NEMA 14-50 Plug Orientation

NEMA 14-50 Plug Orientation

I am having a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed in my garage in a few hours and notice that the picture on the charging page of the Tesla website shows the NEMA plug with the ground socket "on top". Since I don't have such a plug in my house currently, I don't know if this is the norm or not. I do know that this is opposite of a standard 120V plug.
Why do I care? Because I want the charging cable to hang correctly when plugged in (hanging down vs pointing up).

Can someone who's had theirs installed take a look and clue me in? Thanks in advance.

ebm | 09. helmikuu 2013

It's exactly like it shows, ground on top.

DickB | 09. helmikuu 2013

On the 14-50 outlet the ground is on top. Look at your cable which also has the ground on top. This way your cable will be hanging down toward the floor.

ChasF | 09. helmikuu 2013

Thanks guys. I don't have my car/cable yet, so couldn't check it either.

eelton | 09. helmikuu 2013

I wish I had thought of this before my electrician did the outlet is upside down, so the charge cable (which has a 90 degree bend in the plug) points up.

I'm going to see if I can flip the outlet around today.

nickjhowe | 09. helmikuu 2013

@eelton - unless the electrician was very frugal with the wiring you should be OK - though if he/she used #6 wire it isn't the easiest to bend in small spaces.

July10Models | 09. helmikuu 2013

Eelton please don't forget to trip/open the breaker before you do this work.
@chasf the ground pin is suppose to be the top position in a 120 installation also.

jbherman | 09. helmikuu 2013

I had the cut sheet from Tesla right on the wall where the outlet was to go. The electrician still installed it with the ground down (per normal convention)...must have thought the cut sheet was mistaken. It's annoying, but still works fine.

mikeadams | 09. helmikuu 2013

My electrician told me that they are installed with the ground up so that if a heavy object falls and knocks your plug out (like an extension ladder or something) it will contact the ground contact first and is safer.

eelton | 09. helmikuu 2013

@nickjhowe and July10Models--

I was able to turn the outlet around, although it wasn't terribly easy--the wires behaved more like steel rods, especially in my cold garage; the limited space in the enclosure didn't help things. And I did turn off the breaker first!

David Trushin | 09. helmikuu 2013

Mine's upside down also, but I put the cable caddy above the outlet, so it works well. The outlet is 3 feet off the ground, so that helps as well. BTW, my cable caddy is actually a hose caddy that I got from Lowe's for about $2. Keeps everything organized. nice to know not everything you need for the car costs over $500.

BAMMM | 09. helmikuu 2013

I am about to install the connector in my garage. Can someone tell me how long is the charging cable is that is supplied by Tesla.

Hills | 09. helmikuu 2013

It is 20 feet, the info is available on the Tesla web site.
There has also been extensive discussion on the forum regarding charging cable length and all sorts of other charging issues, including various outlets, HPWC, etc.
use to search.

iholtzman | 09. helmikuu 2013

If you need an extension cord check out
I purchased a 15ft 50 amp cord and it works great. It costs about $90. I even had them test it at the Tesla service center in Chicago.

nickjhowe | 09. helmikuu 2013

@Banfossie - see this thread for measurements for the different parts of the cable. Might affect exactly where you put the outlet.

GeekEV | 09. helmikuu 2013

@Hills - You had a missing letter in ...

Brian H | 10. helmikuu 2013

Turn it 90° and it won't matter ...

ChasF | 10. helmikuu 2013

As my electrician was finishing up the installation yesterday, I reminded him to make sure the ground socket was oriented up. He pointed out that the text on the connector plate indicated that orientation anyway.

shop | 13. helmikuu 2013

I was in the San Diego store today (UTC mall) and noticed they had their example nema 14-50 plug with the ground on the bottom. I told the female sales assistant there that it had been installed incorrectly and they should turn it around and she looked at me like I was from Mars...

Rchop0 | 22. syyskuu 2015

Sorry to resurrect an old thread but it looks like my NEMA was installed ground pin DOWN. Don't like my UMC cable pointing upwards, is it an easy DIY fix or something I have to try and get the electrician back for?

murphyS90D | 23. syyskuu 2015

6 gauge wire is not easy to reorient in a small space. If you are not experienced call the electrician. IMHO he should do it for free since he installed it upside down in the first place.

notblueclk | 23. syyskuu 2015

Actually, it is better to have the ground pin up, even on your 120V sockets in the house. The ground pin on a plug is the longest pin, and makes contact first, so having it on top makes it less likely that the hot pins become exposed. Also, if the ground pin is on top and something drops in between, it will likely ground first instead of short if the ground pin is on top.

Most outlets in the house are put in ground pin down for anthropomorphic reasons (i.e. makes a smiley face), which is actually less safe, especially for small kids

CEYA GAS | 23. syyskuu 2015

Ground pin on top is the correct orientation. Your UMC will hang correctly.

rxlawdude | 23. syyskuu 2015

Mine is wired so that the Clipper Creek 32A EVSE (sitting above the NEMA outlet with a very short cord) plugs in, but the UMC when plugged in is clearly oriented 180 degrees from how it ideally should hang. However, on the rare occasions when I need to charge at the full 40A, I simply drape the UMC over the Clipper Creek unit so as not to stress the cord.

Basem | 23. syyskuu 2015

Rchop0, Same here the electrician, installed mine with the ground pin down too. Fortunately, I had my Model S already delivered at that time and when we did the trial test, the electrician and without me asking went ahead and rotate it.

He turned the breaker off (two of them). Then unscrewed the cover plate, and the plug and he had to work with those fat gage wires for the correct orientation. All that took ~ 2-3 minutes. If you want to do it your self, I would say give your self 5-10 minutes.

EcoMan | 24. syyskuu 2015

I hung mine upside down on purpose. That's because I don't like the idea of the cord laying on the floor for the kids to trip over. Instead, I put a hook on the ceiling of my garage, ahead of where the overhead garage door stops and in line with where the driver's side of the car sits, and another hook on the wall near the ceiling and above the NEMA 14-50 outlet. When I plug the car in, I then loop the cord over the two hooks and, voila!, it's out of the way. If the outlet had been oriented in the normal position, the cord would have protruded further out from the wall when the car is plugged in.

CraigW | 24. syyskuu 2015

Not if the plug is installed at 24"+ above the floor. Simply install a hose holder above it and loop everything through the holder. Simple - and it keeps the grounding pin facing up.

notblueclk | 24. syyskuu 2015

In fairness, I spent the extra $750 for the Tesla HPWC, rather than drag the mobile charger out each time. I think its worth the convenience.

At least I didn't have to worry about the ground pin orientation that way.

InterKOT | 12. marraskuu 2019

Can somebody please clearly explain why Tesla insists on installing Nema 14-50 outlet with ground pin up? I am planning to use the UMC permanently( I don't see why I would even need the cable in my car ever as I do only the city driving) hanging in my garage above the outlet, so doesn't it make sense to install with ground pin down, so that the 14-50 adapter will naturally direct the cable up ?

nothotpocket | 12. marraskuu 2019

InterKOT the reason that a 220V outlet is installed upside down is for safety. If something slides down the wall and and hits the plug from the top it will make contact with the ground pin instead of one of the hot pins. This actually happened to me once when a section of welded wire did exactly that in my shop. It slid down the wall and shorted out a 120V plug. Pretty exciting stuff...

Anyway, because you are talking about mounting the UMC above the plug, it will act as a protective device to keep such a scenario from occurring. Some time down the line if you remove the UMC it would be a good idea to flip the 220V plug to a conventional ground pin up install, but for the time being what you're talking about will be just fine.

marcustcohn | 13. marraskuu 2019

On the original charging bundle if you want the transformer hanging down straight from the plug you need the ground pin at the top. The 14-50 adapter then will allow the cord and transformer to dangle instead of requiring a 180 degree bend. Don't know if this is different with the newest charging bundle that has only 110v adapter.