TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

Use garage door opener power for slow (15-20A) charging?

Discussion in 'Supercharging & Charging Infrastructure' started by brec, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I and my Model S85D will be away from home for the summer for 10 weeks. I've found a short-term rental that is terrific in all respects except that the garage has no power except for the garage door opener. Whether the garage door opener's power comes from an outlet in the ceiling (as does that in my home garage) or is hard wired I don't know. If it's from an outlet, maybe I could plug in a splitter and string an extension cord along the ceiling and down a wall. Would such an outlet supply 15+ amps? Are door openers generally plugged into a ceiling outlet or hard wired? The building was constructed in 2003, if that makes any difference.

    I freely admit that all I know about electricity is that electrons are yellow.
     
  2. spsheridan

    spsheridan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2 spsheridan, Feb 14, 2020
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2020
    @brec, most garage door openers that I know of are plugged into a standard AC power outlet. If you're in the U.S., that is likely a 120 VAC, 15A circuit (NEMA 5-15 grounded, Type B). If it is that type of outlet and you have direct access to it, you could use Tesla's Mobile Connector (link below) with the NEMA 5-15 adapter to plug directly into that outlet. If the outlet is in the garage ceiling (which many are), you could run an AC power splitter, plug an extension cord into the splitter, and plug the Tesla NEMA 5-15 Mobile Connector into the extension cord. However, there are a few caveats: 1) you should not run the garage door opener while charging the Tesla (not enough current capability on that circuit to handle both simultaneously), 2) the extension cord should be rated for at least 15 amps, and 3) the extension cord should be as short as possible to minimize power loss in the cord.

    Btw, I think electrons are blue. ;)

    Tesla's Mobile Connector: Mobile Connector
     
    • Like x 2
  3. markb1

    markb1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    2,985
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I've only ever seen garage door openers that were plugged into 15A outlets, never hardwired, but my sample size is small. Note that if it's a 15A outlet, you'll only be able to pull 12A from it.
     
  4. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,416
    Location:
    Kaneohe
    The Mobile Connector is a hefty weight and hanging from the ceiling is going to present a problem. You are going to need a way to support its weight to prevent it's weight from pulling itself out of the outlet.

    Besides that its only going to charge at about 3 miles per hour.
     
  5. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks! I already have a mobile connector. I thought I had a 5-15 adapter, but I now don't know where it is; I see that they're $45. (I have a 5-20 adapter.) It shouldn't be a problem to avoid using the door opener while charging.

    (Quite separately I just realized it'll be 10 weeks without WiFi to the car.)
     
  6. Feathermerchan

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2018
    Messages:
    658
    Location:
    Euless, Tx
    You can tie the heavy stuff to the garage door opener anchor points.
     
  7. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'd use an extension cord along the ceiling. Ya, I know 3-4 mph is all I'll get. But 12 hours of that should be enough; my commute is short.
     
    • Like x 1
  8. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,416
    Location:
    Kaneohe
    The car will likely not miss seeing what's on Yahoo or Facebook while its off the Internet. Might good anyway
    :)
     
    • Like x 1
  9. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I was thinking of software updates. But there's a Tesla service center near by, in case something have-to-have comes to my attention.
     
  10. spsheridan

    spsheridan Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2019
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    If you only have the 5-20 adapter, check the power outlet before you buy the 5-15 adapter (one of the two slots will be T-shaped on the 5-20 outlet). Although it's unlikely, the outlet might be a 5-20 outlet and able to handle 20 amps. If not, you'll need to buy the 5-15 adapter.
     
  11. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,416
    Location:
    Kaneohe
    Doubtful there will be any emergency OTAs that you will need for 10 weeks. Some people haven't accepted OTAs for months/years.
     
  12. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    I'm renting sight-unseen except for photos including of the open garage but not of the garage ceiling outlet. I doubt that I'll be able to check remotely, but if I can, I will.
     
  13. boaterva

    boaterva Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2016
    Messages:
    7,118
    Location:
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Never heard of a garage without any other power (doubt if it’s even current code) but I guess for an older building....

    Note that you can go to any other wifi location for downloading once the car tells you you have an update pending over the LTE, you don’t need the service center. No advantage without a work order entered.
     
    • Like x 2
  14. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,416
    Location:
    Kaneohe
    I agree with boaterva. The WiFi at the SC will automatically connect to your car if you have a work order entered and get close enough to connect.
     
  15. ralph142

    ralph142 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    bellingham, wa
    A lot of garages are wired with 20 amp circuits, but have 5-15 outlets. If so, your umc with a 5-15 adapter will pull 12 amps, and the garage door should work simultaneously, given 8 amps of ‘headroom’.
     
  16. ewoodrick

    ewoodrick Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    5,267
    Location:
    Buford, GA
    If someone opens or closes the garage door while you are charging, it will likely trip the breaker.
     
  17. ralph142

    ralph142 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2019
    Messages:
    313
    Location:
    bellingham, wa
    I thought so too initially, but it works fine in my garage. The gfi flips very occasionally, but never the breaker
     
  18. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Messages:
    4,416
    Location:
    Kaneohe
    Well that settles it. I am sure yours is just like the OP's.
     
    • Funny x 2
  19. TydalForce

    TydalForce Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2019
    Messages:
    128
    Location:
    West Chester, PA, USA
    Good point; there might be another outlet on the wall so you don't have to get up to the ceiling.
    Probably on the same circuit breaker so you still have to worry about amps, but at least you won't have to tie / use an extension cord
     
  20. brec

    brec Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    343
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    There is not another outlet on the wall; hence this topic.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC