Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.
Register

32a Commando Socket with UMC

And if you are in England (Wales too?) that if being used to charge an EV outdoors meets all the wiring regs/building controls that apply which will be similar/same as fitting a dedicated charge point, and possibly more expensive installation wise as many dedicated charge points have those safely features built in whilst a commando they are part of the external installation. Talking here appropriate type of RCD protection (not normally found on a traditional internal ring circuit) and o-pen protection for a typical domestic install. Ask your electrician/handyman what form your install will be using and whether it will be registered with building control directly or under an approved scheme.

£200 from electrician if it meets all regs and is registered doesn’t sound too bad as registration takes time/costs (albeit indirectly if using an approved scheme). Fwiw it would cost you more than that if you registered it yourself with building control.
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,829
5,448
Scotland
If it's outside you will also want to make sure it has suitable weather protection.
Replying to self ...

I mean the outside socket plus the UMC itself ... the commando attachment to the UMC is on a very short cable and aside from the socket connection the UMC itself requires some protection. You ideally need something like a meter box on the wall to contain the connections and UMC if this is going to be your regular connection mode in all weathers.
 

Avendit

Active Member
Apr 18, 2019
1,227
854
EDI
We recently had an electrician fit a 3-pin external socket, but now we have our new Tesla I would like to change it for a 32A commando socket for faster charging. (Not planning on getting a dedicated EV charger for now). The electrician said it would be a straight swap from the old 3-pin socket to a 32A commando socket, but for reasons that aren't relevant*, I need to buy the socket myself, but I know nothing about electrics.....can anyone advise/recommend an appropriate 32A outlet/socket I can buy which can be used as a straight swap for a 3-pin? There are so many online and I don't understand some of the comments about voltages and whether additional fuses would be required etc., Thanks in advance

*If anyone cares: the electrician is great but expensive. He wants to charge ~£200 to come swap the socket cos he has to charge a half-day minimum to come out, even though he said its a straight swap. Meanwhile, we have our general handyman coming here anyway next week to do some jobs, and he is happy to do the socket too, but he has no experience with commando sockets, so he said I should do the research and buy the socket myself
I'd consider a second opinion here. While swapping a double socket for a 16a commando should be fine, I'm not sure you would want a 32a one on a standard ring mains. And that is without being worried about regs etc that everyone else is pointing out.

Standard ring main will be 30 or 32 amps, which means you are a) on the edge of what it was designed to handle and b) going to be tripping out all the time if there is anything else other than a phone charger on that circuit.

It could be the guy knows he wired it with cooker cable instead of ring mains cable and that there are no other sockets on the ring, but I'd want to have that explained to me, not just told not to worry. That he doesn't want a record of him buying the bits speaks volumes to me.

If this will be your primary charge method, you probably do want to have it done properly.
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,829
5,448
Scotland
Standard ring main will be 30 or 32 amps, which means you are a) on the edge of what it was designed to handle and b) going to be tripping out all the time.
Agree with your post ... but to be fair, unless there are other uses on the same circuit whilst charging, a 32amp breaker won't be tripping out all the time. 32amp breakers don't trip at 32amps. I have charged a number of times in this scenario and never had a heating or tripping issue. (However, I do have exactly the same questions as you have posed regarding what the electrician is proposing.)
 

Avendit

Active Member
Apr 18, 2019
1,227
854
EDI
Agree with your post ... but to be fair, unless there are other uses on the same circuit whilst charging, a 32amp breaker won't be tripping out all the time. 32amp breakers don't trip at 32amps. I have charged a number of times in this scenario and never had a heating or tripping issue. (However, I do have exactly the same questions as you have posed regarding what the electrician is proposing.)
Fair point. Really depends what else there is I guess. But if you aren't sure where else that circuit goes and what is or might be plugged in, that's a warning sign that there are too many unknowns to be trying this really I would say.
 
I'm after some advice. I'm planning on a 32a commando socket being installed, however, once plugged in, there doesn't seem to be a solution I can find to stop the UMC simply hanging from the socket due to how short the 32a adapter is. Has anyone come up with a solution for this?

I've had a good google and search on here but can't find anything.
For the really cheap option, you can use a 22mm pipe clip around the output cable screwed into the wall below the socket (make sure you avoid any buried cables!). The clip supports the weight of the charger and it securely holds it securely with the clip. It is also easy to take on an off the wall...

 
  • Like
Reactions: Avendit
For the really cheap option, you can use a 22mm pipe clip around the output cable screwed into the wall below the socket (make sure you avoid any buried cables!). The clip supports the weight of the charger and it securely holds it securely with the clip. It is also easy to take on an off the wall...

This does assume you have a normal downwards (60 degs or so) facing socket. Like this:
 
That surface socket is not interlocked so won’t meet English regs
Thank you, I am not an expert on sockets, I was just trying to show an example of an angled socket.

Out of interest, does it meet any scenarios of being used for a 32a load? If the socket does not meet english regs, why is it for sale in screwfix? If that is the case, then they should not be selling them (or at least would not be selling many of them to make it worth stocking!)
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,829
5,448
Scotland
Thank you, I am not an expert on sockets, I was just trying to show an example of an angled socket.

Out of interest, does it meet any scenarios of being used for a 32a load? If the socket does not meet english regs, why is it for sale in screwfix? If that is the case, then they should not be selling them (or at least would not be selling many of them to make it worth stocking!)
Regs in relation to a commando installed for EV charging are different than for a general use socket… which could be ok without interlock. An interlock is a good idea … same reason all EV charging cables are locked in place whilst in use.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TechnoWatch

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
1,149
1,127
West Midlands, UK
That surface socket is not interlocked so won’t meet English regs

Could you take a look at my Socket please...

No clue if it's done properly or not, but was fitted by an electrician to the Tesla Gateway 2

So I can use it off-grid.

It locks when 32amp plug is inserted and turned on.

Screenshot_20220712-203132_Gallery.jpg


Screenshot_20220712-203634_Gallery.jpg
 
Thank you, I am not an expert on sockets, I was just trying to show an example of an angled socket.

Out of interest, does it meet any scenarios of being used for a 32a load? If the socket does not meet english regs, why is it for sale in screwfix? If that is the case, then they should not be selling them (or at least would not be selling many of them to make it worth stocking!)

For English domestic household use (different regs may apply to other countries), an electrical socket must either be shuttered (ie the internal covers that prevents you sticking something in the socket) or at least have an equal level of safety, and I believe be notified on sign off as such. As a commando socket does not have shutters, the recognised alternative is the interlock switch, which prevents the socket from becoming live unless a commando plug is first inserted.

To answer your question, this only covers English domestic regs, so the sockets can be used where appropriate outside these regs, eg industrial use within their own regs.

Some will claim domestic household use does not cover outdoors and garages. I think that’s a bit of a grey area if you want cheap, less safe but since other EV charge point installs conform to same regulations, I would think that a commando socket would fall under the same terminology of household. And in the grand scheme of things, a switched commando socket is not a huge expense vs an unswitched socket, and safer.

I’m not an electrician, but I can interpret the regs as well as anyone else. And, based upon the regs are for safety, my interpretation is that electrical installs in our garage, garden etc used by members of our household are covered by the normal domestic regulations and to meet these regs must at least use shuttered sockets or better, ie interlocked commando. But at the end of the day, it’s the electrician who has to sign off that their install meets regulations.
 
Last edited:
I'm not sure you would want a 32a one on a standard ring mains. And that is without being worried about regs etc that everyone else is pointing out.
Personally I think it's an unnecessary risk compared to the relatively small additional expense of either splitting off at the meter or running an additional circuit.

Adding a 30A continuous load to a ring final circuit is not intrinsically dangerous. What it will do is stress-test every single connection in the installation, and depending on where it's connected, put far more than 16A through multiple screw terminals with their associated losses. Consequently I think that if you do this you'll end up with some blackened and melted sockets, along with a complete failure of the circuit before too long.

In theory dodgy connections should be spotted during final testing, but ultimately I wouldn't do it in my house.
 

Adopado

Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2019
6,829
5,448
Scotland
Could you take a look at my Socket please...

No clue if it's done properly or not, but was fitted by an electrician to the Tesla Gateway 2

So I can use it off-grid.

It locks when 32amp plug is inserted and turned on.

View attachment 864854

View attachment 864853

I've got one of those sockets inside my garage. If yours is outside then its rating of IP44 (you can look it up) is probably the minimum water ingress protection you can live with ... light rain but not directly battering down! That also applies to the UMC itself as per the Tesla UMC manual. Avoid use in heavy rain I suppose ... or give it some sort of weather cover.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PITA
I would be very much inclined to just get a proper EV charge point installed to regulation. I could have told you exactly where the cable run was coming from, what was feeding it, what feed type is installed (TN-CS), what protections were needed and what RCBO was required, and I still decided to get someone to do the job properly. You'll be pulling high current from this socket for extended periods of time, there is a lot less room for doing this job badly vs, say, installing a cheap 13a outdoor socket to use for the lawnmower.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Avendit
I also bought a 32amp twin socket extension lead which I use for my Jet Washer...

Works great outside...

View attachment 864855

Difficult to see properly from the photo, although I suspect is the case, but unless it’s min 32a cable and/or fused appropriately in the socket (I see no fuse) then there is a risk of overloading the cable if both socket outlets are in use.

Easy to say you won’t do it (so why have a double outlet) but what if others. By the time you plug a decent lawnmower in one outlet it won’t have much capacity left for the other.

I suspect even if it was 32a cable, if it was a fixed installation an electrician would still want to fuse protect the socket - mine certainly did.
 

PITA

Model 3 Performance
Sep 2, 2021
1,149
1,127
West Midlands, UK
Difficult to see properly from the photo, although I suspect is the case, but unless it’s min 32a cable and/or fused appropriately in the socket (I see no fuse) then there is a risk of overloading the cable if both socket outlets are in use.

Easy to say you won’t do it (so why have a double outlet) but what if others. By the time you plug a decent lawnmower in one outlet it won’t have much capacity left for the other.

I suspect even if it was 32a cable, if it was a fixed installation an electrician would still want to fuse protect the socket - mine certainly did.

Thanks...

This is where I bought it from...


Screenshot_20221018-185908_Chrome.jpg


Screenshot_20221018-185851_Chrome.jpg
 

About Us

Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.

Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


SUPPORT TMC
Top