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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I’ve posted elsewhere that my 16A Chargemaster EVSE packed up at 7 years old. As it was originally supplied for free under some govt scheme I can’t really complain.

But I was a bit horrified about how much the replacement was going to cost, with no grant assistance. Chargemaster wanted around £600 for a direct replacement and the next cheapest was something like £900. I may have been able to do better with a local sparks but before I started to investigate, @HandyAndy recommended I look at EVBitz as they sell components at good prices, and he knew of someone for whom they had rebuilt a Chargemaster.

My experience with them was so good I thought I would write it up here as a recommendation.

Essentially they were prepared to take my existing box, clear out the innards and rebuild a new EVSE to my spec, while offering advice.

Martin there was really helpful. As the specs have now changed, I didn't already have the earthing etc required under current regs, but I was put onto the Viridian v2 EPC which does have the PEN protection. It is on its own 6 mm2 cable. It seemed a good safe idea to go along with a suggestion to throttle it down a few amps by including a resistor, as my car only draws at 16A anyway (Ampera). When I later upgrade I can sort out the breaker, and remove the resistor. He has cut a window into the box so I can reach the breaker without dismantling the whole unit.

I also have Octopus electricity and wanted to include a smart switch to switch the power according to tariff cost – I have a Home Assistant which can sort out the right times.

So I sent the lot off to Martin, including a mini Sonoff WiFi switch, and about 10 days later got it all back again, all upgraded and tested. The cost turned to be a little over half the next cheapest option but that was with an upgrade to 32A and with WiFi. If the ECSE circuit is protected by an RCBO in the consumer unit (fuse box) then this would have made the conversion even cheaper by avoiding the need to both supply an RCBO for the EVSE box as well as adding a window to the box to access it

So I would thoroughly recommend EVBitz for your EVSE needs. Prompt, professional and good prices!! Here is a picture of my newly configured box. I would add that I have no connection with them other than being a very satisfied customer!!



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For others reading this with faulty Chargemaster units, bear in mind they can often be repaired and @andyfras confirmed he is still offering a repair service.

A replacement EVSE can be installed by a local electrician, mine replaced my 16A Polar Type 1 with a PodPoint Type 2 but my supply cable was definitely not sufficient for 32A, so it was downrated to 20A. My Polar Type 1 worked fine (was a recent warranty replacement) so sold OK on ebay. He sourced the PodPoint at a good price, it was the older model that needed an earth rod but I already had one.

Today, AFAIK the cheapest new (CE rated) EVSE is the Octopus OHME deal at £199 and it is easy to remove the commando plug and hard wire. Obviously it is best to upgrade to latest 18thEd safety measures, which can add cost for new RCBO, etc.

Personally, I wouldn't DIY build or modify an EVSE, but everyone has a different appetite for risk, etc. We have already seen one member here with a serious electrical fire.
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