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Tesla 14-50 Adapter and NEMA 14-50 Wall Socket Don’t Seem Compatible

3 years ago while I was upgrading electrical for a kitchen remodel I had a NEMA 14-50 outlet with a 50 amp circuit installed in garage by the kitchen remodel contractor’s electrician. I provided them with the instructions from the Tesla website. My model Y has an EDD in December so I decided to open the 14-50 adapter I bought from Tesla website to see how it plugs in and to check clearances for the mobile adapter when the car shows up. Much to my chagrin, tha Tesla 14-50 adapter and the wall socket don’t seem compatible. The ground receptacle on the wall socket is semi spherical and the Tesla adapter ground plug is spherical. In addition, while the three other prongs align with wall socket, they seem to to be hitting resistance. In other words they don’t seem to want to plug into the wall socket. The resistance seems to be coming from other than the ground plug and receptacle. I’m hesitant to push too hard to see if it will plug in. (circuit breaker is in off position as I am futzing with this just in case you were wondering!). I called my regular electrician to come out and see what is what. I may end up replacing NEMA 14-50 outlet with a Tesla wall charger.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?

I’ve attached a few photos of situation.
 

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3 years ago while I was upgrading electrical for a kitchen remodel I had a NEMA 14-50 outlet with a 50 amp circuit installed in garage by the kitchen remodel contractor’s electrician. I provided them with the instructions from the Tesla website. My model Y has an EDD in December so I decided to open the 14-50 adapter I bought from Tesla website to see how it plugs in and to check clearances for the mobile adapter when the car shows up. Much to my chagrin, tha Tesla 14-50 adapter and the wall socket don’t seem compatible. The ground receptacle on the wall socket is semi spherical and the Tesla adapter ground plug is spherical. In addition, while the three other prongs align with wall socket, they seem to to be hitting resistance. In other words they don’t seem to want to plug into the wall socket. The resistance seems to be coming from other than the ground plug and receptacle. I’m hesitant to push too hard to see if it will plug in. (circuit breaker is in off position as I am futzing with this just in case you were wondering!). I called my regular electrician to come out and see what is what. I may end up replacing NEMA 14-50 outlet with a Tesla wall charger.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?

I’ve attached a few photos of situation.
A big nevermind. I did a bit more research and indeed the sicker is a bit hard to plug in. I pushed a bit more firmly and it plugged in all the way. Not too difficult to get it unplugged. I may still buy a wall charger.
 

ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,037
783
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi @kc1953 ,

Congratulations on getting this done early...
You do not want your car parked and unable
to drive due to the lack of charging facilities.

Question: Usually the odd pin or round one is at
the up or 12 o'clock position when the socket is mounted.
Is yours "up" or rotated down or is that an artifact of the
camera filing and uploading process?
Generally when plugged in the charger would hang down
instead of pointing up and having a hard bend in the cable...

You do have to push fairly hard.
This is why many say it is best to leave this plugged in...
Glad you got it to work.

Shawn
 
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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Moderator
Nov 28, 2018
12,514
14,940
Riverside Co. CA
3 years ago while I was upgrading electrical for a kitchen remodel I had a NEMA 14-50 outlet with a 50 amp circuit installed in garage by the kitchen remodel contractor’s electrician. I provided them with the instructions from the Tesla website. My model Y has an EDD in December so I decided to open the 14-50 adapter I bought from Tesla website to see how it plugs in and to check clearances for the mobile adapter when the car shows up. Much to my chagrin, tha Tesla 14-50 adapter and the wall socket don’t seem compatible. The ground receptacle on the wall socket is semi spherical and the Tesla adapter ground plug is spherical. In addition, while the three other prongs align with wall socket, they seem to to be hitting resistance. In other words they don’t seem to want to plug into the wall socket. The resistance seems to be coming from other than the ground plug and receptacle. I’m hesitant to push too hard to see if it will plug in. (circuit breaker is in off position as I am futzing with this just in case you were wondering!). I called my regular electrician to come out and see what is what. I may end up replacing NEMA 14-50 outlet with a Tesla wall charger.

Has anyone experienced anything like this?

I’ve attached a few photos of situation.

FWIW, that outlet in that picture is actually upside down. The ground is supposed to be on the top. With it that way, the mobile connector will not hang straight down, and you will have to do something to support its weight.

A lot of people install them that way because they are used to the ground pin being at the bottom on a regular household outlet.

Its much better if its installed this way:

IMG_1013.JPG
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,378
4,560
Maryland
The NEC does not specify the orientation of receptacles in residential applications, only for hospital installations. If you want the electrician to rotate the receptacle so that ground plug is at the bottom and the Tesla power plug adapter hangs down naturally they should be able to accommodate your request.

You should consider adding a Cable Organizer such as this one from Tesla: Cable Organizer

See photos 2 and 3 that show two possible orientations of the Tesla 14-50 plug adapter in the receptacle, i.e. ground pin at the top or ground pin at the bottom. You can also find similar organizers on Amazon and Etsy. It is important to relieve the strain of the weight of the Tesla Mobile Connector chassis (the brick) from the receptacle and the power plug using a wall mount bracket or other means of supporting the chassis.

As you have discovered, the fit of the NEMA 14-50 plug in the receptacle is tight. This is by design as the NEMA 14-50 receptacle is not designed for frequent plugging and unplugging from the receptacle.
 
Hi @kc1953 ,

Congratulations on getting this done early...
You do not want your car parked and unable
to drive due to the lack of charging facilities.

Question: Usually the odd pin or round one is at
the up or 12 o'clock position when the socket is mounted.
Is yours "up" or rotated down or is that an artifact of the
camera filing and uploading process?
Generally when plugged in the charger would hang down
instead of pointing up and having a hard bend in the cable...

You do have to push fairly hard.
This is why many say it is best to leave this plugged in...
Glad you got it to work.

Shawn
My electrician installed it upside down, but it’s merely a matter of installing the cable organizer so there is no pressure on the cable. I’ve seen pics of it done both ways. My biggest concern is having enough space on garage wall to properly install cable organizer so everything fits with adequate clearance. After the NEMA 14-50 outlet was installed in 2018, I had solar installed along with a storage battery. The wall is pretty cluttered now with inverter and critical loads panel (circuit breakers for all the stuff that runs off battery during outage). I think it’s going to be a challenge to get 14-50 adapter and mobile connector snaked in there with cable organizer.
 

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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,378
4,560
Maryland
My electrician installed it upside down, but it’s merely a matter of installing the cable organizer so there is no pressure on the cable. I’ve seen pics of it done both ways. My biggest concern is having enough space on garage wall to properly install cable organizer so everything fits with adequate clearance. After the NEMA 14-50 outlet was installed in 2018, I had solar installed along with a storage battery. The wall is pretty cluttered now with inverter and critical loads panel (circuit breakers for all the stuff that runs off battery during outage). I think it’s going to be a challenge to get 14-50 adapter and mobile connector snaked in there with cable organizer.
I had my 14-50 receptacle installed so that the ground pin is at the 9 o'clock position; works for me.
 
FWIW, that outlet in that picture is actually upside down. The ground is supposed to be on the top. With it that way, the mobile connector will not hang straight down, and you will have to do something to support its weight.

A lot of people install them that way because they are used to the ground pin being at the bottom on a regular household outlet.

Its much better if its installed this way:

View attachment 734527
I agree that it was installed upside down. But it’s just a matter of properly locating the pieces of the Tesla cable organizer so the mobile connector’s weight is supported. I’ve seen installations both ways. Thanks!
 
The NEC does not specify the orientation of receptacles in residential applications, only for hospital installations. If you want the electrician to rotate the receptacle so that ground plug is at the bottom and the Tesla power plug adapter hangs down naturally they should be able to accommodate your request.

You should consider adding a Cable Organizer such as this one from Tesla: Cable Organizer

See photos 2 and 3 that show two possible orientations of the Tesla 14-50 plug adapter in the receptacle, i.e. ground pin at the top or ground pin at the bottom. You can also find similar organizers on Amazon and Etsy. It is important to relieve the strain of the weight of the Tesla Mobile Connector chassis (the brick) from the receptacle and the power plug using a wall mount bracket or other means of supporting the chassis.

As you have discovered, the fit of the NEMA 14-50 plug in the receptacle is tight. This is by design as the NEMA 14-50 receptacle is not designed for frequent plugging and unplugging from the receptacle.
I have the Tesla cable organizer. It came today along with key fobs and matching fob holders. That what triggered my testing of plug and wall socket. I understand your points and have always planned to perform steps exactly as you have outlined.
 

EVer Hopeful

Member
Jul 7, 2021
839
662
Texas
The NEC does not specify the orientation of receptacles in residential applications, only for hospital installations.

I'm not sure about requirements in the UK, though the tendency is to orient with the earth at the top and switched outlets are built that way

K63747-CHM.jpg


I read a long time ago that in the US, there is no (residential) standard, but people generally put the ground pin at the bottom (nearest the ground), so I've always done that. The benefit of this is that if I'm using a polarized plug, I know the fat negative terminal will go on the left
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,378
4,560
Maryland
I'm not sure about requirements in the UK, though the tendency is to orient with the earth at the top and switched outlets are built that way

K63747-CHM.jpg


I read a long time ago that in the US, there is no (residential) standard, but people generally put the ground pin at the bottom (nearest the ground), so I've always done that. The benefit of this is that if I'm using a polarized plug, I know the fat negative terminal will go on the left
I recall one post that claimed that the ground pin should be oriented at the top. The reason was that if a metal tool such a screwdriver should fall onto the plug connection it would harmlessly contact the ground connection and not a hot connection. It seems like an unlikely scenario, a one in a million unless you are that accident prone character portrayed by Billy Crystal. "Want to know what I hate? I hate when I stick my hand down the garbage disposal and then turn on the switch. I just hate that."
 
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ShawnA

Active Member
Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2017
1,037
783
Edwardsburg, MI
Hi @jcanoe ,

I asked my recent electrician why he even mounted "normal" 120 volt outlets with the ground up.
He related a similar story of items falling on the blades of a charged plug...
It did not make sense at the time. I was at home and using the plastic or bakelite outlet cover plates.

In basements and in industry where metal outlet covers are used it made far more sense.

I was recently working on alarm with the plug in transformer and the ground pin down.
It had the metal cover plate which slipped down onto the live conductor blades...
It made quite a flash and gave me an unwanted surprise...
So, dropping tools, not so much.
Dropping a metal cover plate far more likely.
Or the metal cover plate slipping due to a forgotten screw.
All with reasonably bad results.

That outlet now has the ground pin oriented up
and I understand his reasoning.

Shawn
 

LoudMusic

Member
Jul 21, 2020
869
951
Arkansas
Hi @jcanoe ,

I asked my recent electrician why he even mounted "normal" 120 volt outlets with the ground up.
He related a similar story of items falling on the blades of a charged plug...
It did not make sense at the time. I was at home and using the plastic or bakelite outlet cover plates.

In basements and in industry where metal outlet covers are used it made far more sense.

I was recently working on alarm with the plug in transformer and the ground pin down.
It had the metal cover plate which slipped down onto the live conductor blades...
It made quite a flash and gave me an unwanted surprise...
So, dropping tools, not so much.
Dropping a metal cover plate far more likely.
Or the metal cover plate slipping due to a forgotten screw.
All with reasonably bad results.

That outlet now has the ground pin oriented up
and I understand his reasoning.

Shawn

Another simple argument in favor of ground-lug-up is that it's equally simple to install with ground-lug-up and is no less functional, with possible safety improvements. So, why not? I'm not going to bother to rotate all my existing plugs, but when I install/replace plugs I flip them at that time.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
4,378
4,560
Maryland
I have one appliance, a compact washer and dryer made in Italy, that has the ground pin oriented at the top of the molded plug. I have the ground pin oriented up on the outlet to align with the plug. If all 120V power plugs were made this way then it would become common to always install receptacles with the ground pin at the top.
 

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