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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm thinking about buying an electric car in the near future and am trying to assess how dificult it might be to install a home charger. I have a drive so there is off street parking to install this thing. However, the issue for me is that the meter and consumer unit are in a cupboard in the kitchen on the other side of the house to the drive. If it helps, I've attached a rough diagram of the house layout indicating where things are and where I want the charger to go.

(EDIT: I forgot to mention that this is a mid terraced house so there is no access around the house. Diagram has been updated a bit to show that)

A few potential installers I've spoken to said that they would just run a cable along the skirting, up over door frames of any doors in the way and drill to outside. Obviously this is a solution that would work but it is a fairly ugly solution.

I was wondering if anyone has seen a similar issue before and has seen a cleaner solution. I'm keen to avoid ripping up floors etc and causing havoc in the house so am trying to look for the cleanest possible solution. Of course, it could be that this is not possible and then I will just have to sync up EV charger installation with renovation work. But for now, it would be good to know if anyone here as suggestions. One thought I had was that the CU is at the top of the wall in the kitchen whicih is the other side of the living room. Given the living room has spot lights, I was wondering whether the cable could be run across the ceiling using the spot light holes as access points to feed it across. Once across the living room, it can go straight outside through the wall. However, I'm no electrician so this may not be a practical solution. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
 

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Are the stairs covered, ie an under stair cupboard, routing the cable through there, then under the floor of what I assume to be the entrance porch or even straight out through the wall, then run it round the outside wall at ground level to the location required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Are the stairs covered, ie an under stair cupboard, routing the cable through there, then under the floor of what I assume to be the entrance porch or even straight out through the wall, then run it round the outside wall at ground level to the location required.
There is no access under the stairs (i.e. no cupboard). The right side of the stairs which joins the living room in the diagram is just a wall.

Is the house detached ? Terrace ?
It's a terraced house unfortunately so can't go around the outside.

Any thoughts on the ceiling route using the spot light holes for access to fish the cable?
 

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No don't let them surface run armour or conduit for any distance on the walls inside. A proper sparkie will run between the joists upstairs. If you are lucky joists might run front to rear anyway. It is a big job and expect carpets to be lifted.. you might need someone else to raise the laminate floors too. This guy is a pirate. Drilling from the outside is fine using a tape measure and experience. What city do you live in? Most terraces have consumer units at the street end of the house and I can't think of any city terraces with driveways in the Midlands.
 

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If the joists run front to back of the house it should be possible to pull the cable through the space above the lounge ceiling using a set of cable rods. Might need to access one of the down lighter holes to join everything together before pulling through.

If the joists run across the house you are a bit stuck for options.
 

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Is there not a sub floor it can be run under ? Most terrace houses has sub floor void under part or all of the property.

There usually is. If you don't have access to the sub floor and there is one I would cut a hole in floor under the stairs, it's near to the meter in the kitchen. I would then route the cable under the floor and bring it out the front of the property and ground level.

The cable is quite thick you can't surface mount it inside the property without it looking terrible. Routing it through the ceiling is an option, put probably more difficult. You will probably end up pulling floors up stairs and drilling through joists.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the comments guys - this has been helpful. It seems like there may not be an easy way to do this but that's life. Fortunately managed to find an electrician willing to come to the property next week to survey and see what can be done. Hopefully he can come up with a good solution! Some responses to your comments below

No don't let them surface run armour or conduit for any distance on the walls inside. A proper sparkie will run between the joists upstairs. If you are lucky joists might run front to rear anyway. It is a big job and expect carpets to be lifted.. you might need someone else to raise the laminate floors too. This guy is a pirate. Drilling from the outside is fine using a tape measure and experience. What city do you live in? Most terraces have consumer units at the street end of the house and I can't think of any city terraces with driveways in the Midlands.
Yes I agree - the cables are far too thick to run in any visible part of the house. Lifting carpets would be fine but the whole house is laminate flooring which is a pain because it might mean quite a large section of flooring torn out to get this cable run. If that's what neesd to be done then so be it but I was hoping to get away with something less messy.

The house is in South East London - maybe 1930s build.

If the joists run front to back of the house it should be possible to pull the cable through the space above the lounge ceiling using a set of cable rods. Might need to access one of the down lighter holes to join everything together before pulling through.

If the joists run across the house you are a bit stuck for options.
Yeh I'm not sure which way the joists run. It's possible they run across the house because that's the shortest distance but I don't know for sure. I've tried tapping on the ceiling to see if I could hear differences to figure it out but I didn't really get anywhere.

Is there not a sub floor it can be run under ? Most terrace houses has sub floor void under part or all of the property.

There usually is. If you don't have access to the sub floor and there is one I would cut a hole in floor under the stairs, it's near to the meter in the kitchen. I would then route the cable under the floor and bring it out the front of the property and ground level.

The cable is quite thick you can't surface mount it inside the property without it looking terrible. Routing it through the ceiling is an option, put probably more difficult. You will probably end up pulling floors up stairs and drilling through joists.
There may be a sub floor it can run under - I'm afraid I don't know for sure (I'm not super technical..).

As for cutting a hole in the floor under the stairs I don't think that's possible because the stairs are not accessible - there is no cupboard.
 

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My configuration wasn't quite as problematic as yours, but our solution was to run the cable up in the wall/roof junction, so not hidden away but still quite "invisible" as we don't look up much! - was never aware of it from about 5 seconds after it was installed. It then comes down the wall at the side of the front door and out through the wall (needed to go under external insulation).

Avoided issue of wooden flooring and no under-floor access.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My configuration wasn't quite as problematic as yours, but our solution was to run the cable up in the wall/roof junction, so not hidden away but still quite "invisible" as we don't look up much! - was never aware of it from about 5 seconds after it was installed. It then comes down the wall at the side of the front door and out through the wall (needed to go under external insulation).

Avoided issue of wooden flooring and no under-floor access.
Not sure I understand what you mean by up in the wall/roof junction? So which bit is technically visible?
 

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The cable for ours was routed through the joists. I prepared the site myself by lifting floor boards and drilling through the joists (always check you’re within regulations before doing this). It was then literally an hours job for it to be fitted and tested.
 

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Yeh I'm not sure which way the joists run. It's possible they run across the house because that's the shortest distance but I don't know for sure. I've tried tapping on the ceiling to see if I could hear differences to figure it out but I didn't really get anywhere.
Finding joists is always fun.

Just bought one of these for a similar job - seems to work pretty well - drop a downlighter out of its fitting (isolate power first), then insert camera and 'look around'

"Draper Wi-Fi Endoscope Inspection Camera" Draper Wi-Fi Endoscope Inspection Camera
 

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The cable for ours was routed through the joists. I prepared the site myself by lifting floor boards and drilling through the joists (always check you’re within regulations before doing this). It was then literally an hours job for it to be fitted and tested.
I also spent a few hours preparing a route for the installer to pull the cable through. Then you know whether it is possible before they arrive on site and also save on labour.

Laying a piece of rope/cord between the intended charge point location and consumer unit means the installer can use this to pull through the cable on the install day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finding joists is always fun.

Just bought one of these for a similar job - seems to work pretty well - drop a downlighter out of its fitting (isolate power first), then insert camera and 'look around'

"Draper Wi-Fi Endoscope Inspection Camera" Draper Wi-Fi Endoscope Inspection Camera
I guess I could just drop a downlight and use my phone with flash on and take a video.

The cable for ours was routed through the joists. I prepared the site myself by lifting floor boards and drilling through the joists (always check you’re within regulations before doing this). It was then literally an hours job for it to be fitted and tested.
I also spent a few hours preparing a route for the installer to pull the cable through. Then you know whether it is possible before they arrive on site and also save on labour.

Laying a piece of rope/cord between the intended charge point location and consumer unit means the installer can use this to pull through the cable on the install day.
Yeah this could work. I'm not super handy but have a reliable handy guy who could help with this. My main concern might be that letting the EV Charger Installer do this themselves would either lead to a real mess or massive costs because it takes a lot of time. So I may well use your approach and try and find a route with my handy guy and lay some rope/cable.
 

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I guess I could just drop a downlight and use my phone with flash on and take a video.




Yeah this could work. I'm not super handy but have a reliable handy guy who could help with this. My main concern might be that letting the EV Charger Installer do this themselves would either lead to a real mess or massive costs because it takes a lot of time. So I may well use your approach and try and find a route with my handy guy and lay some rope/cable.
If the downlighter hole is big enough to put your phone through then that would work.
 

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What's on the side of the stairs on the kitchen?
I've where most wild.havw a door or access hatch to use some of that understands space as I'd bet if you went in there you'd find some under floor access that would make routing the cable loads easier?!
 

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Get a cheap borascope


I got something like this for investigating a leak via downlighter aperture. It will give you an idea of access in the ceiling way joists run etc

Almost certainly the floors will have to come up upstairs to route the cable anyway. Electricians are not cheap so definately better to work out exactly where cable is going and do as much of the preparation for them as possible.
 
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