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Questions to ask electrician before ordering

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
348
314
Los Angeles (818)
Here’s one thing you shouldn’t bring up; don’t tell them you are using the outlet for a Tesla.
As an electrician, this wouldn’t fool me. Just like how a florist knows that these million flowers are “not for a wedding”. Lol. Nobody is running 240v, requesting a Nema 15-50 or 15-30 100’ from their house for anything else nowadays. Also, any electrician worth his or her salt would very much need to know what their job/scope is requested for.
It’s a great idea - but the whole “don’t tell them it’s for a Tesla or don’t tell them it’s for a wedding” is not necessary if you’re hiring a reputable professional. I’ve never “taxed” someone because they had a Tesla. It’s just another job, another invoice. Simple as that!
Don’t over think it too much. If you get the vibe that your electrician is going to upcharge because it’s a new Tesla, then you need to get another quote from a better person. There are honest, good ones out there..
 

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
348
314
Los Angeles (818)
I just said my son plans to park his RV for a while at my house and needed the NEMA 14-50 for it. Saved me a ton by not saying Tesla anywhere in the quoting process.
How do you know that he/she was up charging due to it being a Tesla? I charge depending on time and materials- never because of what will be plugged into the receptacle that I’m installing. Did you get two different quotes? Ouch
 

ScoobyDoo82

Member
Mar 22, 2021
348
314
Los Angeles (818)
I live in a townhouse and the circuit breaker is in the garage. I think I am just fine with getting the NEMA 14-50 and how do I not mention the word Tesla when talking to any electricians? What other "excuse" I can use when installing the NEMA 14-50?
You guys must have some scumbag electricians working in your neighborhood.. that’s a bunch of bs. You charge based on time and materials. Simple as that.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
723
709
Jax
Look at it however you want. I called 4 people to get quotes. The 2 highest quotes were for when I wanted it for my Tesla. The 2 lowest were for an RV plug. So maybe for the T&M job, they factored in a higher rate for the time for it being a Tesla. That is my small sample of 4 quotes. All were by licensed electricians. The difference was over $300 between the lowest to highest.
 
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mrwug

Member
Jul 30, 2021
194
97
Colorado
How do you know that he/she was up charging due to it being a Tesla? I charge depending on time and materials- never because of what will be plugged into the receptacle that I’m installing. Did you get two different quotes? Ouch
Good point. I ended up with three quotes, all from electricians recommended by Tesla. The ones I contacted who weren't Tesla referrals never even got back to me. My estimates ranged from $1250 (less than I expected) to $3600. All knew I was a Tesla guy but that's kinda hard to hide when I say I want a Tesla wall charger installed. :D
 

glide

Active Member
Jun 6, 2018
3,779
5,301
USA
As an electrician, this wouldn’t fool me. Just like how a florist knows that these million flowers are “not for a wedding”. Lol. Nobody is running 240v, requesting a Nema 15-50 or 15-30 100’ from their house for anything else nowadays. Also, any electrician worth his or her salt would very much need to know what their job/scope is requested for.
It’s a great idea - but the whole “don’t tell them it’s for a Tesla or don’t tell them it’s for a wedding” is not necessary if you’re hiring a reputable professional. I’ve never “taxed” someone because they had a Tesla. It’s just another job, another invoice. Simple as that!
Don’t over think it too much. If you get the vibe that your electrician is going to upcharge because it’s a new Tesla, then you need to get another quote from a better person. There are honest, good ones out there..
Really? I had one installed for my RV.

And it’s great that you don’t apply the “Tesla tax” to your customers, but clearly many electricians do from the quotes people are seeing.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,765
8,348
Boise, ID
Look at it however you want. I called 4 people to get quotes. The 2 highest quotes were for when I wanted it for my Tesla. The 2 lowest were for an RV plug. So maybe for the T&M job, they factored in a higher rate for the time for it being a Tesla. That is my small sample of 4 quotes. All were by licensed electricians. The difference was over $300 between the lowest to highest.
I think some people are overlooking that there legitimately is an extra hundred dollar difference in parts between those two, because THEY ARE DIFFERENT JOBS, even if the electrician was bidding them the same way, without any inflation from the Tesla part of it.

An outlet for an RV can use a cheap breaker.
An outlet for electric car charging requires a stupid expensive GFCI breaker.

So for that breaker price difference, there is really an extra hundred dollars there just from the code requirement of what those two different jobs are for if someone tells the truth.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
723
709
Jax
I had them all just quote just a NEMA 14-50. It was an apples to apples comparison. The labor cost was the main driver in the different quotes in my situation. It is what it is. I couldn't see spending thousands of dollars on the install just to save a few hundred dollars annually on fuel costs. It sort of defeats part of the reason to buy a Tesla (or any electric car).

I am not begrudging anyone to make a profit on their work. At the same time, I can choose who I want to go with until it is a monopoly of some sort. I saved substantially over the Tesla recommended installers and the firm I went with did good work.
 

SkyDog

Member
Aug 24, 2021
34
23
New Jersey
I have 2 quotes and will get a 3rd, but both are around $5k - quite a bit more than I was expecting. The existing wire and conduit to the garage cannot be reused, so everything will be new from the main panel will be new. I'm in central New Jersey.

I couldn't really hide that I was getting an EV so I said I'd be getting 'some' brand wall charger mounted outside my detached garage. The quotes cover:
  • trenching about 70' from house to garage and cutting through some concrete by the garage
  • conduit and wiring to garage
  • add 50 amp sub panel
  • connect the wall charger which I will buy
  • add a few lights and switches inside and outside garage
  • permit filing and fees
I haven't yet asked if this quote is for copper or aluminum wiring as @jcanoe suggested
So it's quite a lot more than I expected, but hopefully it's a once in a lifetime investment. :rolleyes:
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,418
3,467
Maryland
I have 2 quotes and will get a 3rd, but both are around $5k - quite a bit more than I was expecting. The existing wire and conduit to the garage cannot be reused, so everything will be new from the main panel will be new. I'm in central New Jersey.

I couldn't really hide that I was getting an EV so I said I'd be getting 'some' brand wall charger mounted outside my detached garage. The quotes cover:
  • trenching about 70' from house to garage and cutting through some concrete by the garage
  • conduit and wiring to garage
  • add 50 amp sub panel
  • connect the wall charger which I will buy
  • add a few lights and switches inside and outside garage
  • permit filing and fees
I haven't yet asked if this quote is for copper or aluminum wiring as @jcanoe suggested
So it's quite a lot more than I expected, but hopefully it's a once in a lifetime investment. :rolleyes:
Consult your tax adviser; it is my understanding that this type of permanent improvement to the property becomes part of your cost basis when calculating any profit/gain and associated income tax that may be owed when the property is sold.
 

DayTrippin

Member
Apr 30, 2021
723
709
Jax
I have 2 quotes and will get a 3rd, but both are around $5k - quite a bit more than I was expecting. The existing wire and conduit to the garage cannot be reused, so everything will be new from the main panel will be new. I'm in central New Jersey.

I couldn't really hide that I was getting an EV so I said I'd be getting 'some' brand wall charger mounted outside my detached garage. The quotes cover:
  • trenching about 70' from house to garage and cutting through some concrete by the garage
  • conduit and wiring to garage
  • add 50 amp sub panel
  • connect the wall charger which I will buy
  • add a few lights and switches inside and outside garage
  • permit filing and fees
I haven't yet asked if this quote is for copper or aluminum wiring as @jcanoe suggested
So it's quite a lot more than I expected, but hopefully it's a once in a lifetime investment. :rolleyes:
I don't know your situation but I would give yourself some headroom so to speak with the circuit. For example, who knows down the road what EVs maybe be capable of charging at. Maybe going with higher capacity might future proof you install a bit more. The labor is probably the bigger part of your quote.

I love how Tesla advertises how much you'll save by driving an EV over ICE. Maybe if you magically had decent charging infrastructure already in your house it might save money overall. My situation was pretty cheap compared to many here and it will take me about 13k miles before I break even vs. the car our MY replaced. For SkyDog's install it may take a few years before coming out ahead with gas at current prices.
 

mrwug

Member
Jul 30, 2021
194
97
Colorado
I have 2 quotes and will get a 3rd, but both are around $5k - quite a bit more than I was expecting. The existing wire and conduit to the garage cannot be reused, so everything will be new from the main panel will be new. I'm in central New Jersey.
Once you mentioned trenching, the price made more sense. One of my bids involved trenching and it was shockingly expensive. I chose the bid that involved running conduit through my crawlspace. :)

Consult your tax adviser; it is my understanding that this type of permanent improvement to the property becomes part of your cost basis when calculating any profit/gain and associated income tax that may be owed when the property is sold.
Also, if installed by the end of 2021, you can get a tax credit of 30% of the cost (up to $1,000 in credit)
 
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SkyDog

Member
Aug 24, 2021
34
23
New Jersey
I don't know your situation but I would give yourself some headroom so to speak with the circuit. For example, who knows down the road what EVs maybe be capable of charging at. Maybe going with higher capacity might future proof you install a bit more. The labor is probably the bigger part of your quote.
That's what I'm thinking too, but the main panel in my house is only 100 amps so a 50 to 60 amp sub panel in garage is probably the most I can do. Fortunately I don't have a big electric load in the house now - oven and dryer are the only big electric appliances I have and as long as I charge the EV overnight, there should be a problem.

I love how Tesla advertises how much you'll save by driving an EV over ICE. Maybe if you magically had decent charging infrastructure already in your house it might save money overall. My situation was pretty cheap compared to many here and it will take me about 13k miles before I break even vs. the car our MY replaced. For SkyDog's install it may take a few years before coming out ahead with gas at current prices.
I don't put a lot of miles on my car so I don't think my savings on gas will ever pay for the installation of my wall charger. I'm not really getting an EV to save money, but it would have been nice if I did!

if installed by the end of 2021, you can get a tax credit of 30% of the cost (up to $1,000 in credit)
So my $5,000 electric upgrade + $500 Tesla Wall Connector will really only cost me $4,500. I feel much better now. ;):D😇 (Purely in jest - thanks for mentioning the tax credit, it will definitely help).
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,418
3,467
Maryland
That's what I'm thinking too, but the main panel in my house is only 100 amps so a 50 to 60 amp sub panel in garage is probably the most I can do. Fortunately I don't have a big electric load in the house now - oven and dryer are the only big electric appliances I have and as long as I charge the EV overnight, there should be a problem.


I don't put a lot of miles on my car so I don't think my savings on gas will ever pay for the installation of my wall charger. I'm not really getting an EV to save money, but it would have been nice if I did!


So my $5,000 electric upgrade + $500 Tesla Wall Connector will really only cost me $4,500. I feel much better now. ;):D😇 (Purely in jest - thanks for mentioning the tax credit, it will definitely help).
I have read that if you can bury underground rated wire (without using conduit) if you cover the wire with cement or concrete. Also, the wire only needs to be buried less than 1 foot if covered with cement. If this would be acceptable to you then ask the electrician as it could save you money.
 
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EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
401
309
Texas
Consult your tax adviser; it is my understanding that this type of permanent improvement to the property becomes part of your cost basis when calculating any profit/gain and associated income tax that may be owed when the property is sold.

That's certainly the case for property you rent out, however there's no capital gains on your primary residence if you've lived there for 2 years at the time it is sold. Mind you, that's Federal and I live in Texas where we don't have state income tax so it could also be the case for a primary residence in a state with income tax.
 

Bookerdog

Member
Sep 12, 2021
11
13
Arizona
Skydog...did the electrician say anything about upgrading your home's electrical service to the main panel? If you are in central Jersey, you probably also have air conditioning so your old panel may already be heavily loaded. Just a thought.
 

EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
401
309
Texas
trenching about 70' from house to garage and cutting through some concrete by the garage
Five grand is a pretty eye-watering number ... even for a Tesla owner 😈

... or for that matter an RV owner 😈😈

Depending on the route you'll be taking under the concrete, it's also possible to tunnel under it as well. They sell an attachment you glue on the end of some PVC pipe, hook up a hose and is blasts a thin powerful stream of water that clears out the route. Yes it undermines the concrete a bit, but I'd way prefer that to cutting through it
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
3,418
3,467
Maryland
That's certainly the case for property you rent out, however there's no capital gains on your primary residence if you've lived there for 2 years at the time it is sold. Mind you, that's Federal and I live in Texas where we don't have state income tax so it could also be the case for a primary residence in a state with income tax.
There is a capital gains exclusion; $250,000 for an individual, $500,000 for married couple filing a joint tax return.

"If you have a capital gain from the sale of your main home, you may qualify to exclude up to $250,000 of that gain from your income, or up to $500,000 of that gain if you file a joint return with your spouse."

Topic No. 701 Sale of Your Home | Internal Revenue Service
 
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