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Outdoor Outlet Installed!

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by aaron.s, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    Hello All -

    With the impending delivery of my Model S (hopefully within the next 10-14 days), I had a friend of mine (licensed electrician) install my outdoor NEMA 14-50 today! It's a very nice outdoor enclosure.... Located right next to the corner of the house & driveway - literally 2-3 feet from where the back of the car will be parked. Tomorrow will be buying a hook to hang the cable on - at Home Depot - one I saw here in another thread.

    Here are the photos!

    Aaron

    IMG_0608.jpg IMG_0610.jpg
     
  2. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    Looks nice! Do you have any plans to protect the "brick" piece of the UMC from the elements? I think the #1 thing is to protect the plug itself, which this enclosure should certainly do, but I would be uncomfortable letting the brick get wet.
     
  3. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    Mike

    I think I've read and seen here on the forums that the UMC is supposed to fair just fine in the elements... I think I saw a pic of one with this same outdoor outlet in heavy snow.... Once the hook is installed tomorrow, I plan on just hanging most of the cord/brick part of the UMC on the hook.

    Aaron
     
  4. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    I would expect that it would really just about have to be weather resistant, given the likelihood of its use at (say) an RV park, where it could be rained on unexpectedly, etc. Still, the UMC user's guide does contain these warnings:

    So, basically, they seem a bit contradictory. The last one really only cautions against getting water into the outlet or the charge port, while the second one says to protect the whole thing from moisture at all times...
     
  5. FlasherZ

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

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    #5 FlasherZ, Jan 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
    This is because technically, NEC article 625 only permits 240V EVSE equipment to be plugged in at indoor sites only (compliance with 625.29 required for cord-and-plug EVSE equipment > 120V, 15-20A, see NEC 625.13). "All other electric vehicle supply equipment shall be permanently connected and fastened in place." So they have to say it's not suitable/listed for wet locations.

    120V equipment is permitted to be plugged in if constructed and rated for outdoor / wet locations.

    Technically, using the UMC at an RV park with a 240v plug on it violates the NEC.
     
  6. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    Fascinating!
     
  7. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    These things are largely a matter of everyone trying to cover their *sses legally. I think the connector for the Volt and Leaf have the same cautionary language. In any case, I have a Leaf connector modified for 240V use on my Volt. I've used it outside in all kinds of weather -- downpours, snow storms, etc -- and it's fine. No issues whatsoever. These connectors are designed for outdoor use but in the end the lawyers always have to insert the cautionary language. This is understandable, but it inevitably leads to consumer confusion about what's safe to do.
     
  8. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    We do not have a garage and I plan to have a similar NEMA 14-50 installed in my driveway. It will have a 150' run from the service panel. Because my vehicle will be outside, am planning on getting the Model S Outdoor Car Cover.
     
  9. GSP

    GSP Member

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    Aaron,

    I would shut off the 14-50 before plugging or unplugging the UMC. RV parks have the circuit breaker mounted next to the 14-50 outlet to facilitate this. Is the circuit breaker in your installation in a convienent enough location to allow this?

    GSP
     
  10. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    GSP

    On the exact opposite side of the wall where the outlet is installed (the garage) is where the circuit breaker is along with the service cut-off for the house (actually behind the electrical meters), so it will be easy to do that and thanks for the suggestion! My electrician friend replaced the service disconnect electrical box (which only supported 1 - 100 amp breaker) with a new one that allowed for 2 breakers, so now I have a 100 amp breaker (for the house) and a 50 amp breaker (for the NEMA 14-50/Model S).

    I'll be installing an outdoor hook today to hold the UMC and I'll take more pictures.

    Aaron
     
  11. FlasherZ

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

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    Oh, sure they are. Tesla wants the ability to charge anywhere, and with GFCI protection and other safety mechanisms in the UMC, it is mostly safe. I say mostly, because nothing is 100% safe.

    The fact is, though, that this is more than a lawyer disclaimer. This is the electrical code -- the law. It's technically illegal for someone (you as a homeowner, or an RV park owner) to allow you to charge your car outdoors with the UMC at 240v, unless your local jurisdiction has disclaimed that particular article of the NEC.

    Article 625 was written by code-making group 12. The representative from the SAE's Hybrid committee was Michael Hittel, who works for GM. His alternate is Gary Kissel, who also works for GM. There are other members representing NEMA, the IBEW, IEC, NECA, IEEE, UL, and some other specialty groups for that group (elevator, plastics, pipe organs, and truck-transportation services).
     
  12. aaron.s

    aaron.s Member

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    Updated Photos -

    Took some new outdoor pictures with the hook now installed. Also took pictures inside the garage where the breaker box is (inside - directly opposite where the electrical meters are outside)....

    I'm in one half of a 2 family house here in Westchester, NY. Where you see the truck parked is where my new baby will be!

    Aaron

    IMG_0616.jpg IMG_0617.jpg IMG_0618.jpg IMG_0619.jpg
     
  13. MikeK

    MikeK R#129, TSLA shareholder

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    Illegal even if the 14-50 and the "brick" are indoors, and only the vehicle connector (and vehicle) are outdoors? Just curious.
     
  14. FlasherZ

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

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    Good question. Here's the actual code:

    So, it's unclear. Most of the article is speaking of where the EVSE is located, so you could probably make an argument that if the UMC were inside, it would be an indoor location even if the coupling means were stretched outside. But if you found a grouchy inspector -- who knows?
     
  15. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    FlasherZ can probably clarify, but it seems to me that although the UMC has ground fault sensing, the 14-50 receptacle doesn't, and this might present a hazard, particulary in wet weather when plugging in the UMC, especially if you were to come in contact with one of the hot blades on the plug. Once the supply end is plugged in, then the charge port end is considerably safer due to the GFI in the UMC. So I'd agree with the suggestion to always shut off the breaker before plugging into the 14-50. Another question I have is are there any duty cycle considerations we need to consider when plugging and unplugging the 14-50, day after day, as well as duty cycles for the breaker? I was surprised to read in Wikipedia that "The [J1772] connector is designed to withstand up to 10,000 connection/disconnection cycles". That's less than 10 years if you plug in and out twice a day.
     
  16. FlasherZ

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

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    That is correct, in all likelihood your 14-50R is connected to a breaker without ground fault protection and your receptacle doesn't provide it. So exercise caution, don't hold the plug too close to its prongs, don't plug it in while barefoot, etc.

    There are rated cycle figures for breakers, but I know of at least a handful of churches that use breaker panels as switch panels on a day-in, day-out basis. The receptacles, however, you want to be a bit careful with. Over the years, you probably want to have it inspected on a yearly basis.
     
  17. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    Fortunately the S takes a few seconds to negotiate, so we're not switching on a live 50 amp load with the breaker.
     
  18. jerry33

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

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    And you can always get a GFI installed with your 14-50. I doubt it would raise the price much.
     
  19. tezco

    tezco Sig P85

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    My EVSE installation instructions said not to attach to a class A breaker ie a GFI type. I assume there might be a problem with two GFI circuits monitoring the same circuit. Don't know if this might increase interruptions with the S, though.
     
  20. jerry33

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

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    The Mobile Connector Nema Summary Sheet says "none required". It doesn't say you can't plug into one.
     

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