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Used Powerwall - worth it?

buggaby

Member
Aug 16, 2018
13
3
Fort Worth
Hi all,

Wasn't looking for one, but just came across a used Powerwall 2. Just the battery. Assuming the battery itself is in good condition, is this worth my time to investigate? I do not own any Tesla stuff, but it would be nice to have a battery back up, at least for necessary things, as we get storms here and can be without power sometimes.

I imagine I would need to somehow obtain the "Supporting Hardware" that Tesla sells for $1100, and then have it installed (maybe another $1-2k?). There is at least 1 Tesla-certified installer in my area (Fort Worth). Are there big gotchas I need to worry about?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

miimura

Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2013
6,570
6,374
Los Altos, CA
I have heard that it is possible to brick a Powerwall by letting it drain too low by doing the installation then cutting off the power for an extended period of time. Before you buy it, I would try to ensure that it is still in working condition and not bricked. I would also be sure to ask where it came from and why it's not being used at the original installation site.

The easiest way to make use of it is to buy a single Powerwall system and have it installed and then add the other one on to make a two Powerwall system.
 
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Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,905
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
PowerWalls are great. I'd therefore be automatically suspicious of any uninstalled used PowerWalls. The story about why it was uninstalled and not installed elsewhere had better be pretty awesome, otherwise it's just senseless.

Even edge cases are scary. For instance, a nutcase who thinks all batteries give you cancer from the other side of the house: that same nutcase would probably also turn the PowerWall off for so long that it destroys the PowerWall, as @miimura said. Ruined PowerWalls are prone to causing fires.

A house that partially burns down? First, maybe the battery was depleted and ruined while the law enforcement kept people away from their own property after some busybody shut off all the solar panel systems regardless of whether they needed to be shut off. Second, if the busybodies and law enforcement didn't ruin the batteries through regular incompetence (I note once again that overly discharged ruined PowerWalls are prone to causing fires), maybe they would have allowed the batteries to stay charged up, and then a thief came and stole the battery. That thief would be making you a criminal if you bought it.

Yes, the more I think about it, the more suspicious this all is. There would have to be a really good explanation. I practically expect genocide to be part of the answer. There is almost definitely something wrong with the situation, if not the battery. No one in their right mind would give up a Tesla PowerWall, unless they can afford superior boutique systems.

I came here due to the title to answer "Yes, of course!", but as I put thought to it, boy was I wrong.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,267
294
Monterey, CA
Yes, investigate all the ins and outs. But, a single batter by itself is not workable.
Not sure Tesla will sell you the Gateway by itself. Then, not sure how you will monitor the system. Will Tesla allow you to be on their network to monitor it? As stated above, if it is a good battery in all respect, you should get a single PW installed by Tesla and add the used as second.
 

buggaby

Member
Aug 16, 2018
13
3
Fort Worth
Thanks for the comments. Super helpful in keeping me away from this!

Apparently it was used as a display model in a company that went out of business. So it might be good, but a lot of headache for me to test and then try to install it without having already purchased a single PW.

Anyone in the Dallas/Fort Worth area want to investigate it, it's on OfferUp.
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,595
19,741
San Diego, CA
I have an open slot for a 4th powerwall . . . this might just be what I need if I can get Tesla to program it (i.e. add it to the gateway).
 

bkp_duke

Well-Known Member
May 15, 2016
5,595
19,741
San Diego, CA
OK, I reached out to this seller for more info. The unit was a "demo" installed in a Tesla store that was shut down.

They actually opened the system for me and it turns out it is just a shell, there are not batteries installed inside of the powerwall.
 

charlesj

Active Member
Oct 22, 2019
1,267
294
Monterey, CA
OK, I reached out to this seller for more info. The unit was a "demo" installed in a Tesla store that was shut down.

They actually opened the system for me and it turns out it is just a shell, there are not batteries installed inside of the powerwall.
Boy, great detective work there. Wonder what was their asking price and if they knew.
 

gangzoom

Active Member
May 22, 2014
1,353
1,209
Uk
PowerWalls are great. I'd therefore be automatically suspicious of any uninstalled used PowerWalls.

I've only had our PowerWall for 48hrs and completely agree. 10 year warranty, quality product in the metal and fantastic software, you have to have a very good/odd reason to deinstall and sell.
 

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