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
Start a Discussionhttps://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/tags/

New owner building arsenal of emergency adapters and cables

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by rahs, Mar 16, 2017.

  1. rahs

    rahs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    I've read through some of the forum posts but still have a couple of questions.

    I bought this 5-20 adapter from Amazon for $9.99: Amazon.com : Conntek 30129 15-Amp to 20-Amp Plug Adapter, 20-Amp Socket to 15-Amp U.S 3 Prong Plug : Generator Cord Sets And Plugs : Patio, Lawn & Garden

    Is it the same thing as this from Tesla for $45? Tesla — NEMA 5-20

    Don't really want to spend $450 on the CHAdeMO adapter from the Tesla site so I'll skip this one.

    But, what other adapters should I get and do I need to buy them from Tesla or is buying one from Amazon for much less ok?

    Thanks
     
  2. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    No. You really need to read the charging FAQ. The Tesla 5-20 adapter is for the UMC. No one else makes UMC adapters. This one plugs into 5-20 outlets and sets the car to draw 16A. Otherwise if you plug into a 20A outlet with the standard 5-15 UMC adapter you will just draw 12A as if you're plugging into a 15A outlet.

    The whole point of the UMC adapters is it sets the car for the correct amperage. If you use anyhing homemade or bought from anywhere else it will not connect directly to the UMC and you will have set the proper amps on the car.

    What you need, if anything, depends on where you're going.
     
    • Like x 1
  3. rahs

    rahs Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    NJ/NYC
    If I wasn't clear I'm asking about additional/emergency adapters. I have the standard 14-50 240 Outlet at home. I'm asking about other adapters I might need if I'm caught off guard somewhere.

    So what you're saying is the one I bought from Amazon won't regulate the AMP draw? I was planning on using that in conjunction with a 10 gauge extension cord I have. Maybe I'm caught at a hotel or someone's house. The adapter I bought from Amazon along with the extension cord would not work?
     
  4. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    You should read these two threads, along with the charging FAQ.
    What's in your 'Charging Kit'?

    Which adapters are in your car kit?

    Ah, I see what you're getting at now. I did also buy something like that from Amazon, along with a heavy duty 10 gauge extension cord, but it doesn't work like how you were asking, where you think it's the same as the Tesla 5-20 adapter. You would need the Tesla 5-20 anyway if you want to allow 16A instead of just 12A. But then that will let you plug the Tesla 5-20 (with the vertical and horizontal blade) into the extension cord.
     
    • Informative x 1
  5. jelloslug

    jelloslug Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Messages:
    2,510
    Location:
    Greenville, SC
    4 years ago an arsenal of adapters was a prudent thing to carry with you. Now, not so much. I have been driving exclusively electric since early 2013 and the number of times I have needed an adapter of any kind is two and both of those times were in 2014.
     
    • Like x 2
  6. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    As far as additional emergency adapters, I think there are only a few that would be useful. First off, it's hard to not be in range of some kind of RV park or campground, so there will be 14-50 outlets available. But some may just have TT-30 outlets. I got one of those adapters from EVSEAdapters.

    Then, the other fallback would be if you have to use a house's dryer outlet. I got adapters from EVSEAdapters for 10-30 and 14-30. EVSEAdapters does have a nice extension for 30 or 50A if you want to get one of those. It's cheaper and thinner and lighter than an official RV extension cord.
     
  7. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I don't think it's worth messing around using a 5-20 adapter just to get 4 more amps. It's really not going to speed things up very much. The adapter you bought is useless. You're not going to get the extra 4 amps of charging unless you make your own adapter or buy the correct one from Tesla.

    You could make an adapter like the one in the picture, but with a 5-20 cord cap on it. Definitely not worth it in my opinion. You would need to remember to dial down the charging rate on your Tesla or else you would overload the circuit and trip the breaker.
    adapter.jpg
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    2,650
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    I know you said you were skipping the Chademo adapter, but I have found that one to be the most time-saving "emergency" adapter of the bunch. The DC fast charging network is expanding rapidly and if you need juice in a pinch to keep you going, getting it at 50kW is a much better way to do it than plugging into a L2 charger (or worse). You can take a look at Plugshare for areas you will travel to see the Chademo network and if it would be useful to you.

    Although you might also wait until Tesla releases a CCS adapter at this point since that is the new trend in stations.

    Otherwise the kits in the other threads are all good suggestions. I have used my J1772 extension as well as my Chademo, but haven't used any of the others yet. I have seen various random plug configurations for "EV charging" installed in hotels prior to buying my car, though, so I suspect they will be useful to me at some point.
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yes the adapter he bought is useless, but I don't agree that using a real UMC 5-20 adapter is useless. It's not like it's just 4 more amps, because once the overhead of charging is covered going from 12 to 16 amps actually increases the charge rate by more than 40% rather than the 25% you would expect. I've found it very useful when plugging into a hotel parking lot or garage overnight, or especially for a weekend.

    The OP mentioned using it at someone's house though. You're not likely to find 120V 20A outlets at someone's house, only in commercial settings.
     
    • Like x 1
  10. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    Really? I would have thought a lot of the outdoor outlets on houses would be on 20A circuits because they might be for powerful outdoor appliances like weed eaters and leaf blowers. I haven't checked mine recently, though, so I don't know.
     
  11. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    Messages:
    2,561
    Should... but not likely in this cost cutting day and age.
     
  12. rypalmer

    rypalmer Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    691
    Location:
    Canada
    I get off the beaten path all the time.

    The only adaptor that makes a meaningful difference is the CHAdeMO.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️

    ⚡️ELECTROMAN⚡️ Fritterer and waster of hours in an off hand wayer

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Messages:
    1,171
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    What's the charging rate of the 5-20 at 16 amps? My house came with 20 amp outlets in my garage.
     
  14. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Messages:
    1,547
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    On 12A, you usually get about 3 mph. On 16A, it's more like 5 mph.
     
  15. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    The display says 5 mph, but overnight it averages out to about 5 1/2 if you get a full 120V.
     
  16. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Even when they're 20A circuits they're usually just regular 5-15 outlets.
     
  17. bakerboy

    bakerboy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Whats the best way to determine the amps on a plug? Do I have to trace it back to the panel? Can I use a meter? (Sorry, new owner and new to electrical terminology)

    Thanks!
     
  18. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    4,906
    Location:
    Delaware
    Second (or is it third/fourth/fifth?) the recommendation for the CHAdeMO adapter - it's the only one that will get you a charge back quickly (we'll probably be seeing a CCS adapter as either an add on or a separate device soon as VW starts installing a bunch of those with EPA settlement money.) The ChadeMO is one of the few pieces I've used, and the only one I've used several times so far.

    The other obvious quick grab is a EV dedicated TT-30 to 14-50 adapter. You can't use the RV ones, they're wired wrong (putting the same single 120V live across both hot makes sense for RVs, but the EV needs one to hot and the other to neutral.) Thousands of campgrounds offer only "30 Amp service" - which means a 120V TT-30 that you can charge at 24A on with the right adapters - twice as fast as a standard wall outlet.

    I carry a 5-20 extension cord and a 5-15>5-20 adapter in the Frunk (so I can use either standard plug, and have the heavier gauge cord,) and have that UMC adapter. I also carry a 14-50 extension cord, and both the 14-30 and 14-50 UMC ends. I'd like to get a 6-50 as well, if Tesla ever gets around to offering them again, and I have a 10-50>14-50 pigtail. That plus the CHAdeMO and TT-30 constitutes my charging kit - most of which I really haven't needed so far. I'll think seriously about adding the CCS adapter when that shows up, too.
     
    • Informative x 1
  19. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Messages:
    5,324
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Look at the first page of this document. It's all you need to know about the two 120V outlets:
    http://www.stjosephmusicfoundation.org/documents/Nema.pdf

    Even if a 15 amp outlet is on a 20A circuit, the 5-15 UMC adapter still limits you to 12A.
     
    • Love x 1
  20. bakerboy

    bakerboy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2017
    Messages:
    200
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Thanks TexasEV!!
     

Share This Page