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The Complete Guide to Installing a Tesla Wall Charger at Home

Driving an electric vehicle provides environmental and cost savings benefits. And installing a Tesla wall charger enables convenient charging at home utilizing cleaner, cheaper electricity.

In this comprehensive 2500+ word guide, I‘ll provide expert insight on the complete process for DIY Tesla charger installation – from permits to configuration to maintenance. Follow these steps to equip your home with a robust EV charging solution.

[Part 1: Pre-Installation Steps]

Before physically mounting your shiny new Tesla Wall Connector, some key preparatory steps will streamline the installation and provide essential knowledge on how the system functions.

Choose the Right Circuit Breaker Amperage

The circuit breaker size connects to the maximum amperage the Tesla charger will draw. This depends on the charger‘s voltage and your car‘s maximum charging capacity.

  • The Gen 3 Tesla Wall Connector requires an 80 amp circuit breaker, while the Gen 2 relies on a 100 amp breaker.
  • With the Gen 3‘s 48 amp max draw, an 80 amp breaker provides buffer room.
  • Use the page‘s calculator to determine electrical requirements.

Understand Electrical Load Management

The Tesla charger aims to avoid overloading your home‘s electrical system as multiple devices draw current.

  • It will modulate based on dynamic requirements of other appliances.
  • If exceeding household amperage capacity, the charger reduces EV charging speed.
  • You can also set charging schedules to align usage with off-peak hours and rates.

Apply for Electrical and Building Permits

Local regulations often require permits when running new wiring and conduits:

  • Electrical – For new electrical load like the EV charger.
  • Building – If cutting into walls or mounting outside.

Cities like San Francisco, Portland, and Irvine specify Tesla charger permits, while Los Angeles requires an electrical permit. Check your local municipal website for exact policies. Securing permits ensures proper inspection and adherence to safety codes.

[Part 2: Installation Tools and Materials]

With essential background knowledge covered, compiling the right set of tools and materials saves hassle.

Recommended Tools

  • Safety glasses
  • Hand gloves
  • Voltage tester
  • Level ruler
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil or marker
  • Drywall saw
  • Stud finder
  • Drill + drill bits
  • 1⁄2 inch conduit hole saw bit
  • Wire strippers
  • Screwdrivers
  • Conduit pipe bender
  • Cable cutter
  • Crimping tool
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Locking pliers

These essential items handle everything from measuring to mounting to wiring. Invest in commercial grade for durability.

Materials and Hardware

  • Tesla Wall Connector Unit
  • Extra electrical conduit
  • Power cables (gauge based on Charge Current)
    • 60 amps – 6 AWG
    • 80 amps – 4 AWG
    • 100 amps – 2/0 AWG
  • Wall-grade junction boxes
  • Cable connectors and conduit fittings
  • Wall anchors, screws, and clamps
  • Cable ties
  • Wire nuts
  • Electrical tape

Use Tesla‘s calculator to determine exact cable gauge size based on required present and future electrical load. A 100 amp circuit breaker requires thick 2/0 AWG wire to handle high amperage.

[Part 3: Step-by-Step Installation Guide]

With all tools and materials ready, now comes the nitty gritty process of actual Tesla charger installation. Follow these 10 comprehensive steps for flawless execution:

Step 1 – Determine Install Location

Consider garage layout, parking spot, and wall availability to decide the ideal mounting spot. Ensure it‘s within reach of where you‘ll park the rear side of your Tesla.

Garage diagram with charger placement

Distance from rear trunk – Ideal is 2 feet or less. Up to 5 feet max with connector fully extended.

Other key factors:

  • Height – Place between 18-60 inches based on convenience.
  • Conduit access – Route from main electrical panel.
  • Wifi connectivity – Provide robust signal to configure device settings if located underground.

Use the included template to finalize ideal positioning.

Step 2 – Drill Wall Holes

Use stud finder to locate studs and mark drill points on the wall:

  • 4 screw holes to affix mounting bracket
  • Custom holes to feed conduit and wiring into charger box based on site layout

With holes marked, use 7/8 inch concrete drill bit to bore openings required for mechanisms and conduit. Wear goggles for safety. Vacuum/clean out all wall debris when completed.

Step 3 – Attach Mounting Bracket

Lift the charger bracket and align to pre-drilled wall screw holes:

  • For stud mounting, use provided lag screws
  • For drywall, utilize plastic anchors and standard wood screws

Ensure bracket lies flat against wall. Use level ruler to check. Secure tightly for weight bearing purposes.

Step 4 – Run Electrical Conduit to Panel

With the charger bracket securely fastened, now run metallic conduit from the main circuit breaker panel to the Tesla Wall Connector unit site:

Electrical conduit diagram

  • Run conduit along walls, secured by clamps
  • Use bender tool to manipulate angles around corners
  • Leave space at mounting site for box attachment
  • Pull wires from breaker to charger box later on

Pro tip: Install extra conduit length at both endpoints providing work room when wiring.

Step 5 – Connect Wall Mount Box

Attach a sturdy junction box securely to the bracket and wall plate using provided screws and tools. Attach conduit pipes to enter box for a protected wire pathway.

Junction box installation

Ensure solid bracket-box linkage – this anchors overall unit stability and wire load capacity.

Step 6 – Run Cables to Wall Connector Site

From the main electrical panel and breaker, feed thick power cables down the newly laid conduit piping all the way to the wall box:

  • Pull cables gently to avoid friction damage
  • Use fish tape threading tools if needed
  • Allow extra slack upon Wall Connector entry

Running power cables through conduit

Double check cable quality before pulling – replace frayed sections for safety.

Step 7 – Wire the Tesla Charger

Unlock the charging unit box to access the internal component cavity. Follow wiring schematics:

  • Live cable goes into "L1" bay
  • Neutral cable into "L2"
  • Ground wire to "G" slot

Strip cable endings with wire stripper or utility knife before attaching spade terminals.

Tesla charger wiring diagram

Use screw terminals to firmly clamp down and prevent detachment or shorts. Keep wiring neat and secure with cable ties as needed.

Step 8 – Mount the Tesla Connector

Attach the finished connector unit onto the wall junction box bracket. Align screw ports and firmly secure the box:

  • Ensure no internal component, wiring pinches
  • Affix stability using all provided bolting hardware
  • Cables should have slack as needed

Attach decorative charger faceplate oriented in the desired user friendly direction.

Step 9 – Turn Power On and Configure

With physical mounting fully complete, turn your main breaker back on to energize the system. The charger LED should activate:

  • Blue light – Charger ready
  • Flashing green – Charging active
  • Amber – Safety fault

Use the Tesla mobile app to:

  • Detect and link the Wall Connector
  • Input WiFi login and connect for updates
  • Set charging amperage rates and schedules
  • Monitor usage metrics and costs

Tesla charger app

Commissioning completes the cloud connectivity critical for smart controls.

[Part 4: Charger Maintenance Tips]

While the Tesla Wall Connector runs reliably for years after installation, perform occasional maintenance to keep your system optimized:

Check Connectivity

Sign into charger app dashboard to ensure proper online link and status. Redo WiFi and router associations if connectivity losses occur. Update firmware when available.

Monitor Usage

Apprise charging usage time, speed trends, and electric costs. Set schedules to minimize peak demand. Balance across household energy appliances.

Clean the Charger

Use a dry microfiber cloth to gently wipe down charger exterior and faceplate, removing dust and dirt buildup. This prevents debris from entering sensitive internal electronics.

Inspect Wiring

Visually check cables, conduits, and power outlets for wear after thousands of insertions. Replace frayed wiring immediately to prevent safety issues or electrical shorts.

Test Charging Function

Place vehicle into charge mode weekly and validate charging initiates and runs properly according to set schedules and rates. This verifies full end-to-end operation.

Regular inspection catches any potential hardware issues early. Book a service appointment with Tesla support for fault diagnosis requiring component replacements.

[Part 5: EV Charging Technology Evolution]

Tesla stands at the forefront of electric vehicle and charger innovation. Reviewing some history provides helpful context around their groundbreaking advancements leading up to present offerings:

Early Lead Acid Batteries

The first electric cars used heavy lead acid batteries providing 50-80 mile range. Long charge times made adoption impractical.

1990s: GM EV1

General Motors launched the pioneering EV1 in 1996 leveraging new nickel metal hydride batteries. While discontinued, it demonstrated the promise of electric transportation.

2008: Tesla Roadster

Combining lithium ion cells and powertrain efficiencies, the 2-seater Roadster achieved 200+ mile range and sparked the modern luxury EV market.

2012: Supercharger Network

Tesla builds the first long distance DC fast charging network, enabling road trip accessibility comparable to gasoline cars.

2016: Model 3

Tesla makes EV ownership mainstream with the $35k Model 3 sedan, simplified home charging, and a sprawling Supercharger network.

The Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector represents the current pinnacle of convenient, fast Level 2 home charging solutions.

Ongoing R&D continues into more powerful Level 3 DC fast charging for industrial and transportation hubs, with charging rates exceeding 250 kW on new 3rd generation Superchargers.

[Part 6: Environmental and Cost Benefits]

Beyond providing convenience, installing a dedicated Tesla charging station contributes significant environmental and cost of ownership savings.

Lower Carbon Emissions

Charging an electric vehicle utilizing a home solar + battery system or even standard grid electricity produces less than half the CO2 emissions of a traditional gasoline vehicle.

Charging Source Pounds CO2 per kWh
Solar 0
Nuclear 0
Hydro 0.1
Natural Gas 0.9
Average US Grid 1.0
Gasoline Car 4.1

Stats Source: EPA

Driving on cleaner electricity reduces environmental impact.

Save Money

Charging at home costs significantly less than public Direct Current Fast Charging (DCFC) stations:

Charging Method Cost per kWh
Home $0.14
Public Level 2 $0.36
Supercharger $0.58

Based on average U.S. residential and commercial electricity rates.

Installing a personal Tesla Wall Connector provides the lowest cost per mile.

[Part 7: Appendix]

Additional supporting information for reference:

Tesla Charger Specifications

Gen 3:

  • Max current: 48A
  • Voltage: 208V to 250V
  • Output power: 11kW to 12kW
  • WiFi, Bluetooth enabled
  • IP67 environmental rating

Gen 2:

  • Max current: 80A
  • Voltage: 208V to 250V
  • 19.2kW power

Both chargers deliver ~30 miles EPA rated charge per hour.

Home Charging Safety Standards

UL listed for electrical safety. Internally monitors for:

  • Ground faults
  • Overcurrent
  • Overvoltage
  • Other abnormal conditions

Automatically stops charging upon any detected issues.

Electrical Panel Considerations

Evaluate home electrical capacity before installing:

  • 100 amp main breaker panelufficient for Gen 2 charger
  • Upgrade panel size if adding EV charger demand strains existing load
  • Consider adding a subpanel instead of replacing main

Consult professionals to avoid overtaxing your available utility electrical supply.

This completes the ultimate guide to successfully installing a Tesla Wall Connector charging unit in your home. Hopefully the detailed advice provides both highest quality outcomes and learnings for handling similar do-it-yourself electrical projects using sound digital living principles. Let me know if any additional questions come up!