NEMA 14-50 Wiring and Extension Cord for EV Chargers

A NEMA 14-50 electric vehicle (EV) charging station is a popular option for EV owners looking to charge at home. As you may be aware, to have a home NEMA 14-50 Level 2 charging station you will need to install a NEMA 14-50 receptacle or outlet for a plug-in charger or have it mounted on the wall for a hardwired installation. NEMA 14-50 wiring is similar to any other type of outlet wiring work in that it requires an electrician to wire from your breaker panel to the location of the outlet (plug-in) or charging station (hardwired). You should not do the NEMA 14-50 wiring on your own, but you should hire an electrician. Saving a few hundred dollars is not worth your life. Improper NEMA 14-50 wiring could lead to dangerous situations like a house fire. Read on to learn how NEMA 14-50 wiring is done so that when you do meet with your electrician you can keep costs down.

How do you wire a NEMA 14-50 outlet?

Before any work can be done, an electrician will need to ensure you have the electrical capacity for a 2-pole or 240-volt circuit breaker on your main panel. They’ll perform load calculations to confirm you have the capacity for a NEMA 14-50 outlet. Then, they will work with you to determine where to install the 50 amp outlet. You’ll want to make sure the location of the outlet gives you enough room and cable length to connect to your EV. You’ll also want to make it not obstructed by anything and leave enough of a bumper so that it aligns with the EV charging station manufacturer’s suggestions.

From there, your electrician will check the manufacturer and model of your main panel so that they can purchase the right breaker for the job. Sometimes if you have an older breaker panel or a rare panel, they will have to go to a local electrical supplier to find the right circuit breaker. We only mention this because this step can add a few extra days into the installation process since the breaker may have to be specially ordered. 

Then, the electrician will take the cover off your panel and disconnect the main power. Turning off the power to the panel is the most important step in any NEMA 14-50 outlet installation. They will cut out the electrical box hole at the location where the outlet will be. 

Then, they will cut the wire to the length of the project. The wire could be short or long, depending on where your panel is located and where the EV charger will be located. Keep in mind that the further away from the panel the EV charging station will be, the higher your eventual bill will be. 

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They will install the conduit run, then pull the wire through the conduit. They will pull the wire through the electrical box at the EV charging station location and up through the panel to where the breaker will be. This can be an extremely time-consuming step, especially if your EV charger location is far away from your panel. To ensure they are following the National Electrical Code (NEC),  the benchmark for safe electrical installations, there are a few additional steps that will be taken including using a wire connector or two. They’ll connect the neutral wire and hot wire accordingly. Then, they will test the outlet to ensure it is working properly. 

If you have a hardwired EV charging station, it will be mounted on the wall with extra feet of flexible conduit and wires. The wires will meet and be connected with the wires coming from your electrical panel. 

To ensure they are following the National Electrical Code, the electrician should install a GFCI circuit breaker on the NEMA 14-50 outlet. This NEC requirement is necessary to prevent injuries and house fires, but it does create a potential breaker-tripping issue. A plug-in NEMA 14-50 EV charging station is prone to this and can become a nuisance. A hardwired NEMA 14-50 installation is the preferred option by most EV charging station manufacturers since it delivers a stronger connection to the electric car, is more durable, and doesn’t require a GFCI breaker.

NEMA 14-50 outlet for Teslas

If you’re a Tesla owner and prefer to have a NEMA 14-50 EV charger rather than a Tesla Wall Connector, you can charge with a NEMA 14-50 EV charging station with a plug adapter.

To charge a Tesla (whether it is a Model X, Model 3, Model S, or Model Y) with a NEMA 14-50 charger you will need to use the mobile connector that comes as standard equipment with all new vehicles. It is a 20-foot cable with interchangeable adaptors, one of them will be the NEMA 14-50. You’ll have to purchase the adaptor separately. Attach the adapter to the Mobile Connector, plug it into the outlet and your Tesla should start charging. 

NEMA 14-50 extension cord

After you’ve had your NEMA 14-50 outlet installed or your NEMA 14-50 Level 2 charger installed, you may want to consider a NEMA 14-50 extension cord. With a NEMA 14-50 extension cord you can plug your EV into 14-50 outlets. A NEMA 14-50 extension cord should have a male end and a female end, each having a three-prong structure.

A NEMA 14-50 extension cord is a heavy duty extension cord and is made for outdoor use. You’ll find 14-50 outlets at homes that have had them specially installed for EV charging or for their electric range (of course you won’t be able to use this one to charge with), campgrounds, and RV parks.

The NEMA 14-50 extension cord should be able to handle up to 50 amps and be weatherproof. It is extremely important to make sure the extension cord is rated for 50 amps. If it is rated for lower amperage, it will malfunction and using it may cause an electrical fire. On one end of the cord, you should have the NEMA plug and the other end has the NEMA 14-50 receptacle for your EV charging station. The NEMA 14-50 extension cord will be portable so you can charge your electric car at campgrounds or RV parks when you’re on the road.

To use a NEMA 14-50 extension cord you will need to connect the EV charging cable to the female end and then the extension cable should have a male end that you can plug into a NEMA 14-50 power outlet.

If you do buy a NEMA 14-50 extension cord, you may be thinking that you can possibly shorten the distance between your panel and your EV charging station location and save on installation costs with your electrician. While this is true, the longer length NEMA 14-50 extension cords are hundreds of dollars and it may end up being the same amount of money in the end without the hassles and possible dangers of extended extension cord use.

NEMA 14 50 EV charger installation

If you need a NEMA 14 50 outlet wired or a NEMA 14 50 EV charger hardwired at your house, you’ll need to connect with an electrician. An electrician can help you wire everything safely and properly. WattLogic is making NEMA 14 50 EV charging installations easier and simpler. To get your NEMA 14 50 EV charger quote, all you have to do is fill out our quick digital survey. It will take you less than 10 minutes – just snap a few photos and answer a few questions – and your EV charging estimate will be sent to you in no time. No need to call around and schedule appointments with electricians, you can now get an EV charging quote without ever having to pick up the phone or finding time in your busy schedule for a home visit with an electrician.