Approximate cost to install a 220 outlet

Approximate cost to install a 220 outlet

I've seen a few posts about the HPWC connector, but since I'll be getting the smaller battery I won't need it. Does anyone have a guess how much it would cost to wire up a 220 connection in my garage?

Slindell | 8 October 2012

I have a 46-year-old house with a 46-year-old electrical panel. No room for a NEMA 14-50, must replace the panel. $3000.

OR- I can get the panel replacement included in a $5000 solar installation. Guess who's getting solar?

jbunn | 8 October 2012

8 gauge is most likley too light for 50 amp plug. Actualy, it depends on the insulation type, how tightly the wires are packed in the conduit, lenght of run, ect.

Since the NEMA 14-50 is a 50 amp plug, I'd use 6 gauge wire for the two hot and neutral wires, and if you want you can step down to an 8 for the ground.

The car with a single charger will only pull 40 amps, so a 40 or 50 amp breaker will work with the above setup. I happen to have had a spare 40 breaker handy, and orderd a single charger in the car, so that's what I used.

Since the breaker is acting like a fuse, you never want anything downstream from the breaker that's a lower rating than the breaker. For example, a 70 amp breaker on a 50 amp plug. Or on light weight wire like 6 or higher. You want the breaker to be the "weakest" link in the system so it pops before one of the other components can get overloaded.

dahtye | 8 October 2012

I've been told that a 50-amp breaker can reliably serve 40-amps. The electrician did not recommend pulling near 50-amps from a 50-amp breaker since the breakers typically are triggered by heat. As the current approaches 50 amps on a 50 amp breaker, there is heat build up until the breaker flips. So, to be safe, he said 40-amps is recommended (or no more than 80% of the breaker rating).

On a slightly different note:
Does it matter which leg of the 240 (2 hot legs) are connected to the hot pins on a NEMA 14-50 receptacle? I understand where neutral and ground need to connect on the receptacle, but is there a standard for the two 120V hot legs?

jbunn | 8 October 2012

Nope. The two legs are equivilent, just out of phase. The back of a NEMA 14-50 plug isn't even marked. Just as you noted you have neutral and ground marked. The other two don't matter. Different deal than direct curent, where it does matter.

Schlermie | 8 October 2012

I have a 400A service to my panel, so I have plenty of power available, and installing a NEMA 14-50 on the other side of the wall from the panel with 10 feet of wiring to the plug, but I'm also having a second meter installed. The total cost estimate is $1860 from the first (of four) electricians I'm getting estimates from.

$900 for material for underground termination and new panel
$960 for 12 hours of labor
$1860 TOTAL

He claimed my material costs are higher for the 400A terminal block.

dahtye | 8 October 2012

Thanks jbunn. I might end up wiring one up myself from my garage panel since I can easily cut the power to the panel and won't need to worry about getting electrocuted. I already have a 100A disconnect for this panel, so there should be plenty of juice (even though I have a hot tub connected, but rarely used and certainly won't be used at the same time as charging (i.e. charging between 1am and 7am and hot tub use would end well before midnight).

I'm having an electrician install a NEMA 14-50 at the front of the house near the meter and upgrading the panel to 200A, but the garage is detached and a good 100 feet away from the meter.

I envy those who already have 200A service to their home and 400A is even better Schlermie! I had to call our local electric service provider (Pacific Gas & Electric) to come out and upgrade my service. I'm not sure how much this will cost (they mentioned some cost, but some installs are free depending on the scope of the job).

jbunn | 8 October 2012

Schlermie, way too much for going through a wall and a 10 foot run. And another meter? What's the point of that? So you can monitor the car usage? You should be able to get this from the car. Way more work than you need for a simple plug.

Dahtye, I'd be surprised if your hottub draws more than 50 amps, so if you have 100 amp service to the garage and you are feeding the car and hot tub, you're probably fine.

Schlermie | 9 October 2012

jbunn, my power company ordinarily charges a flat rate for power by default, but it's tiered, so you get some very cheap power in the first tier; however, most households quickly blow through the first and second tiers to some very expensive power rates. They offer two plans to save you money if you're charging an EV though:

1. You can have a time-of-use plan where they charge you less during the night, but they also end up charging you more during the day. Since my wife works from home during the day and the kids are home during most of the day, our daytime power use is meaningful.

2. If you have a second meter installed, dedicated to charging the EV, they allow you to use that ultra cheap baseline rate on the second meter.

If I can get that second meter to pay for itself in about 5 years, I'll do it. I'm still getting estimates.

dahtye | 9 October 2012

PG&E (in California) has a special Electric Vehicle rate that include household usage. This is called E-9 rate. They also have te E-6 rate if you don't have an electric vehicle. Both are "TOU" or Time of Use rates. I did some calculations comparing these two rates and the E-9 is definitely lower overall - even with my wife at home and my kids at home in the afternoon. I looked at my usage over the last 2 years (on an hourly basis since I have had a Smart Meter installed by PG&E and this info is available for me to see) and my calculations are based on our historical use patterns. So, for me, I'm confident that E-9 is right.

I've contact PG&E and they will switch me to E-9 on my next billing period after I take delivery of my Sig P85.

I too was considering a second meter until I the quote came in from the electrician at $2200 to install that meter (and that doesn't include any charges that PG&E will levy for the additional service). I didn't analyze the cost benefit of having a second meter though - maybe in the long run it would be lower cost, but I just don't know.

agiangone | 11 April 2013

I had a 15 Amp breaker going to my detached garage (about 100 ft run) but was spliced in a junction box from which two sets of 14 gauge wires were going to the garage (one set due to a three way light switch). I decided I did not need the three way switch and reused the two runs to install a NEMA 14 50 on a two pole 15 AMP breaker.

The electrician did the job in less than an hour (two people) for $150.

After setting the charge to 12 AMP I'm getting eight mph instead of the three mph I was getting with 110V 12 Amp
That is more than enough for my commute of 45 miles per day.

Seemed like the best value for me given the circumstances.

mtom007 | 11 April 2013

$120 labor + material. SF Bay are