Affordable and convenient way to get Tesla cables off the garage floor, trip-free charging from above!

Posted by Paul Braren on Feb 1 2020 (updated on Nov 5 2020) in
  • Tesla
  • 5100981237

    Some of my Tesla videos and this article show a glimpse of how I handle overhead charging in our all-electric two car garage, with EVs in both pod bays:

    • 2018 Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor (AWD) Midnight Silver, Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector set to 40 amps
    • 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus (RWD) White, Mobile Connector it came with, 32 amps

    Seems to me that getting our coiled power cables off our garage floor looks better than what even Tesla is showing below, and required only a modest cost in time and money. After almost a year of daily charging both our Tesla's this way, cable management has absolutely proven to be worth every penny!

    Discover-Charging-at-Home--screenshot-of-Tesla's-Nov-05-2020-video-lightened-by-TinkerTry-Rik1sKp-Ykg
    Screenshot of Tesla's very short November 5 2020 "Discover Charging at Home" video, click/tap to view.

    Benefits

    • No tripping over your charging cable, even when garaged nose-in.
    • No chance of driving over your charging cable or charging cable handle.
    • Easy 5 second unhook/plugin, cable stays out of your walking path.
    • Easy 5 second unplug/stow, cable stays out of your walking path.
    • No dirty fingers, nice when heading out or arriving back home.
    • Your Mobile Connector Bundle can be removed from the bracket and bungees if you really have to for an occasional long trip.
    • It's unlikely you'll be accidentally leaving your charging cable un-stowed, as you'll spot it dangling from above as you drive out or in. Even if you do hit it, it's unlikely to damage either your car or your cable.
    Wall mount, intermediate metal work and carpentry skills required.
    Between door mount, very easy cable management, didn't even need tools.

    Recent comments and tweets expressed interest in exactly how I went about doing this. It was one of my sons who encouraged me to consider this overhead cable management approach, and I'm glad we came up with a way to avoid pricey reel mechanisms such as an Electric Vehicle Cable Retractor or ugly wall-to-wall PVC piping to get this done. What's not to like about keeping those cables off the grimy winter sludge garage floor? You don't have gas fingers anymore, why have dirty fingers either? Affordably, with nothing mechanical to maintain. Watch the video and read the article below to learn exactly how.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Easily unplug and plug a Tesla charging cable stowed along the wall but suspended from above
    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Tesla Wall Connector with 14-50 Plug, quickly disconnecting and connecting my garaged Model 3 LR. The wall mount cradle was too finicky, so I eventually just went with a simple hook instead.

    Table of Contents


    PAUL68544--Tesla-Referral-Program-Paul-Braren-TinkerTry.PNG

    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    Concerns

    • If you have children, you'll need to be absolutely sure they don't try swinging from this cable. The bungees will pop off before the very sturdy wall bracket fails, but either outcome is dangerous.
    • Building codes - be sure whatever you do can pass a safety or code inspection.

    Backstory

    This solution is TinkerTry'd, in other words, a thoroughly tested known-good solution. At first you might wonder why not just screw a bicycle hook into the ceiling above the car's charge port, then hang the cable from there? Until you go to open the garage door. Oops!

    I mostly write about things I have first-hand experience with, and the between the door solution has been working flawlessly for 13 months now, and the wall mount for 6 weeks. There's many hundreds of charges/stows between them, as confirmed by my energy use monitoring by TeslaFi’s Charging Stats page.

    For the between the door solution, all that was required to manage the charging cable from the Wall Connector that an electrician installed in January of 2019 was a long tarp strap, some short bungees, and a hook fastened with some screws I had laying around. Everything else was situated by chance exactly where it needed to be, I just fastened to overhead hardware that was already there, as you can see for yourself in the photo gallery below.

    Right after buying your electric vehicle, you may not exactly have a lot of money leftover to invest in an elegant charging solution. This article is for you, because this was very much the case in my household. I had to find an affordable way to make it super easy for my wife to unplug and unplug every day, avoid tripping, and keep her hands clean too. It needs to take well under 10 seconds, every time. Convenience was crucial, cosmetic appearance was secondary.

    I was getting ready for my wife to take delivery of her Model 3 SR+ on Dec 17 2019, when I realized we had a problem. Well, I had a problem. I stood there for a bit thinking about what to get at my local Lowe's to get her cable safely slung from above, but below the garage door. It wasn't going to be nearly as easy as the first install I did a year ago, and the rush was on to get things just so. It required some wood, paint, and brackets to get my 2nd charging cable hanging directly about the charge port, without getting in the way of any garage door machinery. I made some mistakes, and learned from them. This article should speed up the shopping aspect of this project considerably, and hopefully spares you from enduring trial-and-error and multiple trips to the store. Even if you bought a new 3rd Generation Tesla Wall Connector with WiFi, most of this article still applies since the focus is really on cable management. Also note that the $500 3rd Generation Tesla Wall Connector is capable of up to 48 amp charge rate, but the SR+ is limited to 32 amps maximum.

    Prerequisites

    1. A garage door that has overhead clearance above you and your vehicle, to be sure you won't be whacking your head into anything, even when the cable is hooked along the wall.
    2. Plenty of clearance from all garage door pulleys, hinges, and any other moving parts.
    3. If you have a lower ceiling, perhaps the commercial offering I've listed below would work for you.

    Tools

    1. Basic tools, including:
      a. drill
      b. miter table saw with metal and wood cutting blades
      c. socket set
      d: stud finder
    2. Wrap-around safety goggles are essential, especially since metal cutting is involved.
    3. Leather gloves

    I have a nasty scar from some soapbox derby metal-work-gone-wrong several years back to remind me of how important those gloves really are! Which leads me to...

    Safety

    1. Turn off all circuit breakers before doing any work.
    2. Be extremely careful when working with a wide and safe step ladder.
    3. Be sure your garage floor and shoes are dry.

    If all of this is making you uncomfortable, you must have a professional handy-person do this work. I bear no responsibility for your safety. It's entirely your responsibility to be safe and to follow all local building codes.

    onboard-charger
    From tesla.com

    The key to long-term electrical safety here is to be absolutely sure no part of the cable is resting against anything sharp, to avoid any chaffing. You'll notice in my photos below that this is true for every one of those 20' of cable, with bungee cords securely fastened to the smooth surfaces of the galvanized angle iron. Even if you were to try to pull down on the cable, all that would happen would be that the bungees would stretch, but the cable will still not touch anything sharp.


    Instructions

    Wall Mount Solution

    Overhead-Tesla-Charging-Plugged-In-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry.JPG

    Unfortunately, I can't account for the wide variety of scenarios out there, so I can't really do step-by-step instructions. I can outline the basic sequence of steps, however:

    1. With a helper, with your car in place, find the position your charging cable will need to hang from, then plan your wall bracket installation from there.
    2. Use some 1x3" lumber to cover the areas of wallboard where your galvanized angle irons will be secured to studs
    3. Secure another suitably sized piece of wood where the Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0 chassis holder bracket will go
    4. Prime and paint all the wood
    5. Once dry, secure angle iron to the wood trim with lag bolts into studs
    6. Fit the perforated 1" metal square tube to 2 pieces of angle iron
    7. Attach the assembly to the wall's angle iron, using pictures and video below as a reference
    8. Attach charging cabling to your perforated 1" metal square tube
    9. Mount the Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0 cable organizer bracket to the wall, then loop slack cable onto it
    10. As needed, adjust cable lengths by pulling the car back in and attaching the charging cable

    Parts List

    Amazon

    B07NNWFWV2

    B00004Z4BV

    2F1000146151

    Tesla.com

    Tesla-Mobile-Connector-Gen-2
    Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle.

    Tesla-14-50-adapter
    Tesla NEMA 14-50 Adapter.
    • Qty 1 - Gen 2 NEMA Adapter - 14-50 - ~$35
      Model 3s sold in 2018 came with these 14-50 "wishbone" adapter cables for free, but sometime in 2019, Tesla stopped including these.

    cable-organizer-orientations
    • Qty 1 - Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0 - ~$35
      This new cable organizer just came out in January of 2020, perfect timing! I was just putting the finishing touches of cleaning and touch-up painting my garage for the wall mount for my wife's new Model 3, so I placed an order the day I spotted it on reddit. Works great, and I even have a video of the unboxing below!

      Description
      Store your Tesla Mobile Connector cables with the newly redesigned Cable Organizer. Featuring a sturdy bracket to keep your cables neatly stowed, along with a chassis holder to reduce additional wear and tear on your adaptor and outlet.
      Includes:
      1 x cable organizer bracket
      1 x chassis holder
      1 x installation hardware (set)

    Electrician

    14-50

    Home Improvement Store

    All ~$100 worth of building materials equivalent to the list below are likely to be available at your local home improvement store. This hardware fits my particular application, your parts list will vary:

    • Qty 2 - 3' perforated angle iron
    • Qty 2 - 3' perforated square tube
    • Qty 1 - 6' 1" x 3" lumber
    • Qty 6 - 5/16" Lag screw
    • Qty 1 - drill bit for pilot hole into studs
    • Qty 1 - rubberized hook

    If you're using Lowe's like I did, then I've got some links to the exact products I used below. Prices are subject to change, of course, and can vary from store to store. I've taken the relevant items from my Lowe's electric receipt and copied-and-pasted them below, adjusting quantities a bit to match my final installation configuration.

    Note, I tried 5/16" nylon lock nuts at first, but they were far too tight. So you might want to get regular nuts and some Loctite Threadlocker Red instead.

    ITEM | TOTAL PRICE | ITEM# | QTY @ UNIT PRICE

    My-Lowes-Receipt-Edited

    SW1-1/4INX1-1/4INX6FT(16GA)PRFANG
    $ 32.98
    Item #: 215675
    2 @ 16.49

    SW 1-IN X 3-FT 14GA PERF TUBE
    $ 41.96
    Item #: 103642
    2 @ 20.98

    KOBALT BICYCLE HOOK
    $ 5.98
    Item #: 103659
    1 @ 5.98

    SERTD FLNGHD BT 5/16-INX1-IN G13
    $ 3.20
    Item #: 137644
    4 @ 0.80

    SERTD FLNG BT 5/16-INX1.5-IN G13
    $ 0.80
    Item #: 137649
    1 @ 0.80

    5/16-IN HEX NUT 8 GRD 4-CT D3
    $ 6.60
    Item #: 136047
    5 @ 1.32

    5/16-IN X 4-IN GALV LAG SCREW
    $ 11.04
    Item #: 67326
    8 @ 1.38


    Parts List

    Between Door Solution

    Tesla-Wall-Connector-with-14-50-Plug--TinkerTry.JPG

    Here's your BOM (Build Of Materials).

    Lowes

    875195003729

    Qty 1 - SmartStraps 2-1/2-ft Tarp Strap

    849278040031

    Qty 1 - SmartStraps 8-Pack Assorted Length Bungee Cord

    820909543312

    Qty 1 - Kobalt Gray/Black Utility Hook

    038902134141

    Qty 1 - Power Pro One #8 x 3/4-in Silver Zinc-Plated Pan Interior Multi-Material Screws [40-Count]


    Parts List

    Garage

    B00183FYBS
    If your car's doors can strike your walls, here's a way to protect both the door and the wall.

    B074ZPJSWC

    Photos

    cable-organizer-orientations
    Photos above from Tesla Shop. This chassis holder that comes wit the Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0 can secure your Mobile Connector in either orientation, and it helps prevent any tension from removing the 14-50 adapter cable from coming out of the Mobile Connector chassis.
    Tesla-Cable-Organizer-2-point-0-installed-with-Gen-2-Mobile-Connector-Kit-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry
    That hook seen to the right of the NEMA 14-50 outlet is for super-fast out-of-the-way stowing of the cable when my wife is done charging. Nothing to trip on! You can also see at top-right that I'm using the cable organizer bracket from my Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0 to hold my hoop of slack cable.
    Tesla-Cable-Organizer-2-point-0-wide-angle-installed-with-Gen-2-Mobile-Connector-Kit-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry
    Now you can see why I suspended the Mobile Connector from my garage's ceiling, in a way that wouldn't obstruct the garage door when opened. Nothing to trip over, and ample room to get around the car too.

    Wall mounted solution

    IMG_9069.JPG
    IMG_9070.JPEG
    IMG_9072.JPEG
    IMG_9073.JPEG
    IMG_9074.JPEG
    IMG_9075.JPEG
    I only needed a tiny cut, instead I went way too far. Learn from my mistake. You can do better, send me a picture when you do!
    IMG_9076.JPG

    Between door solution

    IMG_9081.JPEG
    I built a wooden box before the electrical came to install the NEMA 14-50 outlet. This was to keep us from brushing against the greasy cables, and prevents any chance of moving garage door parts coming anywhere near the cables.
    Rubber-tarp-tie-down-with-bungees-for-charging-cable
    Rubber tie down meet bungee.
    IMG_9079.JPEG
    I was lucky, hanging this cable safely from the ceiling was simple and affordable, easily able to walk under it without bumping into it, even though it's not hanging quite straight down.
    IMG_9080.JPG
    Another place to hook the other end of my tarp strap to, luckily without any chance of impeding movement of anything that moves. Nice!
    Tesla-Wall-Connector-with-cable-stowed-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry
    Remember, this unit is hard-wired with the short NEMA 14-50 plug coming out at the bottom. I'm avoiding sharp turns and taking up the slack with a cable management black plastic hook that I mounted upside down, it's part # B07BHJFRF1 on Amazon called "Charger Cable Holder for Tesla,Charging Cable Organizer Mount Adapter Hook Bracket for Tesla Model 3 Model X Model S Accessories". Note that I'm not using the holster for the charging handle, so the mounting orientation doesn't matter. I did have to bore some holes in the side of the wooden box to get my backplate secured to the back board, I really should touch those holes up with some gray paint.
    hanging-yellow-balls-to-align-car-by-Paul-Braren-at-TinkerTry.JPG
    Notice the 2 yellow parking aid balls, Amazon part # B074ZPJSWC, that I've aligned ahead, using parallax to be sure I pull straight into my garage. When my windshield makes contact with the nearest ball, I stop.

    More videos

    This first video gives you a tour of my garage's two overhead charging configurations, and the second video is a close look at the handy bracket and cable loop hangar.

    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Affordable and convenient way to get Tesla cables off garage floor, trip-free charging from above!
    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - Close look at the new "Tesla Cable Organizer 2.0" - what's in the box and how it looks installed
    TinkerTry YouTube Channel - BCL Electrical outlet install for "Wall Connector with 14-50 Plug" 40 amp charging Model 3 LR

    PAUL68544--Tesla-Referral-Program-Paul-Braren-TinkerTry.PNG

    Free Supercharging: If you find this article of value and decide to order a Tesla, please consider using this ts.la/paul68544 referral link when placing your order so you and I both get 1,000 miles of free Supercharging. If you order Solar, it's a $250 award after system activation.

    Disclosure: My family owns no stock in Tesla. Tesla doesn't advertise at TinkerTry, or anywhere else, and this is not a sponsored post. We financed the purchase of two Tesla Model 3s, replacing my 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid in December of 2018 and replacing my wife's 2005 Honda Civic EX in December of 2019. These big moves to an all electric household were an expression of our mutual desire to go green, avoid gasoline, be safe, have fun, and save money in the long run. Mostly for my job, I drive a lot, 25,000 miles in 2019 for example, and I thoroughly enjoy sharing what I've learned with you. I hope you can tell!


    Oct 18 2020 Update

    After having some minor issues with charging speed stepping down to 30 amps, thanks to Tesla Home Charging service, on Aug 10 2020, an electrician installed my new Tesla Gen 3 Wall Connector, and it's been working flawlessly. Basically all that was needed was the NEMA 14-50 outlet and workbox was removed from the location between my garage doors, then this Wall Connector was hard-wired in.


    Nov 05 2020 Update

    2020-11-05_14-52-49
    Google Analytics showing that about 1800 folks have seen this article.

    See also at TinkerTry

    All Tesla related videos and articles:

    crossclimate

    first-v3-supercharger-in-the-northeastern-us-in-fairfield-connecticut

    tesla-on-hgg429

    differences-between-2018-and-2020-tesla-model-3

    one-year-and-25k-miles-of-tesla-model-3-is-going-incredibly-well

    tesla-tuesday

    model-3-blows-leaf-and-bolt-away

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    tesla-model-3-known-good-accessories

    experiencing-the-first-falcon-heavy-launch-from-7-miles-away

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    See also

    I had not seen this item until after publishing this article. It has advantages and disadvantages and costs significantly more, and I have some concerns about longevity, but you may like it better, and that's ok, drop a comment below to let us know how it goes!

    Easiest Retractable in Home Charging Cable for Tesla Model 3