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What is this and how to charge on it?

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by PeterK, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    I'm on the board of a small company in NY that I visit for a day or so monthly. It's 200+ miles away and I stop to supercharge, but it would be nice to be able to destination charge on more than a 120v plug. They have this plug in the loading dock which the maintenance guy tells me is [email protected]

    asamu7u9.jpg

    My questions for your collective input please:

    1) Is anyone familiar with this plug, know what it's called and used for and can confirm the output?
    2) Does Tesla sell a UMC adapter for it?
    3) if not, any ideas how to plug in? Make an adapter cable?
    4) If it really is 60A, how fast will it charge - and at 48A?
    5) Other things I should be thinking about?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    NEMA connector - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    NEMA 14-60

    I <3 the picture on the wikipedia page. I can ID one of these things in less than 5 minutes using that picture. Even better if have a few clues like you just provided.

    I don't think Tesla provides an adapter for it. So likely limited to 40A continuous, which is still really really good.
     
  3. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    #3 Lloyd, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    That appears to be a 14-20. Good for 16A 240 continuous. You should be able to find or make an adapter for that.

    That appears to be #8 or 10 wire. Not enough for 60 amps.

    Edit: Guess it could be a 14-60, but check the wire size. It is hard to tell without something to compare size. Should be #6 if 60 amps and flammable wood inside the box is not allowed!! Looks prett sketchy regardless. What size breaker did they place?
     
  4. MikeL

    MikeL some guy

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    Interesting mount. Maybe not code (?) does it have a cover? Re: your #5, don't stick your fingers in those gaps. :eek:
     
  5. physicsfita

    physicsfita Member

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    Looking at plug charts online, it does look like a 14-60. A 14-20 looks a lot like it, but it looks like your recepticle is labeled 60A. I'm sure FlasherZ could tell you for sure.
     
  6. linkster

    linkster Member

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    1) upside down 14-60
    2) no
    3) swap it for a 14-50 provided existing wire gauge is sufficient along with properly sized breaker. I wouldn't.
    4) 40A with a UMC, 48 with HPWC (again assuming proper wire gauge, breaker with dip switches set to 60)
    5) bringing box, receptacle, cover plate and exposed wiring to code
     
  7. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    #7 Cosmacelf, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
    Yes, it is indeed a porcelain NEMA 14-60 receptacle. No, Tesla doesn't make an adapter for it, you'll have to make your own.

    The easiest thing to do is to make a NEMA 14-60 to NEMA 14-50 pigtail adapter and then use your NEMA 14-50 adapter on your UMC. Make the pigtail long enough so that you can reach the receptacle from your car along with the 20' cord of the UMC.

    With that setup, you'll be able to charge at 40A.

    There is a way to charge at 48A, but it will be more trouble than it will be worth (using an HPWC or high powered portable J1772 EVSE), so I wouldn't even go there.

    You'll want to buy three things:

    1. A NEMA 14-60 plug (cheapest I found online was $45 - they aren't common, so I don't know if a Home Depot would carry them).
    2. A NEMA 14-50 receptacle that the UMC will plug into (like this one: Amazon.com: Camco 55353 50 AMP Female Replacement Receptacle: Automotive)
    2. 50A capable wire. You can just use SOOW 6-3 wire. You do not need to wire up the neutral line since the UMC does not use the neutral line at all. You just need to wire the ground and two hots from the plug to receptacle. Let me know if you need help figuring out which blade is what.

    I would totally do this - destination charging is always preferable. The only caveat is that you are likely to only get about 23 miles per hour at most at 40A (since it will most likely be at 208V, commercial power). To recover 200 miles, you'd have to charge for 9 hours.

    Do you have dual chargers?
     
  8. Brass Guy

    Brass Guy Member

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    If they don't use that outlet for anything, and I suspect they don't, see about getting it changed to a 14-50, and swap the breaker for a 50A. As stated above, check the wire gauge first, needs to be #6 CU or larger!
     
  9. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Why change it? It's there for a reason.
     
  10. LMB

    LMB Member

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    The EGC (green ground wire) looks like #10, which I think is code for grounding a 14-60. There is the hint of a black wire in the photo which looks substantially larger, and may be #4 or #6. See if you can check the breaker rating. If you skip the neutral, per @Cosmacelf, you should probably label your adapter "For Tesla Model S Charging Only", in case someone else ever finds it.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Since you have full and easy access to the box, I'd simply replace the receptacle and use a proper cover plate. Also change the breaker.
     
  12. tga

    tga Active Member

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  13. tga

    tga Active Member

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    Um, because it's very likely illegal, and one of the most unsafe, amateur hack jobs I've ever seen? :scared:

    I'm not an electrician, but I know enough of the NEC to be dangerous. IMHO, that outlet violates NEC, and is likely illegal for a bunch of reasons:
    • There is no conduit, just bare wires exiting the box.
    • The box doesn't look like a "real" NEC-compliant electrical box, but rather some generic project box (a la from RadioShack).
    • Undersized wire (looks to be #8 or #10) - LMB thinks the black wires are bigger, but it's hard for me to tell. In the box, in shadow, I see black wires crossing behind the green that look to be the same diameter.
    • As Lloyd points out, the wood mount is a no-no.
    • A 60A outlet on an undersized breaker and/or undersized wiring is a no-no. Based on the rest of that hack job, I wouldn't be surprised if the wire/breaker is too small.
    I'd bet that that outlet was never permitted or inspected - any inspector would sh*t all over that job.

    PeterK, IMHO, as a board member, you should press to have an electrician come in and fix that, and any other half-assed wiring (fiduciary responsibility, liability risks to the company, etc).
     
  14. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    I agree it isn't code compliant (needs a proper box and conduit), but geez, the guy asked a different question. My comment about not changing it referred to people wanting to swap it out for a NEMA 14-50. Let me be more precise. There is no reason to swap it out for a NEMA 14-50, leave it as a 14-60, since someone is likely to need a 14-60 at some point, since it was installed for a reason.

    I do agree that if you want to be anal about it, you should inform the building manager that the installation is a hack job and should be redone. Bad things will happen if one of those 60A wires get nicked - it is in a loading dock, so it would be easy to see how something could bang into it.
     
  15. tga

    tga Active Member

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    You're right. I was going to add that he should check to see if it is being used for anything before suggesting changing to a 14-50, but I forgot before hitting post.

    Also, here's a couple of NEMA outlet charts I have bookmarked. There's stuff here (like the 14-60) that isn't on the wikipedia article linked earlier:

    NEMA Straight Blade Reference Chart

    NEMA Twist Lock Reference Chart
     
  16. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Actually, thinking about it a bit more, the easiest way to use this plug is to modify your Tesla NEMA 14-50 adapter. Get a hack saw and saw off the neutral blade (the one opposite the round ground blade). The Tesla UMC literally doesn't use the neutral connection, so there is no need for it. Your 14-50 adapter would then be able to plug into a 14-50 or a 14-60. It would also be able to plug into a 14-30 (often used as a dryer socket), but you would have to remember to dial back the amps to 24 amps if you plugged into one of those.
     
  17. Cottonwood

    Cottonwood Roadster#433, Model S#S37

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    Great observation!

    If you ever make a pigtail of this that goes to a 14-50, be very careful to label it as Tesla only, will destroy RV electrics, etc, and maybe fill the neutral hole in the receptacle with an epoxy plug. I recommend that such pigtails go to a 6-50 without a neutral; besides 6-50 extension cords are lighter because they do not have the neutral wire.

    See Hubbell 30, 50, and 60 Amp Connectors for Hubbell drawings of the most common 30, 50, and 60 Amp connectors.
     
  18. yobigd20

    yobigd20 Well-Known Member

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    WOW. I love the exposed wiring. please don't go anywhere near this thing. clearly an amateur job not to code. who knows how tight that wiring is inside. one slip of the finger when plugging in or unplugging and you could easily kill yourself. IMO I would report this. That is a very, very dangerous situation there and needs to be fixed asap. Imagine if a little kid came along and stuck his fingers in there. You'd have yourself a dead kid. I'm sorry to put it in such bad context but that's the seriousness of the situation here and I would report this ASAP this is not funny and very dangerous.
     
  19. liuping

    liuping Active Member

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    If you don't want to make a pigtail adapter yourself (or don't feel comfortable cutting off the neutral pin on your 14-50 UMC adapter) I recommend checking with the owner at evseadapters.com: For Tesla Model S , he will make custom adapters.
     
  20. PeterK

    PeterK Model S Owner

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    OP here, thanks all for your observations and information. Armed with this knowledge I asked and found out that this was actually set up for me in a hurry by someone who has since left the company, after first seeing my Model S a year ago. An unfinished and mis-done project for sure. I'm not sure it's live but will ask them to shut off the breaker if it is.

    I will take your advice and get the maintenance guy to have a proper electrician check the wire gauge, put it in conduit, and replace that cobbled together box with a 14-50 box with cover. Is a 60A breaker ok or does it need to be replaced with a 50A one? (I expect the answer will be the Tesla can handle it but someone else might get an unpleasant surprise). Thanks all.
     

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