If You Install A New 240 Volt Outlet

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by Rob43, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I write this thread in an effort to save you some money.

    Many of us don't have a dedicated 240v outlet for EV Car charging at our home. So what most people do when they want a 240v EV outlet is they call an electrician. After a quick conversation with a few back & forth details, you get a quote. In some cases this quote might be much higher than you had expected, leaving you a bit shocked.

    So here's the trick to possibly saving money: Tell any and all of the electricians you get your ~3 quotes from that this 240v outlet is for a new appliance like a "Clothes Dryer" that you're planning to purchase. When your electrician thinks it's for a standard appliance the price might get cheaper, but when they know it's for an EV Car the price sometimes "Magically" gets more expensive.

    Certainly this won't be the case for everyone all the time, but sometimes this holds true. So for those of you that are scratching your head about installing a 240v outlet for EV Car charging, this gives you the best shot at a more affordable 240v receptacle install.

    I recommend a NEMA 14-50R receptacle as they are one of the most common.



    Rob43
     
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  2. Tom OMalley

    Tom OMalley New Member

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    Thanks Rob.
     
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  3. Tom OMalley

    Tom OMalley New Member

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    Got it! 240 line goes in tomorrow.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    Sounds good, let us know your experience.


    Rob43
     
  5. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    I like to think electricians are pretty reputable, and will charge based on the amount of work and not upcharge for something "different" like an EV. I know it's not always true, but electricians seem to be a little better than other trades. If you find a good electrician, if you tell them what you're actually using it for they might be able to do a better job of accommodating your needs. And if they figure out you're lying to them about using it for a "dryer", which will be pretty obvious when they are installing in the corner of the garage and there's a shiny new EV parked in the driveway, that doesn't help your relationship with them.

    Also, I'd like to see a 50A dryer. It sounds more like a clothes incinerator to me.
     
  6. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Why don't you just use the existing dryer outlet. Just put the right plug on your charger. When you want to use the dryer just plug the dryer in.
     
  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I would if I had my dryer plug on garage wall or outside wall of our house. lol Not many houses I have seen have a driver plug or over/range plug in convenient place for a car to be plugged.
     
  8. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    I think in a lot of (most?) houses the dryer is not in the garage. Mine's upstairs, but I park in the driveway in front of my garage. And I have an old house, so the dryer isn't grounded, which is no good for EV charging.
     
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  9. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The other One Percenter.....

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    Hmmmm....

    OK.
    So....

    One of the headwinds facing EVangelists these days is home charging.
    There are already some fairly interesting....ah....."stories" with people using dryer plugs to charge their cars.
    Circuit breaker popping during 240v charging | Tesla Motors Club
    I'm thinking that telling people to tell other people that your intentions are to use a newly installed 240 outlet for a dryer, or a really really BIG air compressor might not work out all that well if the electrician really IS trying to low-ball you on the install quote and they use key words and tricky phrases (like NEMA 14-30R receptacle) to further confuse the consumer.

    Sometimes branch circuits for charging BEVs are more expensive because they use more expensive components.
    This isn't much of a thing for any car that Toyota builds now or probably in the future - since they're huffing hydrogen.
    HOWEVER....(comma!) once people start clubbing up to BEVs then the old dryer plug adapters aren't going to work out so well.

    Me?
    I live on free soil, so I can roll my own but if I were going to pay for a home charging circuit, I'd pay for a home charging circuit......with home charging circuit wire, a home charging circuit breaker, and a home charging circuit NEMA 14-50R receptacle.

    YMMV
     
  10. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I believe generally speaking most of them are honest.

    But if it were as cut n dry as you say, 3 estimates for the exact same job would result in 3 prices that were Very close to the same price. But that's never the case, 3 estimates could easily have a ~$100 to ~$200 difference on this hypothetical job.

    As to your statement of a 50 amp dryer outlet, I was recently at a AirBnb on vacation, their washer & dryer were located in the garage with a 50 amp outlet on the dryer.


    Rob43
     
  11. edthefox5

    edthefox5 Senior Member

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    Ok understand the logistics that won't work for you but your dryer must be grounded or it would not work. 220 is 2 hots and a ground. No ground no workee.
     
  12. m8547

    m8547 Active Member

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    Actually, with the way it's set up, two hots is technically all you need to make something work. When one hot is high the other is low. Current flows from one hot to the other, and the ground is just used as a reference or for safety. In a 120V circuit, current flows from one hot to the neutral, and the ground still doesn't carry current except if there's a fault.

    The way a dryer outlet is set up in older houses is two hots and a neutral. That allows for some of the electronics to run off one hot to neutral and get 120V. The blower is probably 120V, as is the light. The heating element, which is most of the power is 240V.

    The neutral is normaly close to ground potential. They are bonded together at the panel. 240V appliances usually have pretty low neutral current, so there's not much to create a voltage relative to ground across the length of the neutral wire. The metal of the dryer is usually connected to neutral instead of ground. But if there's a fault that dumps a lot of current to the neutral it might get to a few volts above ground, and if something (like a water pipe) provides another path to ground then amps could flow through there (still at a low voltage). And there may be some situation that I can't think of where dangerous voltage might be present on the neutral. Most likely being if the neutral wire is loose or damaged.

    Anyway, new installations require a 4 wire outlet, since the neutral isn't guaranteed to be at ground potential, but the ground wire is (unless something goes wrong, but then that's it's job to handle that).

    I believe 3 wire outlets with two hots and a ground are allowed for some things (it's not used for stoves or dryers), and in that case the purpose of the ground is the same. It's only for safety and never intentionally carries current.

    The three wire (2 hots and a neutral) configuration is good enough for stoves and dryers that it usually doesn't need to be replaced. But it's no longer allowed for new work. Technically an old dryer outlet would work to charge an EV, but it's not a good idea because you'd either have to leave the ground floating or connect it to the neutral.
     
  13. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    As an electrical engineer, I can’t endorse this advice.

    One reason people choose to hire electricians, licensed and skilled in the trade, rather than doing the work themselves, is to ensure that the installation meets the requirements of the electrical code, and some of these apply specifically to receptacles for EV charging. See Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, 2017 Edition, as published by NFPA, which requires, for example, a dedicated branch circuit, GFCI protection, and in wet locations, a receptacle enclosure that’s weatherproof even when a cord is connected.
     
  14. Rob43

    Rob43 Senior Member

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    I hear what you're saying....

    If we lived in that perfect world, I wouldn't need to suggest this, but we don't.

    There are unfortunately to many threads on to many EV car forums about getting charged more, or worst getting ripped off on a 240v outlet install when the homeowner says it's for EV car charging.



    Rob43
     
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