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Upgrade old NEMA 6-20 outlet?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by MorrisonHiker, May 5, 2015.

  1. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    #1 MorrisonHiker, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    One of the bays in my garage has an old NEMA 6-20 outlet. The outlet is inches away from the subpanel but the box is already maxed out and it looks like I only have 40 amps total going to the entire garage currently. Is it possible to update the 6-20 to another 240v 20 amp plug that Tesla makes an adaptor for? I did see the 5-20 adaptor but it is only 120v.

    For the other bays in my garage, I am in the process of getting a new 100 amp service line run which should allow me to install two NEMA 14-50 outlets. I would probably park the future Tesla(s) where they could access the 14-50 outlets but it would be nice if the 240v plug in the third bay could be used as well.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Find a 14-30 adapter, replace the breaker with a 30A, and install a 14-30 outlet.
     
  3. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    The only 240V outlet that you can install that Tesla makes an adapter for is the 14-50. There never were any 240v 20A adapters and the 14-30 is no longer made. The 10-30 is still available but that's just for older outlets; they can't be installed any more.

    As you will have 2 14-50 outlets soon, if you want to do anything with the old 6-20 you could convert it to the 120V 20A outlet which uses the 5-20 adapter. Then if your 14-50 outlets are in use and you're not going to be driving a car for a day or two the 5 miles range/ hour of charging adds up.
     
  4. davewill

    davewill Member

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    #4 davewill, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Well, it is easy to make a small 6-20 to 5-20 adapter, and then you can use Tesla's 5-20 adapter. Yes, it is meant for 120V, but if you supply it 240V, the UMC and car will be fine with it. The car doesn't know anything about the adapter that is plugged into the UMC, only its amperage rating.
     
  6. MorrisonHiker

    MorrisonHiker Beta Tester

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    #6 MorrisonHiker, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    Thanks for all of the suggestions.

    Someone else mentioned [URL http="http://evsolutions.avinc.com/turbocord"]TurboCord[/URL] as a plug in option. Does anyone have experience with it?

    Time to research all of these possibilities.
     
  7. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    1. NEMA 6-20 to 14-50 adapter from EVSEAdapters.com:

    NEMA 14-50R to 6-20P Adapter

    2. Use 14-50 adapter on the end of the UMC.

    3. Manually set charging current to 16A in the car.
     
  8. glhs272

    glhs272 Unnamed plug faced villian

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    #8 glhs272, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    Note of caution: using an adapter that utilizes the UMC 14-50 adapter and requires manually lowering the amperage should really only be used sparingly if at all. Manually setting the charge current lower on the car isn't 100% reliable. Such as doing a firmware update with the car plugged in will likely cause the car to reset to 40amps. This will test your fuse/breaker system which hopefully works, but.... If you have a 20 amp outlet of whatever voltage, best to use an adapter that utilizes a UMC 20 amp adapter (such as the Nema 5-20). As others have said, the voltage is irrelevant. Same deal if you were to have a 30amp outlet, use an adapter system to use a UMC 30 amp adapter. This will be the most reliable "adapter" way. Hardwiring an EVSE such as others posted is the best solution, but more expensive. If this is just a temporary solution, you should be fine with adapters for a little while. BTW, I charge at work on a Nema 6-20 outlet every day and have gone through all of this before. The EVSE with a native 6-20 plug is the best way to go long term. One thing I have found is that the connector that plugs into the car only lasts about a year or two before getting flaky. If your EVSE has a J1772 and your using the J1772 to Model S adapter, you can simply replace the adapter for $95. If your using a Tesla UMC, they a much more expensive to replace. For me, the jury is still out on the HPWC as I get more experience with it long term, but the UMC has been disappointing for long term daily charging. My 20 amp EVSE is holding up much better.
     
  9. linkster

    linkster Member

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    #9 linkster, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015
    +1 ....and the UMC will automatically set/limit amperage to [email protected] for 12mph charge rate


    pic available on this thread:
    Charging from NEMA 6-20 using NEMA 5-20 Adapter - Page 2
     
  10. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    Maybe for one time use in a pinch while traveling, but that's not a good idea for regular use at home because it requires the manual step #3. Too risky to depend on remembering to do that every time. And what if someone else plugs in?
    For the price of all these adapters and extension cords mentioned in this thread, one could almost cover the cost of doing a proper installation.
     
  11. linkster

    linkster Member

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    - 1
     
  12. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Around page 15 of this document, you will find Amazon links to a cord and plug that you can wire together to get a very good 6-20 to 5-20 adapter that you can then use with Tesla 5-20 adapter. No manual amperage setting required.

    http://cosmacelf.net/Home%20Made%20Adapters.pdf
     
  13. FlasherZ

    FlasherZ Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv

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    If you had to go this way, purchase a Tesla 5-20 adapter. Build a custom adapter, labeled 6 ways to Sunday with "FOR TESLA CHARGING ONLY - WILL DESTROY MANY APPLIANCES" or something similar, that has a 6-20P and a 5-20R on it. That way you'll get the correct current from the Tesla and minimize potential damage. See my FAQ (in my signature, unless you're using Tapatalk in which case it's in the North America charging forum as a sticky thread) for more information.

    - - - Updated - - -

    You must have #10 wire in order to do this. If it's a NEMA 6-20, it's likely going to be #12 wire, which can't be used at 30A.

    - - - Updated - - -

    The adapter doesn't care about voltage. You can supply 240V to the NEMA 5-15 and 5-20 adapters and it will work just fine. That's why I suggest creating a proper 20A adapter from 6-20P to 5-20R, labeled properly. That way the car's current limit is properly used with the adapter and you minimize the damage from someone plugging a 120V appliance into the 240V receptacle.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yeah, what he said. I might have to read the threads through better first. :)
     
  14. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    I assume you also have a "-10" for Tesla themselves for failing to provide proper adapters for sale for the UMC for most of these outlets? Because if they did, none of these work-arounds would be necessary at all.

    If you don't trust yourself to properly pay attention to the outlet current rating and manually set your current to 80% of that value every time, then don't use this method. I myself recommend this only for emergency charging where no other options are available. But having a few of these (non-compliant) adapters in the frunk can mean the difference between waiting a few hours and then being on your way, or having to call for a flatbed.
     
  15. linkster

    linkster Member

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    +1 True that !!

    here ya go, post #2: Heads up: Tesla no longer manufacturing NEMA 14-30 adapter
     
  16. tga

    tga Active Member

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    They also make an LCS-25 (25A breaker, 20A charge rate) and HCS-40 (40A breaker, 32A charge rate), depending on the available capacity of the subpanel and feed (new breaker and new wiring from the subpanel needed).

    Yes, what he said. :smile: I was replying on my phone, so I made it quick. The OP did say "the outlet is inches away from the subpanel", so I figured new wire is trivial to install.

    Given the possible difficulty in finding a 14-30 adapter, I'm liking the J1772 idea more and more.
     
  17. TexasEV

    TexasEV Active Member

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    I think everyone posting here was in agreement these workarounds can be useful for emergency use, as you said. The OP was talking about an installation is his garage. In that case he should have an outlet installed that a Tesla-provided UMC adapter can plug into, or a J1772, and not try to kludge something together that requires any manual intervention.
     
  18. SomeJoe7777

    SomeJoe7777 Marginally-Known Member

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    Agreed, if the outlet is going to get used repeatedly and not just on a temporary basis, then a more permanent and simpler method would be recommended. I just brought it up because it's another option, and it's easy and inexpensive to do.
     
  19. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    this. my car is actively charging on this custom adapter right now. I charge daily on a 6-20. works great. no idea why the idiots put a 6-20 in when no electric car makes a plug that uses it but actually i kind of like it bc it's like having a reserved parking spot haha

    95739d45afbc39ab91ddf1c7666d0ecc.jpg
     
  20. miimura

    miimura Active Member

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    The TurboCord natively uses a NEMA 6-20.
     

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