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Charging advice - 3 pin socket short term, long distance between car and meter afterwards

Hey everyone,

Just put in an order for my M3-LR lease and, touch wood, it should arrive before Christmas. I'm currently in rented accomodation and will be until March when (again, touch wood) we should be buying our first home.

With that in mind, my first question:

I'm only here for a few months so I'm reluctant to pay for an EV charger to be installed. My plan instead was to buy an extension lead and charge using a 3 pin socket via my letter box (I have off road parking). In the short term I doubt I will be driving more then 50 miles on the odd day here or there (the joys of remote working) unless I'm going on a very long motorway journey in which I'll use the supercharger network.

Does that sound sensible or am I overestimating ability to charge with a 3 pin plug?


Second question: new house we're moving to is freehold with some leasehold car parking spaces (see the MS paint masterpiece below). The developer tells me there is some ducting in place to run a cable for an EV charger (see red line; note my scaling is bad, ducting is about 30 m).

There is no post or wall etc to install the charging unit on at the parking space and, with it being a leasehold, I doubt I'll be able to install one.

Does anyone have any input on the optimum way to get an EV charger installed in this situation? Should a charging box, with an extra long cable/connector, be installed near the meters just leaving a loose connector near the car? Or are there charging units that can be just put on the floor (everyone I've seen has been installed to a wall or post?

Finally, the car parking spaces here are pretty open to passers by. I was a bit concerned anyone could decide to borrow my charger when I'm not about. Is that something I should be concerned about or is that not really something that happens?


1636625185649.png


Thanks everyone!
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,888
3,706
Scotland
I'm only here for a few months so I'm reluctant to pay for an EV charger to be installed. My plan instead was to buy an extension lead and charge using a 3 pin socket via my letter box (I have off road parking). In the short term I doubt I will be driving more then 50 miles on the odd day here or there (the joys of remote working) unless I'm going on a very long motorway journey in which I'll use the supercharger network.

Does that sound sensible or am I overestimating ability to charge with a 3 pin plug?

You'll be fine with that. Make sure that any extension has 1.5mm cores and is rated heavy duty.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,888
3,706
Scotland
Second question: new house we're moving to is freehold with some leasehold car parking spaces (see the MS paint masterpiece below). The developer tells me there is some ducting in place to run a cable for an EV charger (see red line; note my scaling is bad, ducting is about 30 m).

There is no post or wall etc to install the charging unit on at the parking space and, with it being a leasehold, I doubt I'll be able to install one.
You really want a proper charge point on a post. If there's ducting for EV charging then this requirement would surely have been anticipated. Have you been told it's not going to be allowed or are you just guessing?
 
You'll be fine with that. Make sure that any extension has 1.5mm cores and is rated heavy duty.

Thanks for the heads up - I didn't realise that was something I had to watch out for!

You really want a proper charge point on a post. If there's ducting for EV charging then this requirement would surely have been anticipated. Have you been told it's not going to be allowed or are you just guessing?
Honestly, I haven't asked. It's technically a communal area so I just assumed (though the spaces are reserved for my use).
 

MrT3

Member
Jun 26, 2021
820
452
UK
Finally, the car parking spaces here are pretty open to passers by. I was a bit concerned anyone could decide to borrow my charger when I'm not about. Is that something I should be concerned about or is that not really something that happens?
Get an untethered charger otherwise a tethered cable might get damaged. Some chargers have a physical key to turn them on/off and the smart chargers have the ability to schedule/disable remotely via an app - however get one the communicates via 3G/4G rather than wifi as I suspect it will be too far away from your house to pick up your own in-house wifi.
 
and to answer question number 3, I initially thought that one day i'd come home to find a cheeky so and so using my home charger and was thinking about either untethered (but the driver would probably have a cable anyway) or getting a key on/off switch for the charger.

I didn't in the end and nobody has come round to use it except me and to be fair if someone was really low on battery i'd let them plug in to get enough charge to get them to a rapid charger it's not a massive expense! Even if they were trying to run up a bill they'd have to be there for hours! Which my neighbours would see and my doorbell camera would let me know someone was on my drive. Most smart chargers these days have routine functions so they'll only start charging in your cheaper tarrif so a 'software lockout' could be achieved
 

UkNorthampton

TSLA - 12+ startups in 1
Jun 15, 2019
910
7,921
Northampton, England
Dial down the amperage in your car if using granny charger/extension cord. I think by default it's 10 amps which is high for sustained use (others have said). Charge car when warm is best after you get back home, plus pre-heat cabin in morning if you have a regular departure time.

If someone leaves their car charging for hours in someone else's car parking, they're either mad or desperate. How much is a full charge cost? £15?

I can imagine some might do it, especially where parking is separate, but I don't think I'd worry.

Others better placed to advise on install, but get permissions in writing/email
 

MovingSouth

Member
Jun 10, 2021
55
41
UK
My plan instead was to buy an extension lead and charge using a 3 pin socket via my letter box
Don't assume that the wiring and socket that you intend to use are up to it. Old installs often won't be - they don't really get tested for 10A running for hours on end, and there are cheap sockets, especially, that can't cope.

1. A loose connection or poor quality socket can easily lead to the socket getting very hot and can lead to fires. At the very least, keep a close check on the temperature for the first charges and keep an eye on it over time. It might be worth checking the connections or getting it checked. I wouldn't just plug in for the first time and go to bed upstairs without running for a few hours first.

2. Most 13A sockets in the UK are installed in a ring (daisy chained in a loop), so it's not only the socket you plug into that you need to worry about. If the connections in any socket in the ring are loose then it too could get hot.

You are in a rented property, so the landlord should have had an electrical safety check carried out, which would give some reassurance. Do you have the certificate?
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,888
3,706
Scotland
Dial down the amperage in your car if using granny charger/extension cord. I think by default it's 10 amps which is high for sustained use (others have said). Charge car when warm is best after you get back home, plus pre-heat cabin in morning if you have a regular departure time.

I would just run a standard charge at the 10amp rate and set aside some time to monitor the temperature of plugs and sockets over a couple of hours. If nothing goes beyond gently warm to the touch then it's a good bet that all will be well. By all means get an electrician to check if one is in any doubt. And if it's any reassurance the forum hasn't been swamped with stories of people burning their houses down ...
 

MovingSouth

Member
Jun 10, 2021
55
41
UK
And if it's any reassurance the forum hasn't been swamped with stories of people burning their houses down
True. Still, I think we are both giving the same advice. To check the plug and socket temperatures regularly and proceed with care. I'd add, to consider having the wiring checked if you are charging regularly (and especially overnight) and definitely if the wring system is old and has not been checked.

Most analyses of the causes of electrical fires in the UK have faulty sockets and extension leads near the top of the list. Just as a couple of concise sources:
Here's an example of what can go wrong with EV charging, although it's for a domestic charge point, rather than a granny charger:

https://www.speakev.com/threads/a-cautionary-tale-of-severe-electrical-fire.152651/
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,289
895
North West
Temporary use of a decent extension cable on a good/known socket at 10A will be fine. Make sure there is an RCD somewhere.

Lease charge space - as others have said, get a charge point on a post. Being on a post, if there is any flooding the connections will be 1m off the ground. It will also be more convenient. Some can be quite small and you can add an RFID car for control (Sync EV). Your lease might require you get permission and might require it’s removal at the end of the lease. Too many factors to say more than that without the detail.
 

GRiLLA

Active Member
Jul 5, 2020
1,125
1,178
UK
You won't get a 13amp plug or socket through most letterboxes. however the folks at Toughleads can make one up for you with a barrel connector that will, see


I doubt you'll have much problem in the short term using the UMC. You'll probably want a drybox with a lock to stop someone unplugging your UMC, and while splash proof they shouldn't stand in water.

If you had any recent charger you can set a start/end time, which will be in the middle of night to get the best rates (e.g. Octopus Go). Then if someone plugged in during the day it's not going to charge for them. Even if you were away and someone left a car overnight the most you could lose in the 4 hours Go window would be about £150, it's the slowest crime in the world.

Alternatively I suppose you could have a commando socket fitted (with appropriate RCD and Pen Fault) then use the Tesla UMC or equivalent with an adapter, it would still give you 7KW charging and you would unplug and keep it in your boot. Might look less interesting to anyone passing to play with a socket.
 

Plagued

Member
Apr 9, 2019
255
203
Uk
I mentioned it in another post about 10A charging, but just about any smart plug like the cheap tplink kasa are rated for 13A and have built in thermal protection. This will shut the power down if they detect an overheat on the socket you are using. I would always use one of these if using an extension lead or an unknown/old socket. You can get more advanced ones that can also meter the electricity used etc.
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,888
3,706
Scotland
I mentioned it in another post about 10A charging, but just about any smart plug like the cheap tplink kasa are rated for 13A and have built in thermal protection. This will shut the power down if they detect an overheat on the socket you are using. I would always use one of these if using an extension lead or an unknown/old socket. You can get more advanced ones that can also meter the electricity used etc.

Do you routinely use one for this purpose? I have a few of these but haven't used them in conjunction with the UMC. I know that they do have thermal protection but wonder if they might be a bit too sensitive in practice ... it's normal for plugs and sockets to get warm so it would be a pain if it cut out unnecessarily.
 

Plagued

Member
Apr 9, 2019
255
203
Uk
Do you routinely use one for this purpose? I have a few of these but haven't used them in conjunction with the UMC. I know that they do have thermal protection but wonder if they might be a bit too sensitive in practice ... it's normal for plugs and sockets to get warm so it would be a pain if it cut out unnecessarily.
Yes, I had a socket melt on me when I charged at a friends house using a cheap socket in their garage. They had used a short 3m extension so my UMC was fine, but it killed the plug on the extension and the socket. Since then I've always used the smart plugs. I have had them trip once, but it was justified as again poor contact with the socket had caused excess heat, but the one I was using reports this on the app if it's got wifi, so you can go and assess the issue. I think the others I have auto reset when they cool, so if it did overheat it would start charging again when it cooled down.
The only issue with popping back a few times to feel the plug temp is that heat causes resistance, so it can gradually rise to a point that the resistance causes it to quickly and exponentially heat up. So I'd rather have something monitoring 100% of the time.
 
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