Using dryer plug?

Using dryer plug?

I am seeking some advice as I have a bit of an interesting situation. Just finalized my car this morning with delivery window Feb - Mar which I am STOKED about. Having said that, I am also getting ready to move houses sometime in the next 2 - 6 months.

I would prefer to not spend the money to setup an outlet and then move a month or so later, especially since I am renting my house now and the elderly owners are a challenge to work with. But I do have a 240V dryer plug in the garage that I could use for the Model S by simply unplugging the dryer and plugging in the Model S.

Anyone doing something similar (unplugging dryer, plugging in Model S)? Am I headed down a bad path here?

Thanks in advance for the advice!

DouglasR | 7 January, 2013

What type of outlet do you have? Take a look at the Adapter Guide on this page: Then find out from TM whether the adapter you need is actually available. Several of them are not. Finally, consider what kind of adapter you will need when you are at your new location -- probably a NEMA 14-50. You are entitled to select one 240v adapter, which is included with your car. A second one may be expensive, if it is even available.

I would have no concern about unplugging the drier and plugging in the car. It more a question of whether you will need two 240v adapters, whether the right ones are available, and how much they will cost.

DaveVA | 7 January, 2013

Should be fine - but need the right adapter for your dryer plug. Most homes do not have a NEMA 14-50 for the dryer (usually an RV plug). Make sure you order the right adapter for the outlet that is already in place.

For a month you might even be able to live with the 120v plug for most evenings...

stevenmaifert | 7 January, 2013

Assess your driving needs for that short period of time before you move. The roadster adapters are $100 per and I would expect adapters for Model S to be similarly priced. If you can get by with a combination of 120V at the house and local public access Level 2 chargers, you will probably save a few $$$.

jat | 7 January, 2013

I don't think the other adapters are available yet (I have been trying to find out when NEMA 10-30 and 14-30 [typical dryer plugs] adapters will be available, so I can charge through dryer plugs when visiting friends/family).

If they aren't available soon, I will make my own adapter cable to 14-50, and just program the car to charge at 24V. It will probably cost about $50 in parts at Home Depot.

240V@24A will let you charge around 12mi range/hr. Unless you drive a lot or can't charge overnight, that will probably be plenty for you.

RickT | 8 January, 2013

I built an adapter cable that plugs into a dryer outlet and has a socket for which Tesla supplied an adapter plug. The dryer circuit is 30A and the adapter plug tells the car it is 50A, so I was careful to connect the adapter plug to the Tesla charge cable first, then adjust the current limit to 27A, and only then plug the Tesla adapter plug into the homebrew adapter cable. It appears that the car gradually ramps up its own internal current limit each time it starts charging, but I saw no need to chance blowing a breaker, so I did it as explained. I only used it once before the electrician came and installed a kosher 50A circuit with the right socket. Since then I've loaned the cable to two S owner friends who were also awaiting electrical installation.

Warning: This is probably not permitted by any electrical code on the planet.

jat | 8 January, 2013

@RickT - you actually want to charge at 24A on a 30A circuit. A continuous load (defined as more than 3 hours) requires derating the wiring and breaker by 20%. Running 27A for a long time could build up enough heat in the wire to melt the insulation or enough heat to trip the breaker. This is why the car only charges at 40A when plugged into a 14-50 outlet.

Brian H | 9 January, 2013

Rick's in the clear, now. It's his S-owner friends who will die in house fires. >;p

Manta | 9 January, 2013

Would you consider deferring delivery of your car until after your move?

PaceyWhitter | 9 January, 2013

Some people (on the other forum) have gotten Tesla to supply a NEMA 14-30 adapter (normal dryer plug). You should get both the 14-30 and 14-50 adapters though unless you are planning to get a HPWC since the 14-50 charges faster for your new home.

stephen.pace | 16 February, 2013

Has anyone gotten an update from Tesla for when the NEMA 14-30 adapters will be available for the Model S? The originals are now up in the store:

But I need a NEMA 14-30 for travel, and these are way overdue.

s_curve | 16 February, 2013

I'm doing a full charge in less than 9 hours at 40 to 50 amps with a 240 outlet in my garage while I wait for the delivery of my HPWC. Works just fine.

info | 16 February, 2013

I have a dryer plug on a 30 amp circuit. The only thing you have to watch is that the Tesla will take 40 amps and if your circuit is 30, like mine, then you'll blow the fuse, like I did. But you can set the charge for 30 amps and everything will be fine and you'll charge between 20-25mph.

s_curve | 16 February, 2013

info@richard - Good point. Mine is tied to 100am circuit and I would recoommed that for anyone that is considering installing an HPWC.

Brian H | 16 February, 2013

Fuses are good! My electric mower routinely pops the breaker when it hits a particular patch of thick grass. Sure beats having the box or mower burst into flames!

jat | 16 February, 2013

@info - you don't want to use 30A - a continuous load, defined as over 3 hours, requires derating the breaker/wire/receptacle by 25%. So, you need to charge at 24A on a 30A circuit, and this is why the car will default to 40A on a 50A circuit. Running at 30A risks melting insulation, or worse if the breaker fails to trip.

info | 17 February, 2013

Thanks for the tip. Everyday is a new adventure. For a reason unknown to me (I've owned this house for over 30 years) a 240 volt circuit was behind the dryer (which is now gas). There was no outlet. When I traced the wires to the breaker box there was a 40 amp breaker. Everyone said that 30 was the top with the 10 guage wire, so I changed it to 30. I had no idea that I needed to be 25% below that. This proves that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and I'm certainly dangerous. I guess I should have known that 50 year old wire could be bad. Again thanks, you have probably prevented my walls from smouldering. Rich

pilotSteve | 17 February, 2013

I made this from two standard parts (only tools need are a flat blade screwdriver and pliers to hold and slightly reshape the eyelets attached to the cord.

* Leviton 5378 50 Amp, 250 Volt, Surface Mounting Receptacle, Straight Blade $11.65 on amazon
* PETRA 90-1028 3-Wire Dryer Cord, 10-Foot, 30A $15.79

As noted by others (check out FlasherZ's charging FAQ) you must dial down to 80% of the circuit's rating, hence my label about 24A and Tesla Charging Only.

Works great if you use it with care. Keep the screw terminals on the 14-50 receptacle tight!


jat | 17 February, 2013

@info - continuous loads, defined as more than 3 hours, require the 25% derating since heat builds up in the wire and breaker. There is a lot of margin so it may work anyway, but that margin is there for a reason so you shouldn't use it. So, just charge at 80% of whatever the breaker/wire is rated for (1/1.25 = 80%) and you will be fine, hence 24A on a 30A circuit.

mallynb | 17 February, 2013

My solution: Search for "RV Adapters" on Google or Bing. I found an 18 inch, 30A to 50A adapter on several sites. I also found them at a local home improvement store. The 30A plug appears to be similar to a NEMA 5-30 with a round neutral/ground pin instead of the NEMA L-shape. The 50A receptacle is NEMA 14-50. Delivery of our car is not expected until May-June. Before then, I plan to buy three of these and replace the plugs on two of them with NEMA 14-30 and 10-30, respectively. Any one of them will connect to the NEMA 14-50 adapter that is furnished with the car. I haven't decided yet whether to build or buy a 50A extension cord. Dryers and RV campgrounds here we come.

nickjhowe | 17 February, 2013

@mallynb - I cross posted this from this thread in case this is the adapter you are talking about:

"One thing I forgot to mention - there is a TT-30p to 14-50r pigtail available on Amazon. Do not buy it unless that is exactly what you want. Only one of the hot legs on the 14-50 is wired so will only deliver 120V, NOT 240! And both plugs are molded, so can't be taken apart and rewired. (I know, I tried)"

Brian H | 17 February, 2013

Use HTML, not BB. Here's your pic:

I cut the width to 600 to be safe.

jat | 17 February, 2013

@nickjhowe - TT-30 is only a 120V plug. Does it actually work though? I expected that the mobile connector expects to see the current flowing between the two hot lines rather than between each one and ground, but I have only tried it with 240V sources.

nickjhowe | 17 February, 2013

Must admit I haven't tried it. Reported on another thread that it does not work. Like you I wouldn't expect it to as the 14-50 is expecting two hots.

jat | 17 February, 2013

@nickjhowe - I would be very surprised if the Mobile Connector cared anything other than getting a voltage across two inputs and then auto-ranging, since it already supports 120V adapters. However, I would not expect it to support using one of them to ground in that case, which is apparently what the TT-30 adapter that Sudre bought does -- that would require extra switching and you shouldn't be using the safety ground as a return circuit anyway.

Brian H | 17 February, 2013

Does anyone using a dryer plug find that the cabin tries to spin, and dry out your Starbucks cup?

hfcolvin | 18 February, 2013

Hey Steve,

Thanks for the info, but just to avoid confusion, I searched Amazon for the Leviton 5378 and it looks like a 3 prong NEMA 6-50. The correct receptacle for the 14-50 looks to be the Leviton 55050.

Theresa | 18 February, 2013

hfcolvin, Looking at the pic that BrianH put up it appears that indeed it is a 6-50 connector he wired. And that would be the one easiest to wire with that dryer cord shown.

gsajsboone | 4 March, 2013

It would be really nice if Tesla had the dryer adapters available(Nema 10-30's (older dryers)and Nema 10-40's (newer dryers). We took delivery of our Tesla yesterday; Solar City won't be here until next week to install our Nema 14-50. Meanwhile, I'm freaking out because I'm using our standard outlet in the garage where I'm getting a whopping 3 mi/hr charge. Loving the car, though ;p

dortor | 4 March, 2013

I purchased a Tesla 14-30 & 10-30 adapter today from the Menlo Park Service Center. They were almost out of stock or out of stock when I got there, but they said there is a steady trickle of these adapters available. Your best bet is to explicitly order one from your closest Tesla Service center rather than wait for them to appear on the web site.

shop | 4 March, 2013

And if you can't wait you can make your own.

But if you can get official tesla ones, they would be better!

nickjhowe | 4 March, 2013

@gsajsboone - I think you meant 10-30 and 14-30

@dortor - no-one has ever seen these in the wild for the S. Can you post pictures? Are you talking about the Roadster adapters?

andrigtmiller | 4 March, 2013

They have the right adapters, as I use an old dryer outlet that I moved from my utility room to my garage (the outside wall of my utility room is the garage). I had them order it for me when I picked up my car and its designed to lock into the charge cable. I would not recommend purchasing a third party adapter or making one since it will probably not have the ability to lock into the charge cable the way the Tesla supplied adapter does.

dortor | 5 March, 2013

posted photos here - first time sharing with a "world" URL - please let me know if you don't have access…

dortor | 5 March, 2013

updated flicker with picture of adapters and the bags they came in - bags are useful because they have the Tesla part numbers on them:

NEMA 10-30 Adapter Part #: 1016174-00-B Adapter, UMC to NEMA 1--30
NEMA 14-30 Adapter Part #: 1018243-00-B 14-30 Adapter

dortor | 5 March, 2013

typo above - the "end" of the NEMA 10-30 part number should obviously be 10-30 - not 1-30 - apologies for the typo.

dortor | 5 March, 2013

and just to be clear - the photos I posted are for the Model S - not the roadster!

Interesting note - when I was at the Menlo Park service center and asked about the Model S to Roadster charging adapter, after they finished laughing and stating they didn't have any, and they are very hard to come by - the tech notes that he personally knew a lot of Roadster Chargers up/down the west coast have been converted to J1772 plugs - his personal opinion was that in a year or two J1772 will take over most of the legacy Roadster charger installation base. I don't consider this to be any sort of "official" tesla position, but is probably not an unreasonable guess…

I would say the Roadster to Model S Adapter may become legacy over time and not be necessary.

shop | 5 March, 2013

Hmm, the roadster charges at 70a right? Presumably that would mean you would need twin chargers on board to use them, whether they were converted to J1772 or not.

shop | 5 March, 2013

And nice pics, thanks.

dortor | 5 March, 2013

to fully utilize the Roadster charger you would need twin chargers, but even with a single charger you can still use a Roadster Charger - just not at it's full capacity. Most electrical systems can use "less" than the rated amperage. You have 15 AMP 110v circuits in your house that you often "under-utilize" with you 5 watt LED bulb plugged into it…

jat | 5 March, 2013

@shop - yes twin chargers are needed for any AC charging above 40A.

nickjhowe | 5 March, 2013

@dortor - thanks!! so they do exist. Good to know.

I'm sticking with the 14-50 extension cable and home-made adapter because I know the UMC on its own won't reach to my mother-in-laws dryer outlet. If I use the 14-30 or 10-30 adapters, I'd need a 14-30 and a 10-30 extension cable.

shop | 5 March, 2013

That's a good point Nick.

I just called my service center and am ordering the 10-30 and 14-30 anyways just in case my home made adapters go on the fritz. When you need charging, you need charging, and having a backup isn't a bad idea. Now all we need is a Tesla TT-30, Nema 5-20, and maybe an air conditioner plug or two and I think we'd be set. I'm heading to the desert this weekend and due to various circumstances, I don't know ahead of time what I'll be charging with so I'm going prepared. Wish me luck :-)

DouglasR | 5 March, 2013


While it's true that a few of the Roadster charge stations have been replaced by J1772 stations, most of those Roadster stations were set up by private Roadster owners. I'm not sure who will take responsibility and pay the cost for upgrading them. I don't see TM doing it, and moreover, I suspect that whoever upgrades them would need permission to do it.

So far as I know, only Clipper Creek makes a J1772 station that supports charging above 40 amps. One interesting fact is that the Roadster will apparently choke on an 80 amp power source. That is, it will not simply limit the charge to the 70 amps that it needs, but rather will refuse to charge at all. Thus, while the Roadster stations could be replaced by 80 amp Clipper Creek stations, those stations would need to be derated to 70 amps in order for the Roadsters to use them. I don't think the Roadster owners who set up the charging stations would be willing to have those stations replaced by 80 amp J1772 stations unless the replacement stations were appropriately derated.

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

Flickr does permit linking, but they want Flickr labelling. The code they provide puts Flickr in the tooltip. It's in the Share menu; open a photo, and use "Grab the Link":

in HTML <img src="URL" width="600">

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

Darn; they've changed it again!! Hold a sec ...

Well, it seems that the "grab the HTML code" in your site is not live. Perhaps you have it restricted?
Here's a typed copy:
width="500" alt="">


Brian H | 5 March, 2013

typo. Try again:

width="500" alt="">

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

Another typo. Try again again:

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

More typos!

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

Bah. Got mixed in with the Help e.g.s
Here's the real code from your picture:

Brian H | 5 March, 2013

To repeat: open the picture, select Share, and copy the HTML code block, complete.