center calcs support a 30A 240V charging circuit (have been charging on a 14-30 (yes, they are still around if you "dig") in the north with a 200A service and a 14-50 in the south with a 150A service for over 2.5 yrs 55K miles with 80 and 160 mile commutes)
    3. you may consider a few more estimates for your incoming used Leaf or stackable washer/dryer, but NEVER a Tesla$$$$ :wink:

    Good Luck!
     
  3. David_Cary

    David_Cary Member

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    Yikes - that is certainly a complex and expensive sounding job. A couple of random thoughts. Anything less than 200 amps is pretty inadequate for most households. I have 400. So your house is sort of the problem. I'll assume it is old or small or both.

    So going to 200 may just be a good idea.

    Alternatively, if you have NG, you could possibly convert somethings to NG that are electric now for a lower cost - ie hot water heater and oven and dryer. You could also get by with less than 40 amps. I'm charging right now at 20 amps. I actually have 2 EVs and survive on a single 20 amp circuit (circuit is more - the EVSE limits to 20). I ran the wire a while ago but I've been too lazy to put the breaker in and the receptacle on. 7000 miles in 5 months. The Leaf has 30k in 2.5 years. We have a long off peak time though 9p-10a in the summer, 9p-6a in the winter).

    So if you house isn't way overdue for a new panel - I'd try without. Limit yourself to 20 amps - there are ways to safely do that. What you asked for was to add a 40 amp circuit - presumably you didn't get alternatives.

    The garage under the house thing I don't get. Like a basement garage. Why can't you go straight down? Then you state 100 feet?

    (I first thought SLO was St Louis - then PG&E redirected me. Presumably in CA, you have all NG appliances)
    Survival on 20 amps (if it helps) is very doable especially with a nearby supercharger or Chademo.
     
  4. rlang59

    rlang59 Member

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    That would really depend on if ones heating appliances (furnace, oven, range, dryer, etc) are natural gas or not.
     
  5. Rifleman

    Rifleman Now owns 2 Model S's!!!

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    My home only has a 150 amp breaker, and I charge both of my Model S's on it. I do set them to charge at only 25 amps when they are both plugged in, however. I plan on upgrading the main panel in the house in a few months to allow for are juice to be sent to the cars. I would get another quote, electricians vary wildly in price, you may be able to do alot better.
     
  6. Max*

    Max* Autopilot != Autonomous

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  7. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    me think's you're getting ripped off hardcore. NEMA 14-50 install shouldn't cost more than $400 max.
     
  8. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    My house was built in the 1940's, my garage in the 1920's.
    I charge my Smart ED on 120V 12A and add 100 km of range overnight no problem.

    When we got the Tesla, we put a 14-50R on the side of the house near the drive way, and ran the wires from the existing box. The large battery in the Tesla means we only needed to charge a few times per week.

    Remember that Tesla also provides adaptors for 30A circuits if that would be a cheaper option. You could even drop the charging down to 16A for the Tesla if you had existing 240V wiring to the garage.

    Get another quote, and ask for some options like we've outlined in the replies to you.
     
  9. jeffro01

    jeffro01 Active Member

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    Sounds actually pretty reasonable to me just based on what I paid for similar work on my previous house. It all depends on load and your house service. Sounds like your house is like mine 125amp service which isn't very much if you have an electric stove, air conditioner, electric clothes dryer, etc... Then put the Tesla full 40amp load on the system and the math may not add up.

    It's hard to say without seeing your panel, etc... One thing I can promise you is PG&E is going force you to upgrade that conduit if indeed you are going to change your service.

    Jeff
     
  10. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    What is your current panel's service capacity? Did the electrician do the residential load calcs to determine that you couldn't add 40 amps or was it so obvious from what you already have that it wasn't going to check out?

    The one thing about going to 200 amps you can use NEC[FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, lucida grande, arial, helvetica, sans-serif] 220.82 (optional method) which allows the sum of all your loads to be much higher than 200 amps.[/FONT]

    [FONT=verdana, geneva, lucida, lucida grande, arial, helvetica, sans-serif]Any time you have to upgrade your service panel, it's going to be expensive especially if you have to pull new wire underground from the street to your panel. The quote seems low to me.[/FONT]
     
  11. Discoducky

    Discoducky Active Member

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    Get 2 more quotes and we can compare labor, parts and permits. Sounds like 2k is a more appropriate ballpark though
     
  12. wraithnot

    wraithnot Model S VIN #5785

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    When I bought our Model S in 2013, the quote from the Tesla recommended electrician to install a 14-50 seemed kind of high so I got a second lower quote for $350 and went with that one (we had an easy job since the subpanel was already in the garage and the outlet was installed right below the panel). We only had 100 amp service, but we programmed the car to only charge at night so we never had a problem.

    About a year later we moved to a house in a nicer neighborhood (but still with 100 amp service) where the powerlines are underground and got a fairly outrageous ballpark estimate of $17,000 to upgrade to 200 amp service and then run a 50 amp circuit to the garage. I'm sure we could do a bit better if we shopped around, but digging up the street and paying our local utility (PG&E) if they need to upgrade the neighborhood transformer is going to be fairly expensive. So we're planning to keep the 100 amp service and just have a 30 amp or 50 amp outlet installed in the garage since that worked last time (I don't know the price for the install this time since it's bundled with a larger renovation).

    I doubt we'll ever upgrade to 200 amp service since I imagine home batteries like the Tesla Powerwall that can supplement the power from the grid during peak demand will get more and more common in a few years.
     
  13. anxman

    anxman Member

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    A 200A breaker isn't necessary to power a NEMA 14-50 port @ 40A. The 200A breaker is only necessary to power the HPWC @ 80A. I'd ask another electrician how you can "install a 40A dryer plug in my garage" and that should eliminate the confusion.

    Your electrician may have read the HPWC installation guide, or something, which could be confusing him on the requirements. I had a similar problem with mine. Granted, my breaker is in my carport so it's easy to run the wiring for me.
     
  14. sorka

    sorka Active Member

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    Both and neither could be true. It all depends on what the load calcs come out to.

    http://iaeimagazine.org/magazine/2013/05/16/residential-service-calculations-in-the-national-electrical-code/

    Also, it looks like 220.82 can be used with 100 amp service as well. You just have to run the numbers.
     
  15. DougH

    DougH Active Member

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    Your garage was built before your house?
     
  16. AWDtsla

    AWDtsla Active Member

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    Bah, that load calculation is hopelessly outdated. It says you're going to draw 72.5 amps of 120 for lighting a 2900 sq foot house? Install some flourescants/leds. That number should be more like 3 amps! Split over 240 that buys you back a whopping 35 amps to charge your Tesla with. Same goes for getting a modern AC/heat pump. It will take literally half the load.
     
  17. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    I charge mine on a 100 amp house supply at night with no problem at all.
     
  18. GuyGadois

    GuyGadois Member

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    I believe the problem is that making changes to the panel requires a permit which in our area requires a load calculation and drawing.
     
  19. Porkbone

    Porkbone New Member

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    If you have a detached garage it can get spendy. I have 200A service in my house, luckily already had conduit running under the house to the garage. Had to install a 100A main breaker panel in the garage itself, and the total cost was probably about $2k including everything. Took the guy almost all day.
     
  20. SmartElectric

    SmartElectric Active Member

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    Correct. The garage was built before because the existing stone house was then rebuilt in 1947 as a cape cod style home. Lovely.
     

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