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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just picked up a 2018 and am having a 14-50 outlet installed soon. Trying to figure out where and how high up on the wall of the carport I wanted it. Initially I will be using it with a portable 16 amp charger but may get a bigger one down the road. I was thinking about 3' up and in the center of the 1 car carport. My wife drives in but I back in. Any suggestions/advise?
 

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Put the outlet so your EVSE is sitting at eye level. You're going to have to provide mounting points for the EVSE in any case so why not make it convenient for you to use? Also, I would use a red or orange outlet to make it obvious it's not a 120V outlet for someone who doesn't recognize the receptacle. You might also want to label it with voltage and rated amperage.

The 220V 20amp outlet I have in my garage is actually a little above eye level. The EVSE is mounted just below eye level.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the info. The plug will be a 14-50 so any cable that hooks into it will have a conversion cable if needed. I will swap breakers as appropriate. Initially I will have a 20 amp 240 breaker.

Any way you can provide a picture of how it looks?
 

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am having a 14-50 outlet installed soon.......Initially I will be using it with a portable 16 amp charger but may get a bigger one down the road.
The plug will be a 14-50 so any cable that hooks into it will have a conversion cable if needed. I will swap breakers as appropriate. Initially I will have a 20 amp 240 breaker.
If I am following this correctly you have not purchased an EVSE yet, you have just decided that you want to get a 16 amp one. Which is fine, that is more than adequate for Clarity.

Secondly, you want to install a 14-50 outlet which I'm guessing is for future planning in case you later get a full BEV. That's fine also, 14-50 is a popular outlet size that is adequate for most BEV's and in fact is pretty much the maximum that can practically be installed in a residence.

But what is not clear is that it sounds like you are planning to install a 20 amp circuit but using an outlet designed for 50 amp? This would not meet code, the outlet should match the circuit. If you are experienced with electrical circuits and feel you can do it safely that's up to you but I am surprised that an electrician would be willing to do that installation for you. If you really want a 14-50 outlet why don't you just install a 50 amp circuit to go with it? Then you can purchase a 16 amp EVSE that comes with a 14-50 plug and just plug it right in, no adapters needed, and everything will be up to code. Buying 240V adapters on Amazon or eBay is rolling the dice as there is no way to know the quality. Some EVSE brands come with adapters for different size outlets, that is better because at least you know that the adapters that come with it were designed for that particular EVSE and you can get at least some idea of the reputation of the company. But ideally you should avoid adapters at all if possible, which is not that hard to do as many companies make EVSE's that can be ordered with different sizes of plugs. One example is Megear which has pretty good ratings on Amazon and they have a 16 amp EVSE that comes with a 14-50 plug for $200.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry for the confusion. The 14-50 will be wired with a 6-3 copper run from the 200 amp panel. Distance is 10-15ft. Reason for using a 20 amp breaker, instead of a 40-50, is to protect the wire of the evse. We have not ordered an evse but will soon after we save up a bit more. If it doesn’t use a 14-50 we have conversion cables already that I use for work. They are well made. The 14-50 to 6-20, for example, uses 8-3 600v wire.
 

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Sorry for the confusion. The 14-50 will be wired with a 6-3 copper run from the 200 amp panel. Distance is 10-15ft. Reason for using a 20 amp breaker, instead of a 40-50, is to protect the wire of the evse. We have not ordered an evse but will soon after we save up a bit more. If it doesn’t use a 14-50 we have conversion cables already that I use for work. They are well made. The 14-50 to 6-20, for example, uses 8-3 600v wire.
Putting a 14-50 on a 20A circuit does not meet code, no matter the wire gauge.

In order to meet code, you could conceivably put a 20A receptacle on the 6 gauge (if you can find one that will accept that heavy of a wire), and swap it for a 14-50 down the road. Not sure what you mean by protecting the wire of the EVSE. From overload/overheating? A short in the EVSE itself? Anything that would damage the wire of the EVSE would be result of the EVSE failing catastrophically.

A conscientious electrician would never install the circuit you are describing, and it would not pass inspection.

There is a 30% tax credit for the EVSE and installation costs that expires at the end of the year if that helps your budget
 

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Just to make sure if the circuit is otherwise rated for 50A both wire and receptacle, is it not code to undersize the breaker?
I am not sure if it compares but it was my understanding it is not against code to use a 15A breaker for regular outlets in house wiring feed by 12 gauge wires that actually could take a 20A breaker?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Putting a 14-50 on a 20A circuit does not meet code, no matter the wire gauge.

In order to meet code, you could conceivably put a 20A receptacle on the 6 gauge (if you can find one that will accept that heavy of a wire), and swap it for a 14-50 down the road. Not sure what you mean by protecting the wire of the EVSE. From overload/overheating? A short in the EVSE itself? Anything that would damage the wire of the EVSE would be result of the EVSE failing catastrophically.

A conscientious electrician would never install the circuit you are describing, and it would not pass inspection.

There is a 30% tax credit for the EVSE and installation costs that expires at the end of the year if that helps your budget
Oh, okay. Don't really hear of people doing that but I guess in theory it's safer. Normally you think of the purpose of a circuit breaker as protecting the house wiring and receptacles from a device or devices overloading the circuit beyond its capacity, not protecting the devices plugged into the circuit (unlike GFCI which is designed for that purpose). I mean we plug in 18 gauge lamp cord into 15 amp circuits, which is kind of the same thing. Although I understand with 50 amps the power level is higher, but then again the EVSE does not use lamp cord it is using much higher gauge wiring, so it probably becomes relatively the same situation. Obviously if the 20 amp circuit breaker is still in there when you sell the house you will need to install a 50 amp breaker otherwise the next owner will plug in their EV and wonder why the circuit breaker keeps tripping, but I'm sure you already plan to do that. Anyway thanks for clearing up what you are doing.
Having a smaller breaker to protect the appliance isn’t uncommon with larger appliances on a single run. Your air conditioner is a good example. Older air conditioners used a bunch of energy and had large wires, the newer ones us less energy and specifically spec the max sized breaker for the circuit it is running. Most cases this is less than the older unit. No electrician will run a smaller wire, you just reduce the breaker size.

I do understand that my approach is a bit different but last thing I want is for a cut or something else to happen with the wire and it cause a dangerous situation. Small peace of mind. The panel is easily accessed so swapping out the breaker isn’t a concern.

So far obermd said their outlet is at eye level. Anyone else suggest this or anything different?
 

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I would think it depends on your final installation type charger. For my installation I mounted the outlet about 3 feet up just to avoid snow or rain splashing on the outlet.
Anywhere between 3 feet and 5 feet seems reasonable to me.
 

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Having a smaller breaker to protect the appliance isn’t uncommon with larger appliances on a single run. Your air conditioner is a good example. Older air conditioners used a bunch of energy and had large wires, the newer ones us less energy and specifically spec the max sized breaker for the circuit it is running. Most cases this is less than the older unit. No electrician will run a smaller wire, you just reduce the breaker size.

I do understand that my approach is a bit different but last thing I want is for a cut or something else to happen with the wire and it cause a dangerous situation. Small peace of mind. The panel is easily accessed so swapping out the breaker isn’t a concern.

So far obermd said their outlet is at eye level. Anyone else suggest this or anything different?
A hard wired air conditioner is different than a receptacle, and in that case larger wire on a smaller breaker is permitted. The breaker and receptacle must be sized together, with a minimum wire gauge specified to handle the load.


And what exactly is a smaller breaker is going to protect if the EVSE wire is cut or damaged? Would a smaller breaker better protect a vacuum cleaner if the cord was cut? How about a desk lamp?

As to the height, if you will be installing an EVSE in the future, 42" is a good height. Most plug in type EVSE's will have a 12" cord originating from the bottom of the unit, and this puts the unit itself at eye level:


The only code requirement for height is at least 18" above floor level (24" above grade for outdoor installations)
 

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Having a smaller breaker to protect the appliance isn’t uncommon with larger appliances on a single run. Your air conditioner is a good example. Older air conditioners used a bunch of energy and had large wires, the newer ones us less energy and specifically spec the max sized breaker for the circuit it is running. Most cases this is less than the older unit. No electrician will run a smaller wire, you just reduce the breaker size.
A little different though because the AC unit is hard wired into the circuit, so the only relevant items are the wires and the AC unit itself. So no problem installing whatever breaker size you want that works with the wiring and of course the appliance itself. But when there is a receptacle involved it becomes a communication issue. A 14-50 outlet effectively announces to the world that this circuit is four-wire 50 amps. Sure there is no real harm if the circuit is only 20 amps, worst case someone unknowingly plugs in a higher power device and trips the circuit breaker, which by the way will make it harder for someone to find the breaker since they will be looking for 50 amp. Of course I realize you will have complete control over what gets plugged into the outlet, and I'm sure you will upgrade the breaker when you sell the house so that it matches the outlet. But codes don't make all of those assumptions. You seem to know what you are doing, and you feel it will actually be a safer installation so I'm not going to challenge or question, but on forums like this I think it's always good to have the discussion, and anyways it's interesting.
 

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Here's my setup. It's a four strand 10 gauge wire - single shot from the breaker with no intermediate junction boxes. The outlet box is weather resistant and the outlet is a hospital grade 6-20R. The breaker is also 20 amps. The Duosida adapter is draped over the top of the outlet box and isn't plugged in.

If you put a 20 amp breaker on the circuit put a 20 amp outlet. The outlet and breaker need to match. Personally, I'd go ahead and install a 50 amp circuit and get a Clipper Creek HCS-40 or HCS-50 EVSE. The Clarity PHEV has a 6.6KW charger and a 16 amp (continuous draw) won't charge the car as fast as a 32 amp continuous draw. Clipper Creek numbers their EVSEs based on the circuit amperage so the HCS-40 will provide 32 amps continuous draw. Don't go above 80% of the cicruit rating for an EVSE.

Also, put the ground receptacle at the top - this isn't required by code in most places but is good practice so if the plug comes loose and something falls on the bare metal there's no current or voltage.

The diagram in your post points out a really good item - Keep the line from the outlet to the EVSE straight if possible. I was unable to do this in my installation so I made sure the EVSE was close enough the plug wouldn't be under mechanical stress.
 

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No extra charge for all of the unsolicited advice by the way, since all you asked about was where to place the outlet :)

If you really want to get creative some people install (or make) a swing arm so the cable and plug are against the wall when not in use, and the cable is never on the floor when charging. Actually even if you don't plan on anything that elaborate you may want to wait until you have been charging for a couple of weeks with the level 1 EVSE and try out different strategies, using a heavy duty extension cord if needed to simulate potential locations for the level 2 EVSE.
 

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Also you should use a GFCI circuit breaker for that 20A receptacle?
EVSEs have GFCI circuits in them. If the only outlet on the circuit is for the EVSE it's not necessary.
 

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I only mentioned it because I read this:

"GFCI protection is required for 125-volt to 250-volt receptacles supplied by single-phase branch circuits rated 150 volts or less to the ground. GFCI receptacles are required in bathrooms, garages, crawl spaces, basements, laundry rooms and areas where a water source is present."

I understand you said the EVSE has a GFCI built in, however if it is a common type receptacle you could then plug another appliance that does not have that feature.

I also see the code mentions RV receptacles does not need a GFCI breaker because they are considered to be a feeder to the RV that has it's own panel and protection. This exception is only mentioned for RVs for 30 and 50 Amp receptacles
 
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