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Problem being up to code in Portland, OR re: 14-50 install in garage

Discussion in 'Charging Standards and Infrastructure' started by DDS, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. DDS

    DDS New Member

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    We are in the process of buying an already-built new construction house in Portland. It has a detached garage. We requested the builder place a 14-50 in the garage. They told us that we have to have an additional panel in the garage because it is detached, which will make the process very expensive. Apparently you can only have one dedicated circuit go to an attached garage. Does this sound correct? Are there any workarounds people can suggest? Would there be any exceptions made for car chargers?
     
  2. jgs

    jgs Member

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    Maybe different codes apply where you are, although I thought they were fairly uniform nationwide. Anyway, it doesn't sound right to me. Here in Ann Arbor, I have two EV charging circuits running to my garage. There is a separate panel for them, which sits next to the EV meter on the side of the main house. This is all in addition to the regular service to the garage, so three circuits, one subpanel (main service) in the garage, one panel (EV service) on the side of the house.

    Sounds like you should get a second opinion from an electrician in your area. Or from your local utility perhaps?
     
  3. KJD

    KJD Member

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    I would put a sub panel in the garage just because it would be a good thing to have. They really do not cost that much. Have you read the home charging FAQ. Really good information in there.

    FAQ: Home Tesla charging infrastructure QA
     
  4. FlasherZ

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

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    Yes, that is correct.

    Technically, you can have 2 circuits via a shared-neutral multi-wire branch circuit, but that wouldn't deliver 50 amps, and you must have a disconnect.

    You will require a subpanel with a main disconnect in the detached shed, fed by a 4-wire feeder for anything more than a 120V circuit.

    The only other workaround is to make the garage a non-detached building -- we had a local builder get around a developer's covenant restriction by building an enclosed walkway connecting the home and garage which made it an attached garage.
     
  5. jgs

    jgs Member

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    Must the subpanel be within OP's garage, or can it be on the upstream end as in my case? (Not sure if the difference would be of any use to OP.)
     
  6. FlasherZ

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

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    It must be in/on the detached structure such that less than 6 handles must be thrown to remove all power to that structure. Only one cable may be run between buildings, whether a single branch circuit, a multi-wire branch circuit, a feeder, or a service (with very limited exceptions). If you have multiple circuits in a detached structure, and you don't have a subpanel in that building, you have an illegal installation (if done under the purview of appropriate NEC - obviously in the 1930's things were different... :) )
     
  7. jgs

    jgs Member

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    Acknowledged, but I'm not going to let this keep me up nights, given that it was done by the utility's own contractor on their dime (actually, their contractor's subcontractor) and inspected by the city before being put in service. The city here is not known for being lenient with their inspections either. Perhaps code here varies, or I haven't described my installation properly. (And no, it's not a 1921 install, it was done in December of 2014.)
     
  8. FlasherZ

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

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    As long as it was permitted and inspected, the liability won't be on you. Panels are relatively inexpensive and convenient and save on wire costs (single feeder vs. multiple home-run circuits).

    NEC 225.30 and 225.31 are appropriate here. There are exceptions that can work in your favor... 225.30(E) permits additional feeders or branch circuits to supply installations under single management where documented, safe switching procedures are established and maintained for disconnection. Typically, this means having signage in the detached structure with appropriate panel locations and circuit numbers for disconnection. No more than 6 separate disconnects may be used.
     
  9. jgs

    jgs Member

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    Yeah, I don't know why they chose not to do this for my install. I had expected the panel to be placed in the garage with a single run from the meter, but no.

    That may be what was applied in my installation's case, although the "documented" part is highly notional.
     
  10. FlasherZ

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

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    Sometimes electricians play the "inspector lottery" where they hope to get the guy who is more lenient, or his good buddy. :)
     
  11. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    NEC 625.50 allows you to put the connection outdoors and not attached to the garage if that's an option for you.

    RV parks put the plugs outdoors on a pole all the time. Im sure there's a section there that would allow you to do that as well if an outdoor outlet would be acceptable to you. You could always run your cable under the garage door to your car.
     
  12. FlasherZ

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

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    625.50 is minimum height requirement for EVSE equipment unless listed for another purpose. That particular section doesn't really give permission for outdoor use; however, it is true that you could place an HPWC or an outdoor-listed enclosure outside the garage with a run back to the home's main panel.

    There is a special article for RV parks and campgrounds (551/552) that is not applicable for home use.
     

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