Is Tesla Chargers Waterproof?

As Tesla’s are electric vehicles, it’s a common question, can we recharge them during rain? Is the charger that Tesla provides with each vehicle waterproof? In this article, we will answer all these critical questions. 

When we plug in a charger with our phone, it instantly starts charging. And during charge, it does not have any safety measures except on the phone. The phone’s charge controller controls the charging rate and charge amount. However, on the phone, the charging volts is only 5V. Therefore, safety is not paramount there. Even if we pour water on the charge port, nothing will happen unless the battery does something crazy. 

On the other hand, Tesla’s charging voltage is around 400V. Any voltage greater than 240V is life-threatening. It’s why our typical household electric lines carry 110V, and our household appliances run on 110V to reduce accidents.

Tesla has been selling cars for over a decade. We never heard any reports that anyone got electrocuted while charging a Tesla, even in the rain. This shows how safe Tesla’s are to recharge. 

The male charging part that goes into the female charging port in your vehicle is waterproof and dustproof. Tesla designed this in such a way that charging during rain, snow, or dust storms will not cause any harm to your Tesla. The port is designed in such a way that it will keep water out. Therefore, even in heavy rain, you can charge your Tesla without the fear of electric short circuits. 

Whenever we plug in our charger cord, we hear a click sound. That sound comes from a relay that turns on only when it’s safe to charge our Tesla. Before this happens, the charge cord does not carry significantly high voltage or current. When we plug in, our Tesla and the charge panel communicate. If it’s a supercharger location, vehicle identification and payment confirmation will happen within this short period. In other places, Tesla vehicle and charger control panels will communicate to determine the maximum amperage rate. Then our Tesla will start charging. 

On the charger side and the Tesla vehicle side, GFCI protected circuits and intelligent software keeps an eye on the charge rate and the current flow. If there are any short circuits due to bad wiring or water leakage, the vehicle and charge panel will stop the charging. 

In short, the supercharger cable does not carry power until the negotiations are done between your car and the supercharger. And as soon as you press the release button, the power turns off. Therefore, it’s 100% safe to charge a Tesla in the rain. 

Tesla Wall Connectors (TWC):

The TWC is NEMA 3R rated. It means it’s Weather-resistant. Protects against falling dirt and windblown dust, against weather hazards such as rain, sleet, and snow, and is undamaged by ice formation.

The wall connector is made and rated to be an outdoor device in the weather. All of the thousands of destination charging points at hotels, parking garages are actually outdoor wall connectors. It only has a bigger box, nothing else. 

In short, Tesla Wall Connector chargers are waterproof and dustproof. 

We have seen many put a roof on top of the wall connector to keep rainwater and snow out of the connector. However, it’s a good idea but not required because the TWC is weatherproof. [1]

However, please keep the charge port clean from snow, water, or debris. Always keep the port in the TWC socket or hang up the connector facing downward position so that no water gets into it. Otherwise, moisture will prevent your Tesla from getting a charge through that chord. 

14-50 outlets:

If you don’t want a Tesla wall connector at home, you can install a 14-50 outlet and use the mobile connector Tesla gives with each vehicle to charge your car. However, please install a cover to protect the electric outlet from weather elements. 

Tesla Gen 2 Mobile Connector:

Tesla provides a free Generation 2 Mobile Connector with each new Tesla purchase. Unfortunately, This connector is not weatherproof. Therefore, please don’t use it in the rain or during the snow. Always store it in a dry spot, and don’t leave it outside. Water can get into the charge panel and destroy it. 

Tesla Corded Mobile Connector:

The Tesla corded mobile connector also is not waterproof. Use this only when there’s no rain or snow outside.[2]

Is it okay to charge Tesla during a thunderstorm?

During a thunderstorm, Tesla advises not to charge a Tesla. It would be best if you waited until the thunderstorm passes. 

It’s better not to try to Supercharge during a thunderstorm. A nearby lightning strike to a power line will find its way into the car, where the resultant transient energy can damage sensitive electronic circuits throughout the vehicle.

According to the Tesla owner’s manual, It is safe to sit in a Tesla vehicle and ride out a thunderstorm. Even if lightning strikes the car, you will not be injured, nor will the vehicle be damaged, with the possible exception of a paint blemish where the spark contacts the vehicle.

Can I drive Tesla through Puddles?

Rain and water puddles are not uncommon. Even after a snowstorm, stagnant water on the road is ordinary. As the Tesla vehicle’s battery is on the bottom of the car, many people worry that driving over puddles may damage a Tesla. 

The good news is don’t worry about it. The Tesla battery is watertight and dustproof. Tesla made these battery packs in such a way that water will never get into these packs. Furthermore, these packs have moisture detection systems in place. If moisture gets into these packs for any reason, a Tesla vehicle will immediately notify and ask you to take your car to a Tesla service center. 

We have seen many videos worldwide where Tesla owners drive through large water puddles without any issues where other vehicles stalled on the road. 

In short, it’s safe to drive your Tesla through water puddles. 

Bottom Line:

As we can see, charging a Tesla during rain is not a problem. However, in one scenario, we will ask you to be cautious; during freezing rain. If the temperature outside is below freezing and it rains, the water can freeze outside of your vehicle. If you left your car with the charger plugged in, then in this scenario, the chord will get stuck. If this happens, don’t apply force to remove the charger from your vehicle. It may damage your charge port. Moreover, don’t pour hot water. Instead, use gloves and plastic scrapers to remove ice from your Tesla’s charge port.