Pre-wiring Garage for Level 2 Charging 6-50R vs 14-50R

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by m8547, Aug 15, 2021.

  1. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    I'm going to pre-wire my garage for level 2 charging while I have the walls open. I'm planning on putting in a NEMA 6-50R receptacle rather than the more versatile 14-50R. Is that a mistake? It will save me $70-100 on wire. I probably won't even put in a level 2 EVSE for the Prime, but this would be for some future EV years down the road.
     
  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Avoiding what is clearly becoming the standard to save a few bucks will become a regret.

    If you ever want to bring a future 240-volt EVSE with you, the outlet at that destination will almost certainly be 14-50.

    Heck, if you simply want to try a friend's prior to buying one yourself, that will likely be 14-50 too.
     
    #2 john1701a, Aug 15, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  3. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Just curious, how 6-50R receptacle can save $70-100 on a wire over 14-50R? If the amp is the same on the main breaker, wouldn't the wire be the same? I bought an EnelX Juice-box 40amp L2 charger last year with an incredible local rebate deal for less than $200. At that time they only had a hardwired version and a 14-50R plug-in version, so I opted for the 14-50R plug-in type.

    I just checked the EnelX site, and I now see they have both 14-50R and 6-50R versions at the same price. The hardwired version is $10 more. What is the difference between 14-50R and 6-50R besides the physical form factor?
    Home & Residential EV Car Charging Stations | Enel X

    I have not yet installed this L2 charger. My problem is the garage where I want the charger to sit is away from the house where the main panel is. Digging under the driveway to feed a new line and installing a subpanel in the garage is going to cost a lot, like $10K. So in a meantime, I tried using it with a NEMA 10-30P to 14-50R Adapter to connect to a house 220v outlet for the dryer. But it is very inconvenient. Unplugging the dryer and plugging the charger and have to park my car right next to the house, plus keep the door propped open while using the charger. So, for now, the brand new EnelX Juice-box 40amp L2 charger sits in the box until I get the wire and subpanel installed in the garage.
     
    #3 Salamander_King, Aug 15, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    I interpreted the difference was with regard to the outlet/connection... which really shouldn't differ that much. The wire cannot. 8-gauge for 40-amp circuits and 6-gauge for 50.

    There is no such option here in the north... where laundry is always inside the house since our garages drop well below freezing.
     
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  5. m8547

    m8547 Senior Member

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    14-50R requires a neutral, and 6-50R does not. So 14-50R takes 6/3 which is $4-5 per foot, but with 6-50R I can use 6/2 which I found on sale for about $2/foot. I guess I could run 6/2 and hook it up to a 14-50R without hooking up a neutral, but I'd rather not.

    As far as I know the neutral is probably never needed for EV charging. Maybe a "smart" charger would run the wifi electronics on 120V (thus using the neutral), but it doesn't even make sense when most of the world is 240V anyway.

    Another consideration is whether I should just plan to hardwire the EVSE. It looks like GFCI protection is required for receptacles (even 50A now) in a garage, but not necessarily for "outlets". A hardwired EVSE is an "outlet" but not a receptacle. I don't have room in the panel for a GFCI breaker, and I'm not aware of anyone making 240V GFCI receptacles, so maybe hardwired is the way to go?

    There's also a chance that this might not get used at all. By the time I buy another EV, there might be some new technology like Vehicle to Grid that needs special wiring. It's almost available now. Ford F-150 Lightning Can Keep Lights On When Your Power Goes Out
     
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  6. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Same here. Our average winter temp is probably colder than yours. As I said, this is a house 220v outlet where the dryer is located inside of temperature controlled house. I only tried this once to test the newly purchased L2 EVSE, but it would not be the operational norm for me. Even though we almost never lock our house doors, keeping the door propped open for 2 hours is not an option with the 11 house cats we don't allow to roam outside.
     
    #6 Salamander_King, Aug 15, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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  7. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Thanks for this information. That surely explained the $70-100 saving mentioned. Yeah, a $3/foot price difference would mean about $100 saving for my project of installing a 240v 50amp outlet in the garage as well. But since I would have to connect the main panel to a subpanel in the garage, I have a feeling that I don't have a choice of using a non-neutral 6/2 wire for my situation. Either way, $100 saving for the wire is a small amount for the total cost of ~$10K project. It is mostly the cost of labor for digging a trench and resurfacing the asphalt driveway.
     
    #7 Salamander_King, Aug 15, 2021
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  8. dtsexpert

    dtsexpert Member

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  9. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Thanks for the suggestion. But plugging and unplugging are not the main hindrance to using the EVSE in my case. Propping the door open to feed the cable to the outside is. The dryer sits inside of the house and there is no easy way to get the charger cable to go outside to the car, other than just keeping the door propped open, and I would have to use one of those long extension cable.

    upload_2021-8-15_12-42-3.png
     
    #9 Salamander_King, Aug 15, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2021
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