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NEMA 14-50 Plug Orientation

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Chas F, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. Chas F

    Chas F Model S 60kWh #P6396

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    I am having a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed in my garage in a few hours and notice that the picture on the charging page of the Tesla website shows the NEMA plug with the ground socket "on top". Since I don't have such a plug in my house currently, I don't know if this is the norm or not. I do know that this is opposite of a standard 120V plug.
    Why do I care? Because I want the charging cable to hang correctly when plugged in (hanging down vs pointing up).

    Can someone who's had theirs installed take a look and clue me in? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. KKlabunde

    KKlabunde Member

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    #2 KKlabunde, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    You definitely need the ground on top. The Tesla plug is curved, and it won't work well the other way...

    IMG_1159.jpg
     
  3. Chas F

    Chas F Model S 60kWh #P6396

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    Perfect! Thanks!
     
  4. eelton

    eelton Member

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    #4 eelton, Feb 9, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2013
    Yeah, mine is the other way. One thing, though--since I haven't installed a hook to hold the cable yet, the upside down bend at the plug does make a reasonable substitute for now.

    plug.jpg


     
  5. teslasguy

    teslasguy MSP P#1117

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    My electrician was installing mine with the ground on the bottom since that's the orientation that is correct for the cover text. I had him turn it around and showed him the pic from the web site. Works great, even though the text is upside down now. My neighbor just got his text and I noticed his box is installed with the ground on the bottom and so his cord has quite a bend as it turns down above the plug. Curious why the outlet mfg has the text oriented so you would naturally install it with the ground on the bottom.


    P1117 Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Francis Lau

    Francis Lau P-1456

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    Mine is installed upside down too, meaning the plug arches up and not down and ground is on the bottom. The electrician says it is better as it keeps the plug from pulling out due to the cable's weight. I was not sure if that was BS.
     
  7. jerry33

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

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    I call BS on your electrician. The kink in the cable as shown in the picture a couple of posts above is going to really shorten the life of the UMC--and there have been several instances of bad UMCs posted in the various threads. I can't see the weight of the cable pulling the plug out of the socket unless it was upside down. I suppose you could put in some kind of hose rack above and to the side of the plug so that it wouldn't kink but then you would lose some distance (which may or may not matter).
     
  8. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Oddly enough, the Tesla service center in PA has it the same way (upside down with the cable bend pointing up).
     
  9. damianku

    damianku Member

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    This is very helpful. I have mine installed but left the mounting plate loose until the care arrived because I was not sure of the correct orientation.
    Thanks for the input.
     
  10. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    That's BS. I install all outlets with ground on the top, so that if the weight of the plug starts tugging it out, it will expose the grounding conductor instead of the current-carrying conductors.

    There is no "official" direction to install receptacles - my home's 5-15 eceptacles are installed ground pin down, while my shop's are installed ground pin up (although I believe the UMC's expect ground pin down for the 5-15).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Agreed. The kink is a much, much bigger issue than the plug pulling out.
     
  11. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    The only reason you might want to have the ground at the bottom is if you are going to suspend the cable from the ceiling, instead of running it across the floor. This approach keeps the cable clean, but might make it more difficult to pack the cable up for a trip.
     
  12. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

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    I heard somewhere (unfortunately flaky memory prevents a reference) that many worldwide standards are adopting/changing so that the ground pin is on the top. The reasoning is that if you drop something conductive and it manages to touch the pins, it will more likely be contacting the ground pin, and this should be safer than shorting to anything else.
     
  13. SuperCoug

    SuperCoug Model S Res #7734

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    On the Tesla NEMA 14-15 Summary Sheet (available as a PDF to give to your electrician) they clearly instruct the electrician to install the ground on top (both in writing and in the orientation of the picture on the brochure).

    Luckily my electrician followed the directions correctly and installed mine with the ground pin on top. Interestingly, the text on my Leviton brand outlet was already oriented for ground pin on top so my socket does not look "wrong".

    Even though I'm sure it would work fine upside down I'm glad my plug is going to hang down naturally the way the adapter design intended.
     
  14. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

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    But, all 14-50 plugs that I've seen have been right angle and are designed for the ground pin on top, so it's at least a convention for those. 5-15 plugs mostly are not right angle, so usually either direction will work.
     
  15. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    I've seen some RV plugs that have been 90 degree, the opposite direction as well. There's not any official spec or convention for them.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That is the reason a lot of people are moving to it, but there is no standard for it in the NEC.
     
  16. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    I had the same gut concern as well. Good to see FlasherZ confirming my instincts. ;)
     
  17. William13

    William13 Member

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    Actually, I have been told that the official rule is ground plug on top. The demonstrated reason is above, when the plug comes out part way or something falls on the plug the ground is first to be hit.

    Very seldom is this enforced by code inspectors. On standard outlets the plug looks awkward with the plug on top. I assume this is due to the same brain hardwiring that causes us to see faces on inanimate objects. Thus the plug would look like the mouth is on top.not pleasant. The code inspectors also have human brains.
     
  18. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    Code reference please? It might be a local code somewhere, but NEC does not require it.

    NEC 406 is the article that speaks about receptacles. 406.10 describes the requirements for grounding-type receptacles. 406.10(D) merely states:

    Now, in each of the last 3 cycles there have been proposals to standardize the orientation of receptacles, but each cycle they've been rejected.

    If an AHJ tells you that receptacles must be oriented a certain way, politely ask them for a code reference -- because, as I've said, there is no code on it nationally. Again, I can't speak to local adoption -- like Chicago's crazy "conduit only" rule, but the vast majority of the US has no standard for it.
     
  19. eelton

    eelton Member

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    I re-oriented my outlet and installed a Racor hangar (nice quality--I'd recommend it. Available on Amazon).

    IMG_20130210_111954.jpg



     
  20. StephRob

    StephRob Member

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    Thanks for posting this photo. I've been trying to figure out what to hang my cord on. Does anyone else have any other solutions they have found?
     

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