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So many mixed answers - Electrical requirements for installation

rypalmer

Active Member
Aug 22, 2014
1,606
1,847
Canada
Hi do you have anymore information about this? What was the cost to do the work? Do you have any pictures? brand and model of this "charger controller"?
Have you even established a need for this yet? How much do you drive on a daily basis (not including long drives that require Supercharging), do you park inside or outside, and will you ever have a second EV? This info will help us help you right-size the service.
 
The cheapest way to get a 200 amp panel and save on labor is to have a new 200 amp panel installed next to the current panel. Then sub your old main panel off of the new 200 amp panel. This will save a lot of time because the electrician won't have to rewire all of the old breakers. The new panel would have a 100 amp breaker for the sub panel and a 50 amp breaker for the NEMA 14-50.
 
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$1100 all in?? I was quoted $1000 just for the DCC-10 alone.

That sounds excessive although it will probably depend on the size - mine is 40A. Call your local electrical wholesale and get a price.

Also bear in mind I bought the HPWC separately so that's not included, and the run from my panel to the connector in the garage is about 20ft with one wall to go through so not a ton of labour or materials on that side.

In terms of charging speed, I've found 32A to be plenty.
 
I don't think that 24A is a good experience for people in the winter. Too much current is drawn to warm the battery during charging. The charge rate will simply be too slow. I don't see much point in cheaping out on your personal charging infrastructure for a $60k+ vehicle. May as well go with at least 32A or ideally 48A max for Model 3. The condo situation may be different in a heated or at least non-freezing garage.

Short answer:
Unless you have a 300+ km daily commute, even in Canadian winter you should have plenty even if you don't have a 40/50/60A charging circuit. You could try whatever you can put in before having to upgrade your service.

Long answer:
I have a house with 100A service. The garage is un-insulated and un-heated. My garage already had a 40A sub-panel off of the house panel (still 100A total service). I have an electric dryer and electric range, natural gas water heater, and no air conditioning.
I started with a simple and inexpensive solution by installing a 30A breaker in the garage sub-panel going to a wall connector (or you could use a 14-30 outlet for 30A or 6-20 outlet for 20A instead, and buy the appropriate Tesla adapter for it) to test the waters, with the intent if things didn't work out, then I would go through getting better service.

I have a roughly 100 km daily work trip and a Model 3 dual motor and have outdoor parking with no charging or outlets at work. With pre-heating the cabin at work before going out for lunch, cabin pre-heating at work before going home, heater use during the drive, lower efficiency during cold drives, added snow resistance, and shopping errands, I sometimes get home with 50% charge (from a 90% charging setpoint in the morning).

However, from this winter's experience, 24A charging from the 30A circuit is more than sufficient for my use case with a Model 3 over winter with lows at least below -35C (since I started recording).

I installed a separate meter at the wall charger, and have tested a number of methods - charge at full 24A when I get home, do a scheduled charge at 24A to time full charge before leaving, or turning down the current and "trickle" charging all night. I find the charge at full when arriving at home method to be more efficient. This way, you don't have to heat the battery before charging unlike the scheduled charging, and there is less losses (better efficiency) charging at full over a short time rather than charging slowly over a longer time.

In any case, charging at 24A as soon as I plug in gets me up to my 90% setpoint before or around midnight, leaving 8+ hours of leeway for additional charging if I ever did a long trip before arriving home. There's also a supercharger about 15 min away if I ever needed it, but I have not used it at all.
Trickle charging at 10A at -35C (51-88%) in the dead of winter still got the full 90% setpoint* before I left in the morning. 9A at -36C didn't quite fully charge (51-82%). [*After the setpoint the car stops charging then will slowly go down due to battery heating unless it drops more than 5% where it will start charging again]

I would suggest that unless you have a long daily trip use case, you could test the waters by installing what service you can get in your existing panel without having to add a new panel and service, and you may find you don't need the full 32A of the 14-50 with mobile connector Gen2, or the 48A of the wall connector with 60A breaker. Certainly if you have to expand your service anyway you can be prepared, but you might not need to expand your service at all.
 
I don't think that 24A is a good experience for people in the winter. Too much current is drawn to warm the battery during charging. The charge rate will simply be too slow. I don't see much point in cheaping out on your personal charging infrastructure for a $60k+ vehicle. May as well go with at least 32A or ideally 48A max for Model 3. The condo situation may be different in a heated or at least non-freezing garage.

Whether it's a 48A or 24A charge, we all wake-up with a car that's 90% charged (or 80%, or whatever you set it at). Even driving 300km/day in my MX, that's 12 hours of charging (closer to 9 hours, my guess, with a TM3). A person with lower amperage might start charging sooner in the evening, or even right when they get home, sure, but I really don't see it as cheapening out when the results are identical at 8am in the morning.

To put it differently, if you can afford the luxury of higher amperage then go for it! No judgment. But it is a luxury, and not a necessity, for most driving habits.
 
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5_+JqckQttqck

Active Member
Apr 27, 2018
1,851
1,407
Toronto
I second Xelloss99's experience. Best to plug in right away when you get home. The charge efficiency is the highest as the battery has already been prepped by the cooling/heating system for optimal discharge/charge temps.

Waiting till 3AM to charge = cold soaked battery which adds $costs to your electricity bill. Preheat in the morning and forget about it.
 
Was also quoted about $3000 to install a 200A panel (current panel won't cut it). My dryer is just on the other side of my garage so I purchased a Y-adapter (14-30P to 14-30R) and the Tesla 14-30 adapter for the Tesla mobile connector. When I charge, I have to leave the door slightly ajar and that tells everyone not to use the dryer. Haven't tried using the dryer and charging at the same time as I assume this will trip the breaker. It only charges at 6kW / 24A, but still gets the job done overnight. Will probably go with a 200A panel in the future, but for now, this is my temporary solution.

In case anyone interested, I got the y-adapter from Cord Depot. Conntek Y14301430 NEMA 14-30P to (2)14-30R Dryer Outlet Y-Adapter

Anyone know of any downside (other than convenience and slower charging) from using a Y-adapter?
 
I was told I would need a new panel as mine is only 100A. In the end I talked to an electrician friend and he thought I would be fine. He did say inspector might complain about the load. In the end I went the DIY route and had no issue. I went for the full 60A breaker charging at 48A. I think you just have to consider the draw your house has I have never had an issue and its a big house. I do have energy efficient appliances, gas stove, gas heat all the bulbs are LED. I do have central air but I have never had an issue. I think a lot of guys that specialize in EV Chargers are taking the approach that if its even close go for the big ticket install. The worst that will happen is if you charge when your house is under max load is you trip a breaker. I was quoted anywhere from $2000 for 32A breaker and much much higher. I got it done myself for around $250, 100 for the breaker and around the same for wire plus a few minor items.
 
The worst that will happen is if you charge when your house is under max load is you trip a breaker.

Actually I'd say the worst that can happen is that you overload the circuit and the breaker does not trip (this is known to happen occasionally). This may result in a burned wire or worse an electrical fire. A good rule would be to have excess capacity and nominally draw below that limit.

Personally I did not feel comfortable having large, continuous current draws that were close to the supply limit. A lot of standard electrical components (wires, breakers, connectors) are not designed for 100% duty cycle loading. So pulling 24A or 32A near the spec'd limit for short periods of time is fine, but drawing that for 10+ hours every single night... well, I'd be a bit careful about that.

IMO, it's not worth the risk of burning down your house to save $1k-$2k. Plus if there is any issue, and the insurance company investigates, you better have the proper safety signoffs from the ESA.

Just my $0.02
 
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For those interested, here is the relevant section from the Ontario Electrical Safety Authority: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations - EsaSafe

Requirements
  • The installer shall take out a permit (also called an Application for Inspection) with the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) prior to starting the installation. Contact ESA at 1-877-ESA-SAFE (372-7233).
  • Installation shall be in compliance with the Ontario Electrical Safety Code (the Code), specifically Section 86 – Electrical Vehicles Charging Systems. (ESA will be issuing a bulletin about EV charging station requirements shortly.)
    • If only an outlet and associated equipment (breaker and wiring) are required, fee code R078 applies. There will be a charge for any additional outlet or charger.
    • If a new panel or service is required, the corresponding permit fees will apply.
  • Installation is required to be done by a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC)
    • If a Local Distribution Company (LDC) or its affiliate is doing the installation, the LDC or its affiliate is required to hold an electrical contracting licence through ECRA/ESA and take out a permit for the installation.
  • Equipment shall be certified for use in Canada by a nationally recognized certification agency – CSA, cUL, cETL or display other certification marks approved by ESA.
  • A Certificate of Inspection will be issued by ESA once the installation is in compliance with the Code.

My take is that people who do this themselves are probably violating their home insurance policy. Unless they have an ESA sign-off on their installation. For a light bulb or basic fixture I wouldn't be too worried. These are low current devices. For a vehicle that can potentially draw 48A, you should be much more careful.
 
I had a red seal electrician come to my house calculate the load and he believed I would be fine. There is no reason to fear monger that the breakers aren't going to work and my house will burn down. Its completely legal to pull a home owner permit and work on your own home in my municipality. There is no issue with insurance or safety of any kind. I did a couple years of an electrical apprenticeship working my way through college. It took me less than an hour to do the job. In all honesty repairing the drywall and repainting took longer and was much more difficult. If you can replace a plug or switch you can probable install a charger.
 
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I had a red seal electrician come to my house calculate the load and he believed I would be fine. There is no reason to fear monger that the breakers aren't going to work and my house will burn down. Its completely legal to pull a home owner permit and work on your own home in my municipality. There is no issue with insurance or safety of any kind. I did a couple years of an electrical apprenticeship working my way through college. It took me less than an hour to do the job. In all honesty repairing the drywall and repainting took longer and was much more difficult. If you can replace a plug or switch you can probable install a charger.

As far as I know you’re either within the electrical code or not when the work is done - there’s no “should be fine”. An electrician cannot certify the work, only ESA can. With no ESA cert and a potential fire risk, sorry but I wouldn’t be comfortable. You might also have issues come inspection if you ever sell your house and certainly with insurance if an electrical fire was traced to it.

For the sake of saving $1000 I don’t think it’s worth it, but your call.
 
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As far as I know you’re either within the electrical code or not when the work is done. An electrician cannot certify the work, only ESA can. With no ESA cert and a potential fire risk, sorry but I wouldn’t be comfortable. You might also have issues come inspection if you ever sell your house and certainly with insurance if an electrical fire was traced to it.

For the sake of saving $1000 I don’t think it’s worth it, but your call.

A home owner can pull a permit and get an inspection, people do it all the time and you can do with most trades. I've done it for gas as well when I replaced a fireplace in my home. Check with your municipality.
 
So just to be clear, you got an ESA inspection and sticker for the work?

I don't think we call it ESA in BC. When you pull a home owner permit you get an inspection exactly the same as a contractor. There are some stipulations on a home owners permit. Your not allowed to get one if the home is rented or a portion of the home is allocated for a suite. The rules are a little different everywhere but you do not have to be a licensed electrician to get an inspection on your own home and you can do the work yourself. It has no impact on inspection or insurance. This original thread started because someone is getting drastically different quotes. I had the exact same experience so I talked to a friend that was an electrician and it turned out there was no need to spend thousands at all. I'm not bad mouthing any specific company but my experience with some of the EV guys is they have no interest in a job that is not several thousand and it makes no difference if you actually need several thousand worth of work.
 
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A home owner can pull a permit and get an inspection, people do it all the time and you can do with most trades. I've done it for gas as well when I replaced a fireplace in my home. Check with your municipality.

In Ontario and Alberta (of course B.C.) a home owner can pull a permit and get it inspected. A certificate will be issued.
 
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Actually i come across a thread here that an electrician went to a house to do the installation and the home owner charged the EV that night and the breaker tripped three times in a row... lol

I don’t think it get inspected.

I don’t think the wire has proper gauge to handle the load

I don’t think the electrician know EV charge is considered continuous load
 
There is an in-between scenario that may be available to you, as it was to me. I recently moved into a home that had 100 AMP service. 200 AMP service was going to be an expensive upgrade. Upon further investigation, it was noted that the panel was rated for 125 AMP service. The feed from hydro was already sufficient; all that required changing was the cables in the mast (the existing were of insufficient gauge) and replacing the 100 AMP breaker with a 125 AMP breaker. Voila! 60 AMP circuit for the charger now fit the load calculation for the house. FYI my stove is gas, if you have an electric range I don't believe 125 would be enough.
 

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