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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently going through the preparation steps before getting a fuse upgrade to 100A for charger - UKPN sent a list of things that needed to be done, including upgrading the tails between the meter and fuse, which has to be done by the supplier. Except this was the response to the request: "As Evolve is an online only supplier , unfortunately we don't have engineers that can help with meter upgrades. If you were to change your supplier to another supplier they will be able to carry out this work for you.", which basically amounts to 'change supplier and figure it out with them'.

Anyone with experience on this and what could be done? 80A is an option but we wanted the extra headroom and have already got the rest of the tails done by an electrician.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You should be fine with an 80A fuse. What else are you liking to be using at the same time?
Honestly I agree, just originally thought that since an upgrade would be needed, might as well go for 100A in case anything changes in the future. Bit frustrating to spend the money to get part of the tails upgraded to 25mm only to find out that it might be unnecessary because the supplier simply will not do a job they're responsible for (??). Was hoping that there might be a solution although it's starting to look like we will just have to deal with it and go for an 80A fuse.
 

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Three different zones:

1) The incoming supply and the supply fuse is the responsibility of your DNO (Distribution Network Operator).
2) The tails and meter is the responsibility of your current energy supplier. Nobody else can touch the meter or main fuse tails.
3) All inboard of the meter is the responsibility of the property owner who would need to employ a sparky. Only an authorised electrician is allowed to pull the main fuse in order, if necessary, to isolate the property for in-board electrical work. The authorised electrician would reseal the fuse and cerrtify their work to keep the meter tamper proof back to the DNO. The authorised electrician is not permitted to upgrade the main fuse and must replace like for like.

In your case you would need first an authorised electrician to upgrade the meter tails then get the DNO to agree to come out and upgrade the fuse.

However it would be best to check first that the DNO are happy to authorise the upgrade. They might not if there are constraints in the local distribution network.

In this case the energy supplier is not involved because there is no meter issue unless the tails from the main fuse need upgrading as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Who installed your meter for you?
I'm... actually not sure. Might need to check that haha

Three different zones:

1) The incoming supply and the supply fuse is the responsibility of your DNO (Distribution Network Operator).
2) The tails and meter is the responsibility of your current energy supplier. Nobody else can touch the meter or main fuse tails.
3) All inboard of the meter is the responsibility of the property owner who would need to employ a sparky. Only an authorised electrician is allowed to pull the main fuse in order, if necessary, to isolate the property for in-board electrical work. The authorised electrician would reseal the fuse and cerrtify their work to keep the meter tamper proof back to the DNO. The authorised electrician is not permitted to upgrade the main fuse and must replace like for like.
Thanks, yeah that's what UKPN explained as well. Current situation is we need 2) to be done, supplier acknowledges it's their responsibility but presumably because it's not essential work says that they don't have anyone who does it.
 

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As a general ( and very unofficial) rule, DNOs will often give authorisation to pull the main fuse when asked. Lost count of the number of times I've done it. I used to just pull them and then ring afterwards and say I'd found the seal broken, and could they pop around and re-seal the fuse. For the past few years I've been doing it properly, ring the DNO, get authorisation on the phone, get them to send an email confirmation (just arse covering) and lodge a request for them to reseal the fuse next time they are in the area.

More complex with suppliers, as they can get iffy about cutting the meter fuse. However, I've done tails changes two or three times when the supplier has been happy for me to cut the seal and do the work, with them coming around at some later date to reseal the meter and fuse. Also, some meters now have unsealed consumer side tail terminal covers, so with the fuse pulled there's no need to break a meter seal in order to fit new tails.

If all else fails there is always the guaranteed "get out of jail" option, which is to pull the fuse because you have found a defect that is an immediate danger to life. Nothing they can do about this, you have a duty of care to isolate a dangerous supply as quickly as possible, and although you're supposed to do this via the DNO, in reality they seem to be OK with someone competent doing it.

Officially, electricians are not supposed to work on either the DNO or supplier side equipment, but if an electrician ever tells you that he's never pulled a main fuse then he's either very new to the job or lying. I've never met anyone that's not pulled a fuse, even though few of them would ever openly admit doing it (it's an offence to tamper with the supply equipment). I've also never heard of anyone even getting so much as a telling off from the DNO or supplier, let alone having action taken against them (unless there's theft of electricity suspected).

It's impractical to always have to rely on the supplier or DNO to do things like this, and can be costly, as some charge a hefty call out fee. Seek advice from a local electrician, then turn a blind eye when "Pablo" appears out of no where and pulls the fuse . . .
 

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The whole British Gas position is complete cobblers. There are many on-line only electricity suppliers who fulfill their legal duties by using contractors. Actually, I think that even the "proper" electricity suppliers use contractors for this sort of work too.

You just hit on a particularly ignorant call centre operator IMHO. Who may well work for yet another sub-contractor him/herself!
 

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The whole British Gas position is complete cobblers. There are many on-line only electricity suppliers who fulfill their legal duties by using contractors. Actually, I think that even the "proper" electricity suppliers use contractors for this sort of work too.

You just hit on a particularly ignorant call centre operator IMHO. Who may well work for yet another sub-contractor him/herself!
Even the DNOs use contractors, now. Last two DNO chaps I spoke to locally weren't DNO employees, but subbies. One of them was a student, working for the DNO as a part time contractor, for after hours work only, believe it or not.
 

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As a general ( and very unofficial) rule, DNOs will often give authorisation to pull the main fuse when asked. Lost count of the number of times I've done it. I used to just pull them and then ring afterwards and say I'd found the seal broken, and could they pop around and re-seal the fuse. For the past few years I've been doing it properly, ring the DNO, get authorisation on the phone, get them to send an email confirmation (just arse covering) and lodge a request for them to reseal the fuse next time they are in the area.

More complex with suppliers, as they can get iffy about cutting the meter fuse. However, I've done tails changes two or three times when the supplier has been happy for me to cut the seal and do the work, with them coming around at some later date to reseal the meter and fuse. Also, some meters now have unsealed consumer side tail terminal covers, so with the fuse pulled there's no need to break a meter seal in order to fit new tails.

If all else fails there is always the guaranteed "get out of jail" option, which is to pull the fuse because you have found a defect that is an immediate danger to life. Nothing they can do about this, you have a duty of care to isolate a dangerous supply as quickly as possible, and although you're supposed to do this via the DNO, in reality they seem to be OK with someone competent doing it.

Officially, electricians are not supposed to work on either the DNO or supplier side equipment, but if an electrician ever tells you that he's never pulled a main fuse then he's either very new to the job or lying. I've never met anyone that's not pulled a fuse, even though few of them would ever openly admit doing it (it's an offence to tamper with the supply equipment). I've also never heard of anyone even getting so much as a telling off from the DNO or supplier, let alone having action taken against them (unless there's theft of electricity suspected).

It's impractical to always have to rely on the supplier or DNO to do things like this, and can be costly, as some charge a hefty call out fee. Seek advice from a local electrician, then turn a blind eye when "Pablo" appears out of no where and pulls the fuse . . .
An authorised electrician can legally pull the main fuse to do work. First when on site they tell the DNO what is going to happen. then do the work, they carry a small stock of seals from the DNO so can reseal on the spot and on completion notifies the DNO the supply is resealed and accounts for the seal that has been used. The problem comes with the energy suppliers who employ contractors who are only able to change a meter and lack the training and skills to replace the tails from the main fuse to the meter.
 

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An authorised electrician can legally pull the main fuse to do work. First when on site they tell the DNO what is going to happen. then do the work, they carry a small stock of seals from the DNO so can reseal on the spot and on completion notifies the DNO the supply is resealed and accounts for the seal that has been used. The problem comes with the energy suppliers who employ contractors who are only able to change a meter and lack the training and skills to replace the tails from the main fuse to the meter.

I know, I am one, have been for many years (used to teach apprentice electricians as a college lecturer in the 1970's)!

I don't have a set of sealing pliers, though, never bothered, mainly because the electricity boards never allowed anyone other than their own staff to have them, and when privatisation came along I couldn't be bothered to go through the rigmarole, as at the start every supplier adopted a different seal standard, and they were all different to the lead seals that the new DNOs were using (as a hang over from the old electricity board days). I've always found that the DNO or supplier will pop around to re-seal next time they are in the area, although they aren't always that quick. I once went back to a job nearly a year later and the fuse seal was still missing. In practice it depends on knowing the right person to ring, I've found. If I have to call the main local depot then it's often a bit of a long drawn out process on the phone, but the local DNO chap from the sub-depot just down the road is as good as gold.

As for lack of training and skills, last DNO contractor that came out (because of a network fault) didn't even have a torque screwdriver, or have a clue that he needed one. He insisted on disconnecting the tails from the isolator to test Ze, (fair enough), but then just tightened the terminal screws by hand and was going to leave it at that and put the cover back on. I nipped indoors and got my torque screwdriver and asked if he minded if I did the final inspection and test before he popped the seals back on.
 

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Why not switch to Octopus - perhaps you should be with them anyway as most on this forum are, lol! After a few nudges they did arrange for a meter installer to replace my meter tails with 25mm (I got blue&brown colour coded cables :cool:), install an isolator switch after the meter, and replace the tails between the meter and switch (OCD satisfied as the two colours look neat and replaced the grey ones).

The chap told me it was actually booked as a meter replacement. Perhaps Computer Says No to replacement meter tails? Anyway took him about 80 mins, did a decent job, and I paid £0 to Octopus.
 

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Recently had my incoming supply upgraded to 100A. booked the DNO to do the Fuse, he kindly did the tails for me at the same time. There are rules and then there are bits of 25mm cable. Getting a supplier out to upgrade 6 inches of cable is a nonsense, a sentiment my friend from DNO agreed with.
 

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An authorised electrician can legally pull the main fuse to do work. First when on site they tell the DNO what is going to happen. then do the work, they carry a small stock of seals from the DNO so can reseal on the spot and on completion notifies the DNO the supply is resealed and accounts for the seal that has been used. The problem comes with the energy suppliers who employ contractors who are only able to change a meter and lack the training and skills to replace the tails from the main fuse to the meter.
lack the training and skills to terminate 25mm cable?? hmmm
 

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As a general ( and very unofficial) rule, DNOs will often give authorisation to pull the main fuse when asked. Lost count of the number of times I've done it. I used to just pull them and then ring afterwards and say I'd found the seal broken, and could they pop around and re-seal the fuse. For the past few years I've been doing it properly, ring the DNO, get authorisation on the phone, get them to send an email confirmation (just arse covering) and lodge a request for them to reseal the fuse next time they are in the area.

More complex with suppliers, as they can get iffy about cutting the meter fuse. However, I've done tails changes two or three times when the supplier has been happy for me to cut the seal and do the work, with them coming around at some later date to reseal the meter and fuse. Also, some meters now have unsealed consumer side tail terminal covers, so with the fuse pulled there's no need to break a meter seal in order to fit new tails.

If all else fails there is always the guaranteed "get out of jail" option, which is to pull the fuse because you have found a defect that is an immediate danger to life. Nothing they can do about this, you have a duty of care to isolate a dangerous supply as quickly as possible, and although you're supposed to do this via the DNO, in reality they seem to be OK with someone competent doing it.

Officially, electricians are not supposed to work on either the DNO or supplier side equipment, but if an electrician ever tells you that he's never pulled a main fuse then he's either very new to the job or lying. I've never met anyone that's not pulled a fuse, even though few of them would ever openly admit doing it (it's an offence to tamper with the supply equipment). I've also never heard of anyone even getting so much as a telling off from the DNO or supplier, let alone having action taken against them (unless there's theft of electricity suspected).

It's impractical to always have to rely on the supplier or DNO to do things like this, and can be costly, as some charge a hefty call out fee. Seek advice from a local electrician, then turn a blind eye when "Pablo" appears out of no where and pulls the fuse . . .
has anyone ever been sanctioned for pulling a fuse on a job? seems like one of those legacy myths from public ownership days.
 

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lack the training and skills to terminate 25mm cable?? hmmm
Sadly true. Things I've regularly seen:

  • Tails with the outer insulation cut back too far, leaving single insulated cable exposed (potentially unsafe and would be marked as such on an EICR)
  • Tails with exposed conductor showing outside the termination (definitely very unsafe, and something that needs immediate rectification)
  • Tails with loose terminal screws (pretty commonplace - caused by a failure to properly torque the screws down).
  • Tails with the inner insulation not stripped back far enough, so the terminal isn't gripping wholly on the conductor.
  • Tails that have worked loose as a result of movement (for this reason alone I now only ever use flexitails).
These are all defects in workmanship that can only really have been made by someone that's supposed to be competent, as few DIY'er ever fiddle around with the tails (unless they are trying to fiddle the meter, perhaps).

has anyone ever been sanctioned for pulling a fuse on a job? seems like one of those legacy myths from public ownership days.
In around 50 years I've never, ever heard of anyone being sanctioned for pulling a fuse. I've never even heard of anyone getting a bollocking from the DNO for doing it. I have had the odd humorous remark from a DNO chap about Amelie *, but that's all in fun.

* Amelie the Seal Fairy (Mar 18, 2010 edition) | Open Library
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Recently had my incoming supply upgraded to 100A. booked the DNO to do the Fuse, he kindly did the tails for me at the same time. There are rules and then there are bits of 25mm cable. Getting a supplier out to upgrade 6 inches of cable is a nonsense, a sentiment my friend from DNO agreed with.
Did they know the tails weren't up to it when you got it booked with the DNO? Sounds like UKPN want everything done before they are willing to get the fuse changed booked.
 

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Did they know the tails weren't up to it when you got it booked with the DNO? Sounds like UKPN want everything done before they are willing to get the fuse changed booked.
If you upgrade the fuse before all the tails can handle the extra load then it is a safety issue. UKPN are clear on who needs to do what, and TBF they came out three times for free until everything was ready. The people doing the cut-out fuse and meter are rarely qualified to do all the work.
 
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