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TL;DR - can any electrician fix an EV wall charger?

I have a Rolec "white and green" wall charger, fitted in April 2015 for our first LEAF, which failed yesterday. Just after 6 years, of course.

I've read these units have a manufacturing fault/shortcoming where an internal part can burn out, and that seems to be the case here. The power from the consumer unit to the charger is fine, but the permanent blue light on the charger (IIRC) is off, and when I gingerly took the front off the unit I could see a scorched part inside.

I'm trying to work out if the unit is worth fixing and whether I need a specialist EV charger guy or if any domestic electrician could do it. Forum posts suggest it could simply be the RCBO which needs replacing for about £20 plus fitting. My original installer was Airco in Hull, who subcontracted it and no longer deal with EV chargers, although they tried to help when I rang them and are going to quote me for a visit/repair; probably ££££££££££££££s.

Just to complicate my options, we bought a second new LEAF in 2019 but never claimed another free/subsidized wall charger for it, so I'm wondering whether to junk the Rolec and get a more modern smart wall charger installed instead, even if it's a couple of hundred quid.

At least we have the granny charger for the short term, so we're not snookered.

I'm in the Sheffield region if anyone happens to know of any local companies who could help.

Any advice appreciated.



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Loads and loads of posts about this issue - common problem. Try the search function on the forum and you will find your answers...

On the upside, it's a relatively easy fix.
 

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As above, extremely common problem. Easy to replace the RCBO with a decent one like this: Garo RCBO GRC40 40Amps 2Pole RCBO 30Ma Type A Curve 2 Module

The job should take no longer than about 30 minutes at the most. It is DIY'able without breaking any laws, but does need basic test equpment and ideally a torque screwdriver. The procedure is as follows:

Isolate the power to the cable running to the unit, and make sure that it remains isolated, ideally by locking it off in case anyone comes along and turns it on whilst your working on the unit.

Remove the front cover from the unit, then check that all terminals are dead, and that the supply really is isolated.

Make a note of which wire goes where (a photo or two may be useful) and then unscrew the wires from the burned out RCBO and unclip it from the mounting rail (there's a pull tab at the bottom to release it).

Inspect the wires, and if necessary cut back any burned insulation and damaged wire to get back to an undamaged bit. Ideally fit terminal ferrules to the cut back wires, to make a better job of terminating them in the new RCBO.

Fit the new RCBO to the rail, and unscrew all the gates and fit the wires in the same places as before. Tighten each terminal up to a torque of 3 N-m (which is far tighter than you might think they need to be tightened, but is the spec for this part).

Refit the cover, then turn on the supply and do a functional test. Also test that the RCBO trips when the "test" button is pressed (this test needs to be done at least every six months).
 

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I would say it is more or less a certainty that replacing the burnt out Rolec RCBO with a Garo as suggested by Jeremy, will fix the problem.

Just be mindful that the Garo RCBO has the live and neutral terminals on the opposite sides to that of the Rolec RCBO.

As others have already said, a quick and easy fix.
 

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Worth adding that if you are not confident then ANY electrician will be able to fix it for you, it is a quick and easy job. Just make sure they use an appropriate RCBO, it must be double pole and type A rather than AC (see a description of the types here Which RCD Type? - Electrical) - note that confusingly this is a different thing to the trip curve types for MCB's (most often B or C types in domestic use).
 

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FWIW, some manufacturers have switched away from the confusing use of letter to describe both the earth leakage type and the current curve. For example, the one I linked to above now carries the description Type A, Curve 2, rather than the older Type A, Curve B designation. It's a good move, as lots of people have assumed they have the required Type B RCD protecting the supply (to a charge point that doesn't have built-in DC tolerant earth leakage protection) when in reality what they have is a B curve over current protection device.
 

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Just to complicate my options, we bought a second new LEAF in 2019 but never claimed another free/subsidized wall charger for it, so I'm wondering whether to junk the Rolec and get a more modern smart wall charger installed instead, even if it's a couple of hundred quid.
If you have two EVs you can still claim a second OZEV (nee OLEV) grant and it may be a sensible idea to claim this now whilst it is still available if you need to charge two vehicles at once or hope to charge at the 32A in the future. Others may disagree as there is a school of thought that the grant just increases the price by a similar amount.

FWIW you current Rolec is unlikely to meet the current installation regulations and hence an update to the installation may be sensible at the same time as replacing the RCD. Again some view the changes as excessive so take advice from a trusted electrician.
 

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FWIW, some manufacturers have switched away from the confusing use of letter to describe both the earth leakage type and the current curve.
Would have been better to choose a different designation for the RCD's rather than change the long established and better known designation for the overcurrent part, but we are stuck with what we have now!
 

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Hope this isn't tempting fate but I can report that I bought a green/white Rolec unit in October 2015 and it's never been any bother.

Our first EV was a VW e-Up! so a 16A unit would have been OK but I went for the 32A model anyway. After a couple of years we upgraded to a Leaf 40 kWh and last year to a Leaf e+. Unit is fitted inside our garage and the attached meter shows it's supplied almost 10, 000 kWh during its life.
 

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Hope this isn't tempting fate but I can report that I bought a green/white Rolec unit in October 2015 and it's never been any bother.

Our first EV was a VW e-Up! so a 16A unit would have been OK but I went for the 32A model anyway. After a couple of years we upgraded to a Leaf 40 kWh and last year to a Leaf e+. Unit is fitted inside our garage and the attached meter shows it's supplied almost 10, 000 kWh during its life.
Snap, although not as old as yours, ours charged 3 different electric cars and was totally trouble free up to the point at which we sold it earlier this year.
 
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