Dangerous EV Charger Installation

The original article (since removed): https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2022/03/tens-of-thousands-of-ev-chargers-installed-in-homes-could-be-dangerous/ carried this image of a below-standard installation:

@whitecitadel has posted below a link to a copy.

Nobody here would install a charging station like in the picture in that article, would they?
And if you do have one installed by one of the contractors mentioned and it looks like that (or worse), fetch them back to do it properly.

And in case you don’t know, the armoured cable should be terminated with the correct size gland.
One of these, which securely anchors the cable and enables a proper earth connection via the earth tag:

Oh god, that photo’s bad, it’s surprising that was a professional job! I’m well aware of SWA termination. As in any industry, there will always be people who cut corners. I’m sure if they surveyed a similar number of consumer units or heat pump installations, there would be a similar result. Luckily, there are several layers of protection e.g most EVSEs (including ours) check the earth and current leakage, and some EVs themselves check the earth loop impedance value.

We have always advocated for installers to follow IET best practice, it’s just a shame the IET charge so much for this information, over £60 is quite steep!

Somebody had to pay my expenses while I was Hon.Sec. of the South Midland Centre. :wink:

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Seems the article was taken down, which in itself is interesting!


Internet archive has a copy.

I see lots of charge points going in the past few years walking around the local neighbourhood, even from a distance the siting and routing of some of the supply cables seems questionable!

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Mmm I wonder why? The headline is slightly clickbait, while I’m sure there are some dangerous installations, the vast majority mentioned in the article will be substandard but still safer than using a three-pin plug!

Looking at the picture (on the IA), that’s obviously a poor installation.
But, without wanting to get into an argument, what makes it a poor install?
Is it the lack mechanical support of the end of the SWA cable?
Or is the earth clamp? Or what the earth clamp is connected to?
Just wanted a clearer idea, as I think I’m going to take mine apart and inspect it, so want to know what to look for (without spending £50 and month reading!).

In my old version of the “IEE Regs” (doesn’t have “BS 7657” on the front!), it says “Good workmanship and proper materials shall be used.”

I consider it’s a fail on two counts: first, the armoured cable entry isn’t mechanically secure, neither is it likely to remain waterproof. Second, I wouldn’t put too much trust in the earthing - the strap is designed to wrap around copper water pipes, not steel wire armour. If you’ve ever terminated an armoured cable in a proper gland, you’ll know that, once the nuts are tightened properly, there’s a very strong mechanical clamp on the armour that gives an efficient electrical contact too. I can’t tell the CSA of the earthing conductor inside the sleeving, but it certainly doesn’t compare against the CSA of the live cables.

It may well be, the cable in that particular installation is embedded in the wall and it’s mechanically supported - but that still leaves a very dodgy connection to the armour, which is the main earth.

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My day job is electronics and electrics on boats, I’ve seen far worse than that.

Just remember that “professional installation” only really means someone was paid to do the job…

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