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Electric Leaf Man
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Better explained in the video but basically they appear to have a very common fault that I'm told is potentially dangerous. They claim to know nothing but every installer I talked to has a failure rate of 10-15% of all units installed!

This isn't live on my channel yet, thought I'd get your thoughts before it goes up.

Have you got one?

 

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Arse. I have a Rolec. The installer mentioned something about a different trip being used in them now.

Being cynical I wonder if they've used a better component or just one with a different generation number on it...
 

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Had a Rolec 32A for 2 full years and no issue. Also know someone who has had a Rolec 16A for 2 years also with no issues. Is possible there may have been a faulty batch from a run I suppose, which can happen with any product or manufacturer of course. I always thought Rolec had a good reputation...
 

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Electric Leaf Man
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Not a faulty batch from what I've been told, more of a component that's not up to it.

Doing 15k+ a year maybe I use mine more than average.

Either way I ain't happy.
 

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When mine was being installed over two years ago now, the installer had just been to swap a fried RCBO. Looks like the same failure mode (I saw the dead one). He said it was a duff batch of RCBOs from the factory.
 

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My installer said they'd had problems but new units had these different breakers. I also think they mentioned something about some installers not doing the connections properly so they over heated.

I was going to say I'll be sniffing my box and checking for brown stains but I think I'll have to rephrase that!
 

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Mine went and looked exactly like the one in the photo, the contactors looked faulty to me. ChargedEVs failed to show to fix it so had a local sparkie swap out the RCBO.
 

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I also think they mentioned something about some installers not doing the connections properly so they over heated.
That's what one would normally think on finding a random overheated connection - that it hadn't been tightened sufficiently.

However, ALL of the photos we've seen on here have been of the top-left terminal overheated - never the right-hand one. That would be highly improbable for random poor workmanship and points the finger at the device itself (even if the immediate problem was in fact lack of tightness, there must be something about the design of the unit that causes the left hand terminal to be often loose).

Also curious about this is that it's an RCBO and hence has a thermally-operated overload trip element to it. Usually you'd expect the extra heat from the failing connection to cause the whole thing to run hot and so the overload would trip below its normal rating - causing "nuisance tripping" (though not actually a nuisance in this case!). It's possible that the thermal element is right down at the bottom and the heat doesn't reach it, but it's still a little suspicious. I wonder if these failing units would actually trip on a genuine overload - though it's not easy to test it safely.

If Rolec are telling the truth that their plastic has a good quantity of flame retardant in it and so won't readily catch fire then that's a positive point - though if someone has a scrap one (perhaps a cover that you've had replaced after accidental damage) it would be nice to do the blowtorch test for real.
 

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Looks exactly the same as my one nearly 3 years ago.
The "experts" on here told me definitely down to loose wiring.
Luckily I ignored them and installer swapped out the RCBO.
I must admit I haven't opened it since !!


Edit. Much discussed at the time but I can't find any of my content pre Jan 17
 

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Ecohound
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Last May we went totally EV and purchased a Zoe i and required a second 32A charger. We went for a Rolec unit and a month later it was installed however after a few uses it would trip mid charge, however the Zoe was fine on the Chargemaster unit. The installer changed the RCBO and all was well (so about late July). Now this particular fault has been well spoken about on this forum which I hadn't read until after my issue.
Then a couple of weeks ago it tripped out mid way through a charge again but this time the trip lever went back to its reset position but the unit wasn't charging. When the installer came to repair the unit the RCBO had failed on the Neutral connection in the same manner as the video and the electrician said the connection was tight (now I myself am an electrician and was watching him as he checked it so can vouch that it was). Now this charger is very lightly used as we prefer to charge the car's on the Chargemaster unit.
Now being one persons experience I didn't think to much of it but this is serious if others are also experiencing EXACTLY the same fault. After all the other 3 terminals appear to be OK on everyone else's, what's the odds on that. (y)
 

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We have a "B40" breaker, and our unit has been installed for 2 years with no issues

We charge 2 cars every night, a leaf at 32A, and a Golf GTE at 16A.

We have nearly 10,000 KWh showing on the meter.

I haven't opened it up - will have a look at the weekend to be on the safe side, but we regularly test it - as I say..... no problems
 

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Exactly the same on mine, top left terminal. Mine is 18-20 months old 32a used most nights to charge a Leaf. I have read about the RCD and box crack issues and thought I had missed all these defects. Anyway, was ordering a replacement tethered lead as I have changed my car, so I ordered the replacement RCD as it was only £15. When I opened the wall box, same scorched top left connector as everyone else. I repaired the wire above with lots of insulating tape and replaced the RCD with the one I'd bought.

I also have the cracked wall box which I am quite annoyed about. I repaired mine with more insulating tape (white) over the top, building up several layers to keep the water out.

I am quite disappointed with the rolec wall box. It was the recommended unit from Nissan and apparently made in the UK but it has transpired to be a steaming pile of excrement. Having discovered I have the same faults as many others which seem to be down to shoddy build quality, I am now in the "avoid" camp as well on this product.

I did contact the original installer to request a tethered lead change but heard nothing back. They were based quite some distance away, so I guess they didn't want the work without an additional bung from the Government. In the end, time was getting tight and I didn't fancy charging my car from a 3 pin every night so did the work myself. Was quite straight forward, not much more involved than wiring a plug. Hopefully I will get several more years use out of the rolec and then get something better such as one of these smart/solar wall boxes; if the other half ever gives the green light on PV.
 

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Thanks for this posting Andy. We have a Rolec so just rushed outside to check it - it has a D40 breaker in it so I assume that's the upgraded RCBO - it was only fitted a few months ago. I'll be keeping an eye on it though!
 

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Good video, I would bet that the RCBO is a poor quality component made using old tooling and poor construction/QC, made down to a price that suits Rolec to maximize the grant money they get for these units, great job that you called them out on this.

If you get it replaced I would also get the electrician to do a proper test of the RCD function of the unit and not just pressing the test button but a proper test to ensure the unit is tripping at or below the specified safe current and within the specified time.

As for alerting owners of the fault, companies run cost/risk analysis if the costs to replace/repair all units are significantly greater than the risks of failure and the associated costs of replacing all the existing units then companies tend not to do anything, this is why many products are still being used and not recalled, alarmingly there are many aeroplanes that still fly to this day with known issues for the same reasons in fact simple lack of basic maintenance on planes (blob of grease) has caused fatalities, nothing in this world is 100% safe.
 

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When I charge my car at night with my Rolec whilst under freezing conditions - when the car starts and stops charging it sets the car alarm off, So thats usually at 1:30am and 4:30 am, these are not ideal times for a car alarm. If I charge when its not freezing then everything is fine. So I don't know if its the car or the Rolec EVSE causing it. Using LeafSpy to look for errors it says every thing is fine. I don't know what my Rolec breaker is used.

Edit:-

Just looked at my breaker and its a B40. Was installed less than 10 months ago.
Leaving my leafspy ODB dongle plugged in to my car used to set the car alarm off when the car was locked and charging , do you leave it plugged in all the time? on my Mk1 Leaf I only plugged the dongle in when I wanted to check the battery. I can only think the car spotted some kind of issue on the ODB port with the dongle and the default action is to set the alarm off.
 
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