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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Apologies if this seems like a stupid or repeated question (have failed to find similar so far). I'm planning ahead to see how much fuss/cost would be involved in a home charger, and I'm not sure if I'd need a new consumer unit.

I had a smart meter fitted pre-lockdown, and did a lot of the interior work to tidy it all up, and essentially want to figure out if any more destruction will be needed before I tidy it all up.

Any advice welcome - I'm certain I'm not on a loop or anything, so I think the supply is fine - it's just the fusebox. It's not a huge house, so there's only 4 fuses - cooker, lights, upstairs ring, downstairs ring.

147624


147625
 

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That appears to be a real fuse box!
It's time to bring the house up to date with modern kit, have an extra consumer unit installed at the same time for the ev.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That appears to be a real fuse box!
It's time to bring the house up to date with modern kit, have an extra consumer unit installed at the same time for the ev.
Yeah, I have to pull a fuse out when I've done work on a circuit. It's a mid 80's house, but same guy lived here from new until we bought it 6 years ago, so very little has changed since then.
 

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Hi,

Apologies if this seems like a stupid or repeated question (have failed to find similar so far). I'm planning ahead to see how much fuss/cost would be involved in a home charger, and I'm not sure if I'd need a new consumer unit.

I had a smart meter fitted pre-lockdown, and did a lot of the interior work to tidy it all up, and essentially want to figure out if any more destruction will be needed before I tidy it all up.

Any advice welcome - I'm certain I'm not on a loop or anything, so I think the supply is fine - it's just the fusebox. It's not a huge house, so there's only 4 fuses - cooker, lights, upstairs ring, downstairs ring.

View attachment 147624

View attachment 147625
Leave your existing electrics alone and install a separate mini consumer unit for the supply to the BEV charger (in parallel)
 

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I've a foot in both camps and agree with @Spiny that you need a new CU and the electrics bringing up to 18th Edition anyway, but also with @freddym that a separate CU for the charge point is a good idea anyway. And while you are at it get an isolator switch fitted - a pity that wasn't done at the same time as the meter upgrade.
 

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I've a foot in both camps and agree with @Spiny that you need a new CU and the electrics bringing up to 18th Edition anyway, but also with @freddym that a separate CU for the charge point is a good idea anyway. And while you are at it get an isolator switch fitted - a pity that wasn't done at the same time as the meter upgrade.
Yes, but they are entirely separate projects and probably best done by different contractors.
 

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Yes, but they are entirely separate projects and probably best done by different contractors.
Also, living in a house with some if the wiring dating back to the 70s, no way would I attempt to update the entire installation to 18th edition. Replacing the consumer unit alone would not achieve that in any case.
 

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Exactly as @freddym suggests, separate small CU directly into the tails for the charge point. I'd also advise trying to get a local electrician to do the job, and get a consumer unit change at the same time (should save some money) as that old 15th Edition board is really well past it's sell-by date.

With luck, the wiring in the house may still be OK, and a CU change may well only be a day's work, perhaps less. It will massively improve the safety of the whole installation, as having RCD protection is a very significant benefit over just having fuses as the only form of protection.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've had one quote so far of just under £700 to upgrade the CU for a new one (with certification etc). This is before I have a home charger put in, that is.

Will get a few other quotes, but wasn't sure if that was a bit on the higher side. Not a job I've had done before, but google suggested a bit less.
 

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Depends a lot on the difficulty involved, things like access, whether existing cables need extending, number of circuits (as each needs to be tested after the swap), etc. In general it's usually about a day's work, so around £250 labour. Depending on the size of the CU, other bits needed, like new tails, etc the CU should be around £200 to £250 for a 6 to 8 way CU (you'll need two extra slots for the SPD and it's MCB). The price should be a bit lower than you've been quoted, as long as you're not somewhere like London, where labour rates can be almost double those elsewhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Depends a lot on the difficulty involved, things like access, whether existing cables need extending, number of circuits (as each needs to be tested after the swap), etc. In general it's usually about a day's work, so around £250 labour. Depending on the size of the CU, other bits needed, like new tails, etc the CU should be around £200 to £250 for a 6 to 8 way CU (you'll need two extra slots for the SPD and it's MCB). The price should be a bit lower than you've been quoted, as long as you're not somewhere like London, where labour rates can be almost double those elsewhere.
I'm in the South West, and it's all just inside the front door and in the hallway - as easy as you like. As per the pic, only 4 circuits currently. RCBO CU, which seems to be about £250 for public customers as mentioned.
 

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With electricians been flat out and rates going up I’d say 700 is a fair price, as long as it’s a decent CU.
 

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As other have said, a seperate cu for the ev would be advised..

I would normally say carry out an EICR for an install like this, depends what you have within the property in regards to rcd protection etc.. you could have lots of supplementary bonding and circuits in conduit and no outside points etc.. you cant judge the state of the install without a full survey...

However, that CU is rated at 80A and someone has fitted a 100A incomer since (maybe only 80A fitted.. would require FI?).. that alone would be a C2.

700 sounds good for that, theyd fit a larger rcbo unit with spare ways to future proof.. make sure its something decent like hager/schneider and has a SPD..

Ideally a seperate cu for the ev is ideal, however you could take it from a new cu if needbe..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've had another quote of under £500 with RCBOs - just going to wait on another this afternoon to see what they think
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That sounds pretty good, TBH, about what I'd have expected for the area.
I've since had another of just under 700, and waiting on one other who actually came to look at the job. If that one comes back around 700, I'll be confused/suspicious over the one that's under 500!
 

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I've since had another of just under 700, and waiting on one other who actually came to look at the job. If that one comes back around 700, I'll be confused/suspicious over the one that's under 500!
Ideally they should be registered to NIC or equivalent, most electricians display this on their websites/paperwork, you can check on the nic (or equivalent) website to see if they are actually registered.

Also check the breakdown on the quotes, the cheaper quote may have forgotten to price for some parts. Hopefully theyve shown what manufacturer CU that they have priced for and how many ways, etc.

But yeah, if 3 out of 4 are around 700, then i wouldnt go for the cheaper option.
 

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I would say it’s probably time to change the consumer unit.
The electrician could incorporate the EV install into the new unit by adding the correct RCBO into the board.
It’s probably advisable to have ‘A’ type rccbs or RCBOs fitted too.
 

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I would say it’s probably time to change the consumer unit.
The electrician could incorporate the EV install into the new unit by adding the correct RCBO into the board.
It’s probably advisable to have ‘A’ type rccbs or RCBOs fitted too.

There's a mandatory requirement to have Type B, EV, or F RCD protection for any outlet used to charge an EV, unless the charge point is a fixed part of the installation and has built-in DC tolerant earth leakage protection (a handful now do have this built in). If the charge point does have integrated DC tolerant earth leakage protection then it just needs a Type A (not Type AC) up front, in order to provide the required manual reset and breaking current capability.

IMHO, it's always better to try and connect a charge point via a separate small CU fed directly from the tails, for a couple of reasons. One is heat build up in the main CU, given that RCBOs (in particular) warm up a fair bit under load, and a charge point may well be on for many hours at a steady 32 A. RCBOs (and to a lesser extent MCBs) tend to get a bit toasty after ten hours or so at 32 A, and my personal preference is to try and keep that heat out of the main CU. The other reason is that some charge points need additional protection on the supply (like a Type B. EV or F RCD) as well as open PEN fault protection, if not integrated into the charge point or provided by making the installation TT. It's often simpler and easier to fit a small CU in the meter box, especially as that also often gives a more direct cable run to the charge point.
 
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