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Trickle Charging vs. Tesla Wall Connector! Opinions Wanted.

Should I pursue this difficult Wall Connector install or settle for trickle charging?


  • Total voters
    25

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA
Okay, you guys are awesome. I agree that at this point, NEMA 6-20 is the way to go.

Yes, I am going to pursue this aggressively. I would be absolutely chuffed to have 15 mph charge rate. Thanks to EVERYONE for all of your suggestions, and sorry about any TMI along the way. :D

If anyone is curious about the outcome I'll update this thread. Maybe this is something I can actually get an electrician to complete without running for the hills, LOL.

By the way, I read my review of the guy who performed some electrical work for me in the past, and apparently I already have a 20A GFCI circuit. Now, of course this is a GFCI circuit because it would be too easy otherwise, but does anyone think this could be upgraded to a NEMA 6-20? Looks like this might be doable.

I have a call in to that same electrician now and I'm waiting on a callback. Here's a portion of the review I left;

"<name> upgraded me from a 15 AMP to 20 AMP GFI circuit and patiently explained why I was having difficulty in the first place. It was an issue I suspected--I was overloading the circuit with a powerful 15 AMP compressor. He also quoted me a reasonable price on a dedicated line in the garage, should I need it later."
 
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F14Scott

Member
Apr 7, 2019
204
341
Houston
Hey, you could also mount and hard wire your wall connector and use it just fine with 20amp, 240V service. In fact that might be better, since sometimes a GFCI breaker (required by code for outlets in garages) and a plug-in connector fight with each other and trip. The hard wired wall connector does not need a GFCI breaker.
 
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user212_nr

Active Member
Aug 26, 2019
1,407
745
US
But yeah you're right, if I moved outta state I could live not like a King per se but maybe a well-heeled Duke?

Something like that. $500k in LA gets you a tiny 1-bedroom house. You could get a 3 bedroom house with a garage for less than half that in many places.

What Kind of House $500K Buys You in 14 California Cities

I'm not an expert on the area though.

You raise good points and I have considered it. Girlfriend has much deeper ties to Los Angeles than I do.

That's the trouble usually, but even with plane flights and hotel rooms, or a drive in a Tesla, you come out ahead.

I know some people who took a whole group and moved during the pandemic (not out of CA). Getting a few friends to move works as well. They're all working from home in the same situation.

LA is a pretty suburban city, I don't know why people would live there other than job, family and friends, and pay the high rent.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA
Hey, you could also mount and hard wire your wall connector and use it just fine with 20amp, 240V service. In fact that might be better, since sometimes a GFCI breaker (required by code for outlets in garages) and a plug-in connector fight with each other and trip. The hard wired wall connector does not need a GFCI breaker.

Whoa, okay that is good to know. I will ask about this! Thank you.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA
Something like that. $500k in LA gets you a tiny 1-bedroom house. You could get a 3 bedroom house with a garage for less than half that in many places.

What Kind of House $500K Buys You in 14 California Cities

I'm not an expert on the area though.



That's the trouble usually, but even with plane flights and hotel rooms, or a drive in a Tesla, you come out ahead.

I know some people who took a whole group and moved during the pandemic (not out of CA). Getting a few friends to move works as well. They're all working from home in the same situation.

LA is a pretty suburban city, I don't know why people would live there other than job, family and friends, and pay the high rent.

Boom, you nailed it. Jobs. I worked in video games for 28 years (now working from home as a remote employee doing AR/VR and other 3D projects) and my girlfriend worked in TV at a major studio. L.A. was pretty good for us jobwise, but now we have no real ties here but for family being in the same area (SoCal). For video game studios, L.A. is a hotspot (and Orange County). Austin has really come up too for video game devs, but to be honest most of us I think would rather work from home, and we'd be more efficient and effective in most cases.

We bought our house in 2004 so we're not paying those crazy sky high L.A. rents. Rent is bad enough without them going UP every year or as much as landlords are allowed to raise 'em. I prefer the 'burbs' anyway so we're not in the heart of the city...just L.A. County.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,271
7,324
Boise, ID
Okay, you guys are awesome. I agree that at this point, NEMA 6-20 is the way to go.
Uh, hold on a second. I think some terms got lost in the translation and there is some misunderstanding going on here.

People mentioned seeing if you could at least up the current from your 15A outlets to 20A. Cool. That would be a change of outlets from 5-15 to 5-20, but still at 120V.

But then someone threw out the term "6-20". That's another thing altogether, because that's switching from a 120V circuit to a 240V circuit, and you have to be careful about whether you can do that, depending on whether you have lights or other outlets shared on that line too.

5-15 is 120V 15A
5-20 is 120V 20A

6-20 is 240V 20A
You just have to make sure you don't need or can do without any other regular 120V outlets at your garage if they are shared on that circuit if you want to switch that line up to 240V, because that will be bad news if that is still tied to some other regular 5-15 or 5-20 outlets, and you plug some regular 120V type of device into it.

But if it's just something simple like an overhead light, there are alternatives for that, like those stick on the wall battery powered lights with a little wireless switch. But this is a pretty good idea if you can make it work, because you do already have that wire in place to the garage already.
 

TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
543
390
Ottawa, Canada
Uh, hold on a second. I think some terms got lost in the translation and there is some misunderstanding going on here.

People mentioned seeing if you could at least up the current from your 15A outlets to 20A. Cool. That would be a change of outlets from 5-15 to 5-20, but still at 120V.

But then someone threw out the term "6-20". That's another thing altogether, because that's switching from a 120V circuit to a 240V circuit, and you have to be careful about whether you can do that, depending on whether you have lights or other outlets shared on that line too.

5-15 is 120V 15A
5-20 is 120V 20A

6-20 is 240V 20A
You just have to make sure you don't need or can do without any other regular 120V outlets at your garage if they are shared on that circuit if you want to switch that line up to 240V, because that will be bad news if that is still tied to some other regular 5-15 or 5-20 outlets, and you plug some regular 120V type of device into it.

But if it's just something simple like an overhead light, there are alternatives for that, like those stick on the wall battery powered lights with a little wireless switch. But this is a pretty good idea if you can make it work, because you do already have that wire in place to the garage already.

That is totally correct. OP says he already has a 20A 120V circuit in his garage, and still has contact with the person that did the installation. I assume he should be able to find out whether it is a dedicated circuit. OP mentioned another circuit coming into the garage via conduit, so it looks like there are two circuits in there, leaving open the possibility of converting the 20A one to 240V.

I assume that any electrician would check to ensure that nothing else is on the circuit before actually converting from 120V to 240V. I really hope so anyways. It may also be worth double checking that the 20A circuit is actually 12 gauge wire. I've seen a few cases where a 15A circuit was "upgraded" to 20A just by changing the breaker and receptacle and leaving the 14 gauge wire. That's a code violation and fire hazard.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA
Uh, hold on a second. I think some terms got lost in the translation and there is some misunderstanding going on here.

People mentioned seeing if you could at least up the current from your 15A outlets to 20A. Cool. That would be a change of outlets from 5-15 to 5-20, but still at 120V.

But then someone threw out the term "6-20". That's another thing altogether, because that's switching from a 120V circuit to a 240V circuit, and you have to be careful about whether you can do that, depending on whether you have lights or other outlets shared on that line too.

5-15 is 120V 15A
5-20 is 120V 20A

6-20 is 240V 20A
You just have to make sure you don't need or can do without any other regular 120V outlets at your garage if they are shared on that circuit if you want to switch that line up to 240V, because that will be bad news if that is still tied to some other regular 5-15 or 5-20 outlets, and you plug some regular 120V type of device into it.

But if it's just something simple like an overhead light, there are alternatives for that, like those stick on the wall battery powered lights with a little wireless switch. But this is a pretty good idea if you can make it work, because you do already have that wire in place to the garage already.

Thanks for clarifying everything here. Some of you know a whole lot about all things electrical! I have an electrician coming out tomorrow so once he has a look he'll be able to tell me what's possible. I did tell him that I have a 20A GFCI outlet now.

Also, the original electrician (let's call him Vlad) said he could run a dedicated line without issue. I hope he's correct, coz 20A would be nice as long as it's 240V.

Also, I do have another outlet on the wall, and I have really nice overhead lighting in place already. If I needed a work light I'd use a battery-powered task light I charge elsewhere. I bought a really good one called 'Striker' from a Kickstarter effort.

Vlad the OG installer has not gotten back to me yet, but I'll know more tomorrow. I'm going to see what's possible and go from there, and also ask about installing the TWC on its own line (even if it only gets 20A).
 

F14Scott

Member
Apr 7, 2019
204
341
Houston
2174-49669-original.jpeg
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA

UPDATE!

The latest electrician basically said it was a 'no go'. Can't do anything. No NEMA 6-20, no upgrade of any kind. Sometimes I can't tell if this is a failure of imagination, motivation, or a hard limit imposed by the perfect storm that is my seemingly anti-EV home. Still has two Teslas in the garage tho!

Okay, the big news here is that we're going to move in 6 months. Not just for viable EV-charging but for the other perks too.

I'll post again when it happens, but for now we're gonna trickle-charge and Supercharge. The timing should work perfectly. Already worked out the numbers and we should be fine even with a moderate upgrade. Thanks to everyone in this thread for your help and sage advice!
 

F14Scott

Member
Apr 7, 2019
204
341
Houston
UPDATE!

The latest electrician basically said it was a 'no go'. Can't do anything. No NEMA 6-20, no upgrade of any kind. Sometimes I can't tell if this is a failure of imagination, motivation, or a hard limit imposed by the perfect storm that is my seemingly anti-EV home. Still has two Teslas in the garage tho!

Okay, the big news here is that we're going to move in 6 months. Not just for viable EV-charging but for the other perks too.

I'll post again when it happens, but for now we're gonna trickle-charge and Supercharge. The timing should work perfectly. Already worked out the numbers and we should be fine even with a moderate upgrade. Thanks to everyone in this thread for your help and sage advice!
That's a bummer (for now). I'm guessing your panel had zero extra slots to add a double-pole breaker to replace the garage's single pole. Buying a new house will certainly solve that problem...
 
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TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
543
390
Ottawa, Canada
That's a bummer (for now). I'm guessing your panel had zero extra slots to add a double-pole breaker to replace the garage's single pole. Buying a new house will certainly solve that problem...

Even then, it's possible to combine two standard single-pole circuits on a breaker that has two slim single-pole breakers in the same slot. I get the feeling that the electricians are pretty busy in your part of the world and just don't want to deal with your issue. I am certain that there is a solution to this. Maybe it would have involved disconnecting another circuit that is not used much (something in a utility room, or the 2nd garage circuit.

One thing I didn't consider is whether your current house has one of those notorious Zinsco panels. (What Is A Zinsco Panel And Why Should I Care?). If so, I completely understand why nobody would touch that.

Anyways, it's pretty much a moot point now considering you're going to move before ever needing the charging speed to commute to a physical workplace.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,271
7,324
Boise, ID
Even then, it's possible to combine two standard single-pole circuits on a breaker that has two slim single-pole breakers in the same slot.
It might be possible. I really get frustrated with so many people just stating this as fact. It's not. Some panels are made to not allow the twin or quad type breakers. Mine is an example of that. I thought that would be a decent solution, but I have a fairly modern 1996 era, very popular brand residential Square D panel, and it is built to block using those types. So I did have to sacrifice a 120V circuit that was not used much in order to free up the other slot I needed to put in my 240V breaker.
 

Spacep0d

Active Member
Apr 20, 2019
1,026
1,183
Wildomar, CA
I have another electrician coming out today, the same guy who installed the 20A GFI upgrade (from 15A). He seems to think that more can be done, but we shall see!
 

TheRFMan

Member
Dec 15, 2019
543
390
Ottawa, Canada
It might be possible. I really get frustrated with so many people just stating this as fact. It's not. Some panels are made to not allow the twin or quad type breakers. Mine is an example of that. I thought that would be a decent solution, but I have a fairly modern 1996 era, very popular brand residential Square D panel, and it is built to block using those types. So I did have to sacrifice a 120V circuit that was not used much in order to free up the other slot I needed to put in my 240V breaker.

That's a good point. It's common enough now that I (and many others, it seems) see it as ubiquitous, but's that not really the case.
 

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