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Home Charging Advice- Short Term

simonlines

New Member
Mar 3, 2021
4
0
Birmingham, UK
Hi All,

Just need some advice. I am going to be needing to charge from home but I live in a newly built (4 years) mid terraced property with an allocated parking space. My allocated space is adjacent to my back garden and is around 18 metres (20 yards) from my patio doors. I'm not planning on living here really long term and so am loathed to install a proper wall box charger. However, will be needing some sort of charging at home.

Would you recommend I simply have a 3 pin weather proof plug installed on the wall in the back garden or one of those Commando sockets to provide me with some faster charging? And is this even possible?

Just to add this won't be my sole charging- there are plenty of public EV charging points around my local area which I can also utilise.
 

DenkiJidousha

Member
Sep 13, 2020
117
39
Scotland
Seems worth talking to some local electricians - and establish if they'd be able to do a 13A outdoor socket, 16A blue commando or 32A red commando - your choice may depend on your typically daily milage and thus how quickly you'd need to charge at home.

In your shoes I'd get a quote for a full 7kW car charging socket too - it might not be that much more money, especially if you'd need to buy a commando adapter. Might add a little value to the house when you come to sell - certainly EV owners would appreciate it.

P.S. Unless you can get the outdoor plug close enough to the car, make sure you fully unwind any outdoor rated extension cable. If half the extension cable is still tightly wound it can melt from the heat.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,698
UK
The cost difference between getting a power outlet installed and a charge point installed won't be massive. Any power outlet intended for charging an EV outside needs to comply with the same provisions, in terms of safety requirements, as a charge point.

The options are:

1. Install a weatherproof 13 A outlet (one that is big enough to accept the large plug on the UMC). This needs to be wired to either a box that provides open PEN protection and has Type B RCD protection, or must have Type B RCD protection and have an earth electrode to provide open PEN protection.

2. As above, but fitting a higher current supply with an interlocked commando outlet, either 16 A or 32 A (both still need the open PEN protection and Type B RCD).

3. Install a charge point that may well have the required protection built in, and which also attracts a grant from the government towards the installation cost.

In terms of charging speed, a 13 A outlet will charge at about 8 or 9 miles of range gained per hour, a 16 A interlocked commando about 12 to 14 mph, and a 32 A interlocked commando (with the additional UMC adapter from Tesla), or a proper charge point, about 24 to 28 mph.
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,368
2,546
Scotland
Just need some advice. I am going to be needing to charge from home but I live in a newly built (4 years) mid terraced property with an allocated parking space. My allocated space is adjacent to my back garden and is around 18 metres (20 yards) from my patio doors. I'm not planning on living here really long term and so am loathed to install a proper wall box charger. However, will be needing some sort of charging at home.

The drawback of the commando socket option is that you would be tied to using the supplied "Universal Mobile Connector" or UMC. This will require some level of weather protection and is something that tesla recommends you carry with you (certainly on trips if not at other times). You can do this but you are greatly reducing convenience and you are nibbling away at the price advantage. I would strongly recommend biting the bullet and getting a proper charge point installed. Local charging availability is nice to have but it's no substitute for just plugging in when you get home. If you really want you could take the charge point itself with you if you move.
 
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Alan J

Member
Jun 17, 2019
177
92
Glasgow
Hi All,

Just need some advice. I am going to be needing to charge from home but I live in a newly built (4 years) mid terraced property with an allocated parking space. My allocated space is adjacent to my back garden and is around 18 metres (20 yards) from my patio doors. I'm not planning on living here really long term and so am loathed to install a proper wall box charger. However, will be needing some sort of charging at home.

Would you recommend I simply have a 3 pin weather proof plug installed on the wall in the back garden or one of those Commando sockets to provide me with some faster charging? And is this even possible?

Just to add this won't be my sole charging- there are plenty of public EV charging points around my local area which I can also utilise.
Depending on how long you plan to live there you could use the UMC and a Heavy Duty Extension Lead, I've done so at Self Catering Holiday Accommodation in the past with no difficulty.
 
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Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,493
2,266
Shropshire
Depending on how long you plan to live there you could use the UMC and a Heavy Duty Extension Lead, I've done so at Self Catering Holiday Accommodation in the past with no difficulty.
Yes as have I but you have to have something to plug the extension lead into. Reading between the lines the Op does not have an outdoor socket and putting the lead through a window and leaving it open every night is probably not an attractive proposition.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
983
586
UK
The commando socket from a regs position is no real different from having a charge point fitted including DC protection, earth rods and the like. The only difference is a £10 socket on the end rather than a few hundred for the charge point, and the difference offset by getting a grant for the charge point. The only advantage I can see is you can go for a 16A commando (although you could go for a 16A charge point) but its poor idea to go that way.

The mains socket is the other route but it depends on your weekly mileage - if you're down at under 200 miles per week and have opportunity to charge elsewhere as well, then as Alan suggests a 3 pin plug via a high capacity extension lead may do you, or at least something to try and see how you get on.
 
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eight

Member
Sep 19, 2020
65
50
Stockport
I've fitted a 32A commando socket in the garage to use with the UMC but it's mostly been easier charging it off a crappy £150 10 amp Screwfix brick charger which has a longer 10m cable meaning I don't need to move cars round to charge. I bought the brick for europe and it worked fine off a euro-UK adapter although I did dial the Tesla charge down to 8 amps to play it safe. Here the Screwfix charger is plugged into a 13A socket inside the garage, fed under the garage door and across the drive, same setup as the type 1 chargers we've used on previous EVs. At 10 amps nothing ever seems to get even remotely warm.

Downside is it takes AGES to fill the battery and personally I think I'd want the full 32 amps available if needed - emergencies etc - but if you're ok with the local charging network as a high speed solution the outdoor socket with suitable EV charging protection is possibly the cheapest option.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,698
UK
If considering fitting a Commando socket, then it is important to note what @GeorgeSymonds has written above. Section 722 of BS7671:2018, Amndt 1 applies to ANY outlet installed for EV charging, whether it be an all-singing, all-dancing charge point or a humble single gang 13 A circuit.

As most of the cost is labour plus the protective devices needed to comply with the regs, and given that there's a grant available to help with the cost of installing a proper charge point, then there may not be much in it between installing a Commando outlet and installing a charge point.

I'm in the process of installing a new charge point at the opposite end of our drive, ready for the Renault Zoe that my wife has on order. I've opted to both keep the price right down, and try and make the charge point as small as I can, whilst still retaining a time switch in it to enable easy off-peak charging using Economy 7.

I already had a 6mm² supply cable to the garage, and the garage was already wired as a TT installation, with an earth electrode, so the mandatory open PEN fault protection needed for a PME main electrical installation was already in place. The only change I made was to swap out the old Type A RCD with a Type B RCD, at a cost of £114, plus fit a 40 A MCB for the charge point (about a fiver). The garage CU that I am hooking this new charge point up to now looks like this:

Garage CU.JPG


The incoming sub-main is two core SWA, with the armour not connected at the garage end, but connected to the PME earth at the supply end (hence the plastic gland, rather than an SWA gland). The cable to the charge point is NYY-J, as it runs inside a conduit, and is already RCD protected, to there's no need to use SWA.

I built the new charge point using off-the-shelf parts, a Wylex IP65 4 module enclosure (£12), a 1 module time switch (£14), a Viridian EPC (£60) and a single module 32 A DP contactor (£12). I also added a waterproof switch (~£3) to switch between peak and off-peak charging. This will go on it's mounting post tomorrow, with luck (the keys are just for scale - the unit's about the same width as a 4" post):

Small charge point.JPG


I could have made it smaller (and slightly cheaper) by omitting the time switch and using the smaller Wylex WBE3 enclosure, but having an easy to select off-peak charging option is something I have found really handy, and it doesn't really add much to the cost or size of the unit.
 

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