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Cost to have electrician install HPWC?

I am taking delivery Nov/Dec. Solar City contacted me and said they do not serve my area (SW FL)
They have referred me to a local electrician, Mr. Electric, in Cape Coral, FL
I am curious as to what others are getting for estimates for installation of the HPWC. If you could share I would appreciate it!
Would be helpful to know what others are getting; I will post my estimate after I get it.

Hey Liz G! I'm in Clayton and I think we are pretty close in reservation number (I'm P2636). Planning a NEMA 14-50 receptacle in the garage as well. Just had an electrician who has done some other work for us look at the installation --about a 60 foot run from the circuit breaker box through a finished basement-- and I'm awaiting his bid. Was there anything special about the install for you or was most of their expertise for the solar panels? Our guy is definitely an electric car virgin.

They do need to check that your main box can handle the load. If it can't they may need to change it. Our house was built 7 years ago. So we were fine.

In reading this thread, I don't see anyone mention that their plug will be outdoors as mine will have to be since I do not have a garage. Can anyone tell me what I need to do for an outdoor line? I like the look of the HPWC but don't need the fast charging. Thanks!

Cindy, you'll need the electrician to install a weatherproof cover on the receptacle (the part that's on the wall). This will keep debris and water out of the receptacle.

One of my receptacles will be outside (the one near the front of the house). I have a normal AC (15amp, 110v) receptacle in my backyard that has a weather cover.

The cover has a spring that keeps it closed unless it's in use.

Thanks dahtye! I know that these plugs are required to be GFCI but since I will plugged in during times it will be raining, do you think the "cover" will protect the connection between plug and cord enough? I worry about trying to plug in when I get home on rainy nights.


In the rain? Two words: ZAP!! AaiieeEE!!
Kidding. No current flows until a good connection is detected.

The HWPC is rated for outdoor use according to Tesla's website. It should have all the covers required.

Cindy, as long as you don't get your finger close to the electrical contacts you should be fine. If you touch the electrical contact while plugging into the NEMA 14-50 (or any other electrical socket) there's a good chance of serious injury - especially in the rain. Keep your hand and finger at least half an inch from each contact and you'll be fine. The only difference between this connector and the standard in house wall connector is the voltage between two of the contacts is 240V (instead of 120V). The voltage to ground is the same as a standard electrical in home socket. This socket/receptacle has the capability of higher current, which means once electrical contact it made, much more electricity will flow than in a normal in home socket.

Casual water or rain on the receptacle will be fine (I don't expect the 240V differential to cause arcing between contacts). Also, as Brian H mentions, no current flows until the Tesla cable senses the proper voltage (i.e the plug is fully plugged into the receptacle). This will prevent slight "arcing" when plugging in.

The cover is mainly meant to reduce weather degradation when the receptacle is not being used. When a plug is plugged into the receptacle, some weather degradation can occur. But the act of plugging and unplugging will normally wipe the contacts of any weather related oxidation on the contacts.

Perhaps, over time you might want to change out the receptacle - maybe 10 to 15 years, depending on how much you use the receptacle and whether it is sheltered or not (south facing is worst for weather exposure than north facing).

I suggeest asking the questions to your electrician who installs the receptacle.

Casual water or rain on the receptacle will be fine (I don't expect the 240V differential to cause arcing between contacts

240V is enough to arc if there is enough water. Not to you, just between the contacts and that would immediately vaporise all the water between them so it's just a spark. For that reason connector should be somewhat sheltered from water.

It's not dangerous as long as you don't try to use it practically underwater, here in Europe we have 240V as common single phase voltage and I have used outside connectors to plug my block heater on pretty much every year. I haven't heard anyone getting electrocuted using those as long as you respect the voltage.

On side note: how do you "touch the electrical contact while plugging"? Unless connector is broken I don't see that as possibility. Not familiar with NEMA 14-50 connector though, so maybe it is possible there. Looking at the pictures it looks like NEMA connectors are a lot less protected than their European counterparts.

Pure water isn't a very good conductor anyway; it needs dissolved helper ions like salt. So licking the connector to clean it is not advised.

The HPWC is as safe as an electrical connector can be in the rain, since no current is permitted to flow until the connector is fully inserted into the charge port and handshake signals between the car and the HPWC confirm safety.

The NEMA 14-50 is a little dicier in the rain, but you should have a weatherproof box installed over your outlet to keep it dry, and always connect to the charge port last. This prevents current draw and possible arcing at the 14-50.

Sounds like a consideration when deciding what to install, if not "under cover".

For maximum safety, yes.

OTOH, I have not been shocked connecting my RV to a 14-50, even in pouring rain ankle deep in water. Not my preference, and I was extra careful. The outlet was housed in a weatherproof box, so it was dry (for certain values of dry.)

Evidently, the values of dry were within the set of non-fatal numbers.


Yeah, how dry can anything be when the humidity is around 100%?

If you can get away with it you are better off sticking with a slower charging option at lower voltage. The faster you charge your batteries the more you heat them up and faster their life degrades. I am garaging my car and I plan to use most of the night to charge on a 240V (in Australia our wiring is all 240V) off peak circuit (20A max I think).
This will be plenty to keep the car charged up.

@Mark.Brisbane: me too - although if I can do 32A I will. (in Sydney)

The power in my townhouse comes into the garage on the ground floor where the main cut-off is, and then up to the fourth floor (going by US counting/ground is floor 1) to the main electrical box.

Is it possible that an electrician can put in a box after the main cut off, feed a 14-50 outlet for the Model S from there, then continue up to the breaker panel for the rest of the house? Or am I going to have to pay them to run cable all the way back down?

I live in Kirkland WA. Had to build/convert a 2 car carport to 3 car garage, don't ask how much that is costing.

But the electrical bill to wire the whole thing came in at under $2k, with 2 100 AMP 240 volt outlets on either side of the 2 car bay. Once the S is paid for, we anticipate adding another (X or whatever is available then). That also included 10 110 outlets, light switches, 5 lighting options and a new box. Also running a 20 foot wire from the house, underground conduit, etc. The electrcian obtained the permit, though that was extra.


@MandL - Do you own the panel on the ground floor that you call the "main cut-off", or is that a community cut-off for you and adjacent townhomes? If you own the panel and it is of sufficient amperage, you can have an electrician run the line for the NEMA 14-50 from that. If it is a community cut-off it gets more complicated. Assuming you have an association, you would have to get their okay to have a separately metered sub-panel installed off the main from which the line for the NEMA 14-50 can be run.

@stevenMaifert - Each "main cut-off" panel that MandL describes only supplies power to each condo unit. I know this because I live next door. I believe (but I could be wrong) that the supply to each box is 3-phase.

For what it's worth, I ended up punting on SolarCity and going with my usual local guy. I contacted SolarCity last week, sent them lots of info and photos, then had a call with them this Monday morning. All was going well (although seemed a bit expensive at $900+permit costs for exterior install with 20 feet of conduit) until I got the contract to sign, which had a very loose install timeframe commitment of basically late October. Since it's mid-September and I am taking delivery early October this would not work and I told the guy so. He said the contract was auto-generated and there was nothing he could do about it. He tried to ask his local ops guy for help but never heard back. So instead I send the tear sheets over to my local guy, he says "very easy, no problem" and is doing it on Monday. I'm a fan of SolarCity and all the interactions and materials were great but watch out for both pricing and timing.

Mr. Electric and Solar City users:

1. What gauge copper wire #3 or #4 did Solar Mr. Electric use?

2. Did you first have the 14-50amp plug installed then changed to the Tesla HPWC when it arrived?

3. Did you have both the plug and HPWC or just the HPWC in the end?

I already had a 60 AMP circuit in the garage - so my electrician charged me parts + 4 hours of labor - it took him about 3 1/2 - he went slow to make sure not to break/damage the HPWC - the hardest part of the whole install process:

drilling out the "knock out" for the wiring for the HPWC - and then finding a coupling that was deep enough to be threaded - the knockout is at least 1/2" thick plus clearance leads to a less common conduit coupling due to the increase from standard depth…

it's a simple job

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