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Using Existing Nema 14-50 Power Outlet to charge Model 3 Performance

Sunny5280

Member
Jul 29, 2021
149
96
Colorado
I just replaced my 2018 Volt with a 2019 Model 3 Performance. I am trying to determine what my best home charging options are. Preferably I would like to just purchase a Tesla compatible EVSE that would plug directly into the 240 volt outlet I had installed for the Volt. It is a 14-50 volt outlet which is connected to a 40 amp circuit (at least that is the circuit breaker configured in the breaker box). When I had this outlet installed I did some forward thinking and had it installed with 6 AWG wiring (the 2018 Volt has a maximum current draw of 15 amps but I wanted to ensure should I move all electric I was all set).

I see that Tesla offers a home charging station (third generation) which looks to be fairly easy to install. However it won't just plug into the 14-50 socket so I would need to get an electrician to remove the 14-50 outlet box and plug then connect the wiring to the Tesla Home Charger. The existing conduit is 3/4" making it almost a plug and play configuration. Reviewing the installation documentation for the home charger it appears a 40 amp breaker can support an amperage draw of 32 which appears would be fine. Is this an end user configuration setting? Or does the home charger automatically detect it?

That said if possible I would prefer to keep the existing 14-50 socket and buy a home charger that would just plug into it. Does anyone have any recommendations? It looks as if Tesla has (had?) a Nema 14-50 Wall Connector but I can't seem to locate it for purchase except Ebay for approximately $1,200 and it ships from China (I want an OEM adapter, not a Chinese knock off). A review states I can use the mobile adapter which comes with the car (unfortunately the car didn't have the original cable / adapters so I can't confirm).

This is getting kind of long so I will just stop now and ask for recommendations. The selling dealer has stated they're going to get me a 240 volt Nema 14-50 capable EVSE so this may be all for nothing. But thought I would post as I am unable to charge the car at my home.
 

Mardak

Member
Oct 13, 2018
845
1,733
USA
The Tesla should come with a Mobile Connector (Gen 2) with a regular wall outlet (5-15) adapter. You can buy a 14-50 adapter for $45.

 

Gauss Guzzler

Safety Score = 7
Dec 27, 2020
565
730
Thousand Oaks, California
The charging cable it comes with is perfectly fine and will make full use of the 32A limit of your 40A circuit. You need the $45 adapter as mentioned and you can get a wall mount for it thru Tesla or elsewhere. This will easily charge your car overnight but you'll need to remember to take it with you (or buy another for $275) when making road trips to other homes where you might wish to charge overnight.

If you prefer the wall charger you can connect it right up in place of the outlet. With a breaker change, your existing 6AWG wiring may be capable of 60A which would provide 48A charging capability. The wall charger can be permanently configured for whatever circuit capacity you have.

The fact that your existing outlet is installed with a 40A breaker instead of 50A makes no difference but it might be a hint that your panel or wiring is not capable of supporting more.
 

Gauss Guzzler

Safety Score = 7
Dec 27, 2020
565
730
Thousand Oaks, California
ClipperCreek is a really lousy solution unless the OP's other car uses the clunky J1772 charge connector. And if the intent is to avoid electricians they'd still be limited to 32A on that 40A breaker so they might as well just use the much cheaper Tesla Mobile Connector so the valuable J1772 adapter can stay in the car.

That J1772 adapter is the only thing you really need to keep in the car and it's a fiddly pain to use so it'd be far from ideal to use it for primary home charging.

Of course it's certainly easy and safe to just slap a cheap appliance cord onto the Tesla Wall Connector if you really want to "plug it in" (yes, I know it's not UL approved). But it's hard to imagine a scenario where the bulk and expense of a Wall Connector would be justified despite the clunkiness and power limitations of the 14-50 outlet.
 

cali8484

Member
Jul 8, 2018
282
161
California
I just replaced my 2018 Volt with a 2019 Model 3 Performance. I am trying to determine what my best home charging options are. Preferably I would like to just purchase a Tesla compatible EVSE that would plug directly into the 240 volt outlet I had installed for the Volt. It is a 14-50 volt outlet which is connected to a 40 amp circuit (at least that is the circuit breaker configured in the breaker box). When I had this outlet installed I did some forward thinking and had it installed with 6 AWG wiring (the 2018 Volt has a maximum current draw of 15 amps but I wanted to ensure should I move all electric I was all set).

I see that Tesla offers a home charging station (third generation) which looks to be fairly easy to install. However it won't just plug into the 14-50 socket so I would need to get an electrician to remove the 14-50 outlet box and plug then connect the wiring to the Tesla Home Charger. The existing conduit is 3/4" making it almost a plug and play configuration. Reviewing the installation documentation for the home charger it appears a 40 amp breaker can support an amperage draw of 32 which appears would be fine. Is this an end user configuration setting? Or does the home charger automatically detect it?

That said if possible I would prefer to keep the existing 14-50 socket and buy a home charger that would just plug into it. Does anyone have any recommendations? It looks as if Tesla has (had?) a Nema 14-50 Wall Connector but I can't seem to locate it for purchase except Ebay for approximately $1,200 and it ships from China (I want an OEM adapter, not a Chinese knock off). A review states I can use the mobile adapter which comes with the car (unfortunately the car didn't have the original cable / adapters so I can't confirm).

This is getting kind of long so I will just stop now and ask for recommendations. The selling dealer has stated they're going to get me a 240 volt Nema 14-50 capable EVSE so this may be all for nothing. But thought I would post as I am unable to charge the car at my home.

If you have 6 AWG wiring for the 14-50 outlet then you really have a 65A circuit and should be fine for charging up to the limit of the 40A breaker. I would suggest you start with the bundled 32A mobile EVSE with a 14-50 adapter and how it goes. It's really not adequate then upgrade. Of course, if the dealer is going to give you an EVSE with 14-50 then start with that.
 

Soosh69

Member
Aug 7, 2021
14
9
Chicagoland
It seems like the straight 14-50 outlet is more compatible with a wider range of EVs and their adapters. That is, in the off chance that one wants to buy an EV someday that isn’t a Tesla.
 
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Sunny5280

Member
Jul 29, 2021
149
96
Colorado
Thank you everyone for your responses. Since I do not have the original Tesla EVSE I was unfamiliar with how it works however I now have a better understanding. It appears that the EVSE has a manufacturer specific connector which is then plugged into various adapters which allow it to be used with different outlets. It appears the standard adapter is for a Nema 5-15 or what us regular people refer to as a standard 120 volt outlet. If I wanted to use 240 charging then I could, as Mardak suggested, purchase the Nema 14-50 adapter and utilize it instead of the 5-15 adapter. Basically plug and play with the outlet I already own.

I may move forward with the wall charger in the future but I just want to get something going quickly so I can start charging at home. I don't know what the dealer is going to be purchasing, I am going to call and speak to the manager this morning so I can work out the details now that I have a better understanding of Tesla charging options. I'd prefer he purchase the Tesla EVSE and I don't think he'll have an objection given they don't appear to be any more costly than alternatives.

Two other questions:
  1. I think the car didn't come with the EVSE but perhaps it did and is normally stored somewhere in the car which I have not checked? I didn't see it in the frunk or trunk, is it possible there's a separate storage location?
  2. If I need to order something directly from Tesla how quickly do they ship the item out?
Thanks all. I took my friends for a ride in it yesterday afternoon and I was all smiles again. When I took the X5 in to the dealer on Saturday I remembered why I loved it so much and questioned whether I did the right thing. But getting back into the Model 3 answered that question.
 

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
352
360
Atlanta, GA
Two other questions:
  1. I think the car didn't come with the EVSE but perhaps it did and is normally stored somewhere in the car which I have not checked? I didn't see it in the frunk or trunk, is it possible there's a separate storage location?
  2. If I need to order something directly from Tesla how quickly do they ship the item out?

1. The EVSE was delivered with the car. However, this being a 2019 I assume you purchased it used. The former owner many not have included it with the car, in which case I would call them to get it or you will need to order one from Tesla ($275)

2. When ordering from Tesla, if it is in stock, my experience is a fairly quick delivery.

And if you buy the Wall Connector, its cost and the cost of a new breaker are eligible for a 30% tax credit.

 

RayK

Active Member
Apr 5, 2016
2,223
2,222
San Jose, CA
1) Each Model 3 comes from the factory with what's usually called the UMC (Universal Mobile Connector). Usual storage location would be in the frunk or in the recessed storage area in the trunk. I don't think it would fit anywhere else.

2) It appears the mobile connector I referenced above is in stock. In my dealings with the Tesla Store items are generally shipped within a couple of days. You will get an email with the tracking number. That said, there have been many reports here that say delays of weeks or months have occurred. You could try visiting a Tesla Service Center and see if they have any on hand. I don't know if they would also carry the 14-50 NEMA adapter you need.
 

Sunny5280

Member
Jul 29, 2021
149
96
Colorado
Thank you everyone once again. With the information given I have moved forward with the purchase of the UMC and Nema 14-50 adapter. Unfortunately the UMC was not included with the vehicle (odd as I get the impression the previous owner was meticulous and would have included it) so I had to buy one. The dealer is reimbursing me the cost for a brand new one from Tesla. Order has been placed now all I need is for it to be delivered.
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,895
12,619
Riverside Co. CA
Thank you everyone once again. With the information given I have moved forward with the purchase of the UMC and Nema 14-50 adapter. Unfortunately the UMC was not included with the vehicle (odd as I get the impression the previous owner was meticulous and would have included it) so I had to buy one. The dealer is reimbursing me the cost for a brand new one from Tesla. Order has been placed now all I need is for it to be delivered.

Sounds like a dealer who is doing things the right way, from a customer service perspective. Nice to see that still exists in some places :)
 

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
352
360
Atlanta, GA
If you leave the 14-50 as a 40A circuit you should put a label on the outlet indicating it as 40 AMP. Changing the breaker to 60A gains you nothing since the UMC only needs, and can use, a 40A circuit (32A useable).
 

mrbulk

Member
Sep 5, 2017
462
366
Las Vegas NV
We have a Tesla wall-mounted HPWC unit (a black one "signed by Elon", was given to me by bro-in-law, woo hoo!) but since we already had a 50A Nema 14-50 socket installed in the garage wall, I rewired a 14-50 socket into the HPWC replacing the normal installation hard-wiring so when we move I simply unbolt the unit from the wall after unplugping the cord (we actually had two places we had to move between, so they both have the wall socket installed in the garages).
 

Gauss Guzzler

Safety Score = 7
Dec 27, 2020
565
730
Thousand Oaks, California
Glad they were willing to take care of you. The UMC should arrive in around a week so you might want to stop by your local Supercharger for 30-60 minutes to get by in the meanwhile. If you tap the red icons on the map you can see the speeds offered (kW) and number of stalls currently available. Look for speeds of 150kW or more if you plan to sit and wait (20+ minutes), or use the 72kW stations while you shop/eat (60+ minutes). If you select the charger as your nav destination it will "precondition" the battery for faster charging upon arrival. Just shove the plug into your fender and it'll start charging immediately with your credit card being automatically billed accordingly (~$15). Once connected, the screen will show the time estimate and your phone will alert you as it nears completion - pay attention because you need to move the car when it finishes. Don't waste time charging over 80% unless you need the extra time for your meal/shopping because the charge rate slows down a lot as it gets closer to full.

If all this talk of jiggawatts is foreign to you, just remember that your car has a ~75kW-hour battery so it would take 1 hour to charge at 75kW, or 30 minutes at 150kW, or 11 hours at home (7kW). This is a gross oversimplification and unlike a gas car you never actually fill from 0% to 100% but it's an easy way to get a sense of the variety of charge speeds.

I recommend ordering a wall-mount bracket and cord hook for your new UMC. Note that the round pin on your 14-50 should normally be at the top in order for the cord to hang downward. If not, you can rotate the outlet with a little effort or you can use the wall mount bracket to mount the UMC above the outlet instead. It mounts/hangs fine either way.

Lastly, if your car didn't include the UMC then it likely didn't include the J1772 adapter either. You'll need this to charge at work, at the library, or other non-Tesla locations. It's a slow charge (~8 hours) and there's usually an associated fee and app, but it's useful nonetheless.
 

ATPMSD

Member
Mar 12, 2021
352
360
Atlanta, GA
didn't include the J1772 adapter

Excellent point! The Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle from the Tesla store does not include the J1772 adapter, and the OP will certainly want one!

 
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Sunny5280

Member
Jul 29, 2021
149
96
Colorado
Glad they were willing to take care of you. The UMC should arrive in around a week so you might want to stop by your local Supercharger for 30-60 minutes to get by in the meanwhile. If you tap the red icons on the map you can see the speeds offered (kW) and number of stalls currently available. Look for speeds of 150kW or more if you plan to sit and wait (20+ minutes), or use the 72kW stations while you shop/eat (60+ minutes). If you select the charger as your nav destination it will "precondition" the battery for faster charging upon arrival. Just shove the plug into your fender and it'll start charging immediately with your credit card being automatically billed accordingly (~$15). Once connected, the screen will show the time estimate and your phone will alert you as it nears completion - pay attention because you need to move the car when it finishes. Don't waste time charging over 80% unless you need the extra time for your meal/shopping because the charge rate slows down a lot as it gets closer to full.

If all this talk of jiggawatts is foreign to you, just remember that your car has a ~75kW-hour battery so it would take 1 hour to charge at 75kW, or 30 minutes at 150kW, or 11 hours at home (7kW). This is a gross oversimplification and unlike a gas car you never actually fill from 0% to 100% but it's an easy way to get a sense of the variety of charge speeds.

I recommend ordering a wall-mount bracket and cord hook for your new UMC. Note that the round pin on your 14-50 should normally be at the top in order for the cord to hang downward. If not, you can rotate the outlet with a little effort or you can use the wall mount bracket to mount the UMC above the outlet instead. It mounts/hangs fine either way.

Lastly, if your car didn't include the UMC then it likely didn't include the J1772 adapter either. You'll need this to charge at work, at the library, or other non-Tesla locations. It's a slow charge (~8 hours) and there's usually an associated fee and app, but it's useful nonetheless.
Thank you for this very informative post.

My intent is to purchase the home charging unit and then put the UMC in the car. However, for the time being, I just need something to charge the car and since the dealer is paying for it I'll use that until I can get things lined up for the home charger. I purchased the 14-50 adapter because I currently have one and, IMO, the 5-15 is only good for a dire situation where no other option is available.

As for my driving habits 95% is around town with occasional round trips of approximately 200 miles (to my families place in the mountains). I purchased the Volt to determine what my driving habits were and, for that 95% of the time, the range of the Volt was sufficient. However there were times when I took an ICE vehicle in place of the Volt due to the distance (despite the Volt having the ICE generator backup, hey...I had to drive that X5 sometime and it was great for longer distances). I need to get a feel / comfortable with the Model 3 to see how I should be driving / charging it. While the range of the Model 3 should be sufficient for the trips to the mountains without charging winter will be the real test. When I first take it to the mountains I'll probably build in some charging time unless I am comfortable with the range remaining.

I will plan to pick up the J1772 adapter. While I never publicly charged the Volt I really didn't need to because 1) It has the ICE generator for when the battery was depleted and 2) I didn't take it on many trips which exceeded the 53 mile range. But I would definitely like to have this adapter to be prepared in the event I might need to charge at a location other than a Tesla Super Charging station.

I do have a second car, a Subaru Outback, which is my utility vehicle and will act as a backup if I should run out of charge. I'm currently minimizing my travel with the Tesla until I can get a charger. I will be stopping by the dealer on Wednesday to pick up the check for the UCM so I'll probably charge the car then (there are Super Charging stations close by). The Outback will be my winter car for when the conditions warrant (since the Model 3 Performance has summer tires plus I don't want to get it filthy from snow!)

Really enjoying the car for the whole 50 or so miles I've currently driven it.
 
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MLXXXp

Member
Apr 27, 2021
65
62
Toronto, Canada
so it would take 1 hour to charge at 75kW, or 30 minutes at 150kW, or 11 hours at home (7kW). This is a gross oversimplification
And it doesn't take into account the fact that with high wattage chargers the car won't draw the full available wattage throughout the entire charging cycle. It will lower the charge rate at low and high ends of the charge level.


But I would definitely like to have this adapter to be prepared in the event I might need to charge at a location other than a Tesla Super Charging station.
Note that the J1772 adapter will only work with J1772 level 2 charging stations. It won't work for level 3 CCS1 or CHAdeMO charging stations. For that you need Tesla's CHAdeMO adapter or a third party CCS1 or CHAdeMO adapter.
 

Gasaraki

Active Member
Oct 21, 2019
2,095
1,451
Syracuse, NY
I just replaced my 2018 Volt with a 2019 Model 3 Performance. I am trying to determine what my best home charging options are. Preferably I would like to just purchase a Tesla compatible EVSE that would plug directly into the 240 volt outlet I had installed for the Volt. It is a 14-50 volt outlet which is connected to a 40 amp circuit (at least that is the circuit breaker configured in the breaker box). When I had this outlet installed I did some forward thinking and had it installed with 6 AWG wiring (the 2018 Volt has a maximum current draw of 15 amps but I wanted to ensure should I move all electric I was all set).

I see that Tesla offers a home charging station (third generation) which looks to be fairly easy to install. However it won't just plug into the 14-50 socket so I would need to get an electrician to remove the 14-50 outlet box and plug then connect the wiring to the Tesla Home Charger. The existing conduit is 3/4" making it almost a plug and play configuration. Reviewing the installation documentation for the home charger it appears a 40 amp breaker can support an amperage draw of 32 which appears would be fine. Is this an end user configuration setting? Or does the home charger automatically detect it?

That said if possible I would prefer to keep the existing 14-50 socket and buy a home charger that would just plug into it. Does anyone have any recommendations? It looks as if Tesla has (had?) a Nema 14-50 Wall Connector but I can't seem to locate it for purchase except Ebay for approximately $1,200 and it ships from China (I want an OEM adapter, not a Chinese knock off). A review states I can use the mobile adapter which comes with the car (unfortunately the car didn't have the original cable / adapters so I can't confirm).

This is getting kind of long so I will just stop now and ask for recommendations. The selling dealer has stated they're going to get me a 240 volt Nema 14-50 capable EVSE so this may be all for nothing. But thought I would post as I am unable to charge the car at my home.
The car comes with the charger you need. Just get the 14-50 end for your charge for $45 on the Tesla website.
 

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