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Need suggestions on charging install.

Nayston

Member
Oct 7, 2020
85
24
Chicago
I apologize in advance if this question has already been asked. I searched the forum and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. If it does exists, please post the URL below.

Ok so I have a M3P on order. I really know next to nothing about the electrical install stuff and I'm getting different suggestions from 2 different installers (both of whom I received their info from Tesla's website).

Ok so I have already bought the Tesla Gen3 wall charger in anticipation of the install.

The first installer said that they would install a 60A line (or whatever) and install the charger in the garage. It's ~30 foot run from the breaker box. I asked about installing a 240V outlet instead (I would just sell/return the Tesla charger) and they said they could do that using a 35A breaker and it would charge at 26mph. The first installed also said that getting a permit and closing out the permit isn't necessary.

The 2nd installer outright just suggested I return the Tesla charger and install the 240V, but he said that it would be a 50A breaker and charge at 32-34mph. This installed said that they would get a permit and close it out, as if there was a problem with the car charge port, and a permit wasn't received the the job, Tesla wouldn't honor the warranty.

Questions:

1) What is the amps of the 240V? How can I tell which one is correct and what would the charging speed be?
2) Can I run a 60A conduit as to future proof the line, and only install a 240V outlet?
3) What's the truth about permits. Did people here get them?
4) I've gotten quotes of $937 and $2,200 for the job. I have no idea why the gigantic disparity for the same thing. Is this pretty standard for ~30 foot line, through a drop ceiling in the basement?

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
 

XLR82XS

D M C
Jul 26, 2019
3,148
1,803
SWFL | Vegas
1) What is the amps of the 240V? How can I tell which one is correct and what would the charging speed be?
2) Can I run a 60A conduit as to future proof the line, and only install a 240V outlet?
3) What's the truth about permits. Did people here get them?
4) I've gotten quotes of $937 and $2,200 for the job. I have no idea why the gigantic disparity for the same thing. Is this pretty standard for ~30 foot line, through a drop ceiling in the basement?

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks!
1) Get a 14-50 outlet for a 220/240V line with a 50amp breaker.
2) Yes, I did.
3) No permit required in my county in Florida. Not sure on Chicago.
4) $2200 seems way excessive for 30ft. of line and related hardware.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,661
7,957
Boise, ID
1) What is the amps of the 240V? How can I tell which one is correct and what would the charging speed be?
There is not any one particular answer to that. The wall connector is an adjustable device, so it can use many different sized circuits, depending on how much capacity you have available. Likewise, there are many types of outlets you can use, that would be on circuit sizes like 20, 30, or 50 amps.
I asked about installing a 240V outlet instead (I would just sell/return the Tesla charger) and they said they could do that using a 35A breaker
That one is really odd. I'm not sure what type of outlet they are thinking of. There are 35A breakers, but you would usually have an outlet that is on a more round number, like 30 or 50 amps.
2) Can I run a 60A conduit as to future proof the line, and only install a 240V outlet?
Yes, that's always allowed, to use larger wire than is currently needed, and that's usually where a lot of the labor cost is, so that's certainly good to have that done ahead of time to save work so it won't need to be redone later. It's then a simple job later to just change out the ends by replacing a breaker and swapping an outlet for a wall connector if you want. A lot of people do that.
3) What's the truth about permits. Did people here get them?
There isn't any one truth about that. That's dependent on your city and state, but most places do require them, and especially if you are having a company do the work on your house. Some places, like where I live in Idaho, are a bit more "frontier" and "homesteader" kind of attitudes, so a homeowner is allowed to do some levels of work on his/her own house without permits, but that's kind of rare among states.
This installed said that they would get a permit and close it out, as if there was a problem with the car charge port, and a permit wasn't received the the job, Tesla wouldn't honor the warranty.
However, that is utter bullshit. I've heard this a couple of times, but it's false.
4) I've gotten quotes of $937 and $2,200 for the job. I have no idea why the gigantic disparity for the same thing. Is this pretty standard for ~30 foot line, through a drop ceiling in the basement?
Don't know--these can be all over the board. They are probably going to be pretty pricey in the Chicago area, but over $2,000 does sound too high. I would expect something like $1,000 to $1,500 maybe, not just for doing the work itself, but it's their billable time if they have to go wait in line at the permit office, etc.
 
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jrweiss98020

Tessa's Tesla
Jan 9, 2020
468
335
Edmonds, WA
If you already have the wall charger, installing it on a 60A circuit is your best bet. If you want to get the $500 back for the wall charger, a 50A or 60A circuit, 14-50 outlet, and the 14-50 adapter for the mobile charge connector is the next best option.
 

Nayston

Member
Oct 7, 2020
85
24
Chicago
There is not any one particular answer to that. The wall connector is an adjustable device, so it can use many different sized circuits, depending on how much capacity you have available. Likewise, there are many types of outlets you can use, that would be on circuit sizes like 20, 30, or 50 amps.

Can you recommend a 240V 50 A circuit for the M3? I think one of them suggest a Nema 14-50r outlet. Not sure what that is or means, but...

Yes, that's always allowed, to use larger wire than is currently needed, and that's usually where a lot of the labor cost is, so that's certainly good to have that done ahead of time to save work so it won't need to be redone later. It's then a simple job later to just change out the ends by replacing a breaker and swapping an outlet for a wall connector if you want. A lot of people do that.

They said the conduit is 3/4", so I assume that is large enough to run a 60A line at some point in the future. Correct?

If I did return the Tesla charger, I'd have to buy something else to replace it. I assume something like this:

AmazingE FAST with NEMA 14-50 plug, Connector Holster, Cable Wrap Bundle | Powered by ClipperCreek

Which is $500 anyways, so I wouldn't even really be saving money. If I'm not saving money on the adapter, is there really any reason not to install the Tesla Wall charger?

TIA!
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,444
11,793
Riverside Co. CA
Can you recommend a 240V 50 A circuit for the M3? I think one of them suggest a Nema 14-50r outlet. Not sure what that is or means, but...



They said the conduit is 3/4", so I assume that is large enough to run a 60A line at some point in the future. Correct?

If I did return the Tesla charger, I'd have to buy something else to replace it. I assume something like this:

AmazingE FAST with NEMA 14-50 plug, Connector Holster, Cable Wrap Bundle | Powered by ClipperCreek

Which is $500 anyways, so I wouldn't even really be saving money. If I'm not saving money on the adapter, is there really any reason not to install the Tesla Wall charger?

TIA!

The car comes with a mobile connector, so no, if you return the wall connector, you wouldnt have to buy anything to replace it. The mobile connector that comes with the car maxes out at a 32 amp charge rate. A model 3P can charge at a max of 48 amps. Its not "necessary" in the slightest for almost anyone to charge at the max rate the car can charge at, unless they have both a commute that takes up most of their cars range daily AND a time of use window that makes it necessary to complete charging during a small window to get the best rates.

Saying that, there is nothing wrong with wanting to charge at the fastest rate, "because its the fastest" and there is nothing wrong with having the wall connector "because it looks cool and supports the fastest charging rate", but its in no way "necessary".

There isnt any reason to NOT install the adapter, because you already have it. You can keep the mobile connector that comes with the car in the trunk, and unused except when traveling, if you install it. There isnt any reason to return it unless you dont want it.... but its not "necessary" by any stretch.
 

DaveG_NJ

Member
Oct 7, 2020
304
850
NJ
I went through the same thing last month. The conventional wisdom (here, Youtube and from the Tesla certified installers I spoke with personally) is that the Wall Charger is an unneeded expensive item. I would return it or sell it. Just get a NEMA 14-50 connector for your mobile charger. It's about $35 on Tesla's site.

In my town, a permit is required, so I got one. I could have done the work myself, but mine was a messy install - it was close to 100' and some tedious snaking through a finished wall in the garage and a nasty crawlspace. It probably would have taken me a weekend to do. The professional I used (found on the Tesla site) did it in 3 hrs by himself. The guy even stayed around and helped me troubleshoot the problem I was having with the charging port latching on my car. Your contractor will know what requires conduit.

As a comparison, I paid $1500 for my install (including materials, labor and the permit). I'm super happy with the result. I get 30 miles/hr of charging which is great (I was getting 4-5 miles/hr on 15A). To keep things tidy, I got this cable organizer on Amazon. Like my own filling station...

Screen Shot 2020-11-04 at 4.53.01 PM.png
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,444
11,793
Riverside Co. CA
Thanks. That's helpful. Appreciate it.

No problem! I was where you are now, in late 2018 when I bought my model 3P, which was (and is) my first plug in car of any type. I got the wall connector because I thought "I needed it" and also because I liked how it looks. I am also a person who tends to like the best tech thing if I can afford it, and generally have the opinion that people almost never say "I wish my TV was smaller" or "I wish my car charged slower" but the reverse could be said by people.

I also thought I needed to take the mobile connector with me "just in case" i needed charging while I was out. The number of times I have needed to use it while I was out and about can be counted on one hand, but I also dont road trip much, and this year, when I planned to do a few trips to vegas, etc, well covid happened and I have been minimizing any travel, contact, etc.

Anyway, I had all those thoughts above, and experience has taught me that I didnt need the fastest charger, and I dont need to keep the mobile connector in my car. I still would get the wall connector again, but that is as much about aesthetics, and the fact that it provides "the fastest" charging my car can take, rather than some actual "need".

Im honest with myself about it (lol). I dont need it at all, but would do it again because I could afford to buy it and get it installed, and it is the "easiest" charging solution for a tesla at home, and "the fastest" solution.

Hope that perspective helps.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,661
7,957
Boise, ID
Can you recommend a 240V 50 A circuit for the M3? I think one of them suggest a Nema 14-50r outlet. Not sure what that is or means, but...
Yep, that's the most commonly used 50 amp type of outlet. and about "14-50r", I felt funny once I found out what the r stands for. In the parts catalogs, there will be the listings for the part that plugs in, or the thing it plugs into:
P = Plug
R = Receptacle

If I did return the Tesla charger, I'd have to buy something else to replace it. I assume something like this:
Nope. As @jjrandorin has described, that's a misunderstanding that a lot of people have coming to electric cars. They think they need to buy some fancy separate piece of equipment to charge it. But Tesla includes a really nice and really capable charging cable that can use many different plugs for many different types of outlets and supply some pretty powerful charging. Guess what I'm still using to charge my 2014 Model S over six and a half years later? Yup--the original mobile charging cable plugged into a 14-50 outlet. The cord just stays hanging on the wall in my garage.
 

pjensen

Member
Jul 24, 2020
155
94
Highland Village, Texas
As @jjrandorin has described, that's a misunderstanding that a lot of people have coming to electric cars. They think they need to buy some fancy separate piece of equipment to charge it.

Depending on how far you drive, you might not need anything installed.

I just use the charging cable that came with the car. Plugged it in to an 120 volt outlet in the garage. It charges at 6 miles per hour. My daily commute is around 20 miles, sometimes 30 miles (on a weekend). I don't even charge it every day, maybe every third day.

Yes it takes 10 hours to charge (after driving 60 miles, for example), but that is no problem. Plug it in at 6pm, the car is charged up at 7am - ready for another 3 days of driving.

It all depends on your daily drive distance. Also slower charging of the lithium battery isn't a bad thing.
 

jstjohnz

Member
Sep 7, 2020
96
49
Indianapolis
Chicago requires that everything be in pipe, so that's going to make your install more expensive. If you go with a receptacle you will need a GFCI breaker and those are $100+. For the wall charger you dont need a GFCI breaker.

Also, if you use the WC, your electrician will not need to run a neutral wire, again some cost savings. My suggestion, since you already have the WC, install it. You will get 45 miles/hr charge rate and you can keep the mobile connector in the car in case it's needed. You don't need a Tesla recommended electrician to do this install, and may get cheaper prices elsewhere. Quotes are likely to vary a lot.
 
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Nayston

Member
Oct 7, 2020
85
24
Chicago
Thanks everyone. Some really helpful advice. I think I've decided that I'm going to do both. I'll install the Tesla wall charger and have them install a 240V. Probably connect the Tesla to the 240V outlet, since I know I can't use the Tesla charger and the 240V at the same time. Will probably be handy to have a 240V in the garage for other things (ie. heater, plug-in lawnmowers, etc...).

Does anyone have any recommendations on adapters to use at non-tesla charging stations? I assume, there are adapters that convert non-Tesla standard to Tesla.
 

freeAgent

Member
Oct 29, 2020
146
127
SoCal
Questions:

1) What is the amps of the 240V? How can I tell which one is correct and what would the charging speed be?
2) Can I run a 60A conduit as to future proof the line, and only install a 240V outlet?
3) What's the truth about permits. Did people here get them?
4) I've gotten quotes of $937 and $2,200 for the job. I have no idea why the gigantic disparity for the same thing. Is this pretty standard for ~30 foot line, through a drop ceiling in the basement?

I'm not sure what the first installer is talking about with the 35A breaker. Definitely don't do that. The Tesla mobile charger tops out at 32A I think, but you should install at least a 40A breaker for it. Additionally, I'd recommend going with a full 50A breaker an NEMA 14-50 outlet to be the most future-proof. You cannot run a >50A breaker if using a plug, so the only reason to go above a 50A breaker is if you use the Tesla Wall Charger or some other charger that's wired in directly rather than using a plug. Personally, I don't think it's worth it. I have a regular J1772 charger (Chargepoint Home Flex) so I'm not locked in to charging only Tesla vehicles. It can charge a Tesla using the included J1772 adapter without issue. Anyway, to your specific questions:

  1. Amps will depend on what the electrician installs, but it would top out at 80A in order to go with 60A charging using a hard-wired wall charger. An 80A breaker and cable is going to be massive overkill IMO and much more cost and trouble than it's worth.
  2. You can run line capable of carrying 60A and only put a 50A breaker in your electrical panel now. You should not put a breaker larger than 50A on it if it's going to a plug. An electrician would probably refuse to do that.
  3. I don't know about Chicago. I did not get a permit for mine in LA. I doubt that anyone is going to bother you about it either way.
  4. $937 may be fine, especially for a 60A circuit that's hardwired to the Wall Charger. Anything over that is too much IMO.
 

nomis_nehc

Member
Jul 9, 2018
219
159
Rancho Cucamonga
There are a lot of variables at play here. Firstly, are you planning on being in this home indefinitely (for now at least)? If you are, definitely go with the highest capacity. Whether it's for future-proofing, or just having that option to charge faster when you do need it. It's one of those things that perhaps 90% of the time you don't need that speed, but that 10% when you do need it, you're going to kick yourself for not just going with the higher amperage.

As for charging between HPWC vs. the bundled charger... the group that's all about saving every bit of money would say HPWC is unnecessary. However, if having something more solid mounted to your wall, and looking sleek is more of your alley, it's definitely worthwhile. Plus, if you plan on having more Tesla vehicles in the future, you're one and done.
 

derotam

Member
Oct 31, 2018
833
710
Oak Hill, VA
Thanks everyone. Some really helpful advice. I think I've decided that I'm going to do both. I'll install the Tesla wall charger and have them install a 240V. Probably connect the Tesla to the 240V outlet, since I know I can't use the Tesla charger and the 240V at the same time. Will probably be handy to have a 240V in the garage for other things (ie. heater, plug-in lawnmowers, etc...).

Does anyone have any recommendations on adapters to use at non-tesla charging stations? I assume, there are adapters that convert non-Tesla standard to Tesla.

I just want to make a note about permits, from a legal technical standpoint. It would be good for you to find out if a permit is actually required for your jurisdiction and do what is required. You said you are in Chicago, but that doesn't mean much to me, are you in the city of Chicago, or are you in unincorporated Cook County, or even Lake County. Makes a difference. Also, at least where I am(Northern Virginia) a contractor is generally happy to do work without a permit because here the permit requirement falls to the homeowner, not the contractor.
 
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Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,487
1,510
Massachusetts
Your contractor will know what requires conduit.

While I'm pretty sure you are correct about the conduit question, the more general 'your contractor will know' is a much more dubious area.

Even in the first post of this thread, we have like four incorrect statements of contractors. If I were to go back even through only the 3's battery/charging forum I'm sure I could find dozens more of various types. Many would be the understandable but nonetheless unethical "mislead the customer to make the job bigger" case. Others are perhaps not unsafe but will potentially cause troubles either immediately or down the line, like not knowing to oversize the line/breaker by 25% for continuous use(well, if its only the breaker that's undersized at least its not a safety issue).

I'm not sure what the homeowner without an electrical background is supposed to do if professionals can't be trusted.

No offense intended to electrical professionals who might read this. I'd bet that most know their trade very well.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,487
1,510
Massachusetts
I think I've decided that I'm going to do both.

Unless the HPWC is actually plugged into the 14-50, this is not allowed. EV chargers are supposed to be on their own line/breaker, and 14-50's used for EV charging are supposed to be similarly dedicated, I believe. There are exceptions made for Gen2 HPWC's. You are also not allowed to have multiple 14-50's on the same line/breaker.

Does anyone have any recommendations on adapters to use at non-tesla charging stations?

Your 3 will come with a J1772 adapter that covers many/most charging stations on the road, and also covers the most common EV charging stations you could get for home. If you have a location where you think you'll want to charge frequently, check www.plugshare.com to see what chargers are around there.

Check with your electrical utility as well, some either rebate or give discounts on charging install/equipment.
 
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TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
554
422
Ottawa, Canada
Unless the HPWC is actually plugged into the 14-50, this is not allowed. EV chargers are supposed to be on their own line/breaker, and 14-50's used for EV charging are supposed to be similarly dedicated, I believe. There are exceptions made for Gen2 HPWC's. You are also not allowed to have multiple 14-50's on the same line/breaker.

If he has enough capacity coming into the house, he could run two lines to the garage on two breakers, one for the hardwired HPWC and the other for a 14-50 outlet. Might be able to use the same conduit if it's big enough. It's probably cheaper to do both at once than separately. I'm not sure if there is much point in doing that now, but it's probably the most future-proof way to go if there is a chance of getting a second EV later.
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,487
1,510
Massachusetts
If he has enough capacity coming into the house, he could run two lines to the garage on two breakers, one for the hardwired HPWC and the other for a 14-50 outlet. Might be able to use the same conduit if it's big enough. It's probably cheaper to do both at once than separately. I'm not sure if there is much point in doing that now, but it's probably the most future-proof way to go if there is a chance of getting a second EV later.

Depending on OP's house/garage and current main panel configuration, I might suggest a subpanel in the garage. That's a decent number of breaker spots being absorbed into the main panel(assuming 2x240), and its probably cheaper/easier to go up a gauge or two to get to the subpanel and break it into shorter lower-current circuits out there.
 

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