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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've just bought a (used) Leaf, and at the same time ordered an electric charging point install from British Gas. They require proof that you've ordered a car when you order the charging point so there's no way to get it organised before. They're now contacted me to say it'll be a 6 week wait to get a charging point installed, which means there's no way for me to practically charge my car at home - charging from a 3 pin socket means leaving a door open which i don't really want to do overnight.

British Gas are saying they need me to gett an isolation switch installed before the install date (at the moment I just have a meter and fuseboard). My 'by the book' electrician is saying he can install a switch but need the Distribution Network Operator to connect it up. He also says that according to the latest building regs any new circuit needs an RCD, and my fuseboard doesn't have these. So thats 3 electricians and a few different jobs just to install a 3kW power socket, which is the same power as my electric heater.

Is all this necessary or is there a simpler way? Are there other companies apart from BG that can do the install for a similar price?
 

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The additional switch should include the RCD. When BG installed my charger they went from the consumer unit , added a separate switch unit with RCD and Isolator, to that they ran the lead to the outside charger unit via an armoured cable. The charger installed at my mother-in-laws house was attached to a 40 year old fuse box with no RCDs via an additional small consumer unit with all the required bits.
As for the exterior 3-pin socket, it is no different to installing a socket for your lawn mower.
I wonder if your electrician is fully qualified. It might be cheaper to find another Electrician, or at least check further.

In the short term, when my LEAF arrived I used the EVSE supplied with a suitably heavy duty extension lead. I had RCDs already, you can of course buy a plug in variety from Garden centres and Hardware stores such as B&Q. The EVSE will not work unless it is happy with the earth, and only draws 3000 watts. Same as many portable items.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Thomas but i'm in London which may be a bit far for you.

I'm a bit confused by your answer Barry, I think BG have asked me to install a switch *before* the fuseboard so their electrician can safely work on the fuseboard, and you're saying they fitted one for you between the fuseboard and charging point? Anyway I'll get some more quotes from other electricians and see if my DNO / energy supplier can get everything ready for BG.
 

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I've just bought a (used) Leaf, and at the same time ordered an electric charging point install from British Gas. They require proof that you've ordered a car when you order the charging point so there's no way to get it organised before. They're now contacted me to say it'll be a 6 week wait to get a charging point installed, which means there's no way for me to practically charge my car at home - charging from a 3 pin socket means leaving a door open which i don't really want to do overnight.

British Gas are saying they need me to gett an isolation switch installed before the install date (at the moment I just have a meter and fuseboard). My 'by the book' electrician is saying he can install a switch but need the Distribution Network Operator to connect it up. He also says that according to the latest building regs any new circuit needs an RCD, and my fuseboard doesn't have these. So thats 3 electricians and a few different jobs just to install a 3kW power socket, which is the same power as my electric heater.

Similar to what Barry said BG did fit a mini consumer unit with RCD to feed the charge point.

Is all this necessary or is there a simpler way? Are there other companies apart from BG that can do the install for a similar price?
I think I can help here as I used to work as a meter installer. As such we used to install isolation switches between meter and Consumer unit(fuseboard). It is not for the DNO but your actual electricity supplier to do this. Some may try to charge you others not. If they do, change supplier to one that does not, or at least threaten to. All you need say is to enable change of consumer unit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think I can help here as I used to work as a meter installer. As such we used to install isolation switches between meter and Consumer unit(fuseboard). It is not for the DNO but your actual electricity supplier to do this. Some may try to charge you others not. If they do, change supplier to one that does not, or at least threaten to. All you need say is to enable change of consumer unit.
Thanks that matches what it says on the DNO's website. What about the RCD, will british gas install this, is it not needed, or should i get the supplier to fit an RCD with the switch?

The extra complication is that there are no spare fuses/ways on the fuseboard. One fuse is currently on a dedicated circuit for an immersion heater which is no longer used, would british gas be ok to use that or would i need to get an electrician just to disconnect the wires for the immersion heater from the fuseboard before the visit?

I'd have everything ready for british gas when they come in mid jan then have them refuse to install and reschedule another visit 6 weeks later :(
 

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Nissan Leaf Driver @tw1nspark
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British Gas did mine. Had no issue. They installed the RCD and even ran earth bonding round the my gas income as it wasn't visible to him. It was the 30amp upgrade option I went for but that shouldn't of made any difference.
You don't need a spare fuse on the board. They can piggy-back off the main breaker straight to a standalone RCD then out to the charge unit. I had mine done a little over a year ago so not sure if something has changed since.
Hope this helps in some way. Use me as a reference if you like. I can pm you the details.
 

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I've just bought a (used) Leaf, and at the same time ordered an electric charging point install from British Gas. They require proof that you've ordered a car when you order the charging point so there's no way to get it organised before. They're now contacted me to say it'll be a 6 week wait to get a charging point installed, which means there's no way for me to practically charge my car at home - charging from a 3 pin socket means leaving a door open which i don't really want to do overnight.

British Gas are saying they need me to gett an isolation switch installed before the install date (at the moment I just have a meter and fuseboard). My 'by the book' electrician is saying he can install a switch but need the Distribution Network Operator to connect it up. He also says that according to the latest building regs any new circuit needs an RCD, and my fuseboard doesn't have these. So thats 3 electricians and a few different jobs just to install a 3kW power socket, which is the same power as my electric heater.

Is all this necessary or is there a simpler way? Are there other companies apart from BG that can do the install for a similar price?
The BG contractor who installed my wallbox for the Zoe did the entire job on his lonesome in a day (before teatime)..little muss,no fuss..no mention of isolators or preconditions to be met..I did inquire from my Electric suppliers (NIE) as to whether I needed one,they said it wasn't their problem,the Spark would sort it out when doing the job..
 

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Nissan Leaf Driver @tw1nspark
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The BG contractor who installed my wallbox for the Zoe did the entire job on his lonesome in a day (before teatime)..little muss,no fuss..no mention of isolators or preconditions to be met..I did inquire from my Electric suppliers (NIE) as to whether I needed one,they said it wasn't their problem,the Spark would sort it out when doing the job..
^^^ Same here. One guy took about 5hours to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok thanks all, i'm feeling a tad more optimistic. just been on the phone to my energy supplier (good energy) who said they need to coordinate with the DNO and the meter supplier and will get back to me soon, apparently the meter supplier may not be willing to fit a switch in which case they can instead turn off the supply to the house for 1/2 a day while the work is carried out. I can't see BG liking that option as the electricity may unexpectedly turn on while they're in the middle of install!
 

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The electricity company will wait for a call from the electrician before turning the power back on.
 

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ok thanks all, i'm feeling a tad more optimistic. just been on the phone to my energy supplier (good energy) who said they need to coordinate with the DNO and the meter supplier and will get back to me soon, apparently the meter supplier may not be willing to fit a switch in which case they can instead turn off the supply to the house for 1/2 a day while the work is carried out. I can't see BG liking that option as the electricity may unexpectedly turn on while they're in the middle of install!
I used to love that, paid for two jobs and do one. I would turn up in the morning fit an isolator and say switch it back on when you finish. Clearly this has nothing to do with DNO. The meter supplier works for good energy so they should do what they are told.
 

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I found BG most intractable to deal with. I received all kinds of inaccurate/false info regarding the day they were going to do the work. Eventually some bloke turned up and tried to do the installation. He brought a battery-powered drill with him and spent half the morning trying to charge the batteries (!) because our doorstep was just much too solid for him to get through. Eventually he managed to drill through the brickwork and did the installation. I decided to get the 32 amp version even though my Leaf has the 3.3kw charger. I also had more than the standard amount of cable so I was expecting a bill from BG. However, I never received one.

In recent months I had a few phone calls from BG asking if they could come and visit my charger to see if it was working properly. It was very unclear what it was that they wanted but last week I received a "Certificate of Compliance" to say that the installation had been carried out correctly. How this happened I don't know, because I would have thought that the issuer of that certificate ought to have had access to our understairs cupboard to inspect the wiring.

So far as the unit itself is concerned, I have been very pleased with it. Our typical charge is to 80% overnight. Last Thursday we arrived home with about 6% in the battery and at 4.15am I received the Carwings email to tell me that charging had stopped. That's pretty good, I reckon: 4 hours 15 minutes for that sort of charge.
 

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My BG install was painless.

He used a spare circuit on my main consumer unit (fuse box), and added a new standalone mini consumer unit next to it with a single RCD. Then he put an isolator next to that. Then connected new cable to that. All after the fuse box. I'll do you a pic...

Electronics Technology Electronic device Magenta
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I should have called this thread 'how many electricians does it take to fit a power socket'.

BG have asked me to get an isolation switch fitted by an electrician, the electrician has asked me to get my energy company to sort it since they're not allowed to touch the meter, my energy company have said the meter company don't fit isolation switches in this area and they can't force them, so instead have offered free of charge (how nice) for someone from the meter company to come round in a 2 hour slot one morning to disconnect the power, come round the same afternoon in a two hour slot to reconnect it, thus giving me the chance to arrange an electrician to come inbetween to fit a switch. So basically i'll be without power (or heat) at home one winter day, and if any of the slots gets missed then i'll have to pay a fee to who over does turn up on time to do the whole dance again another day. What a joke.

Julian - i'm guessing my install will look like yours although my consumer unit doesn't have RCDs and all this isolation switch business may be unnecessary, but i can't risk BG refusing to install and offering another date 6 weeks later.

I get the impression BG are busy with these installs so are asking customers to make things easier for them so they fit more jobs in.
 

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I'm completely unqualified to advise...!

But they used a spare "fuse" in my fuse box, and put a standalone RCD next to it. So the BG charger is protected by the new RCD, and BG did the install just by turning off the main switch in the meter cupboard (to isolate the fuse box), then everything after that is easy peasy.

I used the cable-out-the-window for the first few weeks until it was fitted - just didn't leave it like that overnight!!
 

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We are with Eon and once I got put through to the installations dept they were more helpful to explain what we needed as British Gas didn't offer much help - we only found out we needed an isolation switch after reading & checking the web. It turns out we already had an isolator switch fitted in the electric box on the wall outside but they replaced it with a new one....BG then fitted the charging unit in the garage and came off a spare spur on the consumer unit in the hallway.

As the colleague from the customer service dept didn't seem much help maybe you' get more help from your providers installations dept as ours were more than helpful when we told them what we needed for an EV. Hope that helps
 

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What happened to pulling the main incoming fuse that's all that used to happen when fitting new consumer units. Is it new legislation that an isolation switch has to be fitted? Or as Julian says above just switch off the consumer unit. Unless you had no spare ways in your current consumer unit then the incoming would have to be isolated so that you can come off the main switch into another small consumer unit with mcb and rcd or rcbo.

What size charger do you have Julian? That switch spur looks like a 13amp rated one?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In my property it looks like 'pulling the main fuse' would mean opening the meter cover which only the meter supplier is supposed to do, hence all the hassle. Just switching off the consumer unit and using a spare way would probably be ok in my case but bg have asked for a switch so I'd rather jump through their hoops than risk them refusing to install.
 

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Thanks Thomas but i'm in London which may be a bit far for you.

I'm a bit confused by your answer Barry, I think BG have asked me to install a switch *before* the fuseboard so their electrician can safely work on the fuseboard, and you're saying they fitted one for you between the fuseboard and charging point? Anyway I'll get some more quotes from other electricians and see if my DNO / energy supplier can get everything ready for BG.
For the record we cover the whole of the UK ☺
 
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