Leaving travel charger plugged in to wall

Leaving travel charger plugged in to wall


Might be a silly question but I'll ask anyways.

I plan on installing a 220V circuit to charge my car (not getting the wall mounted charger from Tesla). I was wondering if current model S owners were leaving their chargers plugged into the wall even if the car is not plugged in and charging? Does the charger still draw even if the car isn't plugged in?



Mike C | 19 février 2013

I leave mine in. It must be drawing some power because the green light is on, but probably not more than any of your other appliances you leave plugged in. I read somewhere here that constantly unplugging it isn't good for it, but don't know that for sure.

noel.smyth | 19 février 2013

mine stays plugged in.

jat | 19 février 2013

I leave mine plugged in, and just drape the plug across the box the 14-50 receptacle is mounted in. I can't wait to get the HPWC so I can carry the mobile connector around with me.

The current draw when the car isn't charging is not measurable on my TED5000 that measures the current through my garage subpanel

RanjitC | 19 février 2013

Mine is plugged in all the time too. Can't wait for the HPWC to be delivered.

jackhub | 19 février 2013

Mine is plugged in all of the time. My 14-50 plug is adjacent to where the charging port is when the car is in the garage. I have mounted a garden hose holder on the wall and wrap the cord around that.. Keeps it out of the way. | 19 février 2013

I keep mine plugged in for convenience.

Mocaptain | 19 février 2013

I was instructed by my DS to leave it plugged in. And even if I have to take the cord with me, I should disconnect leaving my NEMA 6-50 plug in the outlet because its less wear and tear on the outlet itself.

portia | 19 février 2013

Mine is plugged in all the time.

smd | 20 février 2013

I leave mine plugged in all the time. I think constant plugging and unplugging of the cord would eventually wear out either the cord or the 14-50 outlet. I've also bumped it accidently with my leg as I walked by and it's pretty easy to upset the contact between the cord and the 14-50 adapter and disrupt the charging.

docdac | 20 février 2013

A service Ranger (who came to install my carbon fiber spoiler) told me that the charger only draws the current that it takes to illuminate the LED. That makes sense. If it was 'wasting' electricity, the charger wold get warm, and it doesn't.

Cattledog | 20 février 2013

Leave plugged in, easy to remove if road-tripping, no need to if not.

bsimoes | 20 février 2013

Good question, good answers, good to know! Mine will be outside; what kind of protection from the elements, if any, should I plan on?

rterry | 20 février 2013

I have ordered the high power wall connector but am having second thoughts. 1. I dont need the quick recharge for 99.9% of my driving and 2. I have read that constantly recharging by the high power wall connector is not good for your batteries. Should I cancel my order as I have a 240V/50amp outlet in my garage???

bsimoes | 20 février 2013

rterry, I would cancel it. You can always re-order if you find that you have a need, but I bet you won't. Meanwhile you will save thousands, if you figure the install price as well.

July10Models | 20 février 2013

The unloaded mobile connector draws about 2.4 Watts. That is about 0.01A on a 240 circuit.
Most Li-Ion battery chemistries allows at least a 1C recharge with no adverse effect on the life of the battery. At just about a complete recharge in one hour, the SC works within this recharge rate and probably does not measurably affect the life of the battery with continuous use. The HPWC and the other household chargers are well below that 1C value at 20kWh and 10kWh respectively. So don't worry about juicing up because as of now there isn't a source available that you can connect into that will affect battery life. The NEMA 14-50 outlet is not an expensive item, about $10 or so from the hardware store. If it get worn out, replace it.

jat | 20 février 2013

@rterry - where have you seen that frequently using the HPWC is bad for the batteries? AFAIK, Tesla has only said that frequent charging to max-range rather than standard or letting the battery stay uncharged for a while will degrade the battery.

Personally I got the HPWC for convenience as much as anything else (I want to carry the Mobile Connector with me, yet I don't want to constantly pack/unpack it), plus the ability to charge quickly after I get home from work before leaving on an out-of-town trip.

jat | 20 février 2013

@bsimoes - you want a weather-proof outlet. There are plenty designed for plugging an RV into. Your electrician should be able to suggest an appropriate one for your location.

Michael S | 20 février 2013

I leave mine plugged in all the time, but I am on my third cord in six months. I don't know if one thing has anything to do with the other. But if Tesla wants to keep giving me new cords, thats fine with me. I'm fairly sure if there was a problem wiht plugging it in all the time, they would tell their techs.

rterry | 20 février 2013

I have a better understanding now. I got the HPWC and max-range confused. Thank you! I will keep the HPWC on order(mainly for convenience)and not have to pack/unpack the travel connector daily. Thanks again!!
ps- I also live in GA and got the silver S like you did. It is gorgeous!!

bsimoes | 20 février 2013 am not so worried about the outlet as I am the part that plugs into the charger. Is this part meant to be left out in the cold, so to speak? Thanks.

bfudge | 20 février 2013

@ docdac. How does the carbon fibre spoiler look on your car? I am waiting for my spoiler to arrive. It didn't come on the car when it was delivered.

jat | 20 février 2013

@bsimoes - I'm not sure what you mean by "the part that plugs into the charger" -- if you mean the mobile connector, it is waterproof and includes a GFCI.

spazthecat | 20 février 2013

Thanks for the replies. I'll leave it plugged in. I can't see a real need to have the mobile charger with me as I'll rarely take on trips long enough to need a charge before heading home.


RonD | 17 mai 2013

Our local planning department is insisting that we have the plug inside. Tesla told me that the plug is designed to be weatherproof. But I need to find proof that is true, to get them to approve it. Help?

KWTESLA | 17 mai 2013

The LED on the wall charger uses less energy than a night light. I have just installed the High Power wall charger. It works great and is charging at 60 amps max because a two users had breaker tripping issues. Tesla is being cautious for now sandbagging the HPWC to a degree. Eventually it will go back up to 80 amps. The users experiencing problems probably have loaded up electrical panels or wire size or length of run issues.

As to those who question using a HPWC unit you now have with 4.5 the ability to schedule charging , amount of charge and the rate of charge. This can be an advantage to those users who have high electrical cost or want to keep usage below a utility price threshold.

You can save energy with lighting just as easy as than with your Tesla. Great car !

derek | 17 mai 2013

I've never had any intention of carrying my connector cable with me.

1 I never plan to charge anywhere but my home
2 In a pinch, superchargers or commercial chargers have their own cables. You might just need an adapter in the car.
3 More convenient as it's always ready at home

I find the HPWC a waste of money, since I sleep at night, and just never need a "rush" charge. If I ever do...well, I have an ICE.

I installed the 14-50 plug myself for about $80 in parts and two hours -- but my charge location is near my power meter.

My car will sit outside in CA for about a year until I build a new barn. I put an RV outlet near the car, a little exposed to rain, but no issues. The connector has GFCI built in, if there were a problem. I put a 3ft high post at the corner of the S where I back into it. On the post I put a hook, and a solar garden light to top it off. I don't need to exert any effort to plug in: no reach, no bend, no cable management.

My guess is that rain is not an issue, but prolonged exposure to sunlight will deteriorate the external insulation on the connector, but I think it will last a year out there. Already gone 3 months.

Brian H | 17 mai 2013

you can manually reset the amps to 80 in each individual charging session, till the fix is in.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 17 mai 2013

A few things I have found about the HPWC is that after a full charge trip, I can plug into the HWPC for a half hour and have enough battery to run to the store or pick up the pets. With the mobile connector would take 2 hours.

I installed my own HPWC on #2 copper using a 100A breaker to HWPC in the garage about a 25' run. Nice thing is that HPWC cord is long enough that I can reach the MS in the drive-way.

One caviet If I need to charge quickly, I can use the 17" display to tell the MS to take a full 80A charge rate. I have noticed that if I do that, the 12V instrument battery doesn't get a full charge.
However, ocassionaly limiting the HPWC to a 10A to 20A over night brings the 12v battery up to a normal full 14.2V charge.

DouglasR | 17 mai 2013

@Dr. Bob - How do you determine that the 12V battery isn't getting a full charge?

stimeygee | 28 mai 2013

Is it safe to leave the UMC plugged in all the time, outdoors? Asking in terms of rain, children playing with it, etc.

Dr. Bob Reinke | 5 août 2013


I bought a very small digital Volt meter from Amazon. The meter plugs into the 12 volt recepical in the center arm rests. Mine has about 3/8 inch high LCD display and three charge level lights, and the readout head swivels making it easy to read at any angle. The meter draws little from the battery. Tesla turns off the cig outlet when the MS is off so leaving it pluged in there is no danger of discharging the 12v battery. I am always assured that there is no 12 volt battery problem.