Is this safe for long-term Gen 2 UMC health?

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coredumperror

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#1
I finally got my home charging setup installed last week. It's a bit of an oddball setup, because I park in an open-air carport. So I can't just leave my UMC in there all the time, since it'll surely get stolen if it's not locked onto to my Model 3.

This means I have to pack it into my trunk every time I leave, which has been a bit of a pain in the butt. That's why I did this with a couple of zip ties:


Will it be safe to let the cable dangle like that, rather than rest on the ground? It's a Gen 2 UMC, so it has the directly downward-facing cable, which I assume is safe to let dangle without the zip ties. I'm just not sure about doing it with the zip ties.
 

MelindaV

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#2
I would be more concerned on unplugging and replugging the cord every day. Are you using a 14-50? is it rated for constant use? the typical residential rated 14-50 receptacles are intended to have an appliance plugged in and left plugged in, not daily use.
 

coredumperror

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#3
I specifically asked my electrician to give me a heavy duty 14-50 plug (like for an RV), since I knew I'd have to be unplugging and replugging on a regular basis, and that it would be exposed to the elements in my carport (that's also why he put that plastic box over it, though that was actually a HOA requirement).. It looks like pretty hefty plug, so I assume he followed through on that.
 

NR4P

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#4
I can't think of a reason why the zip ties aren't a good thing.
But the weight of the cables puts a bit of stress on the UMC charging assembly.
I suggest a hook that the tied up cable can hook on to, to provide some strain relief off of the charging transformer assembly.

Also, if the unit can get rain on it, keep in mind it is not water resistant.
At my office I use the UMC periodically and its outdoors. So I have a waterproof bag over it.
It took some work to connect it to the NEMA pigtail and seal that, but it has kept water out. It is open at the bottom to minimize heat build up. And also if water did seep it to the plastic bag, it has a place to exit.

I plug mine in a few days a week and never had any issue with plugging and unplugging it after a few months.
 

coredumperror

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#5
Ah crud, really? It doesn't rain often here (Los Angeles), but I had my electrician put the NEMA socket close to the edge of the carport wall, for convenience. If I'd known the UMC wasn't waterproof, I'd have had him put it further away from the open air.

Looks like I'll need a hook and a bag. Thanks for the tips.
 

garsh

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#8
Also, if the unit can get rain on it, keep in mind it is not water resistant.
I was about to argue vehemently against this, but the owner's manual kind of backs you up.

Gen 2 Mobile Connector Owner's Manual

Warning: Do not use the Mobile Connector when either you, the vehicle or the Mobile
Connector is exposed to severe rain, snow, electrical storm or other inclement weather

Warning: Protect the Mobile Connector from moisture, water and foreign objects at all times.
If any exist or appear to have corroded or damaged the Mobile Connector, do not use the
Mobile Connector.

Warning: If rain falls during charging, do not allow rain water to run along the length of
charge cable, causing the electrical outlet or charging port to become wet.

Warning: Do not plug the Mobile Connector into an electrical outlet that is submerged in
water or covered in snow. If, in this situation, the Mobile Connector is already plugged in and
needs to be unplugged, turn o the breaker before unplugging the Mobile Connector.​

Although, thinking about these statements a little longer, it sounds like it's ok to expose the Mobile Connector to rain or snow. Just don't use it in a heavy downpour, and don't let it get buried in snow. And absolutely don't allow the outlet to get wet.
 

Ed Woodrick

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#9
Plugging and unplugging is going to be a lot of stress on everything.

I'd recommend getting another UMC to stay in the car. Then take your existing implementation and add a couple of cable clamps to affix the cable to the wall, to present a more permanent looking solution. If you want to go beyond that, create a frame box around it to better hide it and paint to existing colors. But 2-3 cable clamps screwed into the wall should make it look pretty permanent looking and require a lot of effort to steal.
 

MelindaV

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#10
It looks like pretty hefty plug, so I assume he followed through on that.
From the outside, it will look the same. It’s the connections on the inside that would make a difference.
there should be significant resistance when plugging in or unplugging the plug in the receptical. If it begins to be easier/looser, it is breaking down and needs to be replaced before it becomes a fire hazard.

Melted plug from a bad connection inside the receptical:
 

coredumperror

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#11
From the outside, it will look the same. It’s the connections on the inside that would make a difference.
there should be significant resistance when plugging in or unplugging the plug in the receptical. If it begins to be easier/looser, it is breaking down and needs to be replaced before it becomes a fire hazard.
Good to know, thanks! It currently requires significant effort to push the 14-50 plug into the socket, but I'll keep a look out for it getting easier.

Plugging and unplugging is going to be a lot of stress on everything.
Would it lower stress to get a second 14-50 adapter, and just keep that plugged in to the NEMA socket? I could definitely afford that. But a whole second UMC would be almost as expensive as just getting a Wall Connector. I was hoping to avoid that cost by eventually earning one through the referral program. I already had to plunk down an absurd $4000+ to install this 14-50 socket (it's a long, expensive story which includes completely replacing my condo's subpanel), and I'd prefer to avoid an additional $300-500 cost if I can possibly do so.
 

Brokedoc

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#12
Most of those receptacle covers have a way to inset a padlock or screw the cover shut so that the plug cannot be removed. Then, I would install a small shelf to the right of the outlet to rest the body of the UMC so it doesn’t pull down on the socket and will be further into the carport and shielded a little more from the elements.

If you wanted to be extra careful or if you can lock the receptacle cover, you can install a lockbox instead of a shelf to store the body of the UMC. Allow some ventilation to dissipate heat.
 

coredumperror

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#13
Yeah, I specifically asked for a locking socket cover, which lets me avoid having someone steal the UMC adapter, since it doesn't lock onto the car like the rest of it does. It should be sufficient to protect the plug itself from the elements.
 

Brokedoc

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#14
Yeah, I specifically asked for a locking socket cover, which lets me avoid having someone steal the UMC adapter, since it doesn't lock onto the car like the rest of it does. It should be sufficient to protect the plug itself from the elements.
So if you mount a shelf to the right, you dont need to unplug it.
 

Spiffywerks

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#15
Last edited:

Ed Woodrick

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#16
Good to know, thanks! It currently requires significant effort to push the 14-50 plug into the socket, but I'll keep a look out for it getting easier.


Would it lower stress to get a second 14-50 adapter, and just keep that plugged in to the NEMA socket? I could definitely afford that. But a whole second UMC would be almost as expensive as just getting a Wall Connector. I was hoping to avoid that cost by eventually earning one through the referral program. I already had to plunk down an absurd $4000+ to install this 14-50 socket (it's a long, expensive story which includes completely replacing my condo's subpanel), and I'd prefer to avoid an additional $300-500 cost if I can possibly do so.
I have a second UMC for this very purpose. It is near the price of the HPWC, but still cheaper and you can still use the plug for other things. I would not say that a 14-50 adapter would help, because something is going to have to be plugged and unplugged. The Tesla plug and outlet are specifically engineered to be able to handle lots of connects and disconnects, wall plugs aren't. The last thing that you want is to have you plug melted as above and replace the entire UMC.

For me, it is so honestly worth the $300 UMC (as opposed to the $500 HPWC), just not having to worry about cord management. Coil it up, just as you have it, but never unplug it. Just buy your spare UMC and throw it in the car.
 

coredumperror

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#17
I'm sorry if I haven't made this clear, but I cannot just leave the UMC plugged in all the time. When I'm not home, it won't be locked to my car or to the wall (because the adapter can just be removed and left locked to the box), and will thus be stolen. Buying a second UMC to avoid the need for repeated unplugging would require additional costs to get some sort of permanent solution to lock it onto the wall, at which point I might as well just get an HPWC, instead.

I think what I'll do is just get a hook for the zip-tied cord, keep plugging and unplugging, and if something goes wrong, I'll replace the NEMA socket with an HPWC.
 

JWardell

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#18
The UMC itself is sealed and nothing to worry about with weather. There are drain holes in the socket for a reason.
Obviously you want to keep water off the wall socket, but an outdoor outlet cover like you've pictured does the job.
There's no problem hanging the UMC from the plug, especially a nice big 14-50.
You could add a small hook or cable holder below the UMC if you are worried about the weight (or someone walking off with it).
I also recommend using the cable organizer to hold the cable and handle:
https://shop.tesla.com/us/en/product/vehicle-accessories/model-s_x_3-cable-organizer.html

Here's my setup with the UMC living outside in all weather since July with zero issues:
img_1692-jpg.15686
 

NR4P

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#19
We may be beating this one to death but, given the possibility of some rain and the slightest water intrusion inside the UMC will destroy it and they cost $500, and you are worried about theft, why not bite the bullet sooner vs. later and put in the Wall Connector. It can get wet, and if its mounted properly, it can be secured with tie down metal straps if you are that concerned. And the wiring is there for it.

I look at this way. Why risk some water damage and then pay $500 for another one, just pay $500 as soon as financially possible (now), and then you have one less hassle every day with packing up the UMC?
(When I pack up the UMC 2x a week, I worry the Nema plug will ding the car paint too)

And to those with good luck with it outdoors, I hope it continues. The manual is very clear on not putting it out in the rain, and as someone who works in the electronics industry, I tend to respect that and bet water damage will not be a covered warranty item.

Of course, its your money and only you can make that decision. Good luck with what you do.