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To upgrade panel from 100 to 200 amps or not.

colinrego

Member
Feb 26, 2018
63
61
Westborough, MA
Especially if you get solar, you can get the 30% tax credit on the panel upgrade done at the same time as the solar install.

Is there any flexibility with regard to _at the same time_? I do plan on getting solar and have a design _in-progress_ with Tesla (who knows how long that will stay that way — they aren’t all that responsive). If I get my panel upgraded, and a couple wall connectors installed, is there a way to tie it into the 30% credit?
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,823
1,966
San Diego, CA, US
Is there any flexibility with regard to _at the same time_? I do plan on getting solar and have a design _in-progress_ with Tesla (who knows how long that will stay that way — they aren’t all that responsive). If I get my panel upgraded, and a couple wall connectors installed, is there a way to tie it into the 30% credit?
Probably not, but you could get the wall connectors wired for 50a (or more), but put on a 30a breaker now, then when the panel is upgraded during the solar install, they can put in the bigger breaker.
 

LCR1

Active Member
Oct 24, 2017
1,330
979
Houston
Is there any flexibility with regard to _at the same time_? I do plan on getting solar and have a design _in-progress_ with Tesla (who knows how long that will stay that way — they aren’t all that responsive). If I get my panel upgraded, and a couple wall connectors installed, is there a way to tie it into the 30% credit?

Yes, you can tie the panel upgrade cost into the tax credit.
 

ConcordeSST

Member
May 10, 2016
329
490
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
In Minnesota, I installed a NEMA 14-30 using Tesla's recommended electrician and paid $580 for an outlet installed about 18 inches away from the panel (including permits). He even installed my Tesla cable organizer at no additional cost.

I had originally wanted a NEMA 14-50 (100 amp service, thinking I'd be charging overnight, therefore never using the electric range at the same time), but the electrician told me I'd have a very hard time getting the inspector to approve the installation as they care more about what the load could possibly be rather than the likelihood of that possibility ever occurring. I inquired about upgrading to 200 amp service and was told it would be massively costly as I'm in a town home and my neighbor is somehow tied into the same line I am, as well as something about my lines being recessed behind the brick exterior of the house.

I elected to just do the 14-30 and charge using the UMC gen 2 at 24 amps since I have a short daily commute. I actually preferred using a UMC over the wall connector as I plan to get a second UMC that I always keep in the car. This setup will allow me to guard against my own forgetfulness if I leave on a trip and forget to take the UMC, and also allow me redundancy without needing a electrician's help should the UMC ever fail and need to be swapped out. Finally, my thought process was that a generic outlet would be more appealing to a future home buyer should I sell my house, rather than a Tesla-specific wall connector.
 
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pazdan

Member
Feb 25, 2018
53
62
Chicago
I went 14-50 with a 200 amp upgrade. Was not necessary and I don't think it's needed unless you drive 100+ miles daily and even more on weekends.
 

pikachu

Member
Feb 15, 2016
66
103
SF East Bay, CA
UPDATE

I have received a few more quotes and have finally elected to go with a 50 Amp installation of the Tesla Wall connector. I'm really happy about being able to do this as we will have the ability to charge a second car down the road by load sharing with a second wall connector on the same circuit and still be able to charge fully overnight. We just have to take care not to run any appliances / heavy load at the time the car would be charging (around midnight) which is really not an issue for us.

The lowest quote I received was 500. I opted to go with one that was slightly higher than that, but still massively under the original quote that prompted this thread. We chose not to upgrade at this time since all electricians said that the price would be 10k at minimum and take a really long time. If we ever do solar, we'll club it with the install at that time.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond here. I was able to push for and make an informed choice as a result and also engage with the electricians on equal footing. Women tend to get talked at sometimes :p

The wall connector is getting installed tomorrow. Now all I need is the car. Just hit the 2 week period in the 3-6 week delivery window. Hurry up Tesla! ;)
 

mongo

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2017
12,955
38,386
Michigan
UPDATE

I have received a few more quotes and have finally elected to go with a 50 Amp installation of the Tesla Wall connector. I'm really happy about being able to do this as we will have the ability to charge a second car down the road by load sharing with a second wall connector on the same circuit and still be able to charge fully overnight. We just have to take care not to run any appliances / heavy load at the time the car would be charging (around midnight) which is really not an issue for us.

The lowest quote I received was 500. I opted to go with one that was slightly higher than that, but still massively under the original quote that prompted this thread. We chose not to upgrade at this time since all electricians said that the price would be 10k at minimum and take a really long time. If we ever do solar, we'll club it with the install at that time.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to respond here. I was able to push for and make an informed choice as a result and also engage with the electricians on equal footing. Women tend to get talked at sometimes :p

The wall connector is getting installed tomorrow. Now all I need is the car. Just hit the 2 week period in the 3-6 week delivery window. Hurry up Tesla! ;)

Cool beans!

Solar may require a larger panel, but you wouldn't need to upgrade your service (unless you wanted to).
 
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PoitNarf

My dog's breath smells like dog food
Jun 7, 2016
2,870
4,006
NJ
I’ve been waiting over 2 months now for my 200 amp upgrade and HPWC install. Most of that time was waiting on the town to approve the permits. Took them nearly 6 weeks after filing for them to finally approve them which seems absolutely ridiculous to me. Anyway, had the electrician reschedule twice so far. Was supposed to do the upgrade last Friday but had to cancel due to the really bad snow storm we had here last week and rescheduled for this Friday. Heard from them yesterday that they needed to reschedule again because it’s a two man job and two of their electricians are currently out sick. I take delivery in 13 days. Hopefully I can get this finished before I get my Model 3!

For me going from 100 to 200 amp was an easy decision. All of my appliances and HVAC (geothermal) are electric. House was built in the 50s and both the original panel and sub panel are pretty much full. I wanted a 60 amp circuit for my HPWC so I have the ability to charge at the maximum 44 miles per hour of charge when needed.
 
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ThosEM

Space Weatherman
Dec 13, 2013
869
310
Annapolis, MD
If you are cost sensitive, and who isn't? you can go without the HPWC until later. Who knows, you might eventually have two EVs and need one of each? But you can also wait for the 200 A upgrade until you feel the need for it.

That said, the bid for the simple 12-40 circuit seems excessive to me unless it will be at the other end of your home from the entry box. I had a 14-50 installed next to the entry box for about $300. The difference has to be stringing wires.
 

mrneef

Member
Apr 25, 2018
74
66
Los Angeles
OP, you said the wiring doesn't have to travel very far from the panel. What is "not very far"? The price you listed seems like you are going 100' out or more. Also if you are getting more quote, don't tell them it is for a Tesla. When I installed our NEMA 14-50, I told them it was for an EV car. My outlet is a few feet from panel and I paid $300 in SoCal, no permit needed for such short distance in my city.

Also make sure you know which way is UP for the outlet plug. When my electrician asked, I just told him either way is fine. Now my mobile connector box is hanging Upward. :p

Please share contact lol $300 sounds real nice
 

eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,065
2,485
Beaverton, OR
Hi folks, I configured in the batch of invites that went out on Feb 22 and I'm finally getting around to figuring out the charging solution at home. Got the first quote from a Tesla recommended electrician here in the Bay Area and looks like our electrical load is 69.5 Amps out of the available 100. That leaves us with about 30 Amps. Breaker would be installed in the panel in the garage. Wiring should be pretty straight forward and doesn't have to travel very far to the install spot. Quote below:

1. Install a NEMA 14-30 receptacle on a 30 Amp circuit. Provides 24 amps for charging. Electrician says the car would charge at ~ 22 miles an hour.
Estimated cost - $ 1240

2. Install Tesla wall connector on a 30 Amp circuit. Same charging rate as above.
Estimated cost - $ 1940

Permits and fees - Additional $550

Firstly, the cost seems excessive for what would seem to be a simple install if we go with Option 1. I'm chalking this up to 'Tesla recommended' premium and will get more quotes.

I commute 70 miles a day and although the 30 Amps would be enough to wake up to a full battery based on the charge rate above, I would like to take advantage of the car's higher charging capacity. But what surprises me is that he didn't recommend we upgrade our panel to 200 Amps at all. Does it make any sense to max out current panel in terms of load close to a 100%? Should we even consider not upgrading the panel? (Would make the husband happy :p) Would appreciate any input. TIA!

So a number of thoughts here:

I personally would carefully scrutinize how the load calculation was done of what your remaining capacity is. There are lots of inputs to that formula that may be easy to mess up. I call that out since if that incoming assumption is wrong it could impact what path you take. I actually don't know the formula in depth so I am unsure if you have 30 amps remaining if that is 30 amps continuous load, or just 30 amps of non-continuous load (continuous loads generally need to be sized as if they are 1.25 times larger). To do this properly you need to go inspect all the nameplates on your oven/range, garbage disposal, bathroom fans, etc... I am guessing your electrician just used some default placeholder #'s.

I actually three three possible solutions:

1a. Install a 14-30 receptacle on a 30 amp circuit. I would likely wire this with six gauge wire (assuming the lugs on the 14-30 plug and breaker would accept 6 AWG) such that you could later upgrade it to 50 amps if you later upgraded your panel (maybe leave a little more wire length in the panel if there is space to facilitate a panel swap out later).
1b. Same as 1a, but buy a second UMC to leave in the garage at all times so you have one with you at all times. Get the wall holster probably to hang it from.
2. Install a wall connector, but again, I would do this probably with 6AWG and a #10 ground using wire rated for 75c (or you could use one wire size up at 60c). This would allow you to put it on a 30a breaker for now, but then later if you upgraded your service you could upgrade it by simply swapping the breaker and changing the internal rotary dial on the wall connector. OR actually, one better would be to just put it on a 60a breaker on day one (they are typically the same price as the 30a) along with the 6 gauge 75c rated wire and then just internally set the wall connector to 24 amps still (equivalent of a 30a breaker). I believe this would meet code since the wall connector is UL approved to never pull more than what it is set at. So this way it would be trivial to upgrade later! The wall connector also has pretty granular steppings of amps it can pull, so depending on the outcome of the load calcs you might be able to set it to 28, 32, or 36 amps instead of being stuck at 24 (the limit on a 30a UMC plug) and 40 (the limit on a 50a UMC plug). So you might eek out a bit more capacity.

Also, I might get a "sense monitor" unit (look them up) to monitor your power usage and see what your house *actually* uses. This might violate code, but I might be tempted to tweak the setting up on the wall connector if I was 100% confident that my other loads were not taking me anywhere near the rated limits of my service. In a pinch you could temporarily up the supplied power with just a setting if you had depleted your battery and needed a quick recharge. Just make sure to not cook anything in the oven or stove at the same time. ;-) (I only suggest this in "jest" - you should not mess with this stuff unless you really know what you are doing)

I guess at the end of the day it all depends on how long you plan to own the house, if you have desires to add any other electrical stuff (Air conditioning, hot tub, etc...), if you think the existing panel/wiring is a hazard, etc... I personally would probably want a 200a panel and to be able to max charge my model 3 at 48 amps, but hey, that is just because I like to not be limited! I don't really need that fast of a charge for my 30 mile round trip commute...
 

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Just as a point of reference, we are in the midst of upgrading from 200 amps to 400 amps. We are about to have 2 Teslas--each with their own 80 amp HPWCs because combined we easily drive well over 200+ rated miles on the average day and sometimes much more, and occasionally will each need to rapidly recharge to full from near-empty simultaneously. This gets rather pricey rather quickly but it future-proofs the home and helps keep owning a green vehicle from being impractical. People should consider costs of aggressive upgrades to home electrical supply if thinking about switching to all electric vehicles for a family, particularly if you use a lot of rated miles daily.

Cheers
 

eprosenx

Active Member
May 30, 2018
2,065
2,485
Beaverton, OR
Just as a point of reference, we are in the midst of upgrading from 200 amps to 400 amps. We are about to have 2 Teslas--each with their own 80 amp HPWCs because combined we easily drive well over 200+ rated miles on the average day and sometimes much more, and occasionally will each need to rapidly recharge to full from near-empty simultaneously. This gets rather pricey rather quickly but it future-proofs the home and helps keep owning a green vehicle from being impractical. People should consider costs of aggressive upgrades to home electrical supply if thinking about switching to all electric vehicles for a family, particularly if you use a lot of rated miles daily.

Cheers

Tesla needs to make a module that can put CT's over your main power feed and then that networks with the HPWC's in your house. It should dynamically tell the HPWC's how much power headroom you have on the main feed to the utility and adjust your car charging rates to stay under that cap. I suspect folks could get away with MUCH smaller electrical services in many cases with this kind of solution. It is not very often that you are running all the appliances in the house at once so dynamic capacity management would make a lot better use of what you have!
 
Of course it would! But then again 200 amps would probably still be too small for our home's average draw without cutting it really close while charging 2 cars and running a heater at night in Winter along with a 50 amp hot tub line. So we were stuck either way... the costs of caring about if my great grandchildren will be able to breathe, I suppose.

Cheers.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
7,717
6,250
Austin, TX
Tesla needs to make a module that can put CT's over your main power feed and then that networks with the HPWC's in your house. It should dynamically tell the HPWC's how much power headroom you have on the main feed to the utility and adjust your car charging rates to stay under that cap. I suspect folks could get away with MUCH smaller electrical services in many cases with this kind of solution. It is not very often that you are running all the appliances in the house at once so dynamic capacity management would make a lot better use of what you have!

Not Tesla, and not currently in the US, but -

Maxem® | Energy Manager for home and office
 

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