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Tesla Home Charging Installation

Discussion in 'Model X: Battery & Charging' started by toonman, Apr 23, 2018.

  1. toonman

    toonman Member

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    Location:
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    Hi all, I am new here and hopefully this is not a repeat. Expecting to get my X in June and exploring options to setup charger in my garage.

    I was contacted by Tesla to perform a survey on my home for charging options/quote. The person sent by Tesla who came out did a very detail analysis and spend about 50 minutes analysing the area and taking pictures of all my big electrical appliances and their ratings. A few days later, Tesla came back with a quote and it is double the price compared to what I could get from a local electrician who spent 3 minutes looking at my home before giving me a quote. The work includes trenching to get from my electrical box to the garage.

    Anybody here who can share their experience with Tesla charging installation vs outside electricians? I like their 4 years warranty but don't like their price.
     
  2. brkaus

    brkaus Well-Known Member

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    I see no benefit of a Tesla installer over a highly rated local installer. IMHO.

    Are you getting a HPWC? And would the 4 year warranty cover that? I don't see much value in a 4 year warranty on standard electrical work. Replacing a breaker, the most likely failure, would cost you less than $100.
     
    • Helpful x 2
  3. Rockster

    Rockster Active Member

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    Definitely get multiple quotes. There are a ton of reports of highly rated, non-Tesla affiliated electrician doing the work as well, or better, than the Tesla one, quite often at a much cheaper price.
     
    • Like x 1
  4. Poor Pilot

    Poor Pilot Member

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    I got 4-5 different quotes from local electricians because I thought I was going to have to put in a new panel to accommodate a 50amp outlet in my garage. Some of the quotes were from the "Tesla approved" list and the others were not. I ended up going with a local, referred company that didn't try to sell me a new panel or any other upgraded stuff. I want to say I paid about $1000 to run the wire from the other side of my house to my garage and install a HPWC. I was told the majority of the cost was running the wire the entire length of my house.
     
  5. legend502

    legend502 Member

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    I also got multiple quotes; telsa referrals were the most expensive; ended up going with local electrician recommended by my General contractor neighbor that installed for the best price; most of the cost was running the wire across 3 garages. I had one hickup - just need to make sure the contractor is familiar with the HPWC; needs to have rotary dial changed inside the HPWC to get max charging performance. Only recommendation I would make is make sure they have the manual in front of them and the number to call support for any questions. Other than that it was smooth sailing.
     
  6. toonman

    toonman Member

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    Just a clarification, the quote I received is not from "Tesla recommended" electricians. It is actually from Tesla Home Charging Installation in Palo Alto, CA.
     
  7. Jeffgtx

    Jeffgtx Member

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    i had the oppsoite experience. tesla was much lower than anywhere else, plus they take care of everything, permits etc. i would make sure your quote is apples to apples.
     
    • Helpful x 1
  8. WilliamInPhx

    WilliamInPhx Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Tesla pricing seems to be flat rate ($W for 1st unit install with surface conduit, $X upcharge for hidden conduit, $Y/ft for softscape trenching, $Z for a second unit, etc). How that compares to other pricing depends on what work that 'other' pricing is going to deliver. Having gotten multiple bids here in Phoenix, I can confirm that Tesla's pricing is more expensive than those doing the 'basic' work but is much less expensive than those quoting the 'same high-end' work that is the only thing Tesla will do. Tesla's onsite review doesn't seem to be so much about pricing, but to get the exact info so the install can be done right the first time.

    For that flat rate, Tesla's installation methods are the "gold standard", not the "code minimum". Case in point: For a 50-amp breaker where all the wiring is hidden within walls and attic crawlspace, some will quote 6/3 or 8/3 NB-B cable run thru the wall and attic cavities, meet code, and be less expensive. I also had 4/3 NB-B and 2-2-2 SER cable quoted me by various electricians (yes, I got a lot of different quotes and learned a great deal in the process). Tesla was the only company proposing THHN-2 individual wires being run inside 1" EMT. When I asked other installers (who came after Tesla's reps) to quote that, the consensus was that such an install would be 'gold standard' but probably "too expensive" so they didn't want to quote it. Tesla, meanwhile, was measuring out "This we can hand-bend onsite, but for each of these other pieces we'll have the factory machine-bender exactly these curves to spec in advance."

    The quotes for the work to upgrade the wiring from the main panel to the subpanel were particularly interesting. Tesla quoted a fixed price based on the trenching thru <x> feet of softscape and <y> feet of hardscape, with the upgraded subpanel and connect into the main panel. Others here quoted a lot of "maybe if we run some visible conduit here" and "if we try to run it thru that stucco section hopefully it'll work and there won't be a firestop in the way", and came up with quotes much lower than Tesla's. Only one other was willing to trench to have the conduit properly buried and completely hidden, and their quote started out a bit higher than Tesla's, *plus* their quote came with a disclaimer that "and after we're gone you'll need to separately pay several hundred to repair the concrete walkway, the brick fascia, etc" which would have added many hundreds more. So again, the 'other' quotes offering lesser work were significantly less expensive, but the quotes for the 'same high-end' work were actually much more than Tesla's quote.

    Bottom line: Every install is unique, and every owner's goal / budget / interest is unique. If you have a simple install and your goal is a "budget install that meets code minimums", there is nothing wrong with that and you can probably find a local electrician who will provide that. Heck, if it's a really simple install and you're handy, perhaps you can do it yourself for parts + your time + inspection fee. Then again, if you have a complex install and your goal is a "gold standard install that looks beautiful, is exactly where you want the charger, and elicits not just approval but respect from your local code inspector", then Tesla's quote will likely be lower than others. Just make sure to understand the pros and cons of each installer's approach before signing. FWIW, my choice is Tesla.

    (NOTE: Things may be different elsewhere, Tesla may have changed things, YMMV, insert other disclaimers here, etc).
     
  9. RayW

    RayW Joy Riding

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Cypress
    My first quote was from a Tesla referred electrician – he wanted $6,500 to replace my entire panel and run new line to the garage. He also advised running new underground line to the house from the utility vault for something around $15K… all this over the phone without see the house. Ballz.

    My next two quotes were for $1,200 – 1,400 for new breaker and new line to garage. Guess which one I went with?
     
  10. rgedad

    rgedad Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
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    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    I have ordered my Model X 100Dand still awaiting it. In the meantime - I started the process of getting a charging wall unit installed. I contacted three suppliers on the Texas - Dallas area Tesla list. I supplied them with basic into formation including that I had 200 Amp service, and an open double slot in my box and the box was 4 feet from where I wanted to unit installed.

    One supplier came back with question of what my power bill was and then came back with $500 bid, and no other infomation. Knowing he did not ask the right questions - I did not go with him.

    One supplier came back with a list of photos to be taken, and major power utilities in the house, and recent utilities bill, I supplied with Photos & peak June loading for peak days in August.
    estimate came back with a $1600 estimate including the Wall unit and permits, and $250 item for ..."Training"

    Third did a site visit, took power measurements, verified breaker capability and placement. Had me order the Wall unit myself as it would be cheaper for me to do it than having them do it. Also included the permits and inspections. We went over in detail to power available, and what my system could max out at. They provided quotes for NEMA installation, Wall unit installation, and multiple Wall unit installations.
    their cost was about $650 for the wall unit (Exclusive of the wall unit itself)
    This is the company I decided to go with -

    I later received a Call from TESLA. But by then I had made my decision, so the Tesla rep switched gears and tried to interest me an a Solar system...to no avail.

    In short - get multiple quotes. Make sure you know what services are being provided, Remember about permits and Inspections. If you get the wall unit from them you may be paying an overhead rate - but you also get the guarantee that the unit will be operational - if it isn't - they can just pull from stock to get you one that is good.

    Wall Unit installation scheduled for 5/11

    Ordered 100D Late Feb, just got the VIN, and production "should" start W/E 5/21
     
  11. legend502

    legend502 Member

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    Good post and the right decision - BTW I think your power bill should be irrelevant - its just to up-sell you to solar
     
  12. rgedad

    rgedad Member

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    Well - sort of irrelevant
    I am relatively new to living in Texas, and had never really looked closely at my peak usage loading, I just took a deep breath and paid the bills. Much to no surprise - July, August, and September were peak months. I looked back over three years and found the three days with peak draw, then I went deeper and found the usage by hour for the three peak days. All three days were running at about 107 degrees so both of my AC units were running at maximum. The peak usage was from 11 Am to about 8 PM.

    When I compared the actual usage to the technicians calculation I was under his calculation by some 40%, but he was adding in the oven and dryer - the next two biggest power usage besides the two AC units. So it was not a wasted evaluation. He also had a "Standard" amount based on her square footage of the house. He of course then added in 25% for safety factor before his calculation to show how much he could set the maximum for the Wall unit to draw. I presume the 25% also covers any start-up surge current with the AC Compressor motors start-up.

    I think when they come to do the actual installation, I may just do a test run with both of my AC units running, dryer and oven running along with anything else I can turn on to see what my acrtual max usage is.

    In looking at the by hour usage data, It is really clear to me that I should be waiting till later in the evening to start the charging, which should not be a problem since I will have the full capability of the wall unit available.

    Now I just have to decide / calculate it it would pay me to switch to a nights and weekends rate. While the Model X would be virtually fre charging, they do bump up the day rate, and I think , by far, my biggest power users are the two AC units - combatting the brutal Texas sun load.

    I did some cogitation if the Tesla Wall Battery could be used to time shift the power usage, but it is now-where big enough to power the house for any extended duration, and the software does not (yet) provide that option in any case. It can only be used to store Solar energy, or act as a back-up if the prime power goes out.
     
  13. ReyfromDavis

    ReyfromDavis New Member

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    Feb 27, 2018
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    Location:
    Davis, CA, USA

    I have an X, I spent less than $200, including inspection permits, to install a NEMA 14-50 power outlet for the charger that came with my car. My house has an spare 50 Amps breaker.
     
  14. Need

    Need Active Member

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    This reminded me the time about 5 years ago when all of the toilets in my house overflowed and won't flush. The first plumber came and gave me a quote of $7500. He said he has to dig up under my 3 cars garage and replace the plumbing under because it is not straight. I said I will think about it and he charged me $500 for having to come out on a weekend and use his camera tool to look into the pipe.

    The next week, I got another plumber (highly rated on Yelp) to come out. He snaked the main drain by the front door and said that the new wet wipes (from Costco) we used were trapped in the back flow. He charged us $80 and the plumbing has been great for the last 5 years.

    Lesson Learn:
    1) Always get multiple quotes
    2) Do not flush Costco flushable wet wipes in the toilets!
     
  15. Legolad

    Legolad Member

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    Location:
    Atlanta
    I hope you don't mind me jumping on your thread, but I have a couple of related questions.

    First a little background:
    • I take delivery of my Model X in the next 2 weeks.
    • I have contacted an electrician and will schedule him soon.
    • I have access to chargers at work
    • I work less than 2 miles from my home
    • I'm not stressed about getting a charger in my home before delivery
    • I have a referral from a friend and I want to use the $500 credit to buy the Wall Charger
    • This $500 credit won't be applied until I take delivery.
    • I have read posts that say I can just use a standard 240 outlet (don't need the Tesla charger).
    • I have read other posts that say the wall charger charges faster or safer than a standard outlet.
    Here are my questions:
    • What is the difference between a standard 240 outlet and the Tesla Wall Charger? Is it just the way you connect the charging cable?
    • If I install a standard 240 outlet before delivery and then change it to the Tesla Wall Charger once I get my $500 credit, what will need to be changed?
    Thanks!
     
  16. tpham07

    tpham07 Active Member

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    Standard NEMA 14-50 outlet will out put at 40amps maximum (technically 50amps if on a 50A circuit but you are only allowed to draw 80% of max amperage of a circuit per code). That being said, the mobile connector with your car (GenII) only has a max of 32A.

    There is no reason to install a Tesla wall connector unless you want convenience of having your mobile connector in your car, and/or the possibility of higher charge rate. The wall connector can be dialed up to 80A output, which is useless as New Teslas charge at either 48A (75D) or 72A (100D).

    You dont' need the higher power output of a wall connector if your driving habits involve so little driving. You're saving a mere minutes on charging speed while spending a lot more money (buying a wall connector). Use your $500 credit for other things like all-weather mats, falcon wing sunshades, or other fun gizmos in the store.

    In the future if you want to convert your 240V outlet to a wall connector, its possible. You just unplug the outlet and use those same wires to hook up to the wall connector. But I'd stick with the 240V wall outlet for sheer cost savings.

    Summary: Ask your electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet (commonly used for electric ranges) on a 50A circuit breaker.
     
    • Like x 2
  17. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    @Legolad, please read the Tesla home charging web pages and come back with specific questions.
    Home Charging Installation

    Also please note you’re not installing a charger. The charger is in the car. You’re either installing a 240V outlet or a Wall Connector (not Wall Charger) hardwired on a 240V circuit.
     
  18. Legolad

    Legolad Member

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    Location:
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    Thanks, TPham, that helps a lot!
     
  19. Legolad

    Legolad Member

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    Thanks, Texas. I did read that before posting, but I was still confused about why one might install, or not install, the Wall Connector vs. the outlet. Hence my post. tpham cleared that up for me.

    I also appreciate the clarification between charger and connector. The distinction has no bearing on my question, but I appreciate it none the less. I'll be more careful going forward.
     
  20. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

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    One way to save money is to run the wires yourself and just pay the electrician to make the final connections in your panel..As mentioned above, the most expensive part is running the wires. Just make sure you get the right wire gauge and type.

    Problem is, finding an electrician willing to do such a small job.
     
    • Like x 1

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