NEMA 5-20 adapter

NEMA 5-20 adapter

Does anyone have any experience with the 5-20 adapter? I’m currently using a standard 5-15 and am getting 5 mph charge with that. It keeps up with my daily travel needs but just barely. I understand the 5-20 will give more like 7-8 mph on the model 3. Is this accurate? I already have the plug with the proper wiring and 20 amp breaker so all I need is the adapter. I would like to know real world numbers if anyone knows before I buy the adapter. Thanks a million.

ken.lunde | 31 maggio 2019

I am consistently getting 6 mph with the NEMA 5-20 adapter when plugged into an L1 EV charging spot at my office. 35 bucks for one more mile per hour of charge was worthwhile. Our L2 EV charging spots are time-limited, so the L1 EV charging spots are often the better ones.

kevin_rf | 31 maggio 2019

While I agree with lunde, the NEMA 5-20 is worth it for you.

If it's a single outlet, you could technically have it converted to a 240v NEMA 6-20 and get according to Tesla, 15 miles of charge per hour. Assuming you are unable to install a higher current NEMA 14-30 or 14-50 outlet.

ADinM3 | 31 maggio 2019

I used a 5-20 at my in-laws a few times until I realized they also had a 6-20. I believe I got about 7-8 miles/hr of charge on 5-20 and as I type I am now getting ~15 miles / hr charge on the 6-20. The adapters are definitely worth the $35 for the flexibility of squeezing out a few extra miles especially when away from home or when charging in cold weather.

Jrcase | 1 giugno 2019

Thanks for the replies. I will go ahead and order the adapter. 7 beats 5!

Boomer543 | 1 giugno 2019

Agree with that. Ordered mine just now.

travisoffner | 1 giugno 2019

I just switched the plug in my garage and I got it from Home Depot. Took about 5 minutes and you just need a Phillips head, a flat head and the ability to flip off a circuit breaker. The local Tesla dealer had the 5-20 adapter. I went from 5 or 6 miles per hour to 7 or 8. Make sure your breaker is a 20 amp though.

Technically you should get 33% faster charge from the 5-15. Your car will go from 12 amp to 16 amp draw.

Tronguy | 1 giugno 2019

@travisoffner: Um. Stupid question. I understand you changed the socket (plug's on the Mobile Connector) from (probably) a dual NEMA 5-15 to a NEMA 5-20. Fine, wonderful, and you said that there was a 20A breaker in the breaker box on that feed.
So: was the wire gauge in the wall rated for 20A? Or did you have to swap the wire, too?

bradmoroni | 1 giugno 2019

I was under the impression that the car would come with "all the adapters" so I had an electrician install a NEMA 6-50 outlet under my carport(75' of 6-3 Romex is expensive) but when I got the car Wednesday, it came only with the NEMA 14-50 adapter. The Tesla person who was working with me tried very diligently to locate the adapter I needed but came up empty so the electrician is returning Monday to switch my outlet.

travisoffner | 3 giugno 2019

@tronguy. I didn't change the wiring. The breaker for the garage is 20 amp and I didn't touch that it was always 20 amp It just had a 15 amp receptacle in the garage. So unless the electrician broke code and used a 20 amp breaker with the wrong gauge wire then it should be fine. I haven't started an electrical fire yet and I've been charging for days (crosses fingers).

Jrcase | 3 giugno 2019

@tronguy. I didn't change the wiring. The breaker for the garage is 20 amp and I didn't touch that it was always 20 amp It just had a 15 amp receptacle in the garage. So unless the electrician broke code and used a 20 amp breaker with the wrong gauge wire then it should be fine. I haven't started an electrical fire yet and I've been charging for days (crosses fingers).

If you can see the wire (sheathing), see if it is white or yellow. White is for 16 amp, yellow is for 20 amp.

michiels.evan | 22 settembre 2019

Yea the NEMA- 5-20 adds about 2 extra mile per hour to the model 3.
Check out my video

Haggy | 23 settembre 2019

Code allows for a 15A receptacle on a 20A circuit in most cases. Since the outlet type limits what can be plugged in, it's not a danger. Using wiring that can't handle 20A is illegal with a 20A breaker.

A 5-20 won't add a lot of range, but if your breaker box has room but adding an NEMA 14-50 outlet isn't an option, using two 20A circuits for a NEMA 6-20 would give you 15 mph of range.

mrburke | 23 settembre 2019

The 5-20 is the best $40.00 you will ever spend. If you can use it, buy it.

stevehendler | 24 settembre 2019

I agree, its well worth the cost. If you get home at 5 PM, and leave again at 7 AM, that's 14 hours @ 7-8 mph = 98-112 miles of range. Plenty for all but rare occasions.

If I still had access to a NEMA 5-20, that's probably all I'd use. L2 is nice but if you can plug in everyday, the NEMA 5-20 is fine.

Mkermish | 24 settembre 2019

Using the NEMA 14-30 adapter and working great. But, Is there a secret to getting it off if need to change to a different adapter at some point?

Big_Ed | 1 gennaio 2020

I get 8 mph from 5-20, compared to 6 mph from 5-15 on same outlet. It's drawing 16 amps instead of 12, so the math works out.

I put in a 6-50 outlet for daily use, but got a 5-20 adapter for travel convenience. Can also be a useful temporary option while you wait to have a 240v outlet or HPWC installed.

Code requires that residential garages have a dedicated 20 amp circuit, so it's likely that anyone you visit with a garage will have a 5-20 outlet. Haven't looked but I suspect they are also common outdoors in apartment and condo complexes.

elwin55 | 11 gennaio 2020

Hi, just purchased a Model 3 and installing a Wall Connector did not work out due to the fact that my garage is detached with 4 row houses between my unit and my garage. So beside huge cost I have to get permission from 4 neighbors to dig a trench thru their front yard.
For now I just use overnight charging in my garage using regular110V with 5-15 cable outlet which in general satisfies my needs. I’m driving abt 50 miles away and can charge it overnight
Been to SG only once.
But I would like to Improve the speed . Reading this forum I see that even going to 5-20 will give me abt 30-50% improvement .
Do I need to to change the wiring also or just changing the outlet socket and getting 5-20 adapter will help?
I’m sorry if this sounds stupid but I’m ignorant re electricity

Magic 8 Ball | 11 gennaio 2020

@elwinn55 Have a pro come over and discuss it with them. A first hand inspection of your setup will be needed.

Tronguy | 11 gennaio 2020

@elwin55: Hokay.
First, go to your garage. Take a good, careful look at the 120VAC outlet in the garage. Using as a reference, check and see if one of the blades can also accept a horizontal blade. On another thread, one of our experts pointed out that under current code garages are supposed to have a single NEMA5-20. Outlets that can do that have, with the ground pin at the bottom, the top left connector is arranged so the blade can be horizontal or vertical. If it is like that, smile, order the NEMA5-20 adapter, and enjoy your higher current.
If it's a standard wall socket (two vertical blades), then you may still have an out. Is there a breaker panel in the garage? If so, and it has spare spots for breakers, you can probably for relative cheaps put in a 20A breaker and a NEMA5-20 outlet.
However.. If you're not comfortable or practiced with electricity, This Would Not Be A Good Time To Find Out Just How Bad You Can Be. An electrician could so a straight wire job for $100, probably.
If the breaker box is far, far away from the garage, life gets difficult.
There are other options that can give you somewhat better results. Ye Standard House in the US receives two phases of 120 VAC and a neutral. The neutral is ground-staked to ground (really). Each phase is 120 VAC to neutral/ground: Phase-to-phase is 240 VAC and, if you've got a 240V load, the breaker is double-wide and hits both phases.
So.. A common wiring plan with a garage is _sometimes_ to put in a small sub-panel with a space for a half-dozen breakers or something. If that's true in your case, you've got 240 VAC available. In which case, looking at the bottom left corner of that graphic, you could use one of the 240 VAC sockets, which'll give you roughly double the charging rate.
Let us know what you've got (or not) in the garage.

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

First of all I want to thank everyone in this forum for responding with their advises and especially Tronguy for taking time and writing suggestions. I really appreciate your willingness to help.
I already had a pro electrician inspected the garage and the house when looking for viable Wall Connector options. There is no electrical panel in the garage. Garage is about 150 feet away from my unit and all we found is a conduit coming outta ground and wires going into the garage.
The electrician immediately said this conduit is too small for Wall Connector 60 Amp breaker and cannot be used for Wall Connector. At that point I didn’t even know about the variety of other options recommended by Tesla , which are not as fast as fast as Wall Connector but can provide substantial speed improvement . I am talking options like 6-20, 6-50, 6-15 and also 5-20 etc.
I only found out about them later. I already talked to the electrician and sent him some links about the options including also suggestions made at this forum.
Once we meet again I’ll show him suggestion made by Tronguy and see what he says.
I’ll keep you informed about further developments and suggestions from the electrician as I would like to know opinion of this forum before I agree to it.
Thanks again!

Big_Ed | 12 gennaio 2020

Next questions to ask:
1. What gauge is the wire in the conduit?
2. What size breaker protects the wire in the conduit?

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

I do not know precisely and it looks to me between 1 and 2 inches wide but The electrician immediately told me this conduit is not big enough for anything greater than 20 amp
There is only one breaker for the garage and it is 15 amp
However I think there is more than one wire line coming outta conduit in the electrical box on garage wall. (I have the pic but couldn’t insert it)
Maybe there is a second circuit line coming from the panel but it’s Not connected to anything. There are few breakers on that panel which don’t impact anything in the house if switched off or on. Maybe put there as a reserve .
As I understand if there is a second line they could be combined to get 220V or 240V and get 6-20 (with 20 amp breaker). According to Tesla diagram this will give me up to 15 mph when charging
That would be perfect though not as good as Wall Connector but the best I can get

Earl and Nagin ... | 12 gennaio 2020

A word of caution to those planning to use a NEMA 5-15 to charge: We just replace a 5-15 wall outlet and the end on our 5-15 charging cord for our Roadster because they had badly overheated over the years. We had not checked the wiring for the wall outlet and, apparently, it was not up to the continuous 12 amp load. We did not get a fire but the scorched connectors were quite scary looking.
I highly recommend checking the connectors in your garage if you're going to use a 5-15. Have a competent electrician check it if you do not feel 100% confident in your own ability to do electrical wiring. Its a lot cheaper than burning down your house.

Magic 8 Ball | 12 gennaio 2020

@elwin55 You can use a site like imgur to host your pics and then post links to them here. You will definitely get a lot more useful input if you post pics of what you and your electrician are able to see.

andy.connor.e | 12 gennaio 2020


You get the 240V because from Line to neutral is 120V, and the second wire Line to neutral is -120V. When you hook the two up to an outlet the difference is 240.

Not sure what the electrician is saying about your conduit not being large enough for more than 20 amp. Is it a half inch conduit? If so then hes right but its not a current thing, its a wire size thing. Three quarter inch conduit can support 6AWG wires which can give you 60 amps.

Upload your image to this website and copy the link into your comment if you want to include pictures:

Lonestar10_1999 | 12 gennaio 2020

For me, having reliable and adequate home charging was of paramount importance in deciding whether or not to buy the M3. If you own a home and a BEV, it behooves you to set yourself up for the best home charging experience you can have. Otherwise you might regret your BEV purchase.

Big_Ed | 12 gennaio 2020

You can't replace your 15A outlet with a 20A outlet. Plugging in a 20A device would trip the 15A breaker.

Check the wire coming into the garage. There should be printing on it. Look for a number followed by AWG. That is the wire gauge.

If you have 12 AWG wire, your electrician can upgrade the breaker and outlet to 20A. Then you can use a 5-20 adapter and get another 2mph.

If you have 14 AWG wire, your electrician can probably pull 12 AWG to replace it, depending on conduit size, length, and number of bends.

If you have more than one conductor wire entering the garage, your electrician might be able to install a double pole breaker and 6-15 or 6-20 outlet, which will give you 220v and triple your rate.

All of the above depends on many details of how your garage is wired. If there are other devices such as lighting or a garage door opener on the circuit, that will impact what your electrician can do with it. Show him the list of NEMA adapters and charge rates from Tesla and ask him what your options are given the existing conduit.

Scrannel | 12 gennaio 2020

@elwin55 -- you mention on your panel there are breakers which do not seem to effect anything in the house? First, what are the breakers rated at? (Should be right on the trip switch); might give you a clue. Second, are there any "capped-off" receptacles in the garage? Never know what might have been taken out of service. I found 240v service in my laundry room, no longer used because appliances are now 120v.

in7 | 12 gennaio 2020

I bought the Quick 220 unit Part No: -A220-15D (for $215) plus NEMA adaptor 6-15 (for $35 from Tesla) and a couple of 12 gauge outdoor extension cords. Now I get 10 miles for every hour of charge, instead of the 5 miles for every hour of charge that I was getting from a single household 120 volt outlet. I'm still trying to convince landlord of a better option for me, but in the meantime it's good. I called the support person at Quick 220 before purchasing. He gave good info.

in7 | 12 gennaio 2020

I forgot to add in my previous post, that with the Quick 220 -A220-15D and the NEMA 6-15 adaptor the car is charging at 237 volts 12 amps.

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

For some reason my posting rights were cancelled

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

For some reason my posting rights for this forum were cancelled
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elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

Looks like access restored.

This is the pic of the conduit and electrical box on the garage wall. Installed about 25 years ago.
I do not even know whether it is technically possible to pull the wire thru the underground conduit from the house 150 feet away. To complicate the matter my basement where breakers panel is located , is in ground

I see there are a lot of wires in this box and hope there is a second line there for there garage just not currently used for anything

Magic 8 Ball | 12 gennaio 2020

Looks like a junction box. Any idea what those capped off heavier gauge wires are for or where they go?

andy.connor.e | 12 gennaio 2020

Woof. Hard to say what you've got there without testing it with a multimeter.

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

Unfortunately I have very little knowledge re electrical stuff and can’t answer the question.
I hope there is a second line come from that pipe if yes - according to what I learned at this forum I have a chance to install 6-20 .
Making another appointment with a pro electrician to test this theory

Magic 8 Ball | 12 gennaio 2020

Looks like an outdoor 110V outlet box (which would be on a 15A breaker most likely) used as a junction box.
The "pipe" is what is called "conduit" in the trade. The wires are called conductors.I assume there is an outlet inside the garage you are using and that outlet is connected to the wires shown in the picture. It appears there may have been a second outlet or device connected and later capped off in the junction you show. Does that sound right?

Big_Ed | 12 gennaio 2020

Show your electrician this link and ask him to get you as far up the table as he can:

elwin55 | 12 gennaio 2020

yes , that s a plan. Thx

in7 | 12 gennaio 2020

Will the NEMA 10-30 connection still work if the electric socket in my laundry room is on a circuit which has the neutral tied ground?

in7 | 12 gennaio 2020

I meant with the neutral tied to ground.