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Thoughts on this install for a 14-50 install with subpanel.

Spikeitaudi

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Aug 11, 2021
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Nj
This is the panel. And he was not the one that installed the panel originally.
 

EVer Hopeful

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Jul 7, 2021
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lol - it looks like the second label down on the right hand side says "Women"

I'd be interested to know what the silver thing under the main breaker is ... and the two dial things at the top are



Ah, crossed posts there. I think you've answered those questions ... must be something to do with it being hooked up to a generator and maybe something to stop your system from energizing the grid in a power cut
 
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Spikeitaudi

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Aug 11, 2021
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Nj
The panel has a transfer switch at the top that lets me move all incoming power to my generator and ensure I don’t backfeed to my electrical lines. So the switch at the top makes me turn off the main breaker before I can turn on the generator breaker to feed the house.

And the second label on the right says Microwave. :)
 

Watts_Up

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Mar 4, 2019
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Just incase for those that helped here and were curious I had my other electrician come out and he had many more suggestion. I can not install a sub panel in my current location where my main panel is at as it is behind a double door in my finished basement. The double doors give access to the panel and all the cable runs for the house. No extra room. As my panel is full he is trying to see if we can use tandem or move things around if possible and run a sub panel to my garage and run the NEMA connection from that sub panel. It’s never easy.
Thank you for picture.

- I was looking at the very bottom of the panel, and I wonder if it would be possible to add one or two circuit breakers,
but you would need to remove the front of the panel to see if there are really more slots available?
However the panel specification mentioned 36 slots, so it seems already filled up (I guess the top 4 breakers are not included in the total ? ).

- I noticed that you have a switch mechanism for your backup generator, it seems that only the top four breakers would be energized then, creating a kind of internal subpanel?
How can you determine if the power has been restablished? Is there a light indicating it, or do you look at your neighbour to see if they have their power back?

- About your genenator, did you build a special enclosure outside your home, to keep it protected and to muffle the noise?

BTW, everything looks clean with a nice labelling. Using shutters to hide the panel is a nice touch too.
 
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Watts_Up

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Thinking about your installation, I wonder where your meter is located
and if there is also a panel with a main circuit breaker outside your home?

If so, depending if this meter panel is closer to your garage than the main panel inside your home,
it could be possible to put a junction box just after your outside meter panel.

So you would be able then to tap the power for your EV panel from this junction box.
 

Sophias_dad

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The spec sheet for that panel is needlessly complex. 36 1" breaker openings is great, but "Max number of circuits using tandem breakers" is also 36.

From my interpretation, you can use 18 of those 1" breaker openings for typical breakers, and then get ANOTHER 36 circuits in by tandem-izing 18 breakers, not that you need to.

Is that already a tandem breaker in the lower right corner?
 

Spikeitaudi

Member
Aug 11, 2021
47
26
Nj
Thinking about your installation, I wonder where your meter is located
and if there is also a panel with a main circuit breaker outside your home?

If so, depending if this meter panel is closer to your garage than the main panel inside your home,
it could be possible to put a junction box just after your outside meter panel.

So you would be able then to tap the power for your EV panel from this junction box.
I would only switch if I know the power was restored by the power company or neighbor. The panel doesn’t have any type of notification.

I use a Generac XG8000E that I keep in my garage. When power goes out I wheel it out to the end of my garage closest to the house and plug it in using a 50 foot cable. I can power everything except my HVAC AC. I needed it as I am on well water and septic tank.

Meter panel is on the other side of the wall which is the outside of the house.
 
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Spikeitaudi

Member
Aug 11, 2021
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26
Nj
The spec sheet for that panel is needlessly complex. 36 1" breaker openings is great, but "Max number of circuits using tandem breakers" is also 36.

From my interpretation, you can use 18 of those 1" breaker openings for typical breakers, and then get ANOTHER 36 circuits in by tandem-izing 18 breakers, not that you need to.

Is that already a tandem breaker in the lower right corner?
I honestly don’t know as I don’t know exactly what a tandem breaker is yet … :) And 36 breakers overall is correct.
 

Sophias_dad

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I honestly don’t know as I don’t know exactly what a tandem breaker is yet … :) And 36 breakers overall is correct.
A tandem breaker is a breaker that supports two circuits in one standard (frequently 1") breaker spot.

Here's a sample... Siemens 20 Amp Tandem Single Pole Type QT Circuit Breaker-Q2020U - The Home Depot

With some manufacturers, they have funky combination breakers, like this one:

Square D HomeLine 20 amps Tandem 2-Pole Circuit Breaker

If there are breakers like this for your panel, the electrician would remove two standard breakers, install this, and voila... you have a new 240V circuit.

If only plain tandem breakers are available for your panel, your electrician would remove four standard breakers, replace them with two tandem breakers, and that would free up two standard 1" spots he could then use for a standard two pole breaker(for your new 240V circuit)
 

Sophias_dad

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Yes that is a tandem 15amp (2) breaker at the bottom. Is there a max amp allowed for a tandem breaker? Sounds easy enough but i have just have a general knowledge of electricity. Hoping the tandem breakers would work.
No, no maximum. I think I've seen 50-combination tandems, where there's a 50 amp two pole(aka 240 volt) circuit flanked by 15's or 20's. There are even tandems for DUAL 240V circuits.... like this... Eaton BR 2-30 Amp 2 Pole BQ (Independent Trip) Quad Circuit Breaker-BQ230230 - The Home Depot
 

Spikeitaudi

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Aug 11, 2021
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Sophias_dad

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If you have a Smart Meter with some kind of digital display, I guess the display should be completely 'dark' when there is no power.
Friend of mine has a system like this, and it has a 120V alarm bell (on a switch) near the electrical panel, served by the incoming electricity. If he loses power, when he switches over to the generator he turns on the alarm switch. As soon as mains power comes back the alarm rings.
 
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I imagine that the GFCI breaker needs to be able to check both
- the current difference between two phases and also
- the difference between each phase and the Neutral ,
in the case a device using both type of connections, such as a Range Oven.
Yes, that is correct. 2 pole/240V GFCI breakers have load connections for both hots and the neutral so they will work with devices such as dryers, ranges, etc that have both 120 and 240V loads. Typically you wouldn’t have a range on a GFCI breaker, but that’s another discussion.

For the OP, I’m not a fan of tandem breakers, simply because the installations I’ve seen with them end up being incredibly crowded and messy, but if you can go that route it may be the best/easiest/cheaper.

I can’t recall if someone has mentioned this option, but depending on where the meter is relative to your garage and service panel, you may be able to add another panel by the main meter and turn your main panel into a subpanel, running the car charger off the new main panel. That gets pretty involved, too, though.
 
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Watts_Up

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I can’t recall if someone has mentioned this option, but depending on where the meter is relative to your garage and service panel, you may be able to add another panel by the main meter and turn your main panel into a subpanel, running the car charger off the new main panel. That gets pretty involved, too, though.
You are right, if the main panel is inside your home instead of been in your garage, it could be shorter or simpler to tap the EV line directly from the meter than from the main panel.
 
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Rocky_H

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Feb 19, 2015
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Check with your inspector. If you do an outlet a GFCI breaker will likely be required. If you hardwire a wall connector it may not
This part is true.
since most of them have GFI protection built in.
...but that's not why. ALL EVSE devices, whether wall mounted, or the mobile plug-in ones are required to have GFCI built into them. So for either case, the outlet or the wall connector, there will be a GFCI in the device. The difference is more because people generally are not having any risk of touching the wires of a wall mounted device that has the wires screwed into lugs inside it, where it's not exposed. With someone plugging and unplugging something, their fingers are next to the prongs that go into the outlet, and there is some risk there.
A ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) device is designed to trip when the GFCI detects even a very small difference between the line current supplied to the load and the neutral current returning from the load. Please explain how a GFCI would work without the neutral wire connection, i.e. for a hard wired Level 2 (240V) EVSE installation.
Not always the neutral. It's looking at the two sides of whatever the loop of the circuit is. For a 120V circuit, sure, that is Hot and Neutral. But for a 240V circuit, that would be Hot1 and Hot2.
Bonus round question; why does the NEC not require GFCI protection for a 14-50 receptacle used for an RV motor home hook up. (In this application the 14-50 receptacle is most likely outdoors where the RV operator may be standing on wet grass, in a puddle, etc.)
You are asking the pointed, good question. And the answer is simply that they are putting extra unnecessary regulatory burden on electric vehicles because they can.
What is it about an RV motor home's electrical system that is incompatible with a GFCI?
You are trying to look for a fact-based, logical, legitimate reason why RVs would not benefit from GFCI breakers, but I don't think there is a reason it wouldn't work with that. They are just as dangerous as outlets for EVs.

#1 I think it's a little about the number of people affected and who has the power, similarly to how electric utilities are trying to push cost of "infrastructure" onto solar net metering customers, because they are a tiny fraction of the rate payers and can be bullied, rather than the large industrial customers who have more lobbying power.

(We just went through that with our electric company, Idaho Power, who were trying to shut down and renege on existing net metering, with the lying B.S. excuse that net metering customers weren't paying their fair share of the infrastructure costs. We had a 7+ hour meeting to protest that before the Public Utilities Commission, where someone called B.S. on that by showing from their own reports how 90% of the infrastructure build costs were from large irrigation and industrial segment, who were NOT paying their share, but were already having that cost burden shifted onto residential customers. The solar net metering customers were being used as a new scapegoat because they were a tiny population, so they thought they could stoke that anger from the other residential customers to blame the solar customers to hike up fees.)

#2 But a bit more so than that is probably that thousands of people have been plugging and unplugging RVs for many decades with things as they are, but there have been no complaints or fears about needing expensive GFCI breakers. Meanwhile, this newfangled thing comes along, and has so much baggage of FUD and fear mongering and paranoia and urban legend about how supposedly weird and "dangerous" they are, so they are pushed to add extra safety precautions onto the people who want to use these things. And they can get away with that, because of #1. EVs were a tiny fraction of people with no power when they added that to NEC in 2017. But camping and RV parks and mobile home parks were already a very large established industry, with a lot of companies involved in it, who would be very angry at having to add a lot of unnecessary cost. So they didn't want to poke that bear.
 
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Spikeitaudi

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Aug 11, 2021
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Nj
Dang, you're a star on this stuff. As I was reading the initial post, I was already keeping notes in my head of the corrections this needed, and you knocked them all out, except for maybe one other I would mention:
1. Make sure the electrician doesn't use a Leviton outlet. They are horribly cheap and crappy and way too easy to have bad, loose connections. Any of these other brands are all pretty good: Cooper, Bryant, Hubbel.
2. It says 50A breaker, but 8 gauge Romex is only good for up to a 40A circuit, so that's not OK.
3. Yes, the naming 8/3 is already defined as 3 conductors, plus the ground wire.
4. And even if it was switched to 6/3, that can't be swapped up to a 60A circuit later, as @golferguy was suggesting.
5. An outlet installation for EV does require using an annoyingly expensive GFCI breaker.



I don't know why so many people assume that ALL panels can ALWAYS use tandem breakers. I have a fairly decently modern Square D Homeline panel from 1996, but it does not allow any tandem or quad breakers. So a subpanel may be necessary and isn't that bad of a deal.


If it's using Romex, it's probably because it's in a location that needs to use Romex. The place the line is running usually determines if you use wire in conduit, or cable. Above ceilings or inside walls is generally not going to be conduit.
Ulilitech 14-50 Nema outlet ok. Didn't see this one listed.
 

jcanoe

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Oct 2, 2020
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Ulilitech 14-50 Nema outlet ok. Didn't see this one listed.
$10 at Lowe's; I'm going to go with nope. A good quality NEMA 14-50 receptacle for charging an EV will cost between $40 and $80 depending on the brand. (Hubbell and Bryant are now the same company but you'll pay more for the Hubbell name.)
 

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