Charge Point (Very Nearly) Installed!

After much anticipation, a British Gas engineer turned up on Thursday as promised to install a chargepoint in our garage. In advance I had cleared out some junk to make the garage junction box accessible.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the wiring to the junction box from the house consumer unit (‘fusebox’) was not thick enough for the power required for the 32A charge unit, as it used 2.5mm gauge wire rather than 4mm I believe. I understand it would have been fine for a 16A unit. Anyway, this meant that a new wire would need to be run from the consumer unit or the supply meter, both of which were on the far side of the house from the garage. There were three options for routing this new cable:

1. Along the same route as the existing cable, under the floor of our landing.

2. Around the outside wall to the meter cupboard.

3. Around the outside wall and in through the house wall to the consumer unit.

We spent an hour or so investigating the first option, which involved moving furniture, lifting carpets and opening up the floorboards.

The devestation after trying to route the new cable along with the original ones (Image: T. Larkum)
The devestation after trying to route the new cable along with the original ones (Image: T. Larkum)

However, we concluded this approach would have required cutting access panels all along the floor so as to allow for cutting feed holes for the cables through all the joists, and so we gave up. The second option was excluded as our meter does not have the necessary junction box. The decision was therefore taken to route the cable around the outside wall of the house.

The work was begun by fitting the chargepoint on the wall of the garage, then feeding the cable down and out through the garage wall.

Chargepoint fitted to inside garage wall (Image: T. Larkum)
Chargepoint fitted to inside garage wall (Image: T. Larkum)

It then went across in front of the front door – here I was impressed to see the engineer lift the front path to hide the cable and then re-lay it neatly afterwards.

Cable being laid under path (Image: T. Larkum)
Cable being laid under path (Image: T. Larkum)

The cable then went across below the dining room window (mostly hidden by creeper) then around the side, up and in through the wall to the cloakroom housing the consumer unit.

Running the cable up and then through the wall (Image: T. Larkum)
Running the cable up and then through the wall (Image: T. Larkum)

Inside it connects to a breaker box and will then go into the consumer unit (this last connection hasn’t yet been made). It adds to the various cables, meter and isolators for the two solar arrays around the consumer unit so the overall effect is getting a bit ugly – I’ll probably look into boxing it all in at some point.

The chargepoint cable is the low black one curving up into a breaker box (Image: T. Larkum)
The chargepoint cable is the low black one curving up into a breaker box (Image: T. Larkum)

Nonetheless, overall I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. I am particularly happy with the way the thick, black, armoured cable is largely hidden from sight as it goes around the front of the house.

Front of house, with cable route marked (ImageT. Larkum)
Front of house, with cable route marked – if you look closely you can just see the black cable on the garage wall and going around the right-hand house wall (ImageT. Larkum)

Although largely installed, the chargepoint is not yet up and running. The engineer is due back on Monday to finish off, including fitting a missing breaker, connecting the breaker box, hiding the nearby cable in some conduit, sealing the holes in the walls, and adding some missing cable clips. I hope it all goes to plan as I’m due to pick up my ZOE on Tuesday.

Update