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PodPoint install problems

asherwood

Member
Nov 21, 2019
105
40
UK
Hi

After having a Pod-Point installed 3 months ago, we have ended up with two problems.

1. It’s not possible to add the PodPoint to the app and we just get a mesaage saying the psl number does not match their records.
2. They have purposely slowed down the charger to 20amps telling us that our fuse box can’t handle the length of cable. (They did this on the 3rd visit after we reported a loud buzzing noise coming from the fuse box)

Now had we been told before purchase of these things, I would have purchased the slower version and maybe not even have bothered if I knew I couldn’t use the app.

I’ve contacted PodPoint themselves many times, but they never respond to phone. Alls or emails.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what to do or what I should expect.

They’ve been paid in full and claimed a grant for what is a dump charger, so I feel like I’ve paid for something that I’ve not been provided.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
Scott
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,298
2,465
Scotland
1. It’s not possible to add the PodPoint to the app and we just get a mesaage saying the psl number does not match their records.
2. They have purposely slowed down the charger to 20amps telling us that our fuse box can’t handle the length of cable. (They did this on the 3rd visit after we reported a loud buzzing noise coming from the fuse box)

No. 1 is clearly an issue they need to sort out. No. 2 is clearly an issue they need to sort out.

What cable length are you referring to? Do you mean that it's a long run between your consumer unit and the charge point? I would say ours has at least 40 metres to the garage distribution unit and then 3 metre's from there to the charge point, which runs at 7kW (my Zappi has been set at 31.8A). Cable length can cause a problem due to voltage drop but the buzzing at the board seems not necessarily related (I'm not an electrician). A cable with bigger diameter cores will suffer less voltage drop ... have they suggested upgrading?
 

asherwood

Member
Nov 21, 2019
105
40
UK
It’s probably about 20m cable run from the main fuse box.

We were simply told we’d need a new fuse box to solve the problem by the company who where contracted to install it. (Buzzing has stopped since they downgraded The charger to a 20amp charge.)

I think the problem is the lack of responses from Pod-Point and they have no interest in resolving and not sure how to proceed if they won’t respond.

No. 1 is clearly an issue they need to sort out. No. 2 is clearly an issue they need to sort out.

What cable length are you referring to? Do you mean that it's a long run between your consumer unit and the charge point? I would say ours has at least 40 metres to the garage distribution unit and then 3 metre's from there to the charge point, which runs at 7kW (my Zappi has been set at 31.8A). Cable length can cause a problem due to voltage drop but the buzzing at the board seems not necessarily related (I'm not an electrician). A cable with bigger diameter cores will suffer less voltage drop ... have they suggested upgrading?
 

Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,298
2,465
Scotland
It’s probably about 20m cable run from the main fuse box.

In my opinion checking out the capacity of your consumer unit's capacity is part of the installer's job. That's why they are qualified electricians and why you give them money! Having a nice fat cable just allows you to draw the full whack from the board so if there's a capacity problem it makes it worse (or equally bad). My view is that reducing your amperage is a "work-around" and not a proper solution. Any electricians on here want to comment?

The length of cable may turn out to be a red herring.
 
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Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,846
1,865
Bath, UK
Yup reducing the amperage is underhanded, in my opinion. They should be ascertaining why its buzzing in the first place, and if the circuit can't handle 32A why that is - i.e. underrated master fuse, wrong spec cable, etc. All of these things should have been covered off by them - the qualified party - rather than the customer.

For what it's worth I've got at least a 20 metre run to my charger (Andersen A2), and it runs at 32A without buzzing. The "cable length is too long" excuse is totally bogus.
 

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,442
2,186
Shropshire
In my opinion checking out the capacity of your consumer unit's capacity is part of the installer's job. That's why they are qualified electricians and why you give them money! Having a nice fat cable just allows you to draw the full whack from the board so if there's a capacity problem it makes it worse (or equally bad). My view is that reducing your amperage is a "work-around" and not a proper solution. Any electricians on here want to comment?

The length of cable may turn out to be a red herring.
Not an electrician but I believe Buzzing in a fuse box is usually caused by arcing due to a fault or some part of the fuse box not being up to the job. It could also be a very hard thing to predict in advance since you would not know there was a fault until it was hit by the high current They are probably right that a fix to the fuse box or a replacement is needed. You are probably going to have to pay another electician to come in and look at the fuse box. do you know the size of your main fuse? Cable length thing sounds like BS.
 

ElViajero

Member
Mar 11, 2020
9
3
UK
1. It’s not possible to add the PodPoint to the app and we just get a mesaage saying the psl number does not match their records.

I had exactly the same issue. I used the form that pops up in the app to report the problem. After about a week and just when I thought my message had gone into a customer service black hole, I got an email asking for my postal address. Sent it to them and within a couple of days got confirmation that the PodPoint was linked. Logged out and back in from the app, the next day. All working fine since then.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,192
4,696
Surrey, UK
imho, they should not have wired it into the fuse box, but a separate circuit with its own dedicated RCBO wired into a Henley block. This prevents all sorts of problems. Should be easy and cheap for them to retrospectively do this.
 
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booyaka76

Member
Aug 19, 2019
282
226
Ayrshire
Who did you pay to fit it?

What is direct to the installer or was it podpoint themselves?

You need to speak to whoever you had the contract with for the job. It's up to them to fix it, not give you a half arsed fix.
 
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Alex987854

Member
Aug 30, 2019
190
163
UK
I would write to them giving them a deadline to fix your issues before you have them fixed by a competent electrician, and your intention to recover the cost of this from them. Email and registered letter.
 
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asherwood

Member
Nov 21, 2019
105
40
UK
Thanks all for the comments, good to know I’m not being unreasonable.

Some good ideas here to try, but a final complaint email has now been sent.
 

asherwood

Member
Nov 21, 2019
105
40
UK
PodPoint, they’re the ones I paid, so I think they are the ones that need to deliver the service.

plus the app is maintained by them, so would have thought it’s down to them to sort that.
 

GPDP

Member
Jan 14, 2020
55
30
Northern Ireland
I got the 7Kw pod point installed. It runs on a 30 amp breaker in the garage, which is itself fed from a 30 amp breaker in the house.
All works fine, except when the car is charging at 30 amps the electric gates don't work properly, they stop and start and won't fully open or close. If I reduce the draw from the charger to 16 amps the gates work fine. Have had a spark testing voltages etc and the gates are getting a minimum of 230v when the car is charging at 30 amps, so not sure what the issue is as the gate motors are rated to 229v. Anyway, not a major issue as I usually schedule the charging from 2am to suit my cheap rate electricity, so the gates shouldn't be is use then anyway.
 

Mr H

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,451
1,446
Manchester
The podpoint should not be anywhere near your fuse box/distribution board. The installer should have split the tails from the meter and gone from there through a RCBO.
 
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NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
942
552
North West
722.311 A dedicated final circuit...
BS7671 18th Edition.

The regs do not say you have to come off a Henley block. It’s just easier for an electrician to ignore the rest of your installation. A separate enclosure is also good for heat dissipation from the RCD.
 

NewbieT

Member
Aug 16, 2019
942
552
North West
Sorry, I didn’t mean to shut the debate down with my last post.

Might be useful for the OP to include some pictures of the consumer unit / breakers / cable.

The noise could be lots of things, a loose connection, broken MCB or something near or above it’s design limit.

The cable length and erection methods may be ‘why’. The voltage drops over the length of the cable and this will increase the current for the same load (P=IV). Your installation’s design and erection may produce results within the necessary ratings but the fact they’ve dropped you to 20A suggests they’ve re-thought about this. A larger cable would reduce voltage drop. It would also be more expensive and possibly harder to install. There are other derating factors to consider too.

PodPoint will probably pass the risk onto the installer by way of a fixed price. The installer thought they’d be ok originally or didn’t do the calcs. I assume they turned up on spec without knowing the details of the job. The budget probably doesn’t stretch to larger cable or will impact on profit margins hence PodPoints exclusions.

Reducing the load is an easy fix for the sparky but it isn’t what you bought. Consumer Rights Act / Consumer Credit Act, take it up with PodPoint first, as you have done.

The new installation and cable may be fine. If it turns out your existing consumer unit (fuse board) has limitations, it may arguably be your problem. Small print General Terms and Conditions | Pod Point exclusions. Potentially they should have come to you for an extra quote based on cable length but ‘offer and acceptance’ could be tricky now they’ve done the work. On the one hand the written contract says there are exclusions on the other they went ahead without quoting.

If it is your current board that’s the issue Henry blocks might be an easy way around this(;)). If the cable is under-sized its more cable (sparky won’t have followed PodPoints procedure and will be grumpy cos he/she will probably end up rectifying at their own cost. You may end up with discussions about meter tail size etc. too.

Let us know how you get on.
 
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