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Wiring plans for Model 3

corvetteguy

Member
Jun 11, 2017
14
14
VA
I will be submitting my order today for the Model 3 LR. I would love some feedback good or bad for my plans for wiring the garage outlet. Our hot tub is long gone but the double 50 amp breaker tied together is still in the panel as well has 50 feet of aluminum 6 awg gauge wire. I am going to reroute this to the garage and install a Nema 14-50 wall outlet. A licensed electrician will check/test all connections. Twenty feet of the wiring has to be outdoors against an out door wall. I was going to use conduit here and also put some coax internet and antenna cable in the same conduit. The breakers in the panel are 30 years old but were only used for the 20 years we had the hot tub. Should I have the electrician replace these? How does this all sound?
 

ewoodrick

Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
5,285
3,735
Buford, GA
I'm not a fan of Aluminum wiring. And don't assume that 6AWG Aluminum is the equivalent in copper. I'd suggest replacing, if possible.
As to the breakers, age isn't that big of a deal, but then again, they aren't that expensive.
But I wouldn't (and the electrician probably won't let you, since there may be code issues) put the low voltage wires in the same conduit as the high-voltage.
 
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nitzmahone

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 28, 2018
60
156
Portland, OR
I'm not a fan of Aluminum wiring. And don't assume that 6AWG Aluminum is the equivalent in copper. I'd suggest replacing, if possible.
As to the breakers, age isn't that big of a deal, but then again, they aren't that expensive.
But I wouldn't (and the electrician probably won't let you, since there may be code issues) put the low voltage wires in the same conduit as the high-voltage.

Yep, second most of this. Assuming it's going to be inspected, your electrician should know what to do.

There's nothing "wrong" with aluminum for larger stuff like this, since you're unlikely to directly mate it with copper (which is where it's problematic in smaller applications), and most terminal connections at that size are Al/Cu ready. That said, 6ga aluminum in conduit could be touch-and-go codewise for the current capacity you need. Since it's so old, you probably can't easily reference the manufacturer's amp ratings, but based on the stuff they make today, even if the insulation was rated for 90°C (it probably isn't), it'd probably be a little undersized. I'll be surprised if your electrician doesn't replace it.

One other thing you might want to consider: if you're all-in on this EV thing and have to replace the wiring anyway, you might want to have him size the wiring/conduit for [email protected] for future use (but still a 50A breaker for now). The Model 3 LR onboard charger maxes out at 48A today (if you were using a wall connector- less with the UMC it comes with), but your next car might not. The additional expense to bump the conductor size up is pretty minimal compared to what you're going to pay the electrician...

Oh, and I'd replace the breakers if it were me... You're going to be pulling close to its rated capacity constantly, and old breakers have a tendency to "buzz" for various reasons.

For the low voltage stuff: even though there are limited situations where it can be legal to share conduit, don't do it. You'll likely have to use a much more expensive low voltage wire to be code-compliant, and many inspectors just don't like it (even when perfectly code compliant). Plus, you're opening yourself up to all sorts of potential noise issues on the low voltage stuff with a long parallel run in such close proximity to high voltage AC.
 
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Lloyd

Well-Known Member
Supporting Member
Jan 12, 2011
6,321
2,123
San Luis Obispo, CA
Installation instructions require "copper" wiring for the HPWC. Get rid of it!! Even with the Nolox at the terminations, they tend to oxidize over time and then heat up when the connection gets bad. Ovens are notorious for this with Aluminum wiring.
 
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nitzmahone

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Feb 28, 2018
60
156
Portland, OR
Installation instructions require "copper" wiring for the HPWC.

He's talking about wiring a NEMA 14-50 outlet, not an HPWC. But it's a good point- if you do end up replacing the wiring, the extra expense for stranded copper instead of AL will be more "futureproof" in case you want to hardware a device later.
 

Future4me

Member
Mar 22, 2018
27
39
Ventura County, CA
I have a 120ft run from the panel to the garage. My electrician charged $525 to run 6 guage 4 conductor wire, 50amp breaker, NEMA 15-40 outlet, 3/4" conduit in the exposed portion of garage. I have a 200 amp panel and had 2 unused conduits from it up to the attic. He did the job last week in two hours. I priced out the components to do the job myself; would have cost $300 minimum and probably a day or two of my time.
Great deal as far as I'm concerned.
 

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