Just after I returned home with a new set of tires, my charging system failed. If I plugged the connector in I got an orange light at the charge port. I plugged it in several times to no success.
I’ve been charging on an odd system. The original Roadster home charger connected to a Roadster to Model S cable. The pricey orange connector costs $600 and failed several years ago – fortunately just days before its warranty expired. These orange cables are no longer listed on the Tesla website, but I suspected this was the problem.
After a little more investigation, you can see that the pin to the right is a bit off center. In reality the pin is quite loose, and moves around to the touch.
I have been charging the car with 110 while waiting for an electrician to visit. My first answer was to simply replace the Roadster system with a 220 outlet. I knew I had 220 already in the garage feeding the Roadster outlet. So I assumed this was an easy swap out.
Unfortunately, the initial electrician DID NOT save the neutral wire. They cut it off! There was not enough space, so they just sliced it off. So the simple 220 solution would not work as they would need a neutral wire to put in a conventional outlet, as many other devices need the ground wire.
Fortunately, the Tesla wall charger does not require a neutral. So I had two options according to the Tesla certified installer:
- Rewire this line with a new cable, which was not going to be cheap. The line itself is very long. Pay for both a very long new electrical cable and installation. Or they could on both sides of the long wire patch in something to the cut off ground wire.
- Swap in a Tesla home charger.
Either option ended up being the same price, because of the cost of rewiring the house would in a sense pay for the Wall Charger. Hourly electrician rates are very pricey here, and I’m well a terrible negotiator. The Tesla Wall Charger has three advantages: a separate cable other than my mobile charging cable – which I like to have in the car “just in case”, a longer cable which would be helpful in my large garage, and faster charging (not required but convenient).
Fixing the house wiring has the advantage of less technology always means less problems, and perhaps more stable in the long run. But I decided the convenience of a charger slightly outweighed that difference.
If I had known ahead of time that the first electrician made a mess of this, I would have saved money and ordered the Tesla Wall Connector myself and then the electrician would have charged me a lot less labor time.
If anyone has a use for old but functioning Roadster chargers I now have two. The one I used for many years, and one that they delivered to me with the car but I never touched and is still in the original box.