Charging a Tesla in the Rain [How to Avoid Damage]


can you charge a tesla in the rain

Driving a fully electric car is very cool, however we all know that water and electricity don’t mix very well. What happens when you need to charge your Tesla and it’s raining outside? This could be charging your Tesla out in the driveway during a rain storm, or on the road at a Supercharger. With that in mind, can you safely charge a Tesla if it’s raining outside?

Can you charge a Tesla in the rain? Yes, you can charge a Tesla in the rain, however there are a few steps you should take to ensure you avoid potential water related charging issues.

In short, the answer is yes because all Teslas have safeguards for ensuring proper usage and safety when charging in the rain. However, there are certainly a few things you should know to avoid issues when charging in the rain. Read on to learn about charging in the rain, and a few tips to ensure your vehicles safety.

Charging a Tesla in the Rain

If you are put in a situation where you have to charge your Tesla outside while it is raining, there are a few things you should know. This will apply to home charging, destination charging, and supercharging.

To ensure we are all on the same page, here are the basics real quick.

  • Teslas are designed to drive in the rain and all other weather conditions just like traditional gas cars.
  • Teslas are also designed to safely charge in all weather conditions safely, this includes rain and snow, but the charger cord itself are the source of most of the issues.

There are some stipulations, and a few things that could go wrong when charging a Tesla outside in the rain. Here’s what you need to know:

1. Extension Cord Water Issues

If you are charging your Tesla at home, and it’s in the rain, then you are most likely using an extension cord to run your Tesla charger outside.

The most common issue you can run into when using an extension cord is water getting into the connection between the Tesla charger and the extension cord itself. The best way to avoid this issue is to buy a waterproof connection box (this is my personal recommendation because you can put the entire charger unit inside to keep it safe and dry). These waterproof boxes are about $30 on Amazon and worth every penny.

tesla charger waterproof box

2. Charging Port Water Issues

Tesla has a built-in safety feature to make detect if water has gotten into the charge port and compromised the charging connection. If water gets in, the vehicle will immediately stop the flow of power to avoid any damage to the car.

Although the charge port is designed to keep water out of the charge port, it is still possible that water can get in with harsh rain. The best way to avoid this is the use a charge port rain cover. These are only about $20 on Amazon, but are handy if you expect to be charging in the rain frequently (for example, if you charge your Tesla outside at home every night).

tesla charger cover

If you do not have a charge port water cover, and you are only charging in the rain on rare occasions, then a quick tip is to make sure the charger cable is hanging downwards from the charge port. This will ensure that any water near the charge port will be lead away from the charge port by gravity, rather than lead into the charge port if the charger cable was suspended downwards into the charge port.

Can You Supercharge in the Rain?

If you find yourself needing to use a supercharger in the rain, rest assured that you can indeed do so.

Because Teslas don’t start the flow of electricity until a secure connection is made, yes you can safely supercharge your Tesla in the rain.

If water does manage to get into the charge port during supercharging, the vehicle will immediately stop the flow of electricity and prompt you to check the charge port. Essentially all you need to do is remove the supercharger and re-plug it in to establish a secure connection again.

It may be inconvenient to get out of your Tesla at a supercharger while it’s raining, but rest assured that the vehicle itself will charge safely.

Can You Charge a Tesla in the Snow?

If you live in a cold climate that gets snow, you may be wondering if you can charge your Tesla in the snow?

In short, yes you can charge a Tesla in the snow however you should take the same precautions as charging your Tesla in the rain. This includes a waterproof connection box for the charger cable, and a waterproof charge port cover for the charge port.

The waterproof connection box will keep the charger cable and box safe and dry, and the waterproof charge port cover will keep ice away from the charge port and charger handle.

My Tesla isn’t Charging Properly anymore. Is it From the Rain?

If you notice that your Teslas battery life is shorter than it used to be, you may be wondering if it’s damaged from charging in the rain. Charging your Tesla in the rain will not shorten your battery life.

The shortened battery life is a phenomenon called “Battery Degradation” and is usually noticeable after 1-2 years of electric vehicle ownership. It is normal and expected that all electric vehicles will lose somewhere between 5%-10% of it’s total range after 1-2 years of use. Frequent supercharging will cause the degradation process to happen faster, as well as charging to 100% charge everyday, rather than the recommended 80%-90% daily charge limit.

However, if you find your Tesla showing a much lower total range than usual, you may need to recalibrate the battery.

How to Recalibrate a Tesla Battery

You can do this very simply, and it does not take much effort to do.

You’ll need to drive your Tesla enough to get it down to 10% or lower. When you charge it, do not fully charge it. Make sure that you charge to up to between 90% and 95% percent. Charging it to 100 percent will only fill the amount that it has brought itself down to.

By only charging it to 90% to 95% percent, your car will see how much power it really has and will start adjusting itself to the correct amount of energy that you really have instead of how much its meter is showing.

Conclusion

Teslas can be charged in the rain with ease, but there are a few things to keep in mind to avoid possible water related issues. When charging in the rain at home, use a waterproof connection box to keep the charger components and connections dry. Also consider using a waterproof charge port cover to keep water out of the charge port. If you need to supercharge in the rain, that is okay and will not damage the car.

However, if you do run into one of these water related issues when charging in the rain, Teslas have a built-in safety feature that will immediately stop electricity to the car to prevent any damage. You’ll simply have to unplug and re-plug the charger cable back in to establish a secure connection again.

Hopefully this article has been helpful in keeping you, and your Tesla, safe while charging in the rain.

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Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

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