Model 3

NEMA 14-50 vs. NEMA 6-50

edited July 2018 in Model 3
When we bought a Nissan Leaf 2 years ago, I assumed we would be a 2 EV car family eventually. I had an electrician install 2 - 240 Volt 50 amp outlets in our garage. The EVSE we bought required a NEMA 6-50 plug. He ran two 50 Amp circuits to the garage and put in 2 outlets (separate circuit breakers). I knew nothing about NEMA outlets then and now, I know slightly more than nothing. I do know that both supply 50 amps @ 240 Volts. The 14-50 has 4 wires (line 1, line 2, ground and neutral) and the 6-50 has 3 wires (line,1 line 2, and Ground). How difficult is it to change outlets to a 14-50, if that is what is needed. Would I find the neutral wire just capped off behind the outlet?

1) Should it matter from the standpoint of charging the car? I know I just have to choose the proper pug adapter.

2) Also, can I assume the Tesla wall charger must be hard wired to the wall, rather than have an option to plug into the outlet option, like my Siemens EVSE, should I choose to have a Wall Charger rather than just plugging the car into the wall?


Thanks,
Craig

Comments

  • edited July 2018
    The standard Mobile Connector Kit that comes with your new M3 has plugs for NEMA 15-3 (the common 120V 15A outlet we have all over our homes) and 14-50. But, for just $35 Tesla will sell you an additional plug for your kit that accommodates a NEMA 6-50. This is probably your best solution.

    If your hired a good electrician, he brought the neutral along and just "capped it off" (often just covered the end with tape) and left it in the box. In this case, replacing the 6-50 outlet with a 14-50 is trivial. If you are at all handy, you can do this yourself; if you turn off the breaker, then this project is completely safe.


    Many people have mounted Tesla HPWCs to their wall and then used a "dryer cord" which can be purchased at any appliance store or home despot-type store to plug it in. You'll need a cable clamp which can also be purchased at home despot. Be sure that you get a "dryer cord" rated for 50A. The Tesla HPWC does not, in fact, use the neutral so you'll be capping it off and tucking it into the HPWC's wiring compartment (there's plenty of room).
  • edited July 2018
    I had a 6-50 installed for my Volt (Blink) charger several years ago. When I got my Model 3, I sold the Blink, bought the 6-50 adapter from Tesla and plug the Mobile Charger in directly with that.

    It charges just as fast as a 14-50 -- about 30-32 mph. For a Tesla charger there is no benefit to replacing the 6-50 with a 14-50. If you ever buy an RV or for some other reason need a 14-50, then it may be worthwhile installing one, but not for charging your Model 3.

    Some comments on this forum suggest that it's a bad idea using the Mobile Charger at home because you will wear out the socket by frequently plugging and unplugging. But I just leave it plugged in most of the time, only unplugging when I want to take it on a long trip. If that's your situation too, then you should be fine.
  • edited July 2018
    These larger outlets, 6-50 and 14-50, are generally used for large appliances such as cloths dryers, ovens, etc., the sorts of appliances that are often not plugged and unplugged more than a dozen or two times in the life of a house. You can get "heavy duty" versions of either which will withstand many cycles, but the inexpensive ones sold for residential use will wear out quickly if frequently plugged and unplugged.

    But here's the good news: Tesla will sell you an extra whole Mobile Connecting Kit complete with handsome carrying case for just $300. Add a five-buck hose hanger from home despot and you've got yourself a handsome and fully-functional home charging station. You can likely sell the unused bits out of your extra kit on e-bay and recoup part of the cost.
  • edited July 2018
    @chuck, Quote: “The standard Mobile Connector Kit that comes with your new M3 has plugs for NEMA 15-3 (the common 120V 15A outlet we have all over our homes)”

    Wow. That’s a 5-15

    @cafutter, There’s no point in changing the outlet at all. Just order the 6-50 adapter from Tesla’s website, and you’ll be good to go. Here’s the page for ordering the adapter cable.
    https://shop.tesla.com/us/en/product/vehicle-accessories/model-s_x_3-gen-2-nema-adapters.html
  • edited July 2018
    Folks, Thanks very much for your help. If you use the adapter, I can keep it plugged into the "fragile" outlet and just unplug the cable from the adapter, when needed.
    Craig
  • edited July 2018
    You might also be mindful when you plug the Tesla adapter into the outlet that it plugs in firmly and stays secure. If the outlet has been worked quite a bit and feels at all loose, it's not a big deal to have it replaced. Here are a couple of links to "industrial" quality replacements...

    https://www.amazon.com/Leviton-5374-S00-Receptacle-Industrial-Grounding/dp/B01N8SKDY4/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1531354053&sr=8-4&keywords=nema+6-50+outlet&dpID=41RU03bh90L&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Eaton-50-Amp-250-Volt-6-50-Industrial-Power-Receptacle-Black-5709N/206469354
  • edited July 2018
    Mr. Rocky_H says, "Wow. That’s a 5-15"

    Oh my goodness. You are entirely correct. Thank you for the correction.
  • edited July 2018
    By the 6-50 adaptor for $35.
  • edited July 2018
    Dryer cords are only rated for 30A and have a 14-30 plug on them. If you want the cord rated for 50A with a 14-50 plug on it, look for a range cord. The 6-50 outlets are typically used for welders.
  • edited July 2018
    I have a similar situation.

    My electrician laid 65 feet #8 wire (has 3 wires in it: red+black+naked ground) from breaker box to garage outlet.

    Instead of NEMA 14-50, I installed 6-50 plug, then bought a $35 NEMA 6-50 adapter from Tesla and now waiting for my car (I just got ISA's email today!).

    I called Tesla, technician said it is perfectly ok with NEMA 6-50 adapter. It has the same max current of 30 amps charging rate as NEMA 14-50.
  • edited July 2018
    I have 6-50 plug in my garage. My Model 3 charges at max current of 32 amps Leftover from my Chevy Volts.
  • edited July 2018
    I'm using a dryer outlet to charge (nema 10-30) and I'm getting 23mph, the MS loaner I had got 17mph on the same outlet. I did have to buy the Tesla adapter to use the dryer outlet and I did buy a 2nd mobile charging unit for convenience. But it was still cheaper than buying the WC.
  • edited July 2018
    Please note that if you add a plug to the Wall Connector, code says it cannot be more that 12 inches long between the outlet and the EVSE (NEC 625.17(3)(a)).
  • edited July 2018
    As soon as I got the email back in April, I got all excited and ordered a HPWC without reading anything. Then got Tesla to install it. I am happy with the decision.

    But if I knew then what I know now, I would have gotten a simple 240V 50 Amp outlet installed. If there is already one, simply get an adapter and be done with it.

    Pretty soon there will so many unused spare UMCs in so many homes. When you are going on a trip you might find a neighbor, friend, relative or a friendly neighborhood forum poster who will lend you a spare UMC for a week or 10 days.

    Home charging will account for 90% of the charging of a TM3. Super charging is likely to be used for 90% of the rest. Destination charging also does not need you to take your UMC with you. So why should one take the UMC for a road trip? May be to use an RV plug in a camp ground?

    Wondering how often people have actually used the UMC on a road trip.
  • CSTCST
    edited July 2018
    8 AWG, huh? I'd be disappointed if an electrician ran 65 ft for a 50 amp circuit.
  • edited July 2018
    The difference between a 6-50 and a 14-50 is the 14-50 has an additional 120 v line for appliances. It's not used by the charger. I had a Blink charger installed when I bought my Leaf. It uses a 6-50 connection. I ordered the adapter.
  • CSTCST
    edited November -1
    Are you sure about that? I thought the difference was in the neutral/ground wiring.
  • CSTCST
    edited November -1
    Per Wikipedia:

    All NEMA 6 devices are three-wire grounding devices (hot-hot-ground) used for 208 and 240 V circuits and rated for 250 V maximum, with the 6-15, 6-20 and 6-30 being grounding versions of the 2-15, 2-20 and 2-30, respectively.

    The NEMA 14 devices are four-wire grounding devices (hot-hot-neutral-ground) available in ratings from 15 to 60 A. The voltage rating is 250 V. Of the straight-blade NEMA 14 devices, only the 14-30 and 14-50 are in common use.
  • edited July 2018
    @CST Neutral is the return to make a 120 v circuit: Hot with a Neutral return = 120 V. Thus having a neutral line you are able to have a 120 v circuit, which is used, if needed, by household appliances.
  • CSTCST
    edited July 2018
    Got it - thanks!
Sign In or Register to comment.