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Tesla Gen 3 Charger prone to overheating?

tbwnm

Member
Sep 1, 2019
148
53
Los Angeles
Getting ready to install a Level 2 Charger for my Model Y SR in Souther California and the electrician recommended I save the $500 on the Gen 3 Tesla Charger and just install a Nema 14-50 outlet and with an adapter and use the mobile connector instead. He said he had a number of issues with the Gen 3 charges when mounted on exterior walls that have direct sun/heat exposure that causes them to shut down / stop charging. He attributes this to more glass on the Gen 3 version. He said the Gen 1 and Gen 2 versions actually worked more reliably in this situation. Would like to hear from any Tesla Gen 3 Charger users who have their charger mounted outside with direct sun/heat exposure if they have been experiencing these issues. Many Thanks
 

Sophias_dad

Supporting Member
Jul 29, 2018
1,131
1,042
Massachusetts
While I could believe Gen3's could be more prone to overheating due to the sun, there were also a bad batch of them made(rev -F) that would overheat because of bad relays. Any Gen3 bought new today should be fine in that regard.

The glass in the assembly is actually not directly connected to the air in the electric-zone of the Gen3, there's a small buffer space behind the glass and a secondary, sealed plastic plate behind the glass. In theory you could even remove the glass and the rest of the unit would remain perfectly safe, albeit a bit unsightly.
 

jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,212
2,185
Maryland
I would never recommend someone install a 14-50 receptacle outdoors where it was exposed to the weather. You can install a weather shield but the plug and the receptacle are not sealed from water, rain, etc. OTOH the Tesla Wall Connector, other hard wired EVSE are fully sealed once installed. These EVSE typically have a NEMA weather rating of 3 or 4. (NEMA 3 - can be exposed to water, NEMA 4 - can be sprayed with a hose.)
 
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tbwnm

Member
Sep 1, 2019
148
53
Los Angeles
I would never recommend someone install a 14-50 receptacle outdoors where it was exposed to the weather. You can install a weather shield but the plug and the receptacle are not sealed from water, rain, etc. OTOH the Tesla Wall Connector, other hard wired EVSE are fully sealed once installed. These EVSE typically have a NEMA weather rating of 3 or 4. (NEMA 3 - can be exposed to water, NEMA 4 - can be sprayed with a hose.)
The electrician said he would install a weather shield over the plug. As the Model Y SR can only pull a maximum of 32 amps anyway it seems like the Telsa Gen 3 wall charger would be over kill.
 
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jcanoe

Active Member
Oct 2, 2020
2,212
2,185
Maryland
The electrician said he would install a weather shield over the plug. As the Model Y SR can only pull a maximum of 32 amps anyway it seems like the Telsa Gen 3 wall charger would be over kill.
Understood. NEMA 14-50 receptacles are approved for use outdoors to power RVs (When used to provide power an RV motorohome this is considered a temporary connection, not intended for permanent use.) Besides being able to support charging at up to 48 amps (when using a 60A circuit) the main benefit of the Tesla Wall Connector is that is designed for and can be used in all weather conditions. The Wall Connector can be easily configured for use on lower amperage circuits, i.e. 50A, 40A, etc.) The Wall Connector automatically limits the charging session to 80% of the rated circuit amperage so when used on a 40A circuit the Wall Connector would charge at a maximum of 32 amps.

When you install a NEMA 14-50 receptacle for charging an EV the 2017 revision of the NEC states that you must install a GFCI for the receptacle, i.e. a GFCI circuit breaker (costs ~$100). You will need to have 3 wires, plus ground wire with the 14-50 receptacle versus 2 wires plus ground for the Wall Connector so there is an estimated 25% higher cost per foot for the wire. A good quality 14-50 receptacle made by Hubbell, Bryant or Cooper costs ~$80 (plus there needs to be an electrical box for the 14-50 receptacle.) You will also need to purchase the Tesla NEMA 14-50 power plug adapter ($45 from the Tesla store) and the cost of the weather shield. The Tesla Wall Connector costs $500 but when you factor in the real costs for the 14-50 receptacle the additional cost of the Wall Connector is not that much.
 
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