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Hi
I currently have an electric vehicle on order (Toyota PHEV plug-in) and British Gas are going to do an online survey for the install. I don’t think I have the necessary electrics. I have a thick cable running from the consumer unit under the house up the wall of a nearby detached garage and into the garage where there is an electrical box. Please see photos. I’m going to ask BG what do I need to add, I’m hoping BG will tell me and not just say not suitable.

Is it feasible to use the existing cable in the consumer unit (marked garage) and put a fused box in the garage, thereby not having to run a new cable ?

Photos attached, any advice appreciated, thanks.
 

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Your existing garage supply is only 32A, and will probably be run using 6mm² cable. Given you have garage sockets and lights on the same circuit that cable would likely need upgraded. You can also see that the cable has through crimps inside the consumer unit which I would not feel especially confident relying on for continuous 32A charge.

The garage supply is also broken somewhere else as it’s 3-core SWA (probably) at the garage end but looks like Twin&Earth at the consumer end (colours don’t match). This could be where it emerges through the building wall (is there a box on the outside with the black cable going into it?).

The only real option you have without upgrading the cable would be to have a charge point that monitors the load on the garage supply (using a CT clamp) and restricts the charge rate of the car while other loads in the garage are turned on.

The garage end has a number of issues which need resolved. Primarily the box is not really suitable and would be best replaced with an actual mini-consumer unit that has dedicated neutral and earth bars (the way all the neutrals are stuffed into the bottom of the RCD is nasty). The other issue is that the 63A RCD in that box is type AC and needs to be upgraded to at least a type A.
 

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Hi
I currently have an electric vehicle on order (Toyota PHEV plug-in) and British Gas are going to do an online survey for the install. I don’t think I have the necessary electrics. I have a thick cable running from the consumer unit under the house up the wall of a nearby detached garage and into the garage where there is an electrical box. Please see photos. I’m going to ask BG what do I need to add, I’m hoping BG will tell me and not just say not suitable.

Is it feasible to use the existing cable in the consumer unit (marked garage) and put a fused box in the garage, thereby not having to run a new cable ?

Photos attached, any advice appreciated, thanks.
Forget British Gas.
Forget 2nd guess forum replies.
Get a decent local sparky in, explain what you want. The sparky will explain options and what's required. That's what they do.
 

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Forget British Gas.
Forget 2nd guess forum replies.
Get a decent local sparky in, explain what you want. The sparky will explain options and what's required. That's what they do.
If there's a "paid for" install via BG it is worth getting them to suggest what they would do as well as following the rest of @freddym 's advice. There are some potentially creative solutions that a decent Sparky "on the ground" can work through to come up with the best solution.

One question to ponder is whether you want to "future proof" your installation by looking to install a 32A charge point for when you go to a full BEV or whether you are looking for a medium term solution and will accept a 16A one for ease of installation.
 

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Forget British Gas.
Forget 2nd guess forum replies.
Get a decent local sparky in, explain what you want. The sparky will explain options and what's required. That's what they do.
Yes, I will contact my local electrician, just wanted to get a few ideas before BG do their survey next week, thanks.
 

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If there's a "paid for" install via BG it is worth getting them to suggest what they would do as well as following the rest of @freddym 's advice. There are some potentially creative solutions that a decent Sparky "on the ground" can work through to come up with the best solution.

One question to ponder is whether you want to "future proof" your installation by looking to install a 32A charge point for when you go to a full BEV or whether you are looking for a medium term solution and will accept a 16A one for ease of installation.
Good point, thanks.
 

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There is more than one solution!

First thing I'd recommend is binning off BG. I've heard a lot of terrible reviews of their BEV charging point installation service. Makes sense for a "greenwashing" service undertaken by a FF company to be low-priority.

Solution 1: Swap the 32A MCB for garage sockets for a 20A, and install a 16A BEV charging point (applying diversity). 16A is plenty for a PHEV, but if you see a big-battery BEV in your future then you'll only add 120miles (ish) in 8hrs overnight. Fine if you have a short commute, but you do a lot of miles and you get home late/leave early it's not going to cut it.

Solution 2: Install a 32A Zappi (or similar). This can vary the charge rate of the BEV to ensure the garage supply never goes above 32A. So if the car is plugged in and you run your lawnmower (or whatever) from the garage sockets, the car-charging will slow down while the device is running. Won't be a problem for your slow-charging BEV, but important if a friend/family member charges their BEV, or you get a BEV in future.

In all circumstances you need a proper spark to check over the installation.

BEV charging isn't the same as other devices. Your washing machine might be rated at 13A, but it only draws that momentarily (while heating water) the vast majority of its 2hr cycle it draws 1-2A. Whereas BEV charging draws full whack for the entire 10hr charging period.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
There is more than one solution!

First thing I'd recommend is binning off BG. I've heard a lot of terrible reviews of their BEV charging point installation service. Makes sense for a "greenwashing" service undertaken by a FF company to be low-priority.

Solution 1: Swap the 32A MCB for garage sockets for a 20A, and install a 16A BEV charging point (applying diversity). 16A is plenty for a PHEV, but if you see a big-battery BEV in your future then you'll only add 120miles (ish) in 8hrs overnight. Fine if you have a short commute, but you do a lot of miles and you get home late/leave early it's not going to cut it.

Solution 2: Install a 32A Zappi (or similar). This can vary the charge rate of the BEV to ensure the garage supply never goes above 32A. So if the car is plugged in and you run your lawnmower (or whatever) from the garage sockets, the car-charging will slow down while the device is running. Won't be a problem for your slow-charging BEV, but important if a friend/family member charges their BEV, or you get a BEV in future.

In all circumstances you need a proper spark to check over the installation.

BEV charging isn't the same as other devices. Your washing machine might be rated at 13A, but it only draws that momentarily (while heating water) the vast majority of its 2hr cycle it draws 1-2A. Whereas BEV charging draws full whack for the entire 10hr charging period.
Many thanks for the suggestions, a lot for me to think about.
 

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On 14/10/21 I started with BG (HIVE) and still waiting on my chargepoint.

I have 2 electric showers only one used at any time. The fuses are 50A and 40A. I also have power in the garage and the usual cooker, washing machine etc. My circuit board fuse is 60A. They are now saying upgrading my house supply from 60 to 100A still won't be enough to be able to fit an EV point.

My next door neighbour has a bigger house and got his EV point from Podpoint in 7 weeks. I've been waiting 3 months.

Anyone any ideas how to get them to get their finger out? I'm terminally ill and that doesn't seem to bother them 😞
 

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On 14/10/21 I started with BG (HIVE) and still waiting on my chargepoint.

I have 2 electric showers only one used at any time. The fuses are 50A and 40A. I also have power in the garage and the usual cooker, washing machine etc. My circuit board fuse is 60A. They are now saying upgrading my house supply from 60 to 100A still won't be enough to be able to fit an EV point.

My next door neighbour has a bigger house and got his EV point from Podpoint in 7 weeks. I've been waiting 3 months.

Anyone any ideas how to get them to get their finger out? I'm terminally ill and that doesn't seem to bother them 😞
Bin off BG! They're crap. It is insane to have a FF company install a product designed to ensure they go out of business!

You shouldn't have 2x electric showers on a 60A supply. Installing one electric shower on a 60A supply OR an EV charging point is a bit iffy, and prohibited by some DNOs. Two of the above is negligent, three is utter silliness!

No one credible will install an EV charging point at your house without significant work.

Diversity is a complicated subject and certainly an electrician is permitted to exercise judgement. "Diversity" is why 2x 32A rings and 2x 6A lighting circuits (totalling 76A) can be on a 60A supply. Basically it means your washing machine probably won't be heating water at the same time as your toaster or kettle is running. The vast majority of devices pull their rated bower for only a few minutes in any hour and probably not at the same time.

There are several ways to calculate diversity and the rules allow plenty of judgement to be applied by the electrician. However no diversity can be applied to the first two electric showers, and never to a BEV charging point. That is why under no circumstances should 40A and 50A electric showers be on a 60A supply. They're too much even if there were no other circuits!

You can get a "priority board", this can be set up to switch your BEV charging point off while the shower is running and give power to whichever shower is turned on first shutting the other one off while the first is running. You cannot just say "we never use both showers at the same time" it is those situations that burn people's houses down!

Here is what I suggest:

Step 1: Upgrade your supply to 100A.

Step 2: Get a priority board installed for the two showers and a Zappi (or similar) BEV charging point, that can vary the charge-rate in real time to ensure you don't go over the 100A.
 

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The shower problem can be easily solved with a priority box, that works by only allowing one of the two showers to be on at any one time. You can either get a priority box set so that one shower takes precedence, or one that works on a first come, first served, basis. The most popular shower priority box is probably the Garo one, and they do one specifically to allow two showers and an EV charge point to operate from a current limited supply: Garo 1 Row 2 Showers 63A EV Charger Priority Distribution Board / Consumer Unit

Alternatively, you could opt for a charge point that has load limiting, although I think that you're already way over the maximum load with just the two showers and other stuff. An another option might be to look at fixing the shower problem with a shower priority box, then fitting a load limiting charge point.

There are lots of options to be able to install several high load devices safely, such that there is no risk of the supply being accidentally overloaded, just needs an installer that understands how best to make that happen for your installation.
 

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Thank you. Glad to have some help. Sadly only after looking on here have I discovered BG are no good. (Wish I looked earlier). They say they will eventually get it done. Surely there are homes operating even more electricity than me though?

Nobody tells you about EV pitfalls when you buy the car.

It was a qualified electrician that fitted the second shower. In all honesty we have never had 2 of them on at the same time.

Surely because we would only ever charge overnight there would be very little load issues?

BG say they will contact the DNO re the upgrade to 100A but we would need to disconnect one of the showers. Does that make sense?

They mentioned something called an isolation switch is that something that is useful. Sorry I'm not an expert in electrics so any help is great.
 

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Thank you too. BG haven't suggested any options and had us hanging on all this time. I want to ditch them but feel they should have highlighted the issues and solutions before now. You guys have said more in 10 minutes than they have in 13 weeks.

So there is a way to get this done but they haven't said how, or how much, or who does what? So far they have said they do everything.

Any ideas how to best put it to them what is needed (without sweary words😊)

Also if they say this will cost more than the standard fitting what would be reasonable?

Thanks again.
 

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The issue is one of not relying on behaviour to prevent a circuit overload. Whilst some would be quite OK about modifying their behaviour so as to always keep the load within limits, others may well not be. For that reason the regs require that the risk of overload be mitigated in such a way that it doesn't matter what a consumer does, they cannot cause the installation to exceed it's rated current capability.

A priority box removes the need to remove one of the showers - it mitigates the overload risk by only allowing one to operate at a time. The basic shower priority box (without the EV capability) is this one: Garo 1 Row Shower Priority Metal Board | Express Electrical

I would advise trying to find a good local electrician that understands how to best design and install load limiting kit. It's not rocket science, but also not something that some of the big EV installers will really want to be bothered with - they very much work on the basis of making the EV charge point installation as simple for them, even if it means making things less convenient for the customer.
 

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Thank you. Glad to have some help. Sadly only after looking on here have I discovered BG are no good. (Wish I looked earlier). They say they will eventually get it done. Surely there are homes operating even more electricity than me though?

Nobody tells you about EV pitfalls when you buy the car.

It was a qualified electrician that fitted the second shower. In all honesty we have never had 2 of them on at the same time.

Surely because we would only ever charge overnight there would be very little load issues?

BG say they will contact the DNO re the upgrade to 100A but we would need to disconnect one of the showers. Does that make sense?

They mentioned something called an isolation switch is that something that is useful. Sorry I'm not an expert in electrics so any help is great.
I believe you when you say you don't use both at the same time. But that is very different from fitting a device that prevents them form running at the same time. An electrician should have considered what happens if you move out, or on your daughter's wedding day when 4x bridesmaids all need showers, or whatever...

A priority board is a standard solution to this problem and one that your electrician should have fitted as standard with a 2nd electric shower irrelevant of 60, 80, or 100A supply.

However electric showers might pull a huuuuge amount of power, but they only do so for 15-30 mins a day. A BEV charging point can pull full power for 10-12hrs straight. That is a different scale of problem. But one easily solved with a Zappi (or similar load limiting charging point).
 

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Thanks I understand now and thanks for the explanation(Luckily one son and he's flown the nest - no daughters😊).

I'm going to back to British Gas to say please fit a priority box and arrange the upgrade fuse to 100A and see what they say.

My DNO should upgrade the fuse for free but what would be a reasonable charge by BG for supplying and fitting the priority box etc. so I can check they are not going to rip me off?

Will keep you guys posted.

Cheers
 

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I’m interested to see how much they quote and if it’s done for free as BG are coming to me on 28th to do a survey and I think I will need some extras. Good luck. Mine is via Toyota / BG, is yours the same ?
 

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Thanks I understand now and thanks for the explanation(Luckily one son and he's flown the nest - no daughters😊).

I'm going to back to British Gas to say please fit a priority box and arrange the upgrade fuse to 100A and see what they say.

My DNO should upgrade the fuse for free but what would be a reasonable charge by BG for supplying and fitting the priority box etc. so I can check they are not going to rip me off?

Will keep you guys posted.

Cheers
I know someone who was charged £135 by his DNO recently to have his supply upgraded to 100A. He was happy because he'd been lead to believe he was on a looped supply...
 
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