What do I tell the electrician

What do I tell the electrician

Having an electrician come out to put in an outlet for my Model 3. Is going bigger than 50AMP going to make a difference vs say a 40. What do I tell him to install?


Davila1024 | February 2, 2018

I use a NEMA 14-50 for my Model S. Been told its the same as the Model 3.

Rutrow | February 2, 2018

Send her/him to Tesla's web site to find the charger instalation manuals. Let them decide. Techincal knowledge is a big part of what you're paying for.

rdavis | February 2, 2018

unless you're doing the HPWC, I don't think you can go bigger than 50A.

Most the car will take is 48 from a 60A circuit AND HPWC. Without the HPWC, the limit is lower.

The newer wall charger has some limitation if i recall correctly, so I'm not sure 50A would do you any good with it. The older version that came with Model S I think didn't have Those issues... but someone else will need to speak toward that type of charging as I haven't done much research on wall plug in as I have a 60A HPWC charger installed already.

badaman | February 2, 2018

Tell electrician to install 50 amp.

rdavis | February 2, 2018

To go with my above post... limits of the Mobile Connector are::

Gen 2 Mobile Connector (32 amp max)
Gen 1 Mobile Connector (40 amp max)

ReD eXiLe ms us | February 2, 2018

"Shut up, and take my money!"...? ~*ducks*~

tom168 | February 2, 2018

If you have less than 50A available, you could install 30A, 14-30, charge at 24A, which is about 22 miles per hour for M3.

jordanrichard | February 2, 2018

Sounds like you already told him/her everything they need to know. You want an outlet to plug the car into and you want a 14-50 outlet, preferably on a dedicated circuit.

andy.connor.e | February 2, 2018

you tell him to gimme power.

Garyeop | February 2, 2018

220...221 Wherever it takes.

ron369 | February 2, 2018

As others have said, 50A is more than enough. The mobile connector that comes with the car only supports 32A, so a 40A outlet is all you really need. The car itself can handle a bit more, but even at 32A, you will get a full charge overnight.

gwolnik | February 2, 2018

I recommend getting an electrical permit from your town, many have a special lower fee for an EV outlet. If you don't get a permit and there is any type of fire in the house, your insurance company may refuse to pay if they find out that an outlet was installed without a permit, especially such a high amperage outlet. A properly done permit would make sure that a large enough breaker is used and that a power load analysis was done for the whole house. Don't hire an electrician who refuses to do the work with a permit.

cephellow | February 2, 2018

I’d spend slightly more money and ask the electrician to pull wire gauge capable of 60A; so that if you choose a wall connector in the future, it will be an easy upgrade.

nameless | February 2, 2018

If you have the room in your breaker panel for another 50 amp of load, you have to go for NEMA 14-50, a 50 amp breaker and a 6 gauge or thicker wire. You can go for a lower gauge if you expect to reuse the line to install a wall connector in future. If the line is not too long, you might be able to get as low as 2 gauge (enough for 100 amps) for as little as $50 extra.

Unless you live in a reasonably new McMansion, your house probably has 200 amp or less of total breaker panel capacity. So, between an oven, an electric cooktop, an electric dryer, and two A/C units, one per floor (about typical for a 2-story building) plus a bunch of lights and miscellaneous outlets, you might not even have 50 amp to spare. Then your options are to upgrade the service panel (several thousand bucks) or to go with a smaller plug. As @tom168 notes above, you can do a NEMA 14-30 (30 amp) and you'll just have to buy a NEMA 14-30 adapter for it for $35.

coolnewworld | February 3, 2018

He should know by reading the manual.

dgstan | February 3, 2018

"30A, 14-30, charge at 24A, which is about 22 miles per hour for M3."

I already have an unused 14-30 in my garage for an electric dryer (I have gas). 22 MPH sounds great to me. I was figuring 15-17. Glad to hear I probably won't need an upgrade as my panel and garage are on opposite ends of the house. I was quoted $2400 by a "Tesla-friendly" electrician.

Tesla2018 | February 3, 2018

Anyone know what the twist lock connectors that connect to generators are called in plug terms and if they make adapters for them to work with Teslas? I didnt see any pictures of the plug type on the website.
In the event of a power failure I want to be able to use 240 from the generator and my brother has a 240 twist lock plug on the side of his house for a hot tub that the prior owner removed.

Rutrow | February 3, 2018

@Tesla2018. They're called locking plugs. NEMA will be appended with an "L", i.e. "L5-20P" for a plug, "L5-20R" for the receptacle.

rdk | June 1, 2020


I'm using a standard NEMA 14-50 plug in my garage to charge my M3. The charging cable that came with my car works just fine bought I did have to buy the 14-50 adapter. Charges in about 4.5 hours.


bjrosen | June 1, 2020

Looks like another thread from the mummy's tomb that's been reanimated. There is nothing special about having an EVSE installed, any licensed electrician can do it. Just order a Tesla Wall Connector and then hand it to your electrician and tell him to run a 60A/240V line and hook it up. The Wall Connector can deliver 48A that requires a 60A line, that's all you need to know.

Tronguy | June 1, 2020

@alexabrown252: You can go take the classes if you like; it's always good to know about the stuff that goes zip and zap inside the walls, especially when doing it wrong can end up with things going physically wrong with someone.
As far as the car goes: @bjrosen has the answer that's (a) dead simple, (b) will work, and (c) will charge your Model 3 as fast as the M3 is capable of being charged. The only "problems", as such, are that bj's answer is the somewhat more expensive option (by about $500, give or take) and that (c) may or may not be true, depending upon which kind of M3 you own.
Groundwork: What we're all talking about is what is known as Level 2 (L2) charging, which means that rather than feeding the car with standard wall-socket 120 VAC, you'll be feeding the car 240 VAC. A standard wall socket will charge your car at 12A at 120 VAC, which is rate of 1440 Watts. 240 VAC wall sockets come in a variety of connectors that can handle different currents. The one named "NEMA 14-50" can, with the adapter that comes with the Tesla wall connector, charge the car at 32A at 240 VAC. The rate, in this case, is 7680 Watts, five times faster than the 120 VAC and 12A.
What this means: The 120 VAC and 12A will charge a M3 at a rate of 4 miles of charge per hour. The NEMA14-50 approach will allow for a charge rate of around 30 miles of charge per hour.
So, tricky bit number one: If you have a M3 standard range or standard range+, that's the fastest rate you'll ever be able to charge at. The car itself limits L2 charging to a maximum of 32A at 240 VAC, it won't go any faster.
If you have a M3 Long Range or Performance, then the car comes with an extra charger, built-in. In That Case, if you have a circuit and the hardware that can supply more current, then you can get 48A at 240 VAC, for a charge rate of 11520 Watts, which will charge the car at 45 miles of charge per hour.
A NEMA14-50 cannot handle that much current. The only thing I know of that will is the Tesla Wall Connector (TWC), available from Fine Tesla Service Centers/On-Line for $500. You get one of them, you get an electrician that will put a 60A circuit (you'll need that) on your breaker panel, and there you are.

The only other basic difference between the two solutions is the convenience. The TWC has its own cable and built-in cable holder, which is slightly better than the mobile connector that comes with the car. People argue back and forth about that, I take no opinion.

So: If you've got a M3 SR or SR+, a TWC might be more convenient, but your charge rate is going to be 30 miles of charge per hour, no matter what.

If you've got an M3 LR or P, then, along with the convenience factor (or lack thereof), you'll get 30 miles of charge per hour without the TWC and 45 with. In a 7 hour sleep session, that's 210 miles of charge over night vs. 315 with. Your call: Is it worth the $500 extra cost?

The only other thing that drives people into a tizzy has to do with the breaker panel. If you have modern construction, your breaker panel is probably rated for 200A, total, and you'll likely have lots of empty slots into which an electrician can put a double-wide 240 VAC breaker. If you have extremely old construction that nobody has touched since the beginning of time, then you might have a 60A breaker panel with no empty slots, in which case an electrician might have to both upgrade your service and put a new breaker panel in, which will be expensive.
Finally, if the breaker panel is in the garage, that'd be ideal, since the difficulty and length of the run to whatever socket or TWC you put in will be minimal, and electricians charge for time and materials. If the panel is in the breaker panel in the basement on the other side of a couple of concrete walls, well, then, not impossible, but more money.
Good luck, and let us know how it turned out!

andy.connor.e | June 1, 2020


Thats what i had. I had an ooooold 60A main. Put in an 82-pole 200A panel.

bjrosen | June 1, 2020

If you have an old panel use this as the kick in the pants that you need to get it updated. I have a 200 year old house, my electrician has been telling me to upgrade my panel for 25 years (it was from the 60s). Four years ago when I bought my Volt I called him to put in a ClipperCreak EVSE, his son, who is running the business now, looked at my panel and said if that panel was in his house he wouldn't be able to sleep at night. That gave me the motivation to take care of a problem that I should have fixed in the 90s. I had a new 200A panel installed and a 40A 240V line run for the ClipperCreek (it's a 32A EVSE). Because it was part of a larger job the additional cost for the line and the installation was only $375. When I got the Tesla I had them put in a TWC, that was a standalone job so he charged me $750 for running a 60A line and installing the Wall Connector. To me convenience is everything, the reason for getting the TWC in addition to the ClipperCreek was because I didn't like having to put the Tesla adapter on to the J1772 connector. The Tesla adapter doesn't fit into the holster for the CC plus I still had the Volt (I gave it to my sister last month). My perspective on the cost is to think of it as a option for the car. The paint on a Tesla is $1000, a TWC plus installation in the same neighborhood.

Tronguy | June 1, 2020

And, I, like @bjrosen, have the TWC. I figured it was essentially part of the cost of the car and liked the convenience. I might have done it myself, but rather would pay a pro to do it right, which they did.
FWIW, the Tesla-recommended electricians, or the ones that I used anyway, will take several pictures of the installation. Those pictures (breaker panels, switch settings, guts of the TWC, etc.) ended up on Tesla's servers somewhere where I could see them. I suspect that this is done so a Tesla techie can take a first pass at making sure it was done right when troubleshooting field problems.

AstroSteve | June 1, 2020

I had my NEMA 14-50 done 8 months before I ordered the car. I contacted Tesla support and was sent a PDF titled "Charging Installation: 240 Volt NEMA 14-50". I can't find the link to pass on, but the only thing I will add to the above comments is to have the outlet installed with the ground pin on TOP. These can be done either top or bottom orientation, top is common. Back when we bought ours, the 240 pig tail was included.

Here the details from the PDF, copied and pasted.
Breaker: 50 amps
Voltage: Single phase, 208-250 volt AC supply, 60 hertz
Four Wire Configuration: Line 1 - Line 2 - Ground - Neutral
Conductors: 6 AWG copper wire for circuits up to 150 feet
Outlet: Use a high quality, industrial grade outlet
Ground Pin Orientation: Top position of outlet
Ventilation: Not required

Scrannel | June 3, 2020

Like others, I installed the 14-50 myself. I had never done it before, but after reading a few "how-to's" it was simple. However I barely had any run and I installed the unit about four feet from my box.

Bighorn | June 3, 2020

Whatever you do, don’t mention the word “Tesla.” Unless you want to pay triple.

andy.connor.e | June 3, 2020

"i need a dryer outlet installed in my garage" is as much information as you should provide.

yudansha™ | June 3, 2020

"i need a dryer outlet installed in my..." parking space. (◔_◔)

andy.connor.e | June 3, 2020

Whatever works. Dont shoot the shit with the electrician and reveal to him what its for.

yudansha™ | June 3, 2020

Blindfold the electrician? Cover the car with palm tree branches? They aren't idiots.

andy.connor.e | June 3, 2020

yes they are

get your outlet installed before you take delivery

aperfectecho | June 3, 2020

@andy.connor.e-and how do you justify the amperage you want, if it's simply a dryer plug?

yudansha™ | June 3, 2020

So people should sell their car before they move? Or never move?

jlhm | June 3, 2020

Tell them you will get a welding machine and you need an outlet for that.

andy.connor.e | June 3, 2020


"I want a 50A dryer outlet installed in my garage." If an electrician requires that you justify the need further there is someone else that will be willing to do it. Typically, i havent needed to justify my request when i ask someone to do something that im paying them to do. But each experience may vary.

andy.connor.e | June 3, 2020

if they ask why,

say the dryer requires a 50A outlet.

Big_Ed | June 3, 2020

Pretty casual with the lies.

bjrosen | June 3, 2020

As someone who's owned his house since 1983 a little bit of advice. They way to not get screwed by your contractors is to develop a relationship with them, not lie to them. When you find a competent contractor you hang on to them and you recommend them to your friends and neighbors, and if you don't already have decent contractors ask your neighbors for recommendations and then let the contractor know that's how you found them. When you need something done you want to have someone you can call, you don't want to shop around for every job. I've had my general contractor since the early 90s, through him I got my electrician and my chimney guy. I've have a painter than I've used multiple times, the same thing with my roofer. I went through some colossally incompetent contractors before I found my guys but once I did I've hung on to them. Because I'm a regular customer they aren't going to screw me, their price might not be the lowest price but it's a fair price.

On the subject at hand, putting in an EVSE. Don't skimp on the installation. The big cost of an electrician is getting them through the door, the difference in cost between a 60A line and a 40A line is trivial, get a 60A line. That wire is going to be there for the next 50 years, probably longer. It should be able to handle your needs not just for this car but for the next one and ones far into the future. If you have a multicar garage make sure you pull a line that's big enough to handle more than one car even if you only have one EV now, it will cost you a little more now but you'll save time and money in the future.

Ross1 | June 4, 2020

Is his name Laura?

SWFlaMod3 | June 5, 2020

I installed a 14-50 receptacle in my garage ($150) including parts and labor from a licensed electrician. The Tesla charger plugged right into it. No adapter was necessary. The 50 amp charges at 32 amps. They all charge at some rate that is lower than the rated amperage.

Lonestar10_1999 | June 5, 2020

@SWFlaMod3 - my installation was with parts from HomeDepot and 50 feet of Romex from EBay. All total, I paid about $150. Then there is the cost of the Electrician, who is a good buddy of mine. That costed me a nice dinner for him and his family.

The 14-50 outlet can supply 40 amps continuously but my SR+ maxes out at 32 amps.

lbowroom | June 5, 2020

Where does the idea that electricians will gouge you if you have a Tesla come from?

SWFlaMod3 | June 6, 2020

It’s not just electricians and Teslas. I live in SW Florida and the contractors in general really stick it to these unsuspecting old people. I’m old too but I won’t put up with it. I challenge their quotes regularly until I get a reasonable quote. I also do as much as I can on my own without them.

My 14-50 maxes out at 32 amps. In the interest of preserving the life of my battery I limit the overnight charging to 16 amps and 50% of total capacity. If I need more than the 160 mile range resulting from this limited charge I raise to full charge but stay at 16 amps for overnight.

bjrosen | June 6, 2020

SWFlaMod3@ There is no reason to limit your charging rate to 16A, your line can support 24A charging and there is no benefit to the battery by limiting the charging rate. The battery system is designed to handle Supercharging up to 250KW, the maximum AC rate is only 11KW, with 48A charging, that's so far away from the Supercharging rate that it can't possibly have any negative effects. You also don't need to keep the level at 50%, it's diminishing returns after about 80%. 50% is better in theory but in practice it won't make any difference.

bassbone1 | June 6, 2020

Whatever route you decide charging wise, Nema 14-50 or stronger please use my code. It’s a win win

Tronguy | June 6, 2020

For those that don't know: The NEMA14-50 is rated for 50A, max. Normally, if one has a socket rated for X amperage, then one is not supposed to have a steady load that's more than 80% of that amperage. So, for a 125 VAC 15A output, 15*0.8 = 12A, and that's what one sees with a Mobile Connector plugged into a 125 VAC wall socket.
So.. The NEMA14-50 can do 50A, max, so the maximum steady load should be 50A * 0.8 = 40A.
However: In the National Electric Code, it's actually allowed to use a NEMA14-50 socket on a 40A circuit. Presumably for driers and such.
But the Mobile Connector/Tesla doesn't know if one has a NEMA14-50 that has a real 50A breaker and wires behind it or a 40A breaker and wires behind it. So, they take the safe way out: 40A * 0.8 = 32A, and that's the max one can draw from a NEMA14-50 socket with a Tesla.
There may be other reasons why the MC can't do more than 32A, but that's the obvious one.

Frank99 | June 6, 2020

Tronguy +1
It’s interesting that the first generation Mobile connectors would charge at 40A - which is 80% of the 50A Circuit, I interpret that to mean that Tesla wasn’t aware that a 14-50 could be used on a 40A Circuit. If you buy a first gen UMC from EBay, you’ll get 40A charging on your LR model 3 (but not the MR/SR/SR+).

SWFlaMod3 | June 6, 2020 and many other searches have tips for preserving EV battery life. I find these tips very helpful.

Frank99 | June 6, 2020

Sometimes it's best to listen to the experts rather than random internet blogs:
Professor Jeffrey Dahn - charge to 70% daily unless you need more (for a trip or whatever):
Scientific study:
Note the fourth comment (and the fifth, which has a summary) which links a video from Professor Dahn again that suggests that Supercharging (at roughly 375 Amps) may be BETTER for the battery than slow charging (240V/32A means that about 20A are going through the battery).