Condo Plug Install

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by AldoON, Feb 3, 2021.

  1. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    Correct, I just gave him/her lifestyle clues that make the breaker easy. I did not promise that the 240 Volt wire run would be easy.
    I was attempting to show that a 100 Amp Service with the current devices was not a showstopper. And In my own mind, it is not unless they have loads on the 'dryer' and 'stove' breaker than need to run when the car is charging.

    If I was running the wire, I would advise a 50 Amp breaker to a NEMA 14-50R outlet using 8 AWG romex, but knowing better details does require more than reading the door and calculating current flow. (This would allow a Rav4 Prime and many All-Electric cars to charge at 32 Amps, 240 Volts when the Stove and Dryer were off)

    I am not an electrician*, and more specifically I do not know the National Electrical Code used in the OP's town, so this is advice that can get them started, but a licensed contractor in the state/province they live in will have details I can't know.

    * I was a licensed low voltage (Fire Alarm) electrician in my 20's in WA, so I am 40 years out of date and not local. I had to take the tests, but never worked professionally on 240 Volts, mostly 1/5th to 1/10th that. As a Network Administrator in my 40s and 50s, the wattage was even less!
     
    #21 JimboPalmer, Feb 6, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  2. AldoON

    AldoON Member

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    Thanks everyone for the helpful comments. Lots of good ideas I can talk about when reaching out to local contractors.

    I'm really leaning towards the largest plug I can legally and safely install. If going through all this trouble them might as well!

    Another thought if capacity is a problem... What about a NEMA6-20? it would allow charging level 2 at 16A.
     
  3. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    I researched this before this thread.
     
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  4. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    NEMA 6-20 is all your Prius Prime will ever need. However, if this is not you last car ever, NEMA 14-50 allows more than twice as fast charging for some future All-Electric car or PHEV with more battery range. The RAV4 has 16 Amp charging standard, but allows 32 Amp charging as a option. 14-50 allows you to profit from such options. (a potential future car would still be able to charge at 16 Amps, just not more than that on a 6-20)

    On a technical level, NEMA 6 provides 240 volts, while NEMA 14 provides both 120 and 240 volts, not a requirement for charging. But NEMA 14-50 is a common RV park outlet, so having that ESVE would allow more road trips.
    Like this map
    PlugShare - Find Electric Vehicle Charging Locations Near You
    If you look under filters, you can look at every 14-50 in North America and most are RV parks, you cannot search for 6-20 as it is not popular for public charging.
     
    #24 JimboPalmer, Feb 6, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  5. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Go with the 120/240 V, 50 A AC NEMA 14-50. It is the recommended plug for Tesla, and the 20 A NEMA 6-20 may not even be enough for the 2023 or 2024 Prius Prime redesign and won't be enough for most EVs. Think about the future when you spend $2,000 to have an outlet installed in your garage. Of course, if you could have a 120 V outlet installed for $500 instead, it's a different story, and you may want to opt for that one.
     
    #25 Gokhan, Feb 6, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
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  6. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    If money was no object, one probably wouldn't be worried about doing this in the first place !!

    AND a "regular" 120 V outlet can easily be used for other things.......and shared with your parking spot neighbors too.
     
  7. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Of course, if a NEMA 14-50 120/240 V outlet is installed, you would also have a couple of regular NEMA 5-50 120 V outlets (a typical duplex 120 V outlet) installed next to it, simply connected to the same wires. In fact you probably also want to have some lighting etc. installed, connected to the same wires and controlled by a switch.

    I'm not sure if you want your neighbors to start charging their EVs on your outlets though, as you would be paying for the bill.
     
  8. sam spade 2

    sam spade 2 Senior Member

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    I didn't say that, did I ?
    I was thinking about charging a 12 V battery occasionally or running a shop vac to clean out the car; small things like that.
     
  9. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    A receptacle outlet installed for EV charging generally has to be on a dedicated branch circuit. In the Canadian Electrical Code, see 86-300, which makes an exception if an EV energy management system is provided, or in the (U.S.) National Electrical Code, see 625.40.

    The wires for the dedicated circuit couldn’t be shared with other outlets or lights, but wires for a second circuit could be in the same conduit or raceway, if adequately sized. Since the outlet and lights wouldn’t be for EV charging, however, the condominium association might not have an obligation to allow them.
     
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  10. AldoON

    AldoON Member

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    Yeah really unlikely to get approval for anything other than a plug for EV charging.

    I'll be reaching out to contractors and lawyers to see what it will take.

    Regardless of if I go through with it or not, I'll post an update with what I learn.
     
  11. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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  12. AldoON

    AldoON Member

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    Interesting... The 14-50 for sure would be most future proof and best for resell value.
    The but question will be whether or not I can install it on my home's 100 amp service.

    I'm trying to put together a package to request a quote from various contractors but the process is slow. Nothing interesting to update yet. Will likely be a few weeks before I have an update on this one.
     
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  13. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    at a hundred amps, it will be tough to future proof
     
  14. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    I would think 100 A is plenty to install a 50 A branch.

    Typical 1.97-ton 14.0 SEER condo central A/C draws about 12.6 A @ 240 V; so, you're left with 87.4 A for the EV charger and rest of the house. The rest of the house shouldn't draw more than about 20 A even when you have a high load; so, you will have plenty of current left for the EV charger.

    I don't understand what your 100 A circuit breaker does because it is single-pole but you would need a double-pole one as you have 240 V circuits, which have two 120 V lines in opposite phases (120 V − −120 V = 240 V). Perhaps they installed a single-pole circuit breaker in the neutral line.

    Good like with the contractors.
     
    #34 Gokhan, Feb 14, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  15. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    we saw from the panel and door that the A/C is a 240 v 15 Amp circuit, so your 12 Amps is a good load.
    The dryer is 30 Amps and the stove is 40 Amps, both 240 v. If they charge the car when not cooking, they are fine.
     
  16. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    You can add another breaker, but adding a 50 amp circuit will not necessarily be a good idea. If you use a 50 amp plug, someone will eventually want to use it for a Tesla or a welder or an industrial turkey fryer. That can be bad news on Thanksgiving morning if you are cooking dinner with all 4 stove burners plus the oven and trying to dry the kid's dress shirt while someone is running a vaccuum cleaner (because the mother in law will spot dust bunnies in a flash) when your brother arrives from out of town and plugs in his Tesla. The breaker that trips in that situation is the 100 amp breaker at the bottom.

    If you are going to use it for a Prius Prime, a 14-20 outlet and 12 gauge copper wire will do the job for a minimal cost. That assumes that the panel is fairly close to the house. If there is a long distance involved you may need 10 gauge wire to prevent excessive voltage drop.

    Plugs that mate with a 14-20 outlet are supposed to pull less than 20 amps, but the device can be configured to pull either 120v or 220v.

    Whatever your electrician installs, it's a good idea to have him add a 'pull string' to the conduit in order to make it easier to add new wires if needed.

    Side note: you can buy a sub panel that feeds your A/C AND your car charger but which only allows one of them to be in use at a time.

    Dan
    P.S. I charge my prime from a level 2 device plugged into a 240 volt socket. It charges a maximum of 2 hours each night.
     
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  17. AldoON

    AldoON Member

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    Awesome post! Never would have thought about the fish wire.

    I agree with you on capacity as well. First thing is the install will need to be approved so it needs to be safe and fully compliant to code. I'm not familiar with electrical code but common sense makes me doubt an install where you have to coordinate your stove, AC and car charging is likely to get approved...

    Second thing is ease of use. I think even if I had a BEV, I'd rather charge it at 16 amps overnight and not worry about tripping breakers. Would be plenty to cover commuting needs...
     
  18. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    It should be code compliant* to use wire gauged for 50 Amps and a 14-50 receptacle but put in a 20 amp 240v breaker. That way your brother in law's Tesla only blows the EV charging not the entire house. (There is a good chance charging on a 40 Amp EVSE and cooking at high heat on all the burners and oven will exceed your main breaker. All the burners and the oven on sounds like Thanksgiving, when the BIL comes over for free food) Once you buy a car that can charge with more Amps, just resize the breaker and you are good.

    * Again, local code is local, so just because it meets code here does not mean it meets code where you are.
     
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  19. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    Jimbo's plan would probably work, but the last step (swap out the breaker for a 50 amp breaker) may be problematic if you have not changed anything else in the panel / house.
     
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