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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
I believe this is more of an electrical query than a GTE query. I don't currently have a home charger so use my granny charger to charge my GTE MK7. Charging fine for the last few months until this Thursday, when I found the inlet on the extension lead that I used for charging has experienced some burns (see picture) . I currently use this extension lead to connect to another waterproof extension lead that connects to the granny charger.
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Any ideas why the inlet melted? Could it be a loose connection or should I just replace the extension lead with a better quality one? I remember seeing some charging power settings on the dashboard menu and I believe I set it to13A.
 

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On a granny charger it will only charge at 10Amp max regardless of you set in the car.

Just buy 1 lead from here that's long enough.

 

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Hi,
I believe this is more of an electrical query than a GTE query. I don't currently have a home charger so use my granny charger to charge my GTE MK7. Charging fine for the last few months until this Thursday, when I found the inlet on the extension lead that I used for charging has experienced some burns (see picture) . I currently use this extension lead to connect to another waterproof extension lead that connects to the granny charger.

Any ideas why the inlet melted? Could it be a loose connection or should I just replace the extension lead with a better quality one? I remember seeing some charging power settings on the dashboard menu and remember setting it to13A.

Pretty much every EV manufacturer and portable charge point manufacturer clearly state that they must not be used with an extension lead, precisely for this reason. Very few normal domestic extension leads are rated to carry the high current that a charge point draws for such an extended period of time.

You can get heavy duty extension leads that are safe to use, Toughleads supply some, for example. However, you will always be using such an arrangement at your own risk, and probably in contravention of the instructions from the EV or charge point manufacturer, so need to bear that in mind. FWIW, I have a home made heavy duty extension lead I carry for this purpose and have no worries about using it from time to time.
 

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What's the rating on that extension, some are only 10amp. (I wish shops wouldn't sell 10amp ones for exactly this reason)
Apart from that, could be worn springs inside, it doesn't look like a particularly heavy duty socket
 
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What's the rating on that extension, some are only 10amp. (I wish shops wouldn't sell 10amp ones for exactly this reason)
Apart from that, could be worn springs inside, it doesn't look like a particularly heavy duty socket
Whilst they may be rated at 10 Amps, that doesn’t mean 10 Amps for hours on end.

They assume a certain diversity.
 

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There's also a big problem with fake stuff from the Far East, that may carry marks that may convince both retailers and customers that an item is safe and compliant, but in reality the marks may be fake.

I came across one example of this a few years ago, when I bought some LED downlights from a well-known UK DIY store. I got a belt from the metal ring around the edge of one, so took it apart and discovered that there was a 50:50 chance that this exposed conductive part could be connected to the line conductor, so present a potentially lethal electric shock risk. The lamps carried all the right approval marks, as did their packaging, but it was blindingly obvious that they were non-compliant and that the marks had to be fake.

The supplier acted very quickly, literally sent someone to get them all off their shelves the instant I showed them the problem. They let me know a few days later that they had removed them from sale in all their stores, and apologised to me for the hassle. I'm pretty sure the store were just victims of someone else's wrongdoing, especially as, since then the incidence of electrical appliances with fake marks and sub-standard manufacture has become pretty widespread and well-known, especially from online sellers on places like ebay and Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
On a granny charger it will only charge at 10Amp max regardless of you set in the car.

Just buy 1 lead from here that's long enough.

Thanks, this looks good. I will get one of them ordered before I set my home on fire
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pretty much every EV manufacturer and portable charge point manufacturer clearly state that they must not be used with an extension lead, precisely for this reason. Very few normal domestic extension leads are rated to carry the high current that a charge point draws for such an extended period of time.

You can get heavy duty extension leads that are safe to use, Toughleads supply some, for example. However, you will always be using such an arrangement at your own risk, and probably in contravention of the instructions from the EV or charge point manufacturer, so need to bear that in mind. FWIW, I have a home made heavy duty extension lead I carry for this purpose and have no worries about using it from time to time.
Sorry wasn't aware of it. I definitely learnt my lesson
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What's the rating on that extension, some are only 10amp. (I wish shops wouldn't sell 10amp ones for exactly this reason)
Apart from that, could be worn springs inside, it doesn't look like a particularly heavy duty socket
Just checked it and it says 13A/230A and also that the total load shouldn't exceed 13A
 

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Just checked it and it says 13A/230A and also that the total load shouldn't exceed 13A

And therein lies the tale! The maximum continuous current rating of the BS1363 plug and outlet is 10 A, not 13 A. 13 A is the maximum fuse rating, as the plug itself cannot run at 13 A for any length of time without risking overheating and possible damage.

It would be interesting to know what the cable is. Many domestic extension leads only use 0.75mm² flex, which is normally rated to carry 6 A (from table 4F3A in BS7671:2018), some may use 1mm² that is rated to carry 10 A (again from the same reference source). In order to carry 13 A safely the flex needs to be at least 1.25mm², and that's an unusual size. I've never seen a normal domestic-type extension lead that uses 1.5mm² flex (which is rated to carry 16 A safely), and this is really the best flex for the job, unless you need a really long extension lead. The only extension leads that use 1.5mm² flex I've seen are heavy duty ones usually sold for industrial use.

There should be markings on the flex itself that give the cross sectional area and number of conductors. Often this will be something that looks like "3 x 0.75mm²" or similar. Unless the flex is at least 1.25mm² (which is not a common size) or ideally 1.5mm², then it won't really be up to the job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And therein lies the tale! The maximum continuous current rating of the BS1363 plug and outlet is 10 A, not 13 A. 13 A is the maximum fuse rating, as the plug itself cannot run at 13 A for any length of time without risking overheating and possible damage.

It would be interesting to know what the cable is. Many domestic extension leads only use 0.75mm² flex, which is normally rated to carry 6 A (from table 4F3A in BS7671:2018), some may use 1mm² that is rated to carry 10 A (again from the same reference source). In order to carry 13 A safely the flex needs to be at least 1.25mm², and that's an unusual size. I've never seen a normal domestic-type extension lead that uses 1.5mm² flex (which is rated to carry 16 A safely), and this is really the best flex for the job, unless you need a really long extension lead. The only extension leads that use 1.5mm² flex I've seen are heavy duty ones usually sold for industrial use.

There should be markings on the flex itself that give the cross sectional area and number of conductors. Often this will be something that looks like "3 x 0.75mm²" or similar. Unless the flex is at least 1.25mm² (which is not a common size) or ideally 1.5mm², then it won't really be up to the job.
Hi, just checked both extension leads and both leads have 3x1.25mm² itched on them
 

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Another recommendation for the toughleads extension cables. They’re nicely made.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Another recommendation for the toughleads extension cables. They’re nicely made.
Yes, I am definitely getting one ordered. Any recommendation if I should go for the Splash proof extension lead or pay a bit extra and go for the EV granny charge weather proof one?

I live in a ground floor flat in a fairly new block of flats (built in 2004) so don't think will need the RCD but need the extension to be 20-25m. Although, I can see >15m leads without RCD are out of stock so might need to go for an in-line RCD one.

I currently use this 20m one from Amazon for external coupled with a cheap extension 1m extension that runs indoor to the socket
 

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And therein lies the tale! The maximum continuous current rating of the BS1363 plug and outlet is 10 A, not 13 A. 13 A is the maximum fuse rating, as the plug itself cannot run at 13 A for any length of time without risking overheating and possible damage.

It would be interesting to know what the cable is. Many domestic extension leads only use 0.75mm² flex, which is normally rated to carry 6 A (from table 4F3A in BS7671:2018), some may use 1mm² that is rated to carry 10 A (again from the same reference source). In order to carry 13 A safely the flex needs to be at least 1.25mm², and that's an unusual size. I've never seen a normal domestic-type extension lead that uses 1.5mm² flex (which is rated to carry 16 A safely), and this is really the best flex for the job, unless you need a really long extension lead. The only extension leads that use 1.5mm² flex I've seen are heavy duty ones usually sold for industrial use.

There should be markings on the flex itself that give the cross sectional area and number of conductors. Often this will be something that looks like "3 x 0.75mm²" or similar. Unless the flex is at least 1.25mm² (which is not a common size) or ideally 1.5mm², then it won't really be up to the job.
I've got several 3 socket extension leads from Poundland (short flex though). The flex says 1.25mm on it. I also have a 10m reel that says 1.25mm. So I don't think it's an unusual size.
I've even got a "heavy duty" lead that is 1.25mm, though the outer insulation does look heavier duty so more hard-wearing.
None of those leads even get remotely warm charging at 10amps.
 
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Whilst they may be rated at 10 Amps, that doesn’t mean 10 Amps for hours on end.

They assume a certain diversity.
Appreciate that, but people don't realise they are only 10amps and plug 13amps into them.
 
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For some reason the image with the original post didn't show up when I replied earlier. In the light of that I'm going to change the emphasis a bit. The burning around the line pin is a very common failure mode with 13 A plugs, almost always initiated by the heat from the fuse causing the contacts to loosen slightly, so creating more heat from the increased contact resistance that then makes things worse, occasionally resulting in a fire. In this case I suspect that's been exacerbated by the outlet in use being the far end one. In general, extension leads like this should have the highest loads plugged into the outlet closest to the end where the flex comes out, rather than at the far end, as that reduces the total current that the internal conductor strips carry along their length. Very often these multi-outlet strips only have pretty thin internal conductors, usually with a single, small area, spot weld connecting them to each set of contacts. They sometimes have a more robust connection to the incoming wires at the first socket in the strip, too.

The question in this case is whether the initial problem was caused by a poor connection inside the socket strip or by the plug that was plugged into it heating up. Could be either, but something about the look of that socket strip makes me suspect that it may not have contacts that are rated to take 10 A for long periods of time.
 

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I would also avoid daisy chaining extension leads. A single tough leads plugged into an outlet that has been checked is the most that should be in the chain for a granny charger.
 

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I remember when the EV charger at my apartment broke, I daisy chained three extension leads into a public socket at my building and sent a video to the management - to “encourage” them to fix the charger.

They didn’t see a problem with me doing that 🙄

As much as a small fire may have been the kick up the arse they needed, I unplugged it fairly sharpish all the same!
 
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