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Wall charger installation

Discussion in 'Model 3: Battery & Charging' started by Goosby, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. Goosby

    Goosby Member

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    Hi all, I had an electrician come out and install my wall charger the other day, and while it has passed state inspection I am a little concerned with the how the wiring was done using the top-entry bracket; sadly the state inspector didn’t seem very knowledgeable with the Tesla wall charger and was more eager to pass and leave than make sure everything was done correctly.

    So my question is this, I had a 60 amp breaker installed with #6 Romex and have the two hots going into the corresponding hot terminals in the top-entry bracket; however, the electrician put both the neutral and ground wires into the ground terminal. Is this something that could be/is problematic? At first glance it seems wrong to me, but maybe since the neutral isn’t used with the charger it is a non-issue and saved the electrician a cheap cap? I hired out because I have no idea how these things work, and while I want to assume all was done correctly, everything I’ve read since the installation seems to indicate capping the neutral is how it should be done.

    Basically, am I over thinking this and worrying for no reason, or did my electrician do a poor job that was conveniently overlooked by inspection?

    Thanks for any answers/advise!
     
  2. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Yeah, that's not right, and the Neutral should be disconnected and capped or just wrapped with electrical tape.

    But wait! There's more! You want to know if something is wrong?

    :eek:What is this guy thinking? That is REALLY wrong. 6 gauge Romex is only rated up to 55 amps. It cannot be on a 60A circuit.

    With these kinds of mistakes, I would have the guy come back out and do it right, and you should not have to pay for that. The wrong wire size on a 60A circuit is straight-up a code violation. No electrician should have ever done that.
     
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  3. Goosby

    Goosby Member

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    Ugh. This is what I was afraid of. I am handy enough to unplug/unhook the wall charger to cap off the neutral, so that’s an annoyance I can take care of myself. However, I did ask for #4 Romex for higher amp rating and the electrician insisted #6 is compliant for 60 amps; something about rounding up to the nearest breaker size. Guess I will call another electrical company and ask what their thoughts are on it.

    Thanks for the response, Rocky!
     
  4. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    #4 eprosenx, Aug 29, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
    So if the feed for this unit goes back to the main electrical service panel where neutral and ground are bonded together, then the neutral and ground wires are effectively equivalents. Probably (definitely) bad practice what the electrician did, but not dangerous if it goes back to the main service panel.

    Now if the wall connector is fed from a subpanel then what he has done is created a second bonding point between ground and neutral in your house which is not a good thing.

    Not to mention that I am sure that ground lug is not rated for two wires to get shoved under it. Really the neutral is superfluous for EV charging. Just a waste of copper to run one.

    And then yes, as @Rocky_H called out: Romex 6awg is not rated to 60a. This is a non-compliant install and the inspector should have caught that (actually the inspector should also have called out the neutral wire too if you pointed it out to them).

    I am losing faith in a lot of inspectors...
     
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  5. Big Dog

    Big Dog Member

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    ^^call your city permit department. They'll tell you what Romex your guy shoulda used. (Plus, it gives you the legal authority to call the guy back.)

    edited after reread: yikes, the permit guy missed this? Really bad.
     
  6. eprosenx

    eprosenx Active Member

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    Oh, and YES you are allowed to round up to the next breaker size. That part is correct.

    What is totally incorrect is that when you do round up, you still have to do the load calculation with the limit of the ampacity of the wire *not* the breaker.

    With the hpwc set to 60a the car can draw 48a continuous which requires a full 60a of capacity due to needing to oversize by 25% for continuous loads.

    Your electrician is wrong.

    The install can be trivially made code compliant by switching the HPWC down to 50a (40a actual limit), but that is not what you paid for!
     
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  7. SpudLime

    SpudLime Active Member

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    Wall "Connector".
     
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  8. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Yeah, that's just bothersome. Even if an inspector wants to not really do a full job and kind of skim by on just a cursory glance to get out of there quickly, this seems like the one basic foundational thing that should be checked, even if he does nothing else: check that the wire size is right for the circuit size.
     
  9. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    I typed out something along these lines in my larger earlier post, but deleted it because it seemed maybe too assertive/forceful. You could press a little leverage on the electrician that you want him to come back and fix this for free or else you're going to report that he violated NEC to the inspection office. (But dang, I hadn't thought about that other aspect that it would get the inspector in trouble too.)
     
  10. Runt8

    Runt8 Active Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Yeah, I wasn't going to click the down thumb because it says that means "disagree", but I dislike it for just being pedantic and irritating. It doesn't matter in this context. When someone says they're putting on some shoes, they don't need you to turn up your nose and correct them every time the footwear happens to be sandals instead of actual "shoes".
     
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  12. SpudLime

    SpudLime Active Member

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    Well a lot of folks dislike the improper use of the proper technical term. It is misleading.
     
  13. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Yeah, well, people ALL THE TIME refer to the thing in the wall of their house as the "plug". That's also incorrect and misleading. It's an outlet or receptacle, and you should go ahead and be just as douchey by going around harassing them for that too.
     
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  14. SpudLime

    SpudLime Active Member

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    I see what you are saying. Being that the charger is actually in the vehicle itself, I see it as much different than plug/outlet.
     
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  15. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Do you see how there is context in this thread, though? The person is just saying: I was getting this device installed, and here's how the wiring was done. Is that code-compliant? That has nothing to do with the device inside the car or what it's called. Yeah, I know. I'm wasting people's time now too, continuing to talk about it. I'm just trying to teach you some tact about when it matters or would be helpful to bring that up.
     
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  16. TexasEV

    TexasEV Well-Known Member

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    Explaining proper terminology is not harassment. It’s just explaining proper terminology so they can use it next time.

    Do you remember the thread last year when someone complained his charger wasn’t working, and half the people responding thought he was talking about the thing in the car and the other half thought he was talking about the thing on the wall, and each sides answers didn’t make sense to the other? It was like “Who’s on first?” Using the right terminology is important if we wat to communicate. Maybe the meaning was clear in this thread, but that doesn’t mean it will be for the next one. Better that people learn the charger is in the car and the connector or EVSE is on the wall.
     
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  17. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    :mad:Yes. That was a thread about the operation of the charger devices. It is clearly relevant and informative there to know which piece of equipment someone is talking about! This thread is asking about his electrcian's wiring techniques. It is clearly not relevant here. You are proving my point of how obvious it is to know when that's helpful and when it is just being irritating. I don't see how you could think that example points out anything except exactly what I am saying, how you give that correction when it matters and not when it's just being a jerk.

    OK, fine. I get what you're saying, how dozens of times of this kinds of pedantic irritation might cause someone to use the right term in some other thread where it could clear up confusion, which still could just be clarified there anyway.
     
  18. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    @TexasEV, And one follow-up regarding that thread you mentioned. You can't think that you and the Correction Squad will be able to fix the world and declare "Mission Accomplished" and then assume that eventually everyone will be using it correctly. That quest can't be completed. So in those situations, where someone is asking about the functionality of it or problems with it, it will always be necessary to check with someone if they are talking about the device hanging on the wall, or the thing inside the car when it's relevant to answer questions about those things.
     
  19. Goosby

    Goosby Member

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    Hi all,

    First of all, thank you so much for the helpful answers. For now, I have capped the neutral myself and will dial the charger down to have it draw 50 amps instead of 60; realistically I don’t need the full (60) amperage amount but, as stated above, it’s what I paid for (or so I thought) and an option I should have. I may just call it quits now and live with it, or I may end up calling another electrician to come out and upgrade the wire. I’m hesitant to call the first electrician to come back out given the hack job that was apparently done; who knows what the “fix” will entail.

    Also, I will be sure to use “connector” in the future to avoid any confusion.

    Thanks again for the help!
     
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