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Tesla Wall Connector - Hard Wired or Pigtail?

269D2346-8999-40A8-A6A0-1EA3FA6A3F25.jpeg
I moded mine for pigtailing.
 

rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
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NJ
Of course it will work fine with a pigtail. I thought the question was more about whether it was permitted by code, and honestly I'm really not sure. But there are a couple concerns I have personally about a pigtail installation. (1) It's not as safe as hard wiring due to the additional physical connection introduced by the outlet and plug. These can get hot. (2) Page 5 of the installation manual has the following statement, "Wall Connector includes integrated GFCI protection - do not install a GFCI circuit breaker." I'm pretty sure any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have a GFCI breaker, which is at odds with this statement. I'm not sure why Tesla requires that the circuit not have a GFCI breaker. Maybe there would be nuisance trips?

I suppose if I had an outlet nearby I might consider removing the outlet and using the same box as a splice for a short run of wire to the WC thus creating a dedicated circuit. I'm not sure if this is allowed, but it would alleviate the two problems listed above. I would like to get some feedback on this approach from the experts. No doubt the code police will chime in with force soon. ;)
 

Maxpilot

Member
Jul 27, 2020
105
132
Kansas
When I first installed my wall connector, I removed the NEMA 14-50 outlet and hard wired it. Then, my wall connector overheated and failed after only 10 months. I was stuck using the mobile charger into a 120V outlet until I could get my wall connector replaced on warranty (which took over a month). I had a 14-50 adapter for my mobile charger, but I had removed the outlet. So... I decided to reinstall the 14-50 outlet so I could not plug my mobile charger in to get 32 amp charging. When my new wall connector came, I wired it using a pigtail and plugged into the outlet. Works as good as before and now I have the flexibility to use the outlet for other uses, or more importantly to use my mobile charger with 14-50 adapter when my wall connector fails again.
 
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pgcoco

Member
Sep 12, 2021
424
317
Rancho Cordova
When I first installed my wall connector, I removed the NEMA 14-50 outlet and hard wired it. Then, my wall connector overheated and failed after only 10 months. I was stuck using the mobile charger into a 120V outlet until I could get my wall connector replaced on warranty (which took over a month). I had a 14-50 adapter for my mobile charger, but I had removed the outlet. So... I decided to reinstall the 14-50 outlet so I could not plug my mobile charger in to get 32 amp charging. When my new wall connector came, I wired it using a pigtail and plugged into the outlet. Works as good as before and now I have the flexibility to use the outlet for other uses, or more importantly to use my mobile charger with 14-50 adapter when my wall connector fails again.
So since you changed it to 14-50, does it charge well? Any problems with heating? My husband is preferring this way so wanted to find out if other folks on the board use it the same way or not? Also, what amps is it? 50 -60?
 
Of course it will work fine with a pigtail. I thought the question was more about whether it was permitted by code, and honestly I'm really not sure. But there are a couple concerns I have personally about a pigtail installation. (1) It's not as safe as hard wiring due to the additional physical connection introduced by the outlet and plug. These can get hot. (2) Page 5 of the installation manual has the following statement, "Wall Connector includes integrated GFCI protection - do not install a GFCI circuit breaker." I'm pretty sure any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have a GFCI breaker, which is at odds with this statement. I'm not sure why Tesla requires that the circuit not have a GFCI breaker. Maybe there would be nuisance trips?

I suppose if I had an outlet nearby I might consider removing the outlet and using the same box as a splice for a short run of wire to the WC thus creating a dedicated circuit. I'm not sure if this is allowed, but it would alleviate the two problems listed above. I would like to get some feedback on this approach from the experts. No doubt the code police will chime in with force soon. ;)

I've done a fair amount of DIY electrical work in my home (that doesn't require permits) and I've read up on a lot of random code/how-to/best practice when doing specific projects. I think "any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have a GFCI breaker" may be incorrect and is rather "any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have GFCI protection". Whether you decide to put the protection at the receptacle or the breaker is up to you. Thusly, the Wall Connector's integrated GFCI protection satisfies this condition.

Doing a splice gives me the sweats because at such high amperage it's piece of mind if it the WC is hardwired instead.

Removing the outlet and reusing the same box as a junction box is permissible by code. The box must not be buried in a wall, the cover accessible, and the short run of wire to the WC must be stapled within 8" of the box. (I'd recommend 8" on the other end of the wire by the WC too.) It's also advisable to have the WC on it's own circuit to maximize amp draw; so double-check the outlet you intend to remove is the only receptacle on the circuit for best results. That brings up an interesting question though; is the outlet you're thinking of removing on a 40A, 50A, or 60A circuit?? You didn't mention the type of NEMA outlet.

I really need to buy the NEC book since I love working on things :)
 
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(2) Page 5 of the installation manual has the following statement, "Wall Connector includes integrated GFCI protection - do not install a GFCI circuit breaker." I'm pretty sure any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have a GFCI breaker, which is at odds with this statement. I'm not sure why Tesla requires that the circuit not have a GFCI breaker. Maybe there would be nuisance trips?
This sounds right. The wall connectors have a Charge Circuit Interrupting Device (CCID) circuit built-in. I'm not 100% sure how it was designed but I assume it is designed to attempt to reset itself a few times after a fault. This could be useful in wet conditions where you might get some condensate as an example. If you had a GFCI in front it'd probably trip first and the owner would have to manually actuate the breaker at the panel versus the device auto-restoring itself. FWIW they are implicitly telling the user to not install a receptacle which would by code require a GFCI.
 
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Of course it will work fine with a pigtail. I thought the question was more about whether it was permitted by code, and honestly I'm really not sure. But there are a couple concerns I have personally about a pigtail installation. (1) It's not as safe as hard wiring due to the additional physical connection introduced by the outlet and plug. These can get hot. (2) Page 5 of the installation manual has the following statement, "Wall Connector includes integrated GFCI protection - do not install a GFCI circuit breaker." I'm pretty sure any code compliant outlet in a garage is required to have a GFCI breaker, which is at odds with this statement. I'm not sure why Tesla requires that the circuit not have a GFCI breaker. Maybe there would be nuisance trips?

I suppose if I had an outlet nearby I might consider removing the outlet and using the same box as a splice for a short run of wire to the WC thus creating a dedicated circuit. I'm not sure if this is allowed, but it would alleviate the two problems listed above. I would like to get some feedback on this approach from the experts. No doubt the code police will chime in with force soon. ;)
Regarding GFCI. NEC 210.8 requires a GFCI in the garage. No exceptions. (Been required by the code since the 2008 NEC revision). As a general rule GFCI’s are always used if the receptacle will be within 6’ of a water source. However most garages are not 100% airtight - so as an extra cautionary measure we always use them in the garage and especially with outdoor receptacles.

Source: I’m an electrician.
 

rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,028
637
NJ
Regarding GFCI. NEC 210.8 requires a GFCI in the garage. No exceptions. (Been required by the code since the 2008 NEC revision). As a general rule GFCI’s are always used if the receptacle will be within 6’ of a water source. However most garages are not 100% airtight - so as an extra cautionary measure we always use them in the garage and especially with outdoor receptacles.

Source: I’m an electrician.
Thanks for confirming. So given that a garage outlet must be GFCI protected, and the fact that Tesla states in bold letters “Do not install a GFCI circuit breaker” in their Wall Connector installation manual, should we conclude Wall Connectors cannot be plugged into garage outlets?
 

thecavalry

Member
Aug 27, 2021
220
292
Utah
Thanks for confirming. So given that a garage outlet must be GFCI protected, and the fact that Tesla states in bold letters “Do not install a GFCI breaker” in their Wall Connector installation manual Does this mean Wall Connectors cannot be plugged into garage outlets?

Hmm…
The wall connectors are made to be hard wired directly. They have a circuit interrupt built in, and don’t need a gfci breaker.

Using a pigtail to plug it in to a garage outlet is a non-standard installation - and not recommended for this and other reasons.
 
Thanks for confirming. So given that a garage outlet must be GFCI protected, and the fact that Tesla states in bold letters “Do not install a GFCI circuit breaker” in their Wall Connector installation manual Does this mean Wall Connectors cannot be plugged into garage outlets?

Hmm…
What Tesla is referring to is a GFCI protected circuit. Meaning, the breaker that feeds the dedicated circuit powering your WC must not be GFCI protected. Meaning to use the correct breaker in the panel/subpanel. The instructions from Tesla are to make sure that you are using the correct breaker to feed the WC. This is a common misconception I have with my customers. Everyone knows about the GFCI 120v outlets in their kitchen.. not everyone realizes that GFCI protection is also available in a 50a or 60a breaker and to not use that type.

Wall connectors should never be plugged into any receptacles. They should be hardwired directly to the circuit breaker in the panel. Using a mobile charger 120v with a standard garage outlet is fine. But when using a WC with a 240v/60a circuit the ground fault protection is covered in the WC. A short or overload is covered in the panel at the breaker.

Hope this helps.
 
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thecavalry

Member
Aug 27, 2021
220
292
Utah
What Tesla is referring to is a GFCI protected circuit. Meaning, the breaker that feeds the dedicated circuit powering your WC must not be GFCI protected. It’s in the breaker bro! It’s in the panel/subpanel, the receptacle! The instructions from Tesla are to make sure that you are using the correct breaker to feed the WC. This is a common misconception I have with my customers. Everyone knows about the GFCI 120v outlets in their kitchen.. not everyone realizes that GFCI protection is also available in a 50a or 60a breaker.
They are also stupidly expensive breakers, in those sizes. More than $130, instead of like $12 at the hardware store for a non-gfci.

Just hardwire it, meet code, and charge happy.
 

rjpjnk

Active Member
Mar 12, 2021
1,028
637
NJ
What Tesla is referring to is a GFCI protected circuit. Meaning, the breaker that feeds the dedicated circuit powering your WC must not be GFCI protected. Meaning to use the correct breaker in the panel/subpanel. The instructions from Tesla are to make sure that you are using the correct breaker to feed the WC. This is a common misconception I have with my customers. Everyone knows about the GFCI 120v outlets in their kitchen.. not everyone realizes that GFCI protection is also available in a 50a or 60a breaker and to not use that type.
Of course Tesla is referring to the breaker. That is my whole point. Please reread.
 

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