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Which electrical charger installation proposals should I pick?

Hi all, I live in Chicago and am looking for electricians to install a 240V outlet in my detached garage for a Model Y expected at EOY. I got several proposals and eliminated them to two of the ideal ones. I know nothing about electricity so I am looking for some advice on which one to pick:

Background: Total 100 AMP with limited to no extra spaces in the panel.

First Proposal: $1,500 for a panel swap with a new Siemens 100 AMP, 32-space panel, and $2,500 for the power brought to the garage via underground pipe. Total: $4,000

Second Proposal: Install a new sub-panel and power brought to the garage through the roof. Total: $3,352

Based on my research, I should choose the second proposal because it is safer and cheaper to install a sub-panel; however, I do have a problem with my current panel where occasionally my lights dim or flash during the winter when my furnace is on, so I am debating on the first proposal as well. Can someone please give me some suggestions?
 
Couple of minor comments. I, too, am worried about that dimming that you report. That implies that some Big Breaker is thinking about popping due to overcurrent. Not all 100A panels have Main Breakers, but, if yours does, something around that sounds suspect.

Second: In New Jersey (I know, I read the newspapers) and Maryland (I did a quick Google Search and found theirs), ye governments actually subsidizes part or all of the cost of bringing in more current from City Power. The idea is to accelerate the adoption of BEVs. Hence, if getting a higher power feed from the utility is an issue, there may be an out.

If such a subsidy exists, you'll likely still have to pay for, say, a 200A breaker box. But such an upgrade would definitely fix the blinky light issues and provide Anything You Might Have In Mind for your BEV.

Illinois.. Let me see if that Google Search engine is still working.. Nope. There's incentives for cars, but not for improving the wiring to your house/garage. Of course, there seems to be a lot of furor around BEVs in the state, but who knows? You might call your utility and see what they have to say about it. You might get lucky.

Actually, there may be a Federal rebate floating around for this kind of thing: EV Charging Station Rebates and Tax Credits, by State. There's a blurb in the front that says:

Update 2022: The Federal Tax Credit for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment (EVSE) has been extended through 12/31/2032. This tax credit covers 30% (up to $1,000 per unit) of the cost for individual/residential use and 6% (up to $100,000 per unit) for commercial use. Bidirectional, and 2 – 3 wheel equipment are eligible. For details on this recently passed law, please visit: congress.gov
 
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Sophias_dad

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I question if you need any install of new equipment at all. Even a lowly 120V circuit in your garage can give you 4-5 miles per hour of charge, and that's ~60 miles per 12 hour charging session.

Regarding your dimming lights under load, I'd be looking at a questionable main breaker as the cause, if we assume that your big loads and lighting are on different breakers. It >might< also be a bad connection at the other end of the feedline to your main breaker(but that's pretty unlikely). The TMC community could probably make a better recommendation if you upload a picture of your panel and breakers, as there have been some panels that were either recalled or otherwise red-flagged for use.
 
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Can you reduce any loads? If you have an electric hot water heater get a Heat Pump water heater that uses 1/4 the power. If you have any incandescent lights or even fluorescent ones swap to LED. If you have an older heat pump, look at a new inverter driven one. Finally if your panel is old sometimes breakers and bus bars can gain corrosion and a new panel will fix that IF that is your problem.

I am also a fan of NEMA 14-50 or even a 14-30 in the garage as it can easily support other needs. And even a NEMA 14-50 can be set to charge at 20 amps as you make the setting change once in the car and it remembers. I usually dial mine back to 22 amps to better match my solar output.
Definitely a good idea! I will look into possible loads that could be reduced.

I always thought you have to use a tesla wall connector to configure how many amps to charge. If I can configure how many amps I can charge with a 14-50, I would rather use that instead haha! I purchased a mobile connector package on the tesla website a month ago, and I hope that's what I needed for it!
 
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Keep the Mobile Connector for travel or sell it. Instead of relying on the Mobile Connector for daily use install the Wall Connector at home.
Is it really bad to use Mobile Connector for daily use? I heard it is bad to keep on unplugging it from the outlet but I am not planning on doing that. It will just stay plug and I will only use it at home.
 
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jcanoe

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Definitely a good idea! I will look into possible loads that could be reduced.

I always thought you have to use a tesla wall connector to configure how many amps to charge. If I can configure how many amps I can charge with a 14-50, I would rather use that instead haha! I purchased a mobile connector package on the tesla website a month ago, and I hope that's what I needed for it!
Not to confuse things but if the electrician determines that there is not sufficient capacity for adding a 50 amp circuit but they could install a 40 amp circuit the electrical code allows for using the 14-50 receptacle with a 40 amp circuit, circuit breaker (Note: there is no specific receptacle made for a 40 amp circuit.) With the 14-50 receptacle and power plug adapter the Mobile Connector will default to 32 amps. You can lower the charging amperage using the Charging screen or the Tesla app. You may have to check, set it each time you charge.
 
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jcanoe

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Is it really bad to use Mobile Connector for daily use? I heard it is bad to keep on unplugging it from the outlet but I am not planning on doing that. It will just stay plug and I will only use it at home.
You would want to leave the Mobile Connector plugged into the 14-50 receptacle. 14-50 receptacles are not designed for repeated plugging and unplugging. Also, Tesla sells a Cable Organizer that includes a wall mount bracket for the Mobile Connector. You want to mount the Mobile Connector chassis to the wall so that the weight of the Mobile Connector is not putting a strain on the receptacle and power plug. You can find similar wall mount brackets on Amazon, eBay and Etsy. You can also fashion your own support for the Mobile Connector chassis.
 
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brkaus

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Definitely a good idea! I will look into possible loads that could be reduced.

I always thought you have to use a tesla wall connector to configure how many amps to charge. If I can configure how many amps I can charge with a 14-50, I would rather use that instead haha! I purchased a mobile connector package on the tesla website a month ago, and I hope that's what I needed for it!
You really don’t want to count on adjusting it from the screen.
 
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I live in Chicago suburbs purchase MYP few days back. Two months ago I install two telsa 3 chargers I was thinking ahead 5 years I will have two or three EV

I have 2 x 200 amp breakers so I had plenty of space install two 60 amp breakers

Underground cable 110 ft plus conduit inside the garage they charge me $4k for everything minus the actual tesla chargers
 

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You don't "need" a 50 amp charging circuit. Many Tesla owners use a 30 amp dryer circuit or even a 20 amp circuit. As long as you have 6 or more overnight hours to charge each evening then you will be fine. (The Tesla vehicle does not perform any differently whether charged at 3 miles per hour charging rate or at a 30 miles per hour charging rate.)

The typical vehicle owner drives 30 miles per day. How many miles per day do you drive?

240 Volt charging, amperage *:

20 amp circuit adds up to 14 miles per hour while charging
30 amp circuit adds up to 21 miles per hour
40 amp circuit adds up to 29 miles per hour
50 amp circuit adds up to 36 miles per hour

* Charging amperage is always limited to 80% of the rated circuit amperage.

I also live in the Chicagoland area and had an electrician friend of mine install the wall connecter at my home this past Saturday. He hooked it all up utilizing 30amps which I was completely fine with as he had explained anymore cannot be done, unless I get a new panel. I used it overnight for the first time that same night using off-peak hrs and it got me at the 80% (within off-peak hrs) needed as I was at 90 miles left on my Model Y
 
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qdeathstar

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Your electrician should be providing you with load calculation information. If you're already experiencing light "dimming" with the furnace cycling, how is going from an existing 100a panel to a new 100a panel with more breakers going to solve that issue? The means by which you get the wall connector powered seem a lot less important than solving a more fundamental issue, which I'd 100% do before introducing an EV into the mix...

Good luck getting an electrician to do that for free lol…
 
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qdeathstar

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Hi all, I live in Chicago and am looking for electricians to install a 240V outlet in my detached garage for a Model Y expected at EOY. I got several proposals and eliminated them to two of the ideal ones. I know nothing about electricity so I am looking for some advice on which one to pick:

Background: Total 100 AMP with limited to no extra spaces in the panel.

First Proposal: $1,500 for a panel swap with a new Siemens 100 AMP, 32-space panel, and $2,500 for the power brought to the garage via underground pipe. Total: $4,000

Second Proposal: Install a new sub-panel and power brought to the garage through the roof. Total: $3,352

Based on my research, I should choose the second proposal because it is safer and cheaper to install a sub-panel; however, I do have a problem with my current panel where occasionally my lights dim or flash during the winter when my furnace is on, so I am debating on the first proposal as well. Can someone please give me some suggestions?

Hard to say but the first option does not increase the power you have available. Ideally you’d upgrade to 200 amps. I don’t know how much that would cost… but depending on the age/condition of your panel it might need to be replaced anyway.

As far as installing the sub panel (second option) I don’t see why you’d do that. You only have a 100 amp service, you won’t be able to run anything out of the sub panel anyway.
 
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qdeathstar

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If you install a sub panel then aluminum wiring is an option. Aluminum wire costs ~1/3rd as much as copper wire. On longer runs it would save you some real money.

Could just install a disconnect…. What aluminum wire are you suggesting vs what copper? For a 14-50 8/3 is 3.30 a foot… 6-6-6-6 Ser is 2.85 a foot…
 
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Just to jump on board, the fact that you are seeing dimming means that there is a voltage drop in your house. Either you're overloading your current 100 amp service with too many simultaneous runnig appliances or that one of your appliances is pulling too much power.
I have 100 amp service at home and I charge at 32 amps at night (40 amp breaker, 40 amp circuit to the garage, 32 amp charging). I have AC, an electric oven and electric dryer. So its possible to run an EV charger with 100 amp service.
I have never had dimming of my lights (though I have upgraded all of my lighting to LED so you wouldn't normally see dimming even if the voltage sags under full load).
You need to fix the dimming first before you can move on to the EVSE install. An electrical load analysis is the first step. If you choose a vendor for the EVSE installation, have them do a load calculation and then maybe they need to find what is causing the voltage drop.
 
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jcanoe

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Could just install a disconnect…. What aluminum wire are you suggesting?
Not sure, don't think so. Aluminum wire is typically used in service/feeder wire (could be above ground or underground.) The number designation used is different than for copper wire. Examples would be service wire from the meter to the service panel. Wire from the service panel to a sub panel. Your electrician will know.
 
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qdeathstar

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May 17, 2019
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Not sure, don't think so. Aluminum wire is typically used in service/feeder wire (could be above ground or underground.) The number designation used is different than for copper wire. Examples would be service wire from the meter to the service panel. Wire from the service panel to a sub panel. Your electrician will know.

I am an electrician. Running aluminum wiring to a sub panel vs a disconnect is the same thing, except a disconnect is cheaper…. And doesn’t have spaces for additional equipment.

Not sure what setup OP has, but if he was doing the hpwc using a disconnect vs a sub panel would eliminate the need to run a neutral…
 
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jcanoe

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Oct 2, 2020
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I am an electrician. Running aluminum wiring to a sub panel vs a disconnect is the same thing, except a disconnect is cheaper…. And doesn’t have spaces for additional equipment.
So what typically is the break even point (length of wire run required) when it makes sense to use Aluminum wire and a sub panel or a service disconnect box?
 
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