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Tesla charger install

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by cciebryan, Jan 3, 2020.

  1. cciebryan

    cciebryan Member

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    Just something else i forgot to post when i got my car in September

    when getting the charger installed there was a burning egg smell coming from where the junction box was installed when the car was charging, noticed it within the first 20 mins, so called the installers back, they replaced some parts and we tried again, same problem with burning egg smell.

    turned out the fuse was only 50amp and was the original from when the house was built - electric providers were called out and replaced the old system and fitted a 80amp fuse - This work is done free of charge.

    this dragged on for a week while the installers tried to work out the problem - So hopefully this will save someone some time.. :>

    M3D
     
  2. JCremonini

    JCremonini Member

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    The installers were somewhat negligent in going ahead and installing on a 50amp fuse to begin with. They should have noticed this.

    One of the very first things I did was to get my fuse upgraded prior to getting a charger installed.
     
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  3. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    "Somewhat negligent" is an understatement, it was nothing short of gross incompetence. One of the fundamental, mandatory, checks is that the new installation must not exceed the maximum allowable load available from the supply. The installer actually has to put the incoming fuse rating on the form they submit to prove compliance with the regs.

    Some idiot signed this installation off as safe when it wasn't, and although it's good that the problem was found early and rectified, I think it's essential that the idiot that installed it should be prohibited from doing any further installations until he/she has been re-trained and assessed as being competent, as the chances are that same thing may happen again.

    I'd be inclined to name and shame the incompetent installer, if only as a warning for others to get installations that may have been done by the same person checked and tested to ensure they are safe. One has to wonder about the overall safety of the installation, as if the installer was stupid enough to fail to do the (mandatory) check on the incoming supply capacity, what else might they have failed to do properly?
     
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  4. Vapormat

    Vapormat Member

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    Ive seen some shocking electrical work, forgive the pun! in houses and commercial installations so nothing surprises me any more!
     
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  5. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Me too, but it used to be the case that 99% of dodgy electrical work, at least with domestic stuff, was, more often than not a result of DIY'ers, who knew no better. In the past ten years or so there seems to have been a marked increase in seriously dodgy stuff being done by people who supposedly hold certificates showing that they are competent. If I had to guess, I'd say that a fair bit of this may be due to many people, who call themselves electricians, not having had enough training and assessment.
     
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  6. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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  7. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    And that's probably just the tip of a very large iceberg, as it's only the fraudsters that NICEIC know about, plus NICEIC are only one of several competent person scheme providers. I wouldn't mind betting that there are just as many people falsely claiming membership of the others.
     
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  8. Banksy888

    Banksy888 Member

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    If an electrician falsely claims they're part of a competent person cartel how do they notify building control about the new circuit? I'm guessing they skip that bit too?
     
  9. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    They have to skip it, as unless they are a member of one of the schemes they have no access to the notification database. This means that there will be no record of the installation being compliant with Part P, something that the owner of the house would be unaware of unless they bothered to check, or perhaps until they came to sell.

    When we sold our old house the buyers solicitor checked that things that needed building control approval had been approved, and specifically asked us to provide evidence that the replacement windows we'd had fitted had been fitted in accordance with building regs, so I had to send them a copy of the FENSA chit to prove it. I'd guess the same would be true of a charge point installation, the chances are that proof of compliance with building regs might be asked for when selling (I removed mine from our old house before we sold it).
     
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  10. Vapormat

    Vapormat Member

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    I have seen many things, some out right dangerous, nails used as fuses, kitchens run on nothing but spurs from cut in junction box's that have so many wires in them the tops are taped on because it cant be screwed on any more. The problem is older houses were never designed electrically for all the modern appliances that are used today. The need for plug sockets is a culprit and this leads to more spur sockets taken from an existing ring or spur, which is even more dangerous. diversity of a ring main allows for the fact that not all appliances will be switched on at the same time. The higher demand required in the modern world. The only circuit that has less strain is the lighting circuit with the use of L.E.D lighting. but with the older halogen down lights ive seen burnt cables and joists in the lofts. also bundled together transformers running whole arrays of downlights because its modern to have down lights, just the circuit used isn't sufficient to run all that.

    Older houses might have 2 socket rings at most, a bungalow might even have 1 socket ring. there never was a kitchen ring in older houses, but you might have a kitchen cooker socket on 6mm cable for the cooker. today it is very different and as much as people don't like spending the money required the older houses should be re wired for todays use with the safety of todays regulations. HMO installations are very strict. even the appliances have to be tested every 2 years for electrical safety.

    what a kitchen ring could have on it.

    Oven, ovens
    Hob
    Washing machine
    Dishwasher
    Tumble dryer
    Microwave
    Big fridge freezer
    Extractor fan
    Kettle
    Coffee machine
    Toaster

    And while were cooking dinner lets put the coffee machine on or the kettle and unload the tumble dryer. things today which are normal operation in a modern kitchen.

    The biggest problem is installations by the DIY guy or the bloke next door, also untrained spark's who connect 2 wires together and it works think that's all that's needed. Try a claim on house insurance for a fire caused by poor electrical installation, you could find yourself being very poor as any excuse not to pay out is normal. even if you upgraded your wheels on your car and not tell your insurance company you have done so can lead to non payment.

    Electrical nightmares I see them most weeks, be careful people, its your life and it can be very costly! if not done properly!
     
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  11. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    I hate ring finals with a passion, and think we should have got rid of them decades ago, once the reason for their introduction (the shortage and high price of copper in the 1950s) was over. Most other countries use lots of radials for socket outlets, and that's always seemed a better arrangement to me.

    Apart from being more logical, I believe it's also a lot safer, as I've seen a few broken rings when testing, and as far as the consumer is concerned there's no apparent fault. The fact that they now have a cable rated at maybe 27 A maximum protected by a 32 A breaker isn't in any way obvious until someone tests the installation, or unless the circuit gets overloaded and starts cooking the cable.

    Inspection and test is another thing that bugs me. Every UK domestic electrical installation is supposed to have an EICR every 10 years at the most, ideally every 5 years in my view, given that we now have more installations protected with RCDs, and these can, and do, fail (and consumers rarely bother to test them, in accordance with the label that's supposed to be stuck on/near the CU). I do a few EICRs (on a voluntary basis now) and the vast majority of installations I inspect and test have no indication that they have ever had an EICR before. The only recent exceptions I've seen are houses that have recently changed hands, as it seems that surveyors may now be suggesting that an EICR be done before sale.
     
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  12. UrbanSplash

    UrbanSplash Member

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    I know nothing about electrical installations... so I’m curious. Did the op have the main switch as a 50 amp? What fuse does the Tesla charger itself need?
     
  13. Banksy888

    Banksy888 Member

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    #13 Banksy888, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    I think his cut-out fuse (the one provided by the electric company for the whole house) was 50 A.

    The actual over-current device (OCD) required (probably a circuit breaker rather than a fuse) will depend on the current carrying capacity of the cable used to connect it (which can vary due to both the cable and how it's installed) and possibly what current the wall charger itself was set to (which may need to be lower than max for a number of reasons.) IIRC the max supported is 32 A so max OCD would be 40 A because, per regs, vehicle charge points aren't allowed to share circuits.
     
  14. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    The issue here relates to the maximum current that can safely be drawn from the supply that comes into the house, and this varies with the age of the wiring into the house, the size of the incoming cable, plus whether or not the supply is shared with an adjacent house or house. Over the years supplies have changed, plus back in the mists of time some regional electricity boards used to do things differently to others, so, for example, 60 A incoming supplies are commonplace in some areas, whereas 100 A incoming supplies are the norm elsewhere. Lowest I've seen is a 40 A incoming supply, and the most common seem to be either 80 A or 100 A.

    The supply coming into the property will have a big fuse, rated at the maximum that the supply can deliver. These fuses cannot be accessed or changed by anyone other than the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO), or sometimes the electricity supplier, and are sealed behind a plastic cover, usually just below where the meter is fitted, and right where the cable comes in.

    The supply from that fuse connects directly to the meter, and then two, fairly fat, cables take power from the meter to the consumer unit (CU, also sometimes called the "fuse board"). That has a switch to isolate all the power to the house, plus protection devices for each household circuit (fuses for an older CU, Miniature Circuit Breakers, MCBs, for newer ones). There may be additional protection devices in the CU too, like Residual Current Devices (RCDs), or the individual circuits may have combined RCDs and MCBs, things called RCBOs (Residual Current Breaker with Overload protection).

    Each circuit in the house will be protected, either by a fuse, MCB or RCBO, so that, in the event of an overload, that will trip/blow and hopefully prevent overheating that may cause a fire. Most high current loads in a house aren't on for long periods of time, an hour or two at most, usually. A charge point is a bit different, as it's a very high load (in domestic terms), around 7 kW. This is roughly the same as two and a half immersion heaters. Also, a charge point may be running for many hours on and - a Model 3 could take around 10 hours or so to fully charge, for example.

    Because of the combination of the high power, plus the long duration, of a charge point load, and also because a charge point requires additional safety protection (because the car may be outside, has a metal body that can be touched by people with their feet on wet ground, perhaps, etc) it's best to take a separate connection from the incoming supply, before it reaches the CU, and connect that to a separate small CU, that contains the protection device(s) for the charge point, then run a fairly heavy duty cable from there to the charge point itself. A 7 kW charge point will be protected by either a 32 A or 40 A protection device normally. Fuses aren't normally fitted, as modern protection devices allow power to be restored by resetting the over-current device once a fault has been cleared.

    The problem in this case is that the installer failed to do the mandatory assessment of the total load for the installation. There are ways to estimate how much power the house uses, or this can be measured over a period of time, and this, together with the 32 A that the charge point is going to draw, has to be added together and the sum of both must be less than the rating of the incoming supply. Some people are finding that, in order to have a charge point installed, they are having to have their incoming supply uprated.

    If the incoming cable and local network has spare capacity, as in this case, this may be simply a case of changing the incoming fuse for one with a higher rating. If the incoming cable, or local network, has not got enough spare capacity then it can be costly to get the work done. This does seem to vary widely from region to region, though, with some DNOs charging a lot of money for local network reinforcement, and others being more relaxed about it and charging less, or even doing the work at no cost.
     
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  15. UrbanSplash

    UrbanSplash Member

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    Hmmmm

    So if a property has a main breaker of 80A, that’s the max that can be drawn at any one time? So if a wall connector is using 32A, and you have say a beefy mega induction hob, dryer on etc at the same time this all adds up and can’t be more than 80A. To be honest, I still don’t know how electricity doesn’t leak out of sockets :)
     
  16. Glan gluaisne

    Glan gluaisne Supporting Member

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    Essentially yes, but some loads rarely draw their full rated power, and even if they do, it's not for long, so in reality things aren't as bad as they might at first seem. Also, fuses take a long time to blow when only moderately overloaded - maybe hours, rather than seconds, they tend to just get hotter and hotter until they blow, under modest levels of overload.

    Whilst a car charge point draws full power pretty much all the time it's being used to charge the car, that's a relatively unusual load. A drier, for example, will perhaps draw full power for the first few minutes after it's turned on, when it's heating up, but from then on it will only draw a fraction of its full rated power. The same goes for a hob, or an oven, they only draw full power for a short time, then the power reduces once they are up to temperature.

    The safety of the installation relies on not all loads drawing full power all the time, using a concept called diversity. There is guidance for calculating the probable load from any appliance, using a diversity rule. For example, a cooking appliance will be assumed to draw 10 A, plus 30% of it's full rated current. So a 6 kW rated hob wouldn't draw its full rated 26 A (6,000 W / 230 VAC), but would be assumed to draw 10 A + (30% of 26 A) = 17.8 A.

    The same applies to most circuits in the house, they will have a diversity allowance that reduces the assumed load they present to the supply. The exceptions to this system are things like water heaters, as well as car charge points; these are all assumed to draw 100% of their rated current all the time they are on.

    The mention of electricity leaking out of sockets reminds me of a neighbour, years ago. I went around to her place to try and fix her vacuum cleaner, and noticed that every single wall outlet had a plug in it, most of them with no flex attached. I asked why she'd done this, and her reply was that it was to "stop all the electricity leaking out, as her bills were high enough already".
     
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  17. VanillaAir_UK

    VanillaAir_UK Moderator UK and Ireland

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    #17 VanillaAir_UK, Jan 4, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2020
    We have that scenario, 5 induction, twin oven (50A dedicated supply cos instructions told us to). Its not a problem. Caveat - we are micro generators so are very energy use aware, so we use our energy wisely and half the year, periods of our daytime power is offset by worthwhile PV generation.

    In last 6 years of recording at 5 minute intervals (and additionally averaging every 4 seconds) 24/7 electricity consumption, even if adding a 32A / 7kW charger, we would never have exceeded 60A, even xmas lunch with friends, dishwasher etc, which was our peak reading, so no PV assist.
     

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