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Temporary / Emergency charging via direct attachment to the Electical Panel

Discussion in 'North America' started by freds, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. freds

    freds Member

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    Ok this in no way meets any electrical code and I present this information for as it says on most YouTube posts showing a non-electrician interacting with a home electrical panel for entertainment purposes only!!!!


    Also it could be dangerous to your health!!!!


    Here’s a temporary/emergency outlet that I fabricated this weekend. I should be taking delivery this week and the electrician that my landlord uses is fairly backed up.

    Here’s what the final unit looks like installed.

    ReadyForService.jpg

    With the exception of the Plexiglas mount here’s the part’s that I purchased to construct this unit.

    PartsList.jpg

    The first step in constructing the unit is attaching the wires after threading them though the two Gang PVC box.

    OutletWiring.jpg

    As you can see the outlet has the basic color code imprinted on the terminals, Green being Ground.

    I elected to not use the white neutral terminal as the Tesla mobile connector doesn’t use that connection; making this unusable for anything but charging a Tesla!!!

    I then wired up the circuit breaker to the black and red wires and put a battery chargingclip on the other end of the ground wire to make it easy to attach inside of the electrical panel.

    Here the initial assembly

    OutletWiredUp.jpg


    I then grabbed a piece of Plexiglas that I had laying around; used my drill press and an adjustable fly cutter to cut the large hole for the face of the outlet and then drilled the four mounting holes to reuse the screws the came with the outlet.

    Now time to bend the Plexiglas to form the hanger support using a simple heat gun. Here’s the setup for the first bend.

    ReadyForFirstBend.jpg


    Used your basic cookie sheet to get away from the counter so I didn't scorch the finish and to have room to use the heat gun on the top and bottom.

    As you can see in the photo the Plexiglas is covered with cardboard to control the heat transfer to the Plexiglas along with a couple pieces of wood on the end to form the overhang.

    I then threw a bunch of books to weigh everything down so the cookie sheet could be slid out from the counter.

    It only took a few minutes with the heat gun to make the desired bend. Making even passes on both the top and bottom with the heat gun until the weight of the boards and clamps caused it to droop at a 45 degree angle. At which time I bent it to 90 degrees and held while it cooled until it was ridged again.

    After cooling for a bit it was time for the second bend.

    ReadyForSecondBend.jpg

    Here’s what the outlet now looks like with the Plexiglas attached.

    OutletFinished.jpg

    Installing the emergency/temporary outlet

    1. Put on rubber gloves!!!
    2. Turn off the main circuit breaker for the electrical panel.
    3. Turn off the circuit breaker for the temporary outlet.
    4. Remove the protective face plate from the Electrical Panel
    5. Hang the temporary outlet on the lip of the electrical panel
    6. OutletMounted.jpg
    7. Attach the ground clip to screw strip that has bare copper wires going into it, make sure the clip is not touching any other wires or parts inside of the electrical panel.
    8. Install the circuit breaker for the temporary outlet. By rotating it about 30-40 degrees; first sliding it into clips in the electrical panel on the wire side of the circuit breaker and then rotating it level with the other breakers.
    9. CircuitBreakerInstalled.jpg
    10. Turn the main circuit breaker for the electrical panel back on.
    11. Turn on the circuit breaker for the temporary output.
    12. Plug in the mobile charger/connector and connect to the charge port on the car.
    13. Verify the car is happy and charge the car.

    Removing the emergency/temporary outlet.


    1. Instruct the car to stop charging and disconnect from the charge port on the car.
    2. Put on rubber gloves
    3. Turn off the circuit breaker for the temporary outlet.
    4. Unplug the mobile charger from the temporary outlet.
    5. Turn off the main circuit breaker for the electrical panel.
    6. Disconnect the ground clip and make sure it outside of the electrical panel opening.
    7. Remove the temporary outlet circuit breaker.
    8. Dismount and pack up the emergency/temporary outlet.
    9. Re-install the face plate for the electrical panel
    10. Turn the main circuit breaker for the electrical panel back on.
    11. Your all juiced up, time to hit the road jack!!!


    PS. Here's a decent YouTube link on installing an outlet yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAoknHYPZ5M


     
  2. Teo

    Teo Banned

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    Is there no regular 110-120V socket? You could just use that until you upgrade to 240V. A 40 mile charge per day would take 12 hours using a regular socket. I'm sure you are aware of this but in case you are not, here is a video explaining how charging works:

    Video Walkthrough | Tesla Motors

    Here is a charging calculator:
    Your Questions Answered | Tesla Motors
     
  3. Doug Gallarda

    Doug Gallarda P03915

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    Well done! Making a hook out of plexiglass is a great idea. My temporary setup uses a 50 amp oven outlet from Home Depot that is already fully enclosed. The clip on ground is also pretty handy when you can't find an open slot on the ground bus bar. Thanks for the detailed write up!
     
  4. Ampster

    Ampster Member

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    In the original picture, is that hose like thing in the lower right corner what you will use to put out the flames when the wires get too hot. LOL
     
  5. freds

    freds Member

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    Your very welcome!

    While I could have probably gotten by telling them to range charge the vehicle and used a high amperage location in Kirkland. I know I am going to be visiting people this summer who would totally trust me to crack their electrical panel to use this temporary solution, considering that with this setup I can do it in less then five-ten minutes.

    A past comment about me was "Fred flew into day! Yeah so? Well he arrive in an airplane he was flying!!!" ; so now I will be flying low in the Tesla(grin).

    What's the part number for the Home Depot oven outlet?



    I saw a survey on this site that polled people on how they charge and direct fuse box hookup was about or under 1% so thought I would throw this idea out there....

    - - - Updated - - -

    LOL! Yeah I noticed that as I was posting the pictures... Actually it's part of my oil processing station for the VegiStroke modification for my Ford PowerStroke pickup that lets me burn used vegetable oil (fryer grease) instead of dino diesel. So was trying to do green before....
     
  6. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Just one thing to be aware of, there are different makes of electrical panels that use different types of breakers which are not compatible with each other. I recommend you either call ahead and make sure they have the right type of panel, or you'd need to have different breakers for different makes. (Always good to call ahead anyway, would suck to find the panel doesn't have enough spare slots)
     
  7. freds

    freds Member

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    I hear you, going to have them take pictures and email them to me before hand. As for the different kinds it's about 12 bucks or so for another circuit breaker.

    In my case the panel was down to it's last two adjacent slots.
     
  8. freds

    freds Member

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    Oh if this inspires you to build and use your own outlet; please chime in!
     
  9. Doug Gallarda

    Doug Gallarda P03915

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    Leviton 55050
     
  10. freds

    freds Member

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    What's the part number for the Home Depot oven outlet?

    Hi Doug

    Yes that does look much simpler than what I put together; all it needs is the hook and clip on the ground wire.
     
  11. Doug Gallarda

    Doug Gallarda P03915

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    I have ran into the same issue. The label on the panel lid says which breaker to get and I just pick one up at Home Depot. 240v breakers are double pole so sometimes you have to move another breaker out of the way to make room.

    I now have a kit I bring with me that includes three and four prong dryer cords, a couple different 50 amp breakers, and a coil of wire with two hots and a ground.
     
  12. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #12 linkster, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2014
    I'am certainly no "elecromagician", but this is beyond dangerous.

    a) Is there not an existing 5-20, 14-30, 10-30 available?
    b) YIKES! operating a live load center without a cover
    c) YIKES! possibly utilizing ill fitting, improper circuit brakers
    d) YIKES! circuit breaker in pic not properly seated thus possibly not making proper contact with bus bar
    e) Would you perform this temp install if you come upon a house (such as mine) that has no main disconnect nor main-breaker?

    Planning will eliminate this most very unsafe practice.
     
  13. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    I agree with linkster - this is not good practice, even temporary. I tried posting yesterday but ran into technical difficulties. A temp RV panel ($28 at home depot) surface mounted would have been a more secure/safer alternative. A small hole in the plaster (easily patched later) would have allowed you to route the wires behind the panel and put the cover back on. You can get panels with a disconnect (breaker) but they cost a lot more.
     
  14. GlennAlanBerry

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    I imagine FlasherZ will have some choice words about this...

    It seems to me that if you can afford a Tesla, you can afford to have a licensed electrician do a proper installation, including pulling permits. Since a Tesla is not typically an impulse purchase, you should be able to plan ahead and get your outlet installed before your Tesla is delivered. It is also possible to just use an existing 20A, 120V outlet to charge on a temporary basis, in case you did not plan properly.

    I would hate to see someone's insurance claim denied or bad publicity about an electrical fire because of something like this.
     
  15. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    The OP stated "temporary" connection. Honestly, some of you would ask for the bill for a free lunch :)
     
  16. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Uh, no. Temporary is not a reasonable justification for unsafe. People can get hurt and property can get damaged - would you have us just ignore that?
     
  17. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    Just because the panel is open doesn't make it unsafe. Wires don't suddenly leap out at you that way. I'd be careful to make sure there are no children around, and that nobody needs to do anything near that panel while it is like this, but I wouldn't be concerned about it otherwise. Caution is warranted, paranoia is not.
     
  18. PhilBa

    PhilBa Active Member

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    Sorry but I totally disagree with you. From wikipedia: Paranoia /ˌpærəˈnɔɪə is a thought process believed to be heavily influenced by anxiety or fear, often to the point of irrationality and delusion.

    There is nothing even close to irrational or delusional about my statement. There is a reason exposed conductors are forbidden by the NEC. Plenty of credible scenarios result in injury or damage. Are you going to be there to watch it all the time? All it takes is someone stumbling and instinctively putting out their hand to catch themselves - zap. Feel free to run your home any way you want, though.
     
  19. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    And that's exactly it, run your home the way you want, I would never do this in a public place. And if there are kids running around, then absolutely this is a hazard. But if you only have a couple of adults in the house who all know it's there and have no reason to go near it anyway, then there's really no risk.
    The rules are there to prevent someone who doesn't know from getting in to trouble. I can't see a credible scenario where someone nowhere near the panel will be forced to go put their hand in it just because it's open.
     
  20. Teo

    Teo Banned

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    #20 Teo, Jun 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2014
    I did a little research. In Washington, where the OP is from, it appears you need a permit to do any electrical work in outbuildings. There are exceptions for "like-in-kind replacements" but that's it. There are insurance issues. If this would cause a fire, it is likely the landlord's insurance company would go after the OP.

    Washington State electrical work regulations:
    PDF file: http://www.lni.wa.gov/IPUB/500-078-000.pdf
    Main page: Electrical

    From the PDF File:
    I compared other countries. Australia seems to be the most discouraging. They say don't do it:
    Don't do your own electrical work - Department of Justice and Attorney-General

    In England, electrical work is classified in two categories: notifiable and not notifiable. This work would be notifiable. It means you need to send paperwork to your local council's building control department. If the work is done by a licensed electrician it will be self certified and still the paperwork is sent. If you do it yourself, you need to have it certified by an electrician or you can pay a fee to building control to come and inspect the work. If you don't report it, you risk a £5.000 penalty and a criminal record.
     

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