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Weighing Tesla-recommended electrician vs non ...

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by topspin4hand, May 2, 2017.

  1. topspin4hand

    topspin4hand Member

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    So I've had 2 electricians out to provide estimates for installing a NEMA 14-50 receptacle .on a dedicated 240 volt / 50A circuit. The first came from the Tesla recommended list. The second is a well-regarded company.

    The Tesla-recommended electrician gave me the full spiel about having to do a load calculation, pull permits. send a report to Tesla post-job, etc. Then he checked that we had 200A service to the house (and not 125A as he 1st thought), and then proceeded to take pics of the specs for all the big appliances in the house so that he could perform a load calculation. He even went down to the crawl space to check the access. Total visit well 30-45minutes. He said his estimate will be to me by week's end.

    The second guy was very familiar with what I needed, even mentioned doing work at the local Tesla office. He took a look at the garage, the electrical panel in the garage, then around the side of the house and was done. His $520 estimate was emailed to me a little less than 15 minutes after he'd arrived! Both had 5-year warranties on the work.

    Which style was your experience closer to? Also, have you heard of a report going to Tesla afterwards? I'm hoping the Tesla-recommend guy's proposal is similar in that he won't recommend another 100A of service to be done. Then that'll make it hard.
     
  2. Max*

    Max* Banned

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    I went with non-Tesla recommended, as they were 2-3x cheaper IIRC.
     
  3. Az_Rael

    Az_Rael Supporting Member

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    I didn't use any Tesla recommended electricians. I called one that was well regarded on yelp, Angie's list, etc just like if I was hiring one for any other job. They pulled permits and did all the legal stuff to do a per-code install.

    Mine came and gave us an estimate that afternoon after seeing the site.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. topspin4hand

    topspin4hand Member

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    Yeah, I'm happy I read threads about some of the Tesla-recommended electricians charging more for what should be a standard install.

     
  5. vrykolas

    vrykolas Member

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    My home install was just a recommended electrician. He did a good/fast job installing NEMA 14-50. Price was $600 for 25 foot run from breaker box to where I wanted it. It also included having to adjust some of the breakers around to fit the 50A.

    I'm also installing a NEMA 14-50 at family's house in Austin. Having a family member do it. He's charging $50 labor, and about $50 parts! Amazing!
     
  6. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    A professional electrician is a professional, whether he's allied with Tesla or not. There's no mystery to what needs to be done for a Tesla charging set up. So go with someone that's highly rated or that you trust whether or not he or she is allied with Tesla. That's what I did and much to my and my wallet's satisfaction.
     
    • Like x 6
    • Informative x 1
  7. brkaus

    brkaus Active Member

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    A permit in Austin is around $200. Plus the electrician's time to wait in the inspector.
     
  8. animorph

    animorph Member

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    I had a couple of estimates by the recommended electricians, both pretty close in cost. They did mention reporting to Tesla. Both did load calcs and I paid for one of them to leave the calc results with me. I had my brother in law do the work. I did the permit and inspection. The inspector didn't ask for the load calc, to my disappointment, but did check the HPWC manual to see that it could handle the 100A circuit. Your experience might be different.

    Just like any DIY project, I saved some money but had to do some of the work. I had to read the HPWC manual to determine wiring requirements and configuration. I had to figure out how to apply for the permit and fill out the application and arrange the inspection. And I mounted the HPWC on the wall.

    I would (obviously) have no problem going with a non-recommended electrician. But then you need to figure out for yourself if they're doing the job properly. I would have been just as happy to pay a recommended electrician and not worry about it.
     
  9. topspin4hand

    topspin4hand Member

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    When I asked the non-Tesla recommended electrician about whether the quote included the permitted they amended it and added another $150 ($670 total). Which I'm okay with. I want the job done safely so my house doesn't burn down and also done right so my car charges properly. I just don't want someone recommending all this additional work just because they think a Tesla owner with a nice house will pay more. It was really the two different assessments that were conducted that gave me pause.

     
  10. Medpilot

    Medpilot Member

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    After I was quoted $750 for a Nema 14-50 install, I just did the research myself for a DYI project. Permit from my local town was $90. That also included the inspection. Supplies were about $120. Job took me about 4 hours. The hardest part was working with the 6 gauge wire. That stuff does not like to bend. Honestly, the job isn't very hard. Snaking the electrical wire to the other side of the garage can be a PIA though. Everything else is just plug and play.
     
    • Like x 2
  11. SMAlset

    SMAlset Active Member

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    Gee never heard of reporting back to Tesla for a MEMA 14-50 standard outlet in the threads I've read before...or at all actually even for a HPWC. We had a 14-50 installed along with a 50amp circuit breaker. We had the room in our 200amp service so was pretty straightforward I guess. Hubby received a recommendation from his co-workers who had Teslas and had electrical work done for it and had used this one guy. Met him, pleasant personality, licensed, bonded. We had him pull our permit and meet the inspector afterwards. He came out and gave us an estimate fairly quickly as I recall, and called to confirm the apt day a head of time and called on his way to our place for a heads up. Very professional and did nice clean work. The quote wasn't as low as some I've heard in our area but also not as high as others listed in our City's permit archive. Really hard to compare since the runs and work to be done will all be different.

    I will add that our house is in a development that isn't that old so maybe the extra inspection time and calculation work would be due to older electrical wiring?
     
  12. Rocky_H

    Rocky_H Active Member

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    Just to clarify the purpose of that. It's not something you as the homeowner needs to do. Tesla is recommending electricians, so they do want to keep an eye a little bit on their installs to make sure they are still doing a good job so they can continue to be recommended.
     
    • Like x 1
  13. topspin4hand

    topspin4hand Member

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    Our house is 2 years old. I can only presume the 1st guy was being extra cautious. However, his way of explaining his tasks just seemed like it was a lead-up to "and that's why this will cost $1,500" LOL.

     
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  14. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    any competent LICENSED electrician can easily handle the job. don't fall for the certified/recommended nonsense.
     
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  15. kort677

    kort677 Banned

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    a permit doesn't mean that your house won't burn down. a proper installation job by a licensed electrician is all you need. sadly so many locales shake their residents down for money with permitting scams.
     
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  16. tpham07

    tpham07 Member

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    I used a guy on angie's list. worked out fine. do not waste extra $$ on tesla "recommended" technicians. They overcharge you because they know Tesla owners have $$.

    Electricians all have to be bonded and certified (where i live at least) so i wasn't worried about any funny business.
     
  17. boonedocks

    boonedocks Member

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    As others have said use whomever you are most comfortable with. We built our home in 2008 and we have 3 panels each with its own surge protection, and a Generac 48kW whole house generator, an automatic switchover system. I called the Tesla recommended electrician for kicks and after explaining everything he asked for pictures and promptly called me back and said he couldn't help me.

    Called my electrician I used to build my home and was installed two days later. I mainly called Tesla to keep my electrician honest but after all considered I paid for all the parts invoices and then fiat labor like I did building my home. All worked our well and I have sense passed his name along to several other Tesla owners.

    IMG_1258.JPG

    IMG_1247.JPG IMG_1248.JPG IMG_1249.JPG IMG_1250.JPG IMG_1251.JPG
     
  18. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    Always pays to shop around.

    Tesla recommended people would most always be the go to choice if the prices were equal. They correspond to Tesla, document the job, and are motivated to maintain their "recommended status" by doing a good job and communicating with the company.

    They have all the latest info on what Tesla recommends be supplied and the quality of the components they require.

    Independents must be cheaper, or they will get no work. They will also be motivated to do a good job to maintain their liscense.

    Biggest issue might be that the proper permits and inspections are done for each community so the your insurance company will have no reason to avoid any possible claim in the future.
     
  19. FlyF4

    FlyF4 Member

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    Sounds like the Tesla recommended buy went overboard. There is no rocket science to this stuff. I would have done it myself, but I was really busy, so I called an electrician highly reviewed on Yelp that I have used for other jobs.
     
  20. omarsultan

    omarsultan Active Member

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    I also skipped on the Tesla-referred electrician. Shop around and get a couple of quotes. Look for someone licensed--an 14-50 outlet is not rocket science.
     

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