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What does "Tesla Certified" mean regarding an electrician?

I am getting bids from electricians for installing a 220 volt/40 amp charging socket in my garage. I can see on the Tesla web site that there are some electricians that are "Tesla Certified." What exactly does that mean? Does Tesla give them some kind of training? Or do they just verify that they are properly licensed and insured?

I live in the San Jose, California area. I got some bids for my installation. Cheapest was $1800. Got two at that price, one at $3000, and one at $5000. That seems quite high for a power socket installation. Can this be because of my 1977 vintage panel? It is only 100 amps. One guy (the $3000 bid) said that he needed to install a "safety switch." This would power either the HVAC system or the charging station but never both at once. This is to be sure that the HVAC condenser does not come on as I am charging and exceed the amps that my 100 amp panel can provide. Does this seem necessary? The two $1800 guys did not mention this. The $5000 bid guy wanted to replace my main electrical panel.
 

Uncle Paul

Well-Known Member
Nov 1, 2013
6,299
7,613
Canyon Lake,CA
Tesla certified installers apply and get their installation education directly from Tesla. They communicate with Tesla before and after the installation. They will do a site visit and survey of your houses electrical load by walking through the house and noting every heavy electrical use and taking that into consideration before doing the install.

They will insist in getting legally required permits and follow the local code regulations.

They will use the quality of circuit breakers and wire gauge that Tesla recommends and address your panel in a professional manner, not just getting the job done as cheaply as possible .

That is some of the reason that they might cost more than someone that does not go through all the steps.

For many cases a local electrication or even a handy man or DIY project will work out well, but the downsides if it goes wrong can be pretty dramatic.

Some insurance companies may deny a claim if the install is not done by proper local code and by people with the necessary licenses.
 
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Tesla certified installers apply and get their installation education directly from Tesla.

There's nothing about a "Tesla" charging installation that requires education from Tesla. The only thing that would even be relevant to Tesla is if a Tesla Wall Connector is used, and the (quite simple) instructions for that come in the box for the Wall Connector. Installation of a standard socket (such as the common NEMA 14-50, which seems to be what the original poster is referencing) has nothing to do with Tesla or anything that would be plugged into it.

They communicate with Tesla before and after the installation.

Communicate what, exactly? Nothing about the process is relevant to ownership or warranty applicability. "Registering" with Tesla is meaningless.

They will insist in getting legally required permits and follow the local code regulations.

They will use the quality of circuit breakers and wire gauge that Tesla recommends and address your panel in a professional manner, not just getting the job done as cheaply as possible.

Any reputable electrician will do this for any comparable (or greater) electrical work. The "Tesla Certified" part is irrelevant, and there is no need for Tesla to "recommend" the appropriate wire/breakers/etc., as all of that is already defined for any given set of electrical parameters.

It's really just a mechanism that funnels work towards particular electricians, who then overcharge for a task that does not require any skill/knowledge beyond standard electrical installation practices.
 
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I just got a bid from a non-Tesla-certified elecrician and another from a Tesla-certified guy. The Tesla-certified electrician bid less than the non-certified electrician. The non-Tesla fellow is insisting that he has to replace my main electrical panel while the Tesla guy is not.

The exception that proves the rule, perhaps.
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,591
Greenville Wisconsin
Tesla certified is likely more marketing than anything. Yes they will do EV charging more often and therefor might be more efficient, where others might just apply the "tesla tax" in excess.
A Tesla certified installer might make different assumptions about the load calculations too presuming you will schedule charging.

Also there is no 40amp outlet available, sometimes 50amp outlets are installed at 40amps and that could work with the current UMC only pulling 32 but I wouldn't deliberately install at lower amperage like that.

On a 100amp service I would think twice about a single 40-50amp circuit unless your other electrical use is quite low, a 30amp dryer type circuit would suffice in your mild climate and less likely to overtax the panel or service.

Generally I advocate for a bigger circuit but on a 100amp service and in a mild climate and presumably with other local charging options given your location. I got by on a 30amp circuit here near Green Bay with all the battery heating and doubled energy use that goes with it.
$35 adapter to use a 30amp outlet they can install and not overtax your 100amp panel/service.
Would net you 17miles instead of 23 per hour plugged in
 
I do have only a 100 amp main panel. Would cost $13,000 to increase that because I would need new power lines. These electric power lines are underground in our neighborhood. I would have to dig a trench out to the the street and bury a heavier gauge wire.

One electrician suggested that he install a safety switch. The Tesla charger and the air conditioner condenser would be on the two sides of that switch. So if I am charging the car, the air conditioner could not come on.

I got by on a 30amp circuit here near Green Bay with all the battery heating and doubled energy use that goes with it.
$

What is the battery heating about? Does that mean that the car has to heat the battery when it is a really cold day? I hand't known that. So this would reduce the range because some of the energy goes to keeping the battery warm.

What is the "$35 adaptor" about? I need an additional adapter to use 30 amps instead of 40?
 

SSedan

Active Member
Jul 24, 2017
2,948
2,591
Greenville Wisconsin
In cold climates the battery needs to be heated to charge and it dramatically increases energy use and reduce range in daily driving, on long drives the impact is reduced because the battery warms once. Mine has seen -20f not a problem for you but if I got by on 30 amp so can you.
30amp is a dryer outlet, different plug so different adapter for the UMC.
 

Fobble

Member
Jun 9, 2018
831
3,766
Arizona
My newer Arizona home has 200 amp panel, and the non-Tesla certified licensed electrician installed the 50amp outlet for $275 (poke thru the stucco wall). I asked him to install another one across the other side of the 3 car garage for future use for an additional $400, all inclusive (part and labor).
 

Lasttoy

Active Member
Mar 24, 2017
1,664
975
St Augustine, Fl
I watched every video on Youtube. This is easy if you can follow intructions. The videos are great to say the least.
Determine what servide you have, 100 or 200
Do you have blank double in box?
100 u install a 50amp, 200 u install a 80.
Get 14.50 box from HD, $50
Get 4 strand 0 wire for distance.
Took me longer to drill hole in the side of house.
Took 2 hours. Done, easy.
My buddy in Virginia charges $500.
 
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There's nothing about a "Tesla" charging installation that requires education from Tesla. The only thing that would even be relevant to Tesla is if a Tesla Wall Connector is used, and the (quite simple) instructions for that come in the box for the Wall Connector. Installation of a standard socket (such as the common NEMA 14-50, which seems to be what the original poster is referencing) has nothing to do with Tesla or anything that would be plugged into it.



Communicate what, exactly? Nothing about the process is relevant to ownership or warranty applicability. "Registering" with Tesla is meaningless.



Any reputable electrician will do this for any comparable (or greater) electrical work. The "Tesla Certified" part is irrelevant, and there is no need for Tesla to "recommend" the appropriate wire/breakers/etc., as all of that is already defined for any given set of electrical parameters.

It's really just a mechanism that funnels work towards particular electricians, who then overcharge for a task that does not require any skill/knowledge beyond standard electrical installation practices.
I used my regular household electrician to install a Tesla wall charger. He had to call Tesla once with a question (they were excellent). It cost me $700 plus $500 for the wall unit. Installing a simpler range plug at our second home should be less expensive still.
 

brkaus

Well-Known Member
Jul 8, 2014
8,269
6,833
Austin, TX
What is the "$35 adaptor" about? I need an additional adapter to use 30 amps instead of 40?

The portable UMC (car plug adapter) accepts various adapters. It comes with a 5-15 (standard wall outlet) and a 14-50 (high power outlet).

They also sell various other adapter. The adaptor will limit the car properly for the outlet that is being used. So it won’t try to putt too much from a small outlet.

100 u install a 50amp, 200 u install a 80.

I have a 200a panel, three AC units and 2 electric ovens, dryer, and hot water, two dish washers. It isn’t always that simple.

I have been getting bids of about $2000 here in Silicon Valley. Maybe that is high because every kind of labor is expensive around here.

Labor is expensive, but the scope of these jobs may all be quite different. Outdated equipment, under capacity, distance, wall type for pulling wires, etc.

I am surprised about the range difference in your quotes, but sounds like they are taking a different approach.

Electricians have been telling me that they have to install a new subpanel because I have a 100 amp main panel and it is "maxed-out." Does that sound reasonable?

Possibly. If there are not enough spots in the main panel, they have to add a sub-panel and move a few loads. Think of it like that Christmas light project. Once that double outlet out front is full, you unplug one thing. Plug in a splitter and move that string of lights to the splitter.


It sounds to me like a switch on the ac unit would be a pain. Unless it is very very rarely used.

How many miles do you drive per day? Is there a supercharger nearby? Charging at work or other places you frequent?

A 20a 240v outlet would cover the needs of a shorter distance commuter and may be something your panel can handle without upgrades or hand waving.

Plus, having that 20a 240v outlet (NEMA 6-20) outlet for your air compressor (hide the car) might be a lot cheaper.
 

Snerruc

Active Member
Apr 16, 2016
1,039
1,718
Palm Bay
When I first got my car, I called Tesla about why should I use a Tesla approved electrician. They said that if I used an approved elacrticianand there was a problem later that damaged the battery, they would honor the warranty. Otherwise the warranty would be voided. Seemed a no brained to me.
 
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Well-Known Member
Jul 12, 2012
11,199
9,082
Maine
When I first got my car, I called Tesla about why should I use a Tesla approved electrician. They said that if I used an approved elacrticianand there was a problem later that damaged the battery, they would honor the warranty. Otherwise the warranty would be voided. Seemed a no brained to me.

Ah, salespeople. Got to love them.
 
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davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,831
2,086
San Diego, CA, US
I am getting bids from electricians for installing a 220 volt/40 amp charging socket in my garage. I can see on the Tesla web site that there are some electricians that are "Tesla Certified." What exactly does that mean? Does Tesla give them some kind of training? Or do they just verify that they are properly licensed and insured?

I live in the San Jose, California area. I got some bids for my installation. Cheapest was $1800. Got two at that price, one at $3000, and one at $5000. That seems quite high for a power socket installation. Can this be because of my 1977 vintage panel? It is only 100 amps. One guy (the $3000 bid) said that he needed to install a "safety switch." This would power either the HVAC system or the charging station but never both at once. This is to be sure that the HVAC condenser does not come on as I am charging and exceed the amps that my 100 amp panel can provide. Does this seem necessary? The two $1800 guys did not mention this. The $5000 bid guy wanted to replace my main electrical panel.

A 40a circuit seems like a good compromise in this case with the small panel. However, I would want to know exactly why the one guy wanted to change the panel. There are panels of that vintage (search for Zinsco and Federal Pacific) that are simply fires waiting to happen. If you have one of those, you should shell out to replace it (doesn't mean you have to pay the amount this guys wants, necessarily).
 
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