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16A home charging while visiting in France

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
Saw this on a Facebook post. Heavy duty travel adaptors (worldwide options & polarity reversal) You can get 2 leads (one with polarity reversed) £13.99 each and a polarity tester (£3.99) and use usual lead? Looks cheaper than Tesla lead and won’t take up too much space. Thoughts?
I'm hoping to get up to 16A.The link shows a 3-pin 13A socket at one end of the adapter lead but that would mean 10A max, so I think I will hold out for a solution that can handle more current. The Tesla Type E/F Schiko-compatible UMC end lead is promising but I understand that limits the current to 13A.
 

Generator

Member
Oct 10, 2019
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461
London
Is 2.5mm flexible cable adequate for long periods of 16A/up to 250V current? It only seems to be rated for 13A? If I went for 4mm, would it fit the connectors?

Apologies to @arg once again - if you have a moment to advise - much appreciated! No hurry though, I just need to get the bits by the end of next week.


It’s fine. You wouldn’t run it for a 32A commando (I used a chunkier 4mm2 to make an extension lead for that), but at 16A there’s plenty of headroom.
4C331E02-F2B3-44CA-B525-E5DAB99690B4.jpeg
 

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
The only potential fly-in-the-ointment is that I have to use the 32A blue Commando adapter on the UMC for my DIY lead. Therefore, I *must* remember to override the UMC's default 32A and set the charge to be no more than 16A and even that might be too much and could trip the breaker. But I don't think it's dangerous. If I could get a UMC European adapter, this has a maximum 13A charge setting; which would be an acceptable compromise. But it does look like 2.5mm flex is OK.
 

sixela

Active Member
Apr 25, 2019
1,278
1,487
Boechout
The only potential fly-in-the-ointment is that I have to use the 32A blue Commando adapter on the UMC
Uhm — are you sure about that? I think that is an adapter with a 16A CEE —more accurately, IEC 60309 — plug, quite different from the aftermarket 32A CEE adapter for the UMC.

16A CEE aka “Caravan” on the left, 32A CEE on the right. Having sold computers that required both of these, not hard to tell apart — the male plugs outer diameter is 56mm for the 16A standard plug, 64mm for the 32A Standard plug, and even the pins are differently sized (5/7mm vs. 6/8).

upload_2020-1-30_10-31-51.jpeg


No UMC documentation I have ever come across ever mentioned they were bundled with a one phase 32A adapter in Europe, even though the UMC itself does support it (it has to support 32A for the US market on 110V, but also does on 230V).
 
Last edited:

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
Uhm — are you sure about that? I think that is an adapter with a 16A CEE plug —more accurately, IEC 60309 — quite different from the aftermarket 32A CEE adapter for the UMC.

16A CEE aka “Caravan” on the left, 32A CEE on the right. Having sold computers that required both of these, not hard to tell apart:

View attachment 505914

No UMC documentation I have ever come across ever mentioned they were bundled with a one phase 32A adapter in Europe, even though the UMC itself does support it (it has to support 32A for the US market on 110V, but also does on 230V).
It says 32A - I'm referring to Gen 1, not Gen 2 which only comes with the 16A adapter.
 

.jg.

Member
Feb 27, 2018
449
386
Weston Super Mare, England
I also have a 1st Gen UMC, with the 32A Commando and UK adaptor. I made up a Schuko to 32A Commando cable and used this in conjunction with a heavy duty Schuko extension cable from Germany. (German sockets have springy earth terminals, instead of an earth pin, as in France - but Schuko pugs all cater for either earthing arrangement). Although Schuko sockets are rated for 16A, the Tesla Schuko adaptor is limited to 13A but I found it best to limit the current to about 10A to stop anything getting too warm. This was enough to keep enough charge in our car, when we stayed at a hotel in Carcassonne.
You could consider a day trip to Poitiers: there is a supercharger (in the Novotel car park) within walking distance of Futuroscope. If you have children, Futuroscope is a good day out. Buy tickets online, in advance.
 
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vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
I also have a 1st Gen UMC, with the 32A Commando and UK adaptor. I made up a Schuko to 32A Commando cable and used this in conjunction with a heavy duty Schuko extension cable from Germany. (German sockets have springy earth terminals, instead of an earth pin, as in France - but Schuko pugs all cater for either earthing arrangement). Although Schuko sockets are rated for 16A, the Tesla Schuko adaptor is limited to 13A but I found it best to limit the current to about 10A to stop anything getting too warm. This was enough to keep enough charge in our car, when we stayed at a hotel in Carcassonne.
You could consider a day trip to Poitiers: there is a supercharger (in the Novotel car park) within walking distance of Futuroscope. If you have children, Futuroscope is a good day out. Buy tickets online, in advance.

We've been to Futuroscope several times :D Our girls are in their early 20s and at Uni now, so they won't be coming this time! If you go to that region of France regularly I can also recommend Puy du Fou - anther great family day out; you will never be bored and they do a night time spectacular (once a week?) during the summer.

@Generator said he was able to get 16A through his DIY adapter. I think it depends on the quality of the sockets and plugs. Our friends say we can plug into the sockets in their garage and these should be heavier duty than the ones inside the house itself - well, that's the optimism in me! Ha!
 

arg

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Aug 22, 2012
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Cambridge, UK
Is 2.5mm flexible cable adequate for long periods of 16A/up to 250V current? It only seems to be rated for 13A? If I went for 4mm, would it fit the connectors?

Apologies to @arg once again - if you have a moment to advise - much appreciated! No hurry though, I just need to get the bits by the end of next week.

For the record, I agree with the advice already given by others that 2.5mm² is plenty for 16A use, provided that the length is moderate: if you were talking multiple 10's of metres you'd need to be thinking about voltage drop and fault clearance times.

And by the way everyone - sorry for my confusing technical references - it's not earthing, it's the randomness of which terminal is live or neutral in France and I think, Belgium.

Well, it sort-of is: it's the UMC's earth integrity check which is foxed by the reverse polarity.

And the polarity is random everywhere - just that in places with the Schuko plug you turn the plug the other way up to correct it, while in France the plug only fits one way round.

And regarding drawing 16A from a French/Schuko socket, while the socket can nominally take it, note that common practice is to wire all the sockets in the room and lighting etc. on a single breaker of 16A (or 20A if you are lucky), so you might get away with drawing 16A if you are lucky but it's not guaranteed. Certainly I wouldn't want to do so from a random socket or without close monitoring.
 

vitesse

Active Member
Apr 2, 2019
1,026
294
Hertfordshire (UK)
For the record, I agree with the advice already given by others that 2.5mm² is plenty for 16A use, provided that the length is moderate: if you were talking multiple 10's of metres you'd need to be thinking about voltage drop and fault clearance times.



Well, it sort-of is: it's the UMC's earth integrity check which is foxed by the reverse polarity.

And the polarity is random everywhere - just that in places with the Schuko plug you turn the plug the other way up to correct it, while in France the plug only fits one way round.

And regarding drawing 16A from a French/Schuko socket, while the socket can nominally take it, note that common practice is to wire all the sockets in the room and lighting etc. on a single breaker of 16A (or 20A if you are lucky), so you might get away with drawing 16A if you are lucky but it's not guaranteed. Certainly I wouldn't want to do so from a random socket or without close monitoring.

Cheers! Someone else here said that France is trying to standardise on which side live and neutral should be on, perhaps since the early 2000s.Our friend's house is only about 5 years old max.

I'm only doing a 5m extension.

Where we are going the socket is in the garage and shouldn't be sharing a breaker with anything else (fingers crossed :D)
 

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