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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to covert to an EV car so badly, but I am facing a few issues. The major one is getting a charger installation.

Here is a few questions hoping you guys might be able to answer:
  1. Is it possible to charge my car just via a 3 pin socket?
  2. I know there is a multiple way to install an EV charger. But how much roughly is the optimal way going to cost me? (Meeting the 18th edition compliant - no granny charger)
  3. With a EV charger, is there a way to switch it off while I am away from home (in case strangers want to start using it)
Optional question
4. I am scared, and I dont know why. I have a semi detached house, with no garage. I just have front parking, and I am not sure how I can install a charger without a massive wire on the floor or hanging around while charging. Anyone have any recommendations?
 

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I want to covert to an EV car so badly, but I am facing a few issues. The major one is getting a charger installation.

Here is a few questions hoping you guys might be able to answer:
  1. Is it possible to charge my car just via a 3 pin socket?
  2. I know there is a multiple way to install an EV charger. But how much roughly is the optimal way going to cost me? (Meeting the 18th edition compliant - no granny charger)
  3. With a EV charger, is there a way to switch it off while I am away from home (in case strangers want to start using it)
Optional question
4. I am scared, and I dont know why. I have a semi detached house, with no garage. I just have front parking, and I am not sure how I can install a charger without a massive wire on the floor or hanging around while charging. Anyone have any recommendations?
1. Yes. My first plug-in car was a Chevrolet Volt. I used a 3 pin socket to charge that for four years and only had a proper EVSE (it's not technically a charger so EV supply equipment or EVSE is the pedantically correct way to describe it) installed shortly before I upgraded to an i3.

2. It varies a lot. There's a grant that covers some of the cost but the grant requires you get a smart charger so you may find its cheaper to not get the grant and install a dumb charger. Try getting quotes from some installers, they'll be specific to your needs. Check if any local electricians are qualified to install, again small companies may be more responsive to your needs than the nationwide installers.

3. The EVSE needs to be on its own mains circuit. That means there will be a breaker on your main distribution box that you can use to turn it off. Or with some of them you can get key locks to prevent unauthorised use.

4. Again ask an electrician. A good one will be able to suggest an appropriate solution that looks good and meets your particular needs. I looked at getting an EVSE when I first got my Volt but was put off by the big installer not wanting to do any but the most straightforward work. When thinking about my i3 I got another quote from a local electrician and they leant over backwards to be helpful.
 

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Zappi has an option to enter a pin code to charge. I don’t use that as it’s a pain to enter every time but I’ll probably turn it on when I’m away from the house for a while like on holiday. I’m sure others have similar options

No getting away from a box on the wall but a couple of options
1- Andersen A2 has a smart looking box and the cable coils up in a way that hides it from view very neatly. Expensive though
2- consider an untethered charger so it has no cable and you use the one in your car, and throw it in the boot every time. For that you need to balance the convenience of a cable always ready to plug/unplug in a few seconds vs a neater house
 

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  1. Is it possible to charge my car just via a 3 pin socket?
  2. I know there is a multiple way to install an EV charger. But how much roughly is the optimal way going to cost me? (Meeting the 18th edition compliant - no granny charger)
  3. With a EV charger, is there a way to switch it off while I am away from home (in case strangers want to start using it)
Optional question
4. I am scared, and I dont know why. I have a semi detached house, with no garage. I just have front parking, and I am not sure how I can install a charger without a massive wire on the floor or hanging around while charging. Anyone have any recommendations?
  1. Charging from a 3 pin socket works but it's slow. You also need to check that your wiring is up to scratch, charging a car for 8 hours is very different from boiling the kettle. Fires can happen if something isn't right.
  2. Depends a lot on whats involved. My pretty simple installation was about £350 (I think) after the OLEV and EST grants. Not all installs qualify for the grants, and different chargers have different prices so YMMV.
  3. I have a switch inside for doing that. My charger can also be disabled via an app, but it is very flakey.
  4. Is your front parking a driveway or on street?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
1. Yes. My first plug-in car was a Chevrolet Volt. I used a 3 pin socket to charge that for four years and only had a proper EVSE (it's not technically a charger so EV supply equipment or EVSE is the pedantically correct way to describe it) installed shortly before I upgraded to an i3.

2. It varies a lot. There's a grant that covers some of the cost but the grant requires you get a smart charger so you may find its cheaper to not get the grant and install a dumb charger. Try getting quotes from some installers, they'll be specific to your needs. Check if any local electricians are qualified to install, again small companies may be more responsive to your needs than the nationwide installers.

3. The EVSE needs to be on its own mains circuit. That means there will be a breaker on your main distribution box that you can use to turn it off. Or with some of them you can get key locks to prevent unauthorised use.

4. Again ask an electrician. A good one will be able to suggest an appropriate solution that looks good and meets your particular needs. I looked at getting an EVSE when I first got my Volt but was put off by the big installer not wanting to do any but the most straightforward work. When thinking about my i3 I got another quote from a local electrician and they leant over backwards to be helpful.
1. That is great to know that someone has already done this. How did it go using a socket?

Thank you for your response! I guess I need to find a good electrician.

Zappi has an option to enter a pin code to charge. I don’t use that as it’s a pain to enter every time but I’ll probably turn it on when I’m away from the house for a while like on holiday. I’m sure others have similar options

No getting away from a box on the wall but a couple of options
1- Andersen A2 has a smart looking box and the cable coils up in a way that hides it from view very neatly. Expensive though
2- consider an untethered charger so it has no cable and you use the one in your car, and throw it in the boot every time. For that you need to balance the convenience of a cable always ready to plug/unplug in a few seconds vs a neater house
Thank you for your reply - Andersen A2 look beautiful. Very pricey.

untethered charge sounds great!

  1. Charging from a 3 pin socket works but it's slow. You also need to check that your wiring is up to scratch, charging a car for 8 hours is very different from boiling the kettle. Fires can happen if something isn't right.
  2. Depends a lot on whats involved. My pretty simple installation was about £350 (I think) after the OLEV and EST grants. Not all installs qualify for the grants, and different chargers have different prices so YMMV.
  3. I have a switch inside for doing that. My charger can also be disabled via an app, but it is very flakey.
  4. Is your front parking a driveway or on street?
1. My house was made in 2020 so I am assuming it meets standards. I might consider a 3 pin for temp, but how likely will something catch on fire?
2. £350 sounds sweet! Going to start researching tomorrow! Thank you
3. Nice I would like a switch inside
4. Driveway

Thank you for replying
 

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thinking some more about the Andersen - if you get a compact-ish charger, even with a cable attached (way more convenient) I wonder if you could box it in like the Andersen just with a separate box with no back and a magnetic door on the front?
 

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With regard to 4. it depends on where your fuse box is. Ours was in the under-stairs cupboard, which was immediately inside the front wall of the house. The installer therefore just went straight through the wall and ran the wiring along the skirting in the cupboard - net result was no visible wiring on the outside of the house. I even bought the installer a drink because he'd done such a neat job.
 

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Charging from a 13 amp socket is fine, provided you check that the socket is in good condition. If you use an extension cable, then it needs to be a full 13 amp cable, in good condition, and not rolled up.

13 amp sockets, when old and tired, can overheat - my son had a one melt on a tumble drier. The screw terminals can come loose, and the spring contacts can lose their spring if they get hot. Fuses can become old and heat up more than they should.

You can check the condition of the socket yourself (or get in a professional) by turning off the power at the fuse box, taking out the screws and easing the socket forwards. Check that the insulation is sound and that the screw connections are tight. If it looks old, fit a new reputable brand - MK or BG. When starting the charge, in the first few minutes put your hand against the plug and socket to see if the heating is excessive - ditto any intermediate plug and socket.

But don't worry - 13 amp plugs are designed to take 10 amps.

Unless you are commuting large distances every day, charging on a 13 amp socket should be fine. A 10 amp charge lead is 2.4kW, so just divide that into the size of the battery (in kWh) and you have the time taken to fully charge.

So, if you have a 24kWh Leaf and a 2.4kW charge lead, then it will charge in 10 hours (24 / 2.4=10), but remember that the battery is unlikely to be empty when you start. Also remember, that if you have much larger battery it doesn't necessarily change those numbers - you only ever need to replenish what you have used.

You can easily charge using a 13 amp socket whilst you sort out a better charger, which is the recommended option, obviously.
 

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1. My house was made in 2020 so I am assuming it meets standards. I might consider a 3 pin for temp, but how likely will something catch on fire?
2. £350 sounds sweet! Going to start researching tomorrow! Thank you
3. Nice I would like a switch inside
4. Driveway
1. If it's new and installed correctly, unlikely. Problems are more likely to happen as things age or get loose, or if they were just wrong to start with. If you're using 3 pin, I'd suggest just checking the plug and socket temperature every so often to make sure that it isn't really hot (it'll get warm, that's normal), and if you end up using it long term, just keep an eye for signs of fatigue/damage. Also if it becomes long term, it would be worth adding a smoke detector near the socket. I'd also not charge from a 3 pin while you're not in the house - like any big appliance really.

2. Should probably have said, the EST grant is only available in Scotland, so you may not qualify for it if you aren't north of the border. OLEV is UK wide though (I believe)

4. Have a think about where you'd want the charger, how the cable would run from the consumer unit to the charger, and then the charger to the car. My consumer unit is in the middle of the house and the driveway just at the front door, and we had to run a cable across the hallway to the front door. The hall has hard floors that we weren't brave enough to pull up and the hall had been recently decorated and we didn't want to knock holes in walls. We ended up running the cable around the ceiling in white trunking to conceal it, with the intention of rerouting it in the walls next time we decorate. So it isn't an "invisible" finish inside, but it's good enough for the about of upheaval that we were willing to put up with at the time. To get from the charger to the car, it's a fairly easy straight line for me. The only complaint is that the charging cable blocks the shortcut that I used to use when putting the bins out, so now I need to go the long way. If you're worried about somebody tripping over the cable on the driveway, you can get these "cable cover" boxes that you see when they're doing road works, e.g. Pedestrian Cable Cover.
 

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I want to covert to an EV car so badly, but I am facing a few issues. The major one is getting a charger installation.
[snip]
1. I still do occasionally.. Tomorrow it's going to be sunny and I'll use the granny to take advantage of my solar panels from around 10.30 when I'll no longer have to import. Usual periodic checks on the plug for heat and I've had no issues over the period I charge for.
2. My solution was a switched commando socket on the front of the house put in by my bestie who is a qualified electrician. I think it must have been a Christmas present as still owe her for some materials! Then I use the OHME plug to use the cheapest time of day, although it's been a bit expensive recently. (A free top up at the supermarket this week was handy..)
3. The commando switch can be padlocked and I think I can isolate inside too but haven't bothered yet.
4. My house is a terrace with front parking specifically installed as getting an EV, and ducting was laid to make the cable run to the socket neat. The cable is kept just inside the front door and it's no effort to get out and put away on my mileage. As for security my concerns, even in this slightly mixed road, aren't great enough to take any specific precautions like cameras or the like. Having decent near neighbours and terraced houses is probably enough..
 

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Charging exclusively from a 13A socket isn't a great idea tbh. If you go for a PHEV compromise, you can get away with it, as these only have around 10 kWh battery for around 40 mile range, so a safe 6A (slowest possible) charge is going to give you around 5 miles per hour plugged in. So an overnight charge will fill these. You can think of these as being petrol cars with a super-cheap & clean gallon of petrol every morning. If 80% of your travel is local <40 mile stuff, these can work well.
If you go full EV, you'll have 30 kWh battery or more, and a 10A charge on 13A plug is going to give you around 8 miles per hour plugged in, and this slow rate is gong to feel really constricting n no time at all. Do get a proper 32A EVSE installed.

I ran a PHEV (Ampera, slightly better than PHEV but differences irrelevant here) for 5 years. First 4 I used "granny" EVSE at 6A a lot on solar panel, also 10A when plenty of sun/in a hurry to charge. Then the relay started to wear out & the unit was shutting down from overheating, so I stripped it & replaced both relays. Problem fixed for 1 year. At 5 yrs old the PCB blew up big time, I reckon the internal solder join where mains come into it failed from fatigue, and the resultant total short sent high voltage down the low-voltage control wire into my car & damaged the car. £1300 repair bill earlier this year. So granny EVSEs do wear out, and aren't as robust as a proper wall-mounted item. Should only be used for occasional use really, holidays etc. And 13A sockets can overheat, even if new! I've toasted 2 so far over 5 years. Continuous 10A charging can do this, if they're not top-quality items from well-respected mfr.
 

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1. If it's new and installed correctly, unlikely. Problems are more likely to happen as things age or get loose, or if they were just wrong to start with. If you're using 3 pin, I'd suggest just checking the plug and socket temperature every so often to make sure that it isn't really hot (it'll get warm, that's normal), and if you end up using it long term, just keep an eye for signs of fatigue/damage. Also if it becomes long term, it would be worth adding a smoke detector near the socket. I'd also not charge from a 3 pin while you're not in the house - like any big appliance really.
see, I read this and immediately think ‘I shoudn’t use a 13 amp socket except if desparate’. Too many ifs and buts that are worrying - it should work or not.
 
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see, I read this and immediately think ‘I shoudn’t use a 13 amp socket except if desparate’. Too many ifs and buts that are worrying - it should work or not.
Good, you should worry. The longer you pull high current for, the hotter things get. 10A sustained continuously for 8+ hours (or whatever) is very different to boiling a kettle. Even running an oven for 4 hours is different, because it doesn't pull a continuous load (it cycles to maintain temperature) and it's on a dedicated circuit. And electric showers will have a time cut out, so you won't be able to pull high current that long, and they're on a dedicated circuit. There isn't really anything in a normal house that is similar to a car charging. Ultimately, I'm random person on the internet that happens to take a cautious approach to these things, I don't want to falsely reassure people when I don't have enough information to tell people that it'll be OK - and frankly, you have zero reason to trust anything I say anyway. As I said in another thread last night, I'd bet £1 that you're probably fine, but I wouldn't bet my life on it.

I personally think Hyundai got it right by calling the granny an "emergency charger". Not because there is anything wrong with the granny cable itself, but because there are way too many variables in what it connects to that the car manufacturers have literally zero control over (other than not providing the granny charger at all). If your wiring is perfect, you have nothing to worry about. But how do you know if your wiring is perfect?

[/NEGATIVITY]
 

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The house was only built last year, there should be no concerns about the condition of the sockets!

If you are doing a lot of miles and needing to charge every day then get a charge point installed as soon as you can as it's quicker and less hassle.
If you are working from home and hardly using the car then charging from a 13amp socket a few hours every few days until you get a charge point installed isn't going to be an issue as long as you are sensible.

I charge my car at work 2 or 3 times a week from a 13 amp plug as it's free and I'd have to walk over a mile back from the nearest public charge point.
Work are getting a charge point installed at some point but until they do I'm using the granny charger. The plug gets slightly warm and I check it most days bits there's not been a problem yet.

As for charge points, it looks like it's more like £5-600 for one to be installed now. I'm getting quotes for work and they are coming in at £600+ but I think home points are cheaper. Podpoint seem to be one of the cheaper options from what I've read on speakev. Some local installers are good and sensibly priced, some are expensive. That's my recent experience but I'm not trying quite as hard for work as I would be if it was for my home point.
 

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PHEV here so charging on a granny (3pin) at a low 6A overnight typically, only 10A if I'm charging during the day to go out again. Socket I am using is less than a year old but the house is some 30-40 years old. Almost 8 months I have owned the car and charge daily (unless I am away from home of course). Socket has never gotten warm to the touch, when I first bought the car I'd check the socket an hour or two into the charge and then again near the end of charge (9hours or so) and it's never hotter than ambient.
Saying that I would love to upgrade to a proper EVSE installation as it is less faff than having a granny IMO. The granny is especially troublesome when using timed charging, between plugging the car in on a delayed charge (to make use of cheaper elec rates overnight) and the charge actually starting the granny will sometimes go into an earth error state and refuse the charge. I doubt this is that common but is a potential foible of granny chargers and being more finicky due to being on the same circuit as many other appliances.
 

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The house was only built last year, there should be no concerns about the condition of the sockets!
Agreed, there should be no concerns, but snagging lists exist for a reason ;)

A friend recently bought a new build. It had 6 tiles missing on the roof and leaked like crazy when it rained. If something that fundamental can be missed, it makes you wonder what else was missed. Incidentally, the builder tried to fob them off by claiming that there weren't any tiles missing. So I guess that every other house on the estate must have had 6 tiles too many... 🤔

Anyway, I should stop spreading doom and gloom in this thread... might be time for a walk...

 

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With regard to number 3 on your list, the worry about security is a common one but is overblown. Tea leaves tend to want maximum gain for minimal input and risk. The idea that someone is going to park on your drive for a long time to steal £1 worth of your electricity for every hour they brazen it out is fanciful. I wouldn't give it a second thought. They'd get a better return nicking one of your plant pots.

Re: EVSE, it sounds like neat and discrete is what you're after. So maybe an untethered EO mini. Or just get a commando socket fitted and buy an Ohme commando cable.
 

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I just had a little read of this thread and you've all panicked me into unplugging my fridge incase my house catches fire 😂 it's been plugged in for over 7 years permanently so it MUST be due to catch fire, right?

No more frozen/cold food for this guy, but lots of peace of mind

PS... Fridge for sale, apply within 😂 (not really)
 

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I just had a little read of this thread and you've all panicked me into unplugging my fridge incase my house catches fire 😂 it's been plugged in for over 7 years permanently so it MUST be due to catch fire, right?

No more frozen/cold food for this guy, but lots of peace of mind

PS... Fridge for sale, apply within 😂 (not really)
Guess which household appliance is most likely to go on fire? ;) Don't have a real reference, but I know afew folk in the fire investigation and forensics biz and they say its fridges and freezers. Which makes sense, because they're switched on the most.

Easy solution though - never defrost it, if it goes on fire, it'll put itself out when the ice melts :geek: (Disclaimer: this is a joke, please don't try it as a legitimate safety device....)
 

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thinking some more about the Andersen - if you get a compact-ish charger, even with a cable attached (way more convenient) I wonder if you could box it in like the Andersen just with a separate box with no back and a magnetic door on the front?
Can see that no one has addressed this particular question. Yes you can. Quite a few people have done this, particularly with an Ohme unit with a Commando socket. With the Octopus discount, this is probably the cheapest way to get full 7kW capability, is easy to move if you move home, and doesn't require faffing with the grant paperwork as you won't qualify ! Still tends to be cheaper than a "proper" unit, which just goes to show how having a grant distorts the market unfortunately.
 
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