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Everything posted by JJ

  1. Colin, No doubt Poolguy will be along shortly, he is not a fan of salt water pools, and I will let him explain that himself. I have owned and run a salt water pool since 2004. These are my own opinions and experiences. There are a lot of salt water pool owners who are satisfied with the product. But in my opinion mine has been more tempermental than a conventional chlorine pool. There is a popular misconception that salt water pools are almost automatic and look after themselves, well I do not concur with that. There are so many factors with the salt water production of chlorine. The generator seems to have a mind of its own, giving a different reading almost every day,and gettng the level spot on is very difficult, I test my pool at least once a day, not just free chlorine, ph, salt content, Total Alkaninity, temp etc all factors in keepng the pool balanced. Do not under estmate how much salt you need to add to keep the levels up, not enough salt means not enough chlorine production, also I keep my flitration on for a least 14 hours during the season as one has to circulate the water a lot to get the chlorine into the system. Filtration medium is also important, this year I changed to zelitezeleau instead of sand, not cheap but has made a big difference, although you cannot use a flocculant with this medium, poolguy supplied and fitted mine. So given the choice would I go for a salt water pool again, the simple answer is no, but then with hindsight, if I knew then what I now know about pools I would go for an automatic liquid chlorine doser, I already have a liquid ph minus doser. There is also anoher misconnception that salt water pools are better, purer and kinder on the bather and the enviroment, well they still produce chlorine, just in a different way, and getting rid of waste salt water into the water table is another issue. Hope this helps, I am no expert, just someone who has learned the hard way, as most of us pool owners do.            
  2. Greetings, I am after some help and advice. I am about to embark on buying a seconhand car here in France. I am faced with the same dilemmas as buying secondhand in the UK, ie Garages are more expensive, but you get a guarentee, private is cheaper, but with little or no protection? Prices seem a lot higher than the UK, so can anyone recommend a website or magazine that is a good reference for 2nd hand prices, like Parkers in the UK. Many thanks.
  3. Anybody seen this article which turns everything on its head, again? http://www.connexionfrance.com/expatriate-news-article.php?art=60 Or is it just pie in the sky? Confused, well I am.
  4. How does the Tele Peage system work, I know you have a sensor which gets read and you get billed, but is there any advantage if you are an occassional user of peages? or do you have to be a regular user? is ther a monthly standing charge etc?
  5. Sorry, am I missing the point here, or have I missed some vital news. There is all this discussion about being resident for 5 years to qualify for the CMU. I was under the impression that the changes were going to affect all persons inactif, including French Nationals?  
  6. I am 50 and just about recieve my police pension, Mrs JJ is 48 and a qualified nurse, we have a small gite business, and two daughters aged 9 and 11, and we all love it here. We have been here for 4.5 years, and things were looking pretty good for the future. Until all this healthcare thing blew up, we cannot afford the private healthcare route as I have existing conditions, so Mrs JJ who is fluent has decided to go back to work in france as a Nurse, but she does not want full time. We cannot afford to return to the UK either, and do not wish to. Does anyone know what the mininum hours she would need to do to gain access to the health care system. I appreciate that this might not be the right thread in the forum, but I thougt someone on this thread might know as there are some very well informed people contributing at the moment.  
  7. Will, The English language helpline for CPAM was given to me by the  British Embassy, so, I assumed it was a national helpline, that is why I got so steamed up. If that number is a CPAM in Manche, well I was unaware of that.  
  8. Now I am getting confused and a tad annoyed. I thought I would telephone the English language helpline for CPAM 08 20 90 42 12 Well that was a waste of time, they are saying that they do not know what the situation is for residents already in the system. So I told her about the communication between the French Health Ministry and the the British Embassy, she said "I know nothing about that" So is it a fact that the French Health Ministry are taliking to the British Embassy, but not their own Dept CPAM This is getting silly, someone please put the estimated 100,00 affected Brits out of their misery.
  9. I have also contacted the Embassy, but got a slightly different response to MAKFAI, see below. Thank you for contacting the Public Enquiries section of the British Embassy, Paris.   The British Embassy are in close touch with the French Ministry of Health to clarify the situation regarding healthcare provision for EU citizens who are inactive and below retirement age in France.  The French authorities are applying strictly the EU Directive (2004/38) which will mean modifying the healthcare coverage available to some inactive people, including early retirees, from other EU countries who will be taking up residence in France.   However, the French Ministry of Health have assured us that the provision of healthcare to people already resident in France will not be affected." I also contacted the DWP in Newcastle, who were not very helpful or informed, the person who answered my call said, "if your 106 has run out, then it looks a bit dodgy" So no help there.  
  10. Chris, Most of the free websites are a bit of a waste of time, normally you get very few enquiries. One good free site is via www.frenchentree.com but I am aware they are going to charge soon. I have used them and had quite a few enquiries. Bottom line is if you want lots of enquiries then you need to pay, there is a lot of choice, chez nous, french connections, brittany ferries, they are all different. Most gite owners have a website that enquirers can be directed to via the pay sites. It is a huge subject and worth doing your research first, the archive section on this forum is also very useful. Good luck.
  11. Chris, I have a salwater pool, but not a sterilor unit, I am always concerned about my level of chlorine production, but it is quite common for salt water chlorine generators to give out different readings. They are renowned for it. One test you could try is to take a bucket of pool water, add a generous handfull of salt to the water, let the salt dissolve, and if possible place the electrodes into the bucket and see if that affects the output. I tried it with mine after to speaking to a pool supplier in the UK.
  12. Jonzjob is right, most pool shops are pretty clueless. The product I have found is made by Mareva, and is called REVA-KLOR Stabilisant Special Chlore. It comes is granules, Mareva are a big make so should be easy to find, they also have a website www.mareva.fr The French for cyanauric acid is Acide Isocyanaurique, well that what is looks like in very small print. But you could just use supermarket Chlor Choc which also contains it. Jonzjob is alos right that you do need to test before adding, I use the CoolPool Tester, which is a great piece of kit, it works as a photometer, and there are various models, the one I have tests for free chlorine, ph and cyanauric acid, I got mine from PoolGuy, and I am very pleased with it, it takes out the guess work when reading samples. You can also get a test for Cyanauric Acid on those multi test test strips, but I do not rate there accuracy very much. Hope this helps.      
  13. Ali, Until PoolGuy gets back online, (I think he is supposed to be on holiday) I will answer your questions as best I can, but PoolGuy is the expert here. Yes, Eau de Javel does not contain any cyanuric acid. Chlor lent and chlor shock normally do contain it. Cyanuric acid is a standalone product, commonly sold in pool shops as stabiliser (stabilisant) but make sure  you read the label first, it will have the indgredients in small print somewhere. I asked for Cyanuric acid in several pool shops and they wanted to give me ph minus. Perhaps it was my accent.
  14. Yep, I am afraid Mikey is spot on, they are a complete waste of time. Ours went wrong, we sent it back, and in fairness they did replace it with a new one. The new one is now playing up, so it is time to spend some serious money and get a AFNOR approved roller cover. We bought the aquasensor to conform to the law, but they are useless in my view for loads of reasons which have been discussed at lenght on this forum.
  15. I purchased a Zodiac X2 Voyager last year, it is the same model as the Zodiac Indigo, but comes with an extra set of foam scrubbers and a spare bag, which is very useful, and it retails for the same price. A fantastic piece of kit, before I had a Polaris, and to be frank, the Polaris did nowhere near as good a lob as the electric robot. Shop around though as prices vary, the autumn is a good time to buy as the prices seem to come down a little. Buying on the internet will be cheaper, but after sales service is a lot easier if you buy from a pool shop or other specialist. I know of at least 5 other pool owners locally who have the same model and swear by them. The foam scrubbers last about a season and cost about 50 euros to replace, which to be frank is a rip off for what they are, and when you consider how much you spend buying the machine in the first place. But no one ever said running a pool was a cheap business.  
  16. Clair, Thanks for holding the torch, like you I have to agree, Anna has said it all. I did not realise when I started this thread how strong the feelings were. Lots os intersting stuff, but I do stick to my original post.    
  17. So is Coco saying if you charge top money you get a better class of client? Sorry, but that is rubbish, the better off are used to employing cleaners in their own homes, so even less likely to leave the place clean and tidy. The class os clients has got naff all to do with it. Rant over.
  18. Speak with PoolGuy he is in the man to speak to, I have asked at our local pool shop,and they did not have a clue.
  19. Having talked to PoolGuy today,he told me that it is now possible to fix a PVC decorative border to the top of the liner. This may be of interest to all of you with plain liners like me. This would be cheaper than the ceramic tile option, and would hopefully lessen the impact of the staining. PoolGuy also mentioned that some of the new suncare products contain a pigment, which is proving very difficult to remove from a liner. He told me that various products were being tested, but the magic formula has not yet been found. Personally, I think that once you have that orangey stain, it is there for good, or am I being a bit pessimistic? Bottom line is that one cannot stop guests, in particular children using suncare products when they are using the pool, but the permanent staining on ones liner is not very pleasant.
  20. Like Mikey my gite pool gets daily attention, cleaning and testing of levels etc, but then I do have an electric robotic cleaner which is a godsend. For a rental property, I would suggest the minimum cleaning should be at least twice a week. Ideally every two days would be good, but the costs involved may be prohibitive. It also depends on the individual pool, covered pools with abris should not need as much cleaning of debris I do not agree with Mikey about pool guests cleaing their pools apart from with a net. I have had guests who have told me that at gites they had stayed at before, they were expected to clean the pool and test the water.    
  21. Greetings, can anyone recommend an English Speaking Physiopherapist or Chiropracter in the Gemozac/Pons area.  
  22. Like Mikey I got mine from PoolGuy, and I have noticed a big difference in the clarity of the water, and the other bonus is that one only needs to backwash every 2 to 3 weeks, which saves a fair bit of water. A big warning though is do not be tempted to use any sort of flocculant as it will block up the filtration medium.
  23. I have also noticed similar price rises in our area over the past four years. I believe that one of the factors is that less people are doing firewood, I know of a least three local farmers who have retired from doing it, stating that there is not much money in it for the effort, and they find it difficult to get staff to do the work.
  24. Clair, That is what I just love about this forum, you ask a question, and the simple answer is out there, although not always. Your idea and solution is brilliant, I am sure we will adopt a similar system for our operation. Mrs JJ who is in charge of all cleaning thinks it is a brilliant idea also, so thanks again.
  25. Cathy, I live opposite you, (so to speak) on the other side of the Gironde Estuary, in the poor old Charente Maritime and although the weather has picked a bit of late, I would hardly call it a balmy summer, it is the worst I have known in 5 years. If it is that good in the Medoc, which I love, then perhaps we should move. Might explain why our local wine in Vin de Pays and yours is some of the best in the world.but that is another tangent.  
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