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Melted 14-50 Outlet

6H057

Member
Oct 23, 2019
88
27
SC
So I woke up to my Model 3 not charged. I noticed the GFI was tripped. I’ve heard in the past that using the 14-50 adapter on an UMC isn’t a reliable source. Anyone else have this experience? Any advise? I’ve had my Model 3 for ~2 years and have been using this form of charging the entire time.
 

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jmaddr

Active Member
Mar 29, 2019
1,072
1,074
Florida
Wow, was it your GFI that tripped or the breaker itself. Looks like it got too hot.

When you say "I’ve heard in the past that using the 14-50 adapter on an UMC isn’t a reliable source" what adapter are you talking about? The 14-50 Tesla adapter you are holding up in the second photo? There are thousands that use that everyday so I'd consider it extremely reliable.

What brand is that outlet? Many of the sub $50 outlets are designed for things that get unplugged rarely and so cannot hold up to constant plugging and unplugging. Not sure if you do that with your UMC or not. Tesla gives a few examples of "high quality, industrial grade receptacles"
https://www.tesla.com/sites/default...cles,recharge rate of about 25 miles per hour.
 

mrau

Authorized Driver
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2018
456
867
Mid-Michigan
I would also suspect that the outlet is a cheaper one and the wires to it not properly tightened down.

Curious if you unplug this from the outlet regularly or do you leave it plugged in. Looks like the breaker did its job.

I would get another 14-50 pigtail adapter from Tesla, that one could have damage inside. The UMC it self may be good. You can test it using the standard 120 volts adapter.

Replace with a quality outlet (Hubbell or Bryant) and have it wired properly. A 14-50 setup is still a good way to go if you can leave the UMC plugged into the outlet most of the time.
 

6H057

Member
Oct 23, 2019
88
27
SC
I would also suspect that the outlet is a cheaper one and the wires to it not properly tightened down.

Curious if you unplug this from the outlet regularly or do you leave it plugged in. Looks like the breaker did its job.

I would get another 14-50 pigtail adapter from Tesla, that one could have damage inside. The UMC it self may be good. You can test it using the standard 120 volts adapter.

Replace with a quality outlet (Hubbell or Bryant) and have it wired properly. A 14-50 setup is still a good way to go if you can leave the UMC plugged into the outlet most of the time.
I have not unplugged the 14-50 adapter since I moved into the house last year. This adapter and UMC have been in use since I’ve had my Model 3 (2 years or so).
 
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Needsdecaf

Active Member
Dec 16, 2018
1,309
1,977
The Woodlands, TX
I use my UMC on a 14-50 and it's only been disconnected like twice. And I bought the most expensive 14-50 outlet I could find. I didn't want problems.

If I regularly unplugged the UMC to use it mobile i'd either buy another or get a HPWC hardwired. I don't believe it's a good idea that the 14-50 outlet is used on the regular, or if it is, plan on replacing it.

OP glad your breaker did it's job and prevented a fire!
 
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gaswalla

Model S,3,X.. CT with Austin delivery
Sep 23, 2012
3,592
4,306
San Diego
What’s weird is you’re probably using the gen2 UMC that pulls 32 amps. (Vs Gen1 with 40amps and also different adapters). For a 14-50 plug to overheat at 32 amps seems like a shoddy plug (install or materials). The early gen1 umc did have some issues - my 2012 umc adapter did melt once. But, the issue has been long resolved.
 
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Ostrichsak

Active Member
Sep 6, 2018
3,810
4,435
Colorado, USA
An outlet of any UL rated brand should have ZERO issues sustaining the 32A a Gen 2 UMC is capable of on a regular basis even if it's $20.

The fault is most likely on the installation side. Too often people are quick to blame "cheap outlets" when more often than not it's the install that is the problem. This tends to be backed up by the electrician who effed up in the first place coming back to inspect his shoddy work and blaming the "cheap outlet" rather than taking the blame.

More often than not it's that the insulation wasn't stripped far enough back causing the lug to tighten around that rather than the conductor underneath or simply not tightening the conductor fully to make a secure connection. You can take one of those $90 receptacles and if the installation isn't proper it will end in the same result. People need to stop blaming the outlet ahead of actually knowing what the problem is.

Your best ROI is to make SURE it's installed properly. The next step is to spend the extra money for a higher quality outlet but if the most important aspect of this is done properly the outlet should be more than capable of sustaining 40A over long periods almost indefinitely. Turning off your breaker then insuring that power is truly off at the receptacle and removing it to double check the connections from time to time isn't a bad idea either.

An expensive outlet isn't the magic bullet to any of the potential installation problems I described which is the important part I see overlooked just about every time on these forums.

FWIW, I recognize that outlet as it's the exact "cheap" Home Depot outlet I installed many years ago in my garage. I use Gen 1 UMCs exclusively set to 40A and often times charge up to three cars back to back to back. All components are barely even warm to the touch on even the most strenuous of charge sessions I've tested. Never a failure. Never an issue.

Also, you really should use more descript thread titles because most people will never even bother clicking a sad face to see what it's about.
 

mrau

Authorized Driver
Supporting Member
Nov 12, 2018
456
867
Mid-Michigan
Just for price comparison, a Bryant 14-50 is about $35 on Zorro. You would need to get the Hubbell/Bryant faceplate as well since the Bryant outlet is a bit bigger than a Home Depot outlet, and HD faceplate won't fit. The Hubbell and Bryant outlets are both highly rated and seem to have more robust connection points.
However, a faulty connection on a Hubbell or Bryant will have the same result (or worse) that you experienced.
Glad your breaker was sized properly and did it's job.

Screen Shot 2021-02-22 at 10.55.10 AM.jpg



Screen Shot 2021-02-22 at 10.55.29 AM.jpg
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
12,568
15,032
Riverside Co. CA
Also, you really should use more descript thread titles because most people will never even bother clicking a sad face to see what it's about.

I am not a mod in this section but reported this first post to ask a mod for the section to add some more descriptive text to the thread title. I am very much not a fan of clickbait style thread titles.
 

6H057

Member
Oct 23, 2019
88
27
SC
What’s weird is you’re probably using the gen2 UMC that pulls 32 amps. (Vs Gen1 with 40amps and also different adapters). For a 14-50 plug to overheat at 32 amps seems like a shoddy plug (install or materials). The early gen1 umc did have some issues - my 2012 umc adapter did melt once. But, the issue has been long resolved.
What was the issue?
 
Just an update - the electrician stated the outlet was low quality as many of you said. A hubbell outlet is on the way and should remedy the problem. Thanks for the feedback everyone!

Nothing personal but after he's replaced the "poor quality" outlet (he installed) I would double check to be certain he TIGHTENS the contact nuts. Which I strongly suspect was the issue in the first place. I've been using a 14-50 for over two years and no issues.
 

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