Whether you’ve just received your electric vehicle (EV), planning to buy one soon, or have had your EV for some time, you’ll need to figure out how you will charge your car at home. Charging with a Level 1 charger, which is included in every EV purchase or lease, is not efficient and you are often left without enough of a charge or having to deal with range anxiety.
On the other hand, relying solely on public charging stations is impractical and extremely inconvenient. To get a Level 2 home charger you will need an electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet. How much does a NEMA 14-50 outlet installation cost and can any electrician install a NEMA 14 50 outlet for EV charging? We answer those questions for you in this quick read!
What is a NEMA 14-50 outlet for EV?
A NEMA 14-50 outlet is one that you may be familiar with. It is commonly used for electric stoves and recreational vehicles. A NEMA 14-50 outlet is also used for a Level 2 EV charging station. A Level 2 home electric car charging station needs more electrical power than your standard home 120-volt outlet – it requires a 240 volt outlet.
In a hardwired installation, the conduit is run from the electrical panel directly into the electric car charger. In a plug-in installation, the conduit is run from the sub panel to a NEMA 14 50 outlet.
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Why do you need to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet for an EV charger?
A NEMA 14-50 outlet is for a plug-in Level 2 charger. In a hardwired installation, the conduit is run from the electrical panel directly into the charger. In a plug-in installation, the conduit is run from the main panel to a NEMA 14 50 outlet.
A plug-in EV charger is convenient because it can be unplugged and taken with you if you move or can be replaced easily if you decide to switch to a different EV charger. A plug-in electric vehicle charger installation does tend to be more expensive than a hardwired charger. A hardwired installation is a permanently fixed EV charger that is not portable.
Keep in mind that some electric utilities will only provide a rebate when the EV charger is hardwired, so it’s important to do your research and find out which one gives you the best bang for your buck. In general, hardwired EV chargers are less expensive to install than plug-in chargers, and they’re also more efficient and durable.
Electrical codes require a NEMA 14-50 outlet for a plug-in EV charging station to be installed on a GFCI breaker to prevent injuries and fires. This rule keeps you safe, but also increases the likelihood of you tripping the breaker when you charge your EV. A hardwired installation is installed on a dedicated circuit and will not need to worry about this common issue. If you’re not sure what type of charger is right for you, it’s always a good idea to consult with an EV expert.
It should be noted that you can’t just have any type of NEMA 14-50 outlet installed when it comes to EV charging. You will need one that can withstand the electrical demands of EV charging. Many on the market have fiberglass insulators that melt away after a few months of charging. You will need an industrial-grade NEMA 14-50 240v outlet that uses glass or ceramic insulators.
What type of work does an electrician do for a NEMA 14-50 outlet installation?
An electrician will work with you to determine the best EV charging outlet location. Factors like how far your intended location is from the panel will determine how long the installation will take and how much it will cost.
Then, the electrician will perform a load calculation and determine if your electrical panel can handle the additional load of EV charging. If your panel does not have enough space the electrician will have to upgrade your subpanel at an additional cost. Then, the electrician can determine what type of breaker box your installation will need. Breaker boxes come in different amperage ratings.
From there, they will identify a circuit plan and determine what is the best path for the conduit (through the attic or behind drywall, for example). This is a task that requires knowledge of safe ways of storing conduit and ways to prevent future electrical catastrophes, like someone drilling into the electrical wire.
Then, the conduit will be run to the breaker box. The electrician will wire the breaker box for the new breaker. This part of the process requires electrical knowledge that Do-it-Yourselfers should not take a risk with. Trying to save a few extra bucks can lead to a house fire, which is a huge safety and financial concern.
Next, they will wire the new circuit breaker. This part of the process also requires deep electrical knowledge and is not something you should risk doing yourself.
From there the electrician will replace the panel cover and test the NEMA 14-50 outlet with a test kit or your EV charger to ensure it is working properly.
Can a normal electrician install an EV charger?
Yes, a licensed electrician should be able to install an EV charging station.
That being said, some important safety considerations need to be taken into account. Electric vehicles contain large batteries that store a significant amount of energy and that energy needs to be properly managed to avoid any accidents.
There are also specific National Electrical Code (NEC) requirements regarding the electrical installation of an EV charging point that an EV charger installer needs to be familiar with. For example, a NEMA 14-50 outlet must be installed on a GFCI breaker. Failure to follow the code requirements can result in a sloppy installation or, even worse, an unsafe installation that can result in disaster.
A licensed electrician will have the training and experience necessary to safely install an EV charging station, but not all experienced electricians are familiar with the special requirements for home charging installations. That’s why it’s always best to work with an EV charging installer that knows everything about the process. They will be able to advise you on the best way to set up your home charging station and take into account your circumstances.
They’ll also ensure the installation is carried out safely and follows all the relevant regulations. So if you’re thinking of getting an electric car, make sure you find a qualified EV charging installer to help you get set up. It’ll make life a lot easier in the long run.
NEMA 14 50 GFCI outlet requirement
As mentioned above, recently added guidelines to the NEC state that a GFCI breaker must be installed on a NEMA 14-50 outlet used for EV charging. A GFCI breaker is built to prevent shock if an electrical device comes into contact with water. Installing a GFCI breaker can prevent injury or even death but can be a nuisance due to tripping issues. Having to reset the breaker every so often when you’re charging your car can be extremely inconvenient.
This is another reason to consider a hardwired charger rather than a plug-in. A hardwired charger requires a dedicated circuit, which is not only more reliable but you won’t need a GFCI outlet.
Can you charge a Tesla with a NEMA 14-50 outlet?
If you are a Tesla owner, whether you own a Tesla Model S, Model 3, Model X, or Model Y, you can charge your car through a NEMA 14-50 outlet, but you will need an adapter, which is available for purchase at the Tesla shop. To use the adapter you will need your Mobile Connector, which is also included with the vehicle. The Tesla Motors Mobile Connector is a 20-foot-long cable with interchangeable adapters which can be used in different outlets. To start charging with your 14-50 outlet, attach the adapter to the Mobile Connector and then plug it into the electrical outlet.
Does Tesla come with NEMA 14-50?
No, a Tesla vehicle does not come with a NEMA 14-50. When it comes to charging your Tesla, you have the option of charging at home with a Tesla Wall Connector (Tesla wall charger) or another EV charger of your choice. To charge with other EV charging stations you will need to install a NEMA 14-50 with a 50 amp breaker and purchase an adapter from Tesla.
Best NEMA 14-50 outlet for Tesla
The best NEMA 14-50 outlet for your Tesla EV is one installed by a licensed electrician that can withstand the electrical loads of EV charging day in and day out. It doesn’t matter what brand but more the grade of the NEMA 14-50 outlet. It is best to go with an industrial-grade NEMA 14-50 outlet for EV charging. Once you hire a trusted electrician to install your EV charging station, they should be able to select the best outlet for your Tesla vehicle.
How much does a NEMA 14-50 outlet installation cost?
The cost of a NEMA 14-50 installation varies depending on how far your power source is from the outlet, if you need a sub panel upgrade, and how the conduit is run through your house. The overall cost also takes into account any permitting fees.
The cost of an installation for a NEMA outlet installation ranges from $500 to $2,500. An electrician normally has to perform a site assessment before being able to give you an estimate, but with our digital survey, you won’t have to wait for an electrician to come to your home, look around, and then wait for them to come back to you with a quote.
We here at WattLogic have revolutionized the way you receive an EV charging quote. We ask you a few questions and then in less than 10 minutes you’re done! After that, we receive your answers and send you a quote in no time. You can fill it out right now from whatever device you are reading this on.
We also only work with licensed electricians that are verified in EV charging. So not only do you not have to worry about waiting for the estimate but now you can be assured the electrician has experience with EV charging installations! Even more, we also assist you in finding any rebates available for your home Level 2 charging installation and apply for them on your behalf. There is no reason you shouldn’t fill out our survey now!