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Discussion Starter #1
Morning all,

I've just ordered a new Leaf Acenta 30kw, and admittedly I have jumped in with both feet, before really exploring the requirements around home charging units, the only experience I have is of my parents having had one installed previously in their house - that was a Rolec, and about as easy an installation as you get.

I've been referred on to Chargemaster, who contacted me a few days ago to arrange the installation - this is where I've hit a few bumps in the road which I hadn't anticipated. As far as I was concerned, it was a free installation and would all be taken care of in one visit.

Sadly my consumer unit is attached to an internal wall, on the opposite side of a doorway to my external wall, meaning that it would not be easy to run a feed from the CU for the charging unit. Easily solved though I'm told, just an extra £50 for a secondary CU to be installed on a feed directly off the meter - excellent, can't really argue with that price.

I've now been informed that in order for the secondary CU to be installed, I will require my utility provider to fit a double pole isolator switch on to the meter - this I don't know the cost of.

Does anyone have any experience of this at all? Is it likely to be a costly piece of work?

For anyone who is as naive as I am, I would definitely recommend checking to see what work will be required for your home charger, before you strike any deal to buy the car!

Any advice is appreciated,

Marc
 

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The engineer from Chargemaster who did mine simply cut the tag on the meter, and then connected on the cables leading to the new CU. No isolator switch fitted or mentioned.

Was this work recommended based on what they've seen from photos you've submitted, or from an initial site survey?
 

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The engineer from Chargemaster who did mine simply cut the tag on the meter, and then connected on the cables leading to the new CU. No isolator switch fitted or mentioned....
I had the same from Chargemaster. They cut the cables, added a splitter box with one set of cables to the existing CU and the other set to a new CU with two trip switches. Cost £50 extra.
 

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I'm no expert, and I'm sure there are electricians on here who will have the definitive answer. Maybe there is problem with access to your main supply fuse (the one with the tag on it)?
 

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The fuse is easily accessible, and it's based on photos they've seen.

To my knowledge only the provider or local Powergrid can pull the main fuse, although I am curious as to whether First Utility would just provide their permission for it to be done that way.

I'm having a nightmare with first utility, they've referred me to their meter team with regard to the isolator, but they're quoting 21 days before I even get a phonecall to discuss it. Then a further 20 days until the work can be carried out!

I've spoken to Northern Powergrid who sadly no longer fit them!

My charger is turning in to a bit of a saga.
 

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It's illegal for an electrican to cut the seal pull the fuse, but the proper procedures are so cumbersome that many electricians do so anyhow.

The exact procedures vary between different parts of the country - some DNOs are happy to provide an isolating switch for a small fee, others won't provide one but will facilitate you providing one yourself; some are adamant that they don't want anything apart from their own equipment in the meter box (forcing some houses to put two meter boxes side by side - one for the meter, one for the customer's own switchgear).

The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002

https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/about-us/documents/uk_power_networks_-_information_for_electricians_-_01-11-2010.pdf
 

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The engineer from Chargemaster who did mine simply cut the tag on the meter, and then connected on the cables leading to the new CU. No isolator switch fitted or mentioned.

Was this work recommended based on what they've seen from photos you've submitted, or from an initial site survey?
What was done here is clearly illegal. Having said that nothing much gets done about it, usually. The correct procedure is to have your electricity supplier fit a double pole isolator. There may be a charge for this, depending on the supplier. Bizarrely I already had a DP isolator which Chargemaster's contractor did not bother to use and simply live connected the extra CU into the existing marshaling blocks.
 

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It's illegal for an electrican to cut the seal pull the fuse, but the proper procedures are so cumbersome that many electricians do so anyhow.

The exact procedures vary between different parts of the country - some DNOs are happy to provide an isolating switch for a small fee, others won't provide one but will facilitate you providing one yourself; some are adamant that they don't want anything apart from their own equipment in the meter box (forcing some houses to put two meter boxes side by side - one for the meter, one for the customer's own switchgear).

The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002

https://www.ukpowernetworks.co.uk/internet/en/about-us/documents/uk_power_networks_-_information_for_electricians_-_01-11-2010.pdf
Whilst I hate to argue with @arg who clearly knows far more about wiring regs than I do. It is not down to the DNO at all, certainly not in the East where I work. It is the electricty supplier and their appointed Meter Operator who are required to fit an isolator if asked and may charge you for it. The link quoted confirms this.

Speaking as someone who does this work day to day I suggest the following ruse to avoid paying. Phone up your supplier and find out if they charge if so ask if they charge to replace a missing seal which hopefully they will not. Book a free job to replace seal and then when the bloke arrives make him (or her) a nice cup of tea and provide biscuits, then pop the question, would you mind putting me in an isolator to enable some electrical work to be done safely? Speaking personally, whilst drinking your tea and eating your biscuits I would find it hard to refuse. Bearing in mind that I am required to fit an isolator if the customers wiring shows and sign of minor defect, it is easy to justify to my employer.
 

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I had this last year when Chargemaster were fitting a charger for my Zoe.
I sent in pictures of my meter box and incoming supply and they came back and said I needed to have a double pole isolater fitted.
My supplier is Western Power Distribution, they quoted me £85 to fit the isolater and came within about 10 days.
I sent pictures of the new fittings to CM and they came about 3 weeks later and installed the charger.
I must admit it was a bit of a surprise that this was required but electrical regs are constantly evolving I guess and my house was built in the mid 80's.
However the fitting and the operation of the charger has been flawless, so far....
 

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Whilst I hate to argue with @arg who clearly knows far more about wiring regs than I do. It is not down to the DNO at all, certainly not in the East where I work. It is the electricty supplier and their appointed Meter Operator who are required to fit an isolator if asked and may charge you for it. The link quoted confirms this.
This is obviously your specialist area rather than mine, and certainly I was incorrect in ignoring the role of the meter operator (who, from the customer's point of view are an agent of the supplier rather than the DNO).

However, the fuses are still owned by the DNO and they authorize the meter operators to work on them; my understanding is that the DNO therefore sets policy for what the meter operators are allowed to do, and this is behind the variation in practices between different parts of the country - though I may be wrong on that.

There's also the question of old isolators installed by and belonging to the DNO from before the Meter Operator regime came in - do they now disclaim ownership of them like they do with installations in blocks of flats that are now the responsibility of a BNO even where no BNO actually exists?
 

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I have a digital meter (fitted a few years ago). Not sure if that had any bearing on the fact I wasn't asked to have an isolator fitted? Don't know if anyone even still has the old spinning disk type meter these days?
 

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However, the fuses are still owned by the DNO and they authorize the meter operators to work on them; my understanding is that the DNO therefore sets policy for what the meter operators are allowed to do, and this is behind the variation in practices between different parts of the country - though I may be wrong on that.

There's also the question of old isolators installed by and belonging to the DNO from before the Meter Operator regime came in - do they now disclaim ownership of them like they do with installations in blocks of flats that are now the responsibility the a BNO even where no BNO actually exists?
Yes the DNO do not own the meter or anything beyond. The supplier or their Meter Asset Provider do which causes quite a bit of consternation when a 3 phase contactor needs changing, these things cost 700 quid from the established manufacturer compared to say 10 quid for a basic meter. Eastern Electricity fitted them all over the place back in the day when they sold storage heater installations themselves. Other areas left switching up to the customer I think.

You are correct about the cutout fuses being DNO although we do fit them from time to time so have stock and are permitted to withdraw the fuses. There used to be a G38 certificate to withdraw DNO fuses and these are held by street lighting operatives working on unmetered supplies. (I may be out of date here).

BNO is a subject that I do not claim to understand and I work on the stuff. There does seem to be differences between DNO areas even though the law must surely be the same. I am told DNO no longer have a monopoly so must allow developers a minimum supply and then get best quote for the rest. Things get interesting when you have small cowboy type developers who have a multiway head on an outside wall and say " fit me 12 meters to that".
 

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I have a digital meter (fitted a few years ago). Not sure if that had any bearing on the fact I wasn't asked to have an isolator fitted? Don't know if anyone even still has the old spinning disk type meter these days?
If there was space in your fuse board for an extra circuit then there would be no need for an isolator. Yes there are still a few spinning disks about.
 

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If there was space in your fuse board for an extra circuit then there would be no need for an isolator. Yes there are still a few spinning disks about.
For my chargepoint installation, I had a separate CU put in the meter cupboard. They added a splitter box straight off the meter, with one set of cables to the existing CU and the other set to a new CU with two trip switches. Cost £50 extra.
 

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Chargemaster asked me to sort out a Double Pole Isolator Switch as well - something to do with the existing fuse board being the wrong sort of RCD. My electricity supplier (ecotricity) said that I should just get a local electrician to sort it as they didn't have anyone who was local to me. They said they could change the main fuse if needed, but it's already 80A, so it's fine as is.
I'm going for an untethered unit so I can get a longer cable to reach past one car to the Zoe - is there any reason why this might be a bad idea?
Cheers
Duncan
 

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My electricity supplier (ecotricity) said that I should just get a local electrician to sort it as they didn't have anyone who was local to me
That's a nonsense reply on behalf of Ecotricity. The whole point is that a local electrician isn't allowed to pull the main fuse and so can't safely work on the tails from the meter - if a local electrician could do it then so could Chargemaster.

And they do have someone local to you - whoever they have appointed as their meter operator.
 

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That's a nonsense reply on behalf of Ecotricity. The whole point is that a local electrician isn't allowed to pull the main fuse and so can't safely work on the tails from the meter - if a local electrician could do it then so could Chargemaster.

And they do have someone local to you - whoever they have appointed as their meter operator.
I'm no electrician - I just want someone qualified to sort out my electricity correctly! Ecotricity said it would take 15-20 days for them to update my main fuse, so clearly they can get to my house! Is there any reason a local electrician isn't capable of doing the job, or is it just about the rules surrounding the main fuse?
Thanks
Duncan
 

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I'm currently in the same situation. Apart from the fact that me and my husband bought a Zoe out of the showroom, so we have the car already for 17 days, but CM quoted to install the charger mid August, if we get the double pole switch and additional CU installed.
Contacted my supplier Scottish Power and their service department should get back to me this week with details and a quote.

And also received an email with all the extra charges CM might charge me. Not as free as I believed the installation was supposed to be.

To be continued...
 

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I'm no electrician - I just want someone qualified to sort out my electricity correctly! Ecotricity said it would take 15-20 days for them to update my main fuse, so clearly they can get to my house! Is there any reason a local electrician isn't capable of doing the job, or is it just about the rules surrounding the main fuse?
It's just the rules around the main fuse. Fitting the isolator is a 10-minute job, but to do it safely you need to pull the main fuse first (and having the isolator means you don't need to pull the main fuse next time - alternative to having the isolator is to pull the main fuse, install the extra consumer unit for the EV charging, then get the main fuse put back).

But the main fuse is sealed, and only the DNO or people they have authorized such as the meter operators are allowed to interfere, hence the procedure of asking your supplier to get their meter operator to fit an isolator.

Some electricians will cut the seal anyhow, a few cowboys will work live without pulling the fuse.
 
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