Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Registered
2020 - Audi Etron 50 Sport on order
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I will hopefully be joining the EV world shortly, when my Audi e-tron arrives...

I am getting a Pod Point Solo installed next week. Since the pre-installation checks were done, I had to change my consumer unit(s) as they were very old and had faults on them. I contacted Pod Point to check that all is still well for the installation. They have advised that space might be tight in the existing cabinet to fit the new enclosure. It seems this new enclosure would accommodate a new single MCB/RCBO, as suggested by the diagram below (taken from their installation guide). At pre-installation though, they said this new unit would only be needed if there is no space on the consumer unit. So I made sure there are spare slots on the consumer unit - either with or without RCD protection (see photo below - the EV cable has already been laid). I believed an MCB could be added or an MCBO in the first slot, before the RCD.

I am trying to get clarification on this from Pod Point, but by email it's slow and frustrating.

Does anyone have experience of Pod Point being able to wire in to an existing consumer unit rather than a new one being installed? I would rather avoid another split and sub-main if possible. The potential to build a new cabinet is only an annoyance.

Any feedback it comments would be appreciated.

132173
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,079 Posts
My experience was that they would not, but it is down to the "helpfulness" of the installer on the day. To be fair mine was 10mm^2 SWA which isn't easy to terminate.

PodPoint don't always use their own staff, and the contractors may not be willing to accept what PodPoint have promised.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,053 Posts
My understanding is that the regs don't allow them to connect a charging point to either of those RCDs. Latest PODPoint Solo have DC protection, but still needs a dedicated, upstream Type A RCD. Your CU doesn't appear to have anywhere this could be installed, but some installers might bodge one in...

It is a shame you didn't go fully RCBO on the new CU as that would have given more flexibility, accomdated an EV compatible RCD at modest additional cost. I don't understand why more electricians don't recommend that approach, mine does.
mine was 10mm^2 SWA which isn't easy to terminate.
We have that from floor heating and electrican just used a separate small box to convert from SWA to T&E. Best not to try and take direct to CU he said.
 

·
Registered
2020 - Audi Etron 50 Sport on order
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
My understanding is that the regs don't allow them to connect a charging point to either of those RCDs. Latest PODPoint Solo have DC protection, but still needs a dedicated, upstream Type A RCD. Your CU doesn't appear to have anywhere this could be installed, but some installers might bodge one in...

It is a shame you didn't go fully RCBO on the new CU as that would have given more flexibility, accomdated an EV compatible RCD at modest additional cost. I don't understand why more electricians don't recommend that approach, mine does.

We have that from floor heating and electrican just used a separate small box to convert from SWA to T&E. Best not to try and take direct to CU he said.
I was given specification and quoted for both RCD and RCBO options, from three electricians. The cost was quite significanly higher. I also didn't believe I needed the extra convenience for my house. I accept that it would have allowed an EV charger though.

Is it not possible to install an RCBO in addition to the RCD protected circuits on the same board? There a spare slot before the first RCD where I thought that could be possible.
 

·
Registered
2020 BMW i3S 120Ah BEV
Joined
·
428 Posts
I think the regs point to using a separate box, full stop. (Could be wrong, but that's what I heard.) They don't need to hook that directly into your main house supply though, that can be supplied from a 32A breaker in your existing board to avoid disrupting the rest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Forgetting any issues with space etc, your MK consumer unit has type AC RCDs and you require a type A to go with the Pod Point. Getting an MK type A RCD was always difficult but now MK / Honeywell have pulled out of the consumer unit business it’s almost impossible.

It may be possible to fit a different brand type A RCD into your consumer unit but a lot of people like to be manufacture specific. However someone may find it perfectly acceptable to use a different brand providing it fits properly and especially as MK are no longer making consumer units or that it’s so difficult to get an MK type A RCD in any case.

Depending on what you and the Pod Point electrician think about the situation, you may end up having to find space for a separate mini consumer unit nearby with a type A RCD.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,053 Posts
I think the regs point to using a separate box, full stop.
Neither the regs nor IET CoP (Code of Practice) require a separate CU (consumer unit) but adding 32A load (for several hours) to most existing CUs probably isn't a good idea and most installers wouldn't do it due to potential liability, etc.
Is it not possible to install an RCBO in addition to the RCD protected circuits on the same board? There a spare slot before the first RCD where I thought that could be possible.
Do you mean to the left of the incoming switch? I dont think that is a spare way, just plastic molding. My understanding is an EVSE needs a (Type A, B or EV as appropriate) dual pole RCD and MCB. I don't think there is a suitable RCBO available, where they say "Type B" it refers to tripping behaviour not RCD protection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jamjsco

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,163 Posts
Pity your installer did not leave a spare slot between your main switch and the first RCD, from which a non-RCD protected supply could be taken to a separate double-pole Type A RCD for your consumer unit - the unused MCB's on the right are protected by the right-hand type AC RCD. Supplying an EV through a Type AC RCD (even if it then goes through a Type A RCD) has the risk that an acceptable amount of dc earth leakage could inhibit the action of the Type A RCD, leaving the other circuits fed through that RCD unprotected against earth leakage.

While it would be possible to do a reshuffle in your consumer unit to move the unused 9532s MCB between the main switch and the RCD, this is a job for your electrician rather than Pod-Point, who would take the easier option of installing a separate consumer unit fed from the big black junction blocks below the consumer unit in your photo.

Do you have another consumer unit above the one in your photo? There appear to be two heavy wires from the above mentioned black junction boxes, running up the left hand side of the the consumer unit in your photo, which I would expect would be leading to another consumer unit.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,053 Posts
Pity your installer did not leave a spare slot between your main switch and the first RCD
There still wouldn't have been enough space. But you are right in theory and below is an example of how it can be done - for benefit of those thinking of a new CU. Personally I would still pay money for RCBOs - we had the kitchen RCBO trip last week and no other part of home went off 👍

Incidentally, why do electricians still write on CUs? A pro Dymo label machine (which I use for network cabling) will automatically do the correct width and looks so much better!

132215
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
There still wouldn't have been enough space. But you are right in theory and below is an example of how it can be done - for benefit of those thinking of a new CU. Personally I would still pay money for RCBOs - we had the kitchen RCBO trip last week and no other part of home went off 👍

Incidentally, why do electricians still write on CUs? A pro Dymo label machine (which I use for network cabling) will automatically do the correct width and looks so much better!

View attachment 132215
The podpoint sketch is totally wrong, conflicts with wiring regulations and is potentially Very dangerous

If that is indicative of the quality of their installs, I'd avoid them like the plague.
 

·
Registered
2020 - Audi Etron 50 Sport on order
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
All, thank you for your input - it is much appreciated. I followed-up with Pod Point and they replied this morning:

The RCBO we fit is a double pole RCD and unfortunately, as you've already got an RCD protecting circuits on the fuseboard, we won't be able to have this fitted within it as it wouldn't be sufficient for our charger which must have it's own protection.

I had my electrician back for another job this morning and we had already chatted about what Pod Point were saying. The slot before the first RCD is a spare way, there's just a little lean on the switch to the left. They are wrong insofar as any way before the RCD would not be protected by that/any RCD. My electrician has now moved all of the RCDs/MCBs over, so there are now two spare ways without RCD protection. I am now going to source a suitable Type A 40A RCBO to ask the installer that to use it and, if not, why. I am aware that MK Sentry either never made such RCBOs or at least they are no longer available. I have checked compatibility with my electrician and he has clarified that most will fit the busbar and BG branded RSBOs/MCDs are the closest - he showed me various brands form his supplies and they are extremely similar.

In terms of the labels, yes it doesn't look the best. I might have to bring out my own label maker!
 

·
Registered
2020 - Audi Etron 50 Sport on order
Joined
·
32 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Pity your installer did not leave a spare slot between your main switch and the first RCD, from which a non-RCD protected supply could be taken to a separate double-pole Type A RCD for your consumer unit - the unused MCB's on the right are protected by the right-hand type AC RCD. Supplying an EV through a Type AC RCD (even if it then goes through a Type A RCD) has the risk that an acceptable amount of dc earth leakage could inhibit the action of the Type A RCD, leaving the other circuits fed through that RCD unprotected against earth leakage.

While it would be possible to do a reshuffle in your consumer unit to move the unused 9532s MCB between the main switch and the RCD, this is a job for your electrician rather than Pod-Point, who would take the easier option of installing a separate consumer unit fed from the big black junction blocks below the consumer unit in your photo.

Do you have another consumer unit above the one in your photo? There appear to be two heavy wires from the above mentioned black junction boxes, running up the left hand side of the the consumer unit in your photo, which I would expect would be leading to another consumer unit.
Yes, there is another CU above the main one - which was changed at the same time. It serves our annexe. It is 'full' and was separate before and I wished to keep it that way, so (paying) guests are not bothered by any outages in our home.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,053 Posts
All, thank you for your input - it is much appreciated. I followed-up with Pod Point and they replied this morning:

The RCBO we fit is a double pole RCD and unfortunately, as you've already got an RCD protecting circuits on the fuseboard, we won't be able to have this fitted within it as it wouldn't be sufficient for our charger which must have it's own protection.

I had my electrician back for another job this morning and we had already chatted about what Pod Point were saying. The slot before the first RCD is a spare way, there's just a little lean on the switch to the left. They are wrong insofar as any way before the RCD would not be protected by that/any RCD. My electrician has now moved all of the RCDs/MCBs over, so there are now two spare ways without RCD protection. I am now going to source a suitable Type A 40A RCBO to ask the installer that to use it and, if not, why. I am aware that MK Sentry either never made such RCBOs or at least they are no longer available. I have checked compatibility with my electrician and he has clarified that most will fit the busbar and BG branded RSBOs/MCDs are the closest - he showed me various brands form his supplies and they are extremely similar.

In terms of the labels, yes it doesn't look the best. I might have to bring out my own label maker!
Good you have manged to free 2 spare ways. Be careful, a lot of merchants list RCBOs as "Type A, B, etc" but they mean the current curve, not the RCD protection. Doepke do have Type A RCBOs available - see RCBOs
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jamjsco

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,079 Posts
A separate TT Earth? Maybe not your choice but still OK under the 2020 Amendment to the 18th Edition.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
11,053 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,751 Posts
e
Forgetting any issues with space etc, your MK consumer unit has type AC RCDs and you require a type A to go with the Pod Point. Getting an MK type A RCD was always difficult but now MK / Honeywell have pulled out of the consumer unit business it’s almost impossible.

It may be possible to fit a different brand type A RCD into your consumer unit but a lot of people like to be manufacture specific. However someone may find it perfectly acceptable to use a different brand providing it fits properly and especially as MK are no longer making consumer units or that it’s so difficult to get an MK type A RCD in any case.

Depending on what you and the Pod Point electrician think about the situation, you may end up having to find space for a separate mini consumer unit nearby with a type A RCD.
To answer the OP, the above post has pretty much summed it up. You want to keep the EV charger separate from the house circuits (risk of blinding RCDs), also issues of discrimination. Best bet for protection of the EV charging submain is a separate MCB and then a type A (or type EV) RCD. RCBOs for this service????

The earthing diagram that PodPoint post is dangerous (ties TT probably high impedance earth stake to suppliers TNC-S PEN conductor, risk of high touch voltages, high currents).

Make sure they provide you with a circuit diagram with their name on it and your house address, before they rock up. Get it checked by an independent electrician before they touch anything.

Lots of cowboys out there, including some of the big names.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,079 Posts
The earthing diagram that PodPoint post is dangerous (ties TT probably high impedance earth stake to suppliers TNC-S PEN conductor, risk of high touch voltages, high currents).
Are you assuming that is taking place in the "isolator switch"? Or are you just saying any TT Earth is dangerous?
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Top