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Everything posted by JJ

  1. One factor which no one has raised on this subject is the type of wood. I am no expert, but have been burning wood for many years. There is a huge difference in the burning qualities of different woods. As an example in our area Chataigner or sweet chestnut is very popular, but not suitable for open fires as it spits a lot, it is also quite fast burning so difficult to keep in overnight. Cost should be 30 to 40 euros a cube, 1m length delivered. Chene or oak is more expensive because it is slower burning and does not spit, so great for open fires and stoves. Cost should be 45 to 50 euros a cube, 1m length, delivered Avoid Poplar or Peuplier as it burns very fast and smell awful. Also try and avoid any softwoods as they contain too much resin which will coat the lining of the chimney very easily and may cause a fire in the chimney. Make sure that what you get has been seasoned foir at least 2 years. Finding a good supplier seems to be quite a hard job.
  2. We are now in only our third season of running a gite. In our terms and conditions we clearly ask guests to leave the place as they would expect to find it, ie clean and tidy. However, we have noticed this year that a lot more of our clients do not seem to bother doing anything before they leave. Call me old fashioned, but having used gites for 20 years, I though it was customary to clean up before you leave. Self catering accomodation is not the same as a hotel room or is it these days? Now I know that the place will get a good going over before the next guests, but leaving soiled nappies in the recycling bag, full dirty dishwasher, unflushed and dirty toilets, full waste bins, filthy cookers etc is not very pleasant. We do aks for a £100 security deposit for damage or excessive cleaning, but the intention of this was to cover heavy duty cleaning of stains etc. Are we being unreasonable if we deduct money for leaving the place as decribed above? One theory is that a lot more people in the UK lead such busy lives that they have other people in to do their cleaning.
  3. I would also be interested in that option as well. I did ask a local French piscinier for a quote last August, but I have not heard a word from him since. I too have the same problem with staining, I now wish I had gone for one of those fake tiled borders on the liner, but hindsight is a very common word in my pool ownweship vocabulary.
  4. We to have had a pompe a chaleur installed this year, and I have been surprised how much time it has had to run. It is set for 27 degrees, but seems to be on a lot of the time, however I am convinced that this may be due to the summer we have had so far, in particular the overnight temps have been well below average. I am convinced this is the problem, as overnight is when you lose a lot of heat, even with a solar cover.
  5. David, Once again, thanks for the advice re capacity. I am also aware that my pump and filter are undersized, which does not help. I might buy a new salt unit, or might throw the towel in and go for an automatic liquid chlorine system!!!! Cheers. Jim.  
  6. David, Thanks for all that info, very helpful. My pool is 85m3 which is 85000 litres?? I test my salt level every day when I do all my other checks, I have a digital tester, very good, which show the salt level is at about 5800ppm. So I perhaps need a bit more salt? It has 4 settings, on max I get between 75% and 100% production, but it normally gives out a reading of 75%, so it does seem to be struggling. I may have already damaged the electrode as I have been cleaning in in undiluted Hydrchloric Acid. I may look at Austalia for a new electrode if I need one. Many thanks.
  7. Greetings to you all, I have a JUST-CHLOR 100 standard salt water chlorinator.It was installed in the summer of 2004, so now in its fourth year. Ever since I have owned it it has been temperamental, I clean the electrode regularly with acid, but cannot get it to produce enough free chlorine, so am having to supplement with galletes or eau de javel. I have heard that the electrodes have a short life span. Has anyone out there got one of these machines, and if so have you had any similar problems. Many thanks.
  8. Come on you lot, Oliversmum is after some help and advice from fellow forum members. Yes, she made a funny spelling mistake, and we all do that. But give her a break. As far as income from gites, and moving over here lock stock and barrel, this subject has been dicussed at great length before, so it would be worth looking in the archives on the forum. We run a single gite in the Charente Maritime, if we multiplied its income times 4, then it would be a reasonable income, but do not expect to make too much money out of gites as the market does seem a bit floooded, although now is a buyers market as a few people have realised that they cannot make a living out of it. Am not sure about the Loire Valley though, but I suspect the same as the rest of France. This is a huge subject, so I will not go on too much. We too had two young children when we moved over in 2003, they were 6 and 4, the first 6-9 months were not easy, but they are both very happy and fluent now, my wife was fluent before, and that does help a lot, especially with homework etc. The education system over here is a lot more traditional than the UK, also it may be worth looking on trhe education forum which has some excellent advice. Do your research first, consider a long term rental in your chosen area as well. And good luck. We did it, and have not looked back.                  
  9. Piggy, You do not say where you are?
  10. Andrew, Thanks for that, I have not used a flocculant before, but am now glad I asked. The algae growth is restricted to corners and the bottom edges, I am sure it is due to poor water circulation, all my levels are fine, but I am getting different chlorine levels in various parts of the pool. The zeolite is working well, only backwashing every 3 weeks. Thanks for the help.
  11. Have just found the same, although I like the idea of the anti spam filter, it cannot always differentiate the difference between a Spammer and a genuine business enquiry. Which is why I prefer Mailwasher. To check, go into Messagerie, then click on undesirable messages, and delete from there, like me you may find e-mails for you that are not Spam.
  12. Being aware of Poolguys advice about keeping metals out of ones pool, I am interested to hear what people think about the use of Flocculants. In particular the Allum suphlate ones. A neighbour swears by it for clarifying his pool, and in getting rid of the green algae dust that often settles on the bottom and corners. My levels are spot on, I vacuum every other day, but still get the algae dust in the corners. So, should I try a flocculant? Many thanks.    
  13. If you, like me suffer from a lot of SPAM, then I can highly recommend Mailwasher, it is free, easy to use, and works well at keeping SPAM from ones inbox. I do not have any financial interest in the product whatsoever. Below is the link to the website. http://www.mailwasher.net/
  14. At least there may be no water restrictions? Here in the Charente Maritime, (apparently the second sunniest region of France) we have had appalling weather too. The May was grim, and June is not being much better. It can only get better, can't it?
  15. Michelle, We live near Gemozac, which is 20 minutes south of Saintes, the opposite direction of TimC. It has a maternale, primaire and a college. We have two girls who 4 years ago were aged 6 and 4 when they entered the local schools, at the time, and  now, there are very few English speaking children in the school, it was a bit of a challenge for the schools, the girls and us, but we got through it. Be aware that surrounding your children with other English speaking children can sometime cause cliques to be formed. There are a lot of parents who state "my child was bilingual in 3 months" wel that is not always the case. It is very helpful if one or both of the parents has a good grasp of the language, as the homework only comes in French. Both girls are very happy and content , and now speak the language very well. (unlike me) My wife is fluent, which has helped a great deal with schooling. Feel free to PM me if I can asssit any further.    
  16. It might be worth trying your local Mairie, they should be able to help.
  17. Tim, Many thanks for that. Is there a timescale that you know of?    
  18. This question must have already been asked, but I was unable tofind anything suitable on the search facility. I have just purchased a TV which says it is HD ready, I know that there are some transmissions via the BBC. But my questions are when will these be available via the Sky digibox,or will we need to get a new HD digibox? Many thanks.
  19. Andrew, Thanks for that, I have switched of the auto ph doser for the moment, added enough bicarb to get my TA up to 140 which is a tad high. The auto ph doser is saying ph at 7.6, but photmeter tester says 8.6. I seem tro still be in that vicious cycle of adding bicarb, then acid etc etc. I will see if turning on the ph doser works in getting the ph down. Regards. Pool is running very well otrherwise though.
  20. Jonzjob, Many thanks for that. How long did you leave your auto ph doser off for? Cheers.
  21. I am struggling with a vicious cycle of Total Alkalinity (TA) and ph regulation. I have an auto doser for ph levels. I understand that the Total Alkalinity is a buffer to stop major movement in ph levels. My TA is low, so I add several kg of bicarb of soda, this causes the ph level to rise, so my ph doser adds more acid, which in turn lowers the TA. I have just switched off my ph doser to see if I can get the TA right first. Should I have done this first? I have read that you must get the TA correct before adjusting the ph. Anyone else had similar problems. On the positive side the pool is crystal clear and sparkling. That could be due to my rigid pool maintainence regime or it might be helped by the fact that a few weeks ago I had Poolguy change my sand to zeolite/zelbrite and that has made a big difference, also I only need to backwash every 3-4 weeks which cuts down on water useage.    
  22. St Bernard, I used Hydrogen Peroxide once, as a quick fix, which worked for a couple of weeks but and this is a big but it completely masks chlorine for some time, the only way around it is to change the water. Poolguy will no doubt contibute, needless to say I will not be using it ever again.
  23. JR Thanks for that, I did not see or here of any trouble at the game v Bordeaux I was at on Sunday. The away end was full of Lens fans as well. (9 hour drive) I am looking forward to the answer. A French person I know thought it was to do with their part in the Champions League/UEFA Cup a couple of years ago, when they played a UK club.
  24. Candide, It was I who recommended the skimmer nets, you should be able to get them at any good pool shop. They are available at disposable ones, but I opted for the ones that you re-use after washing out. They cost around 9-10 euros each, I have 4 so I always have them available. They do save a lot of debris going into the pre filter and filter, which means less backwashing, so less water wastage. I had a Polaris 280 robot, and frankly it was a major dissappointment, I always had to finish the cleaning by manual vacuuming, but perhaps I did not have it set up properly, and my pool is a tad complicated, lots of corners ledges etc, which are not ideal with most robots. Robots just love pools with flat bottoms. I eventually gave up with the Polaris when there was a leak in the system that could not be detected. I cut my losses and purchased an electric robot, not cheap, but around the same price as having a polaris fitted. It does agreat job, and does not interfere with the filtration. I would be happy to PM you with details. I have no commercial interests in either skimmer nets or electric robots. Hope this helps.
  25. I am a keen FC Bordeaux supporter (live nearby) but I am trying to find out why Lens have a Union Jack flag on some of there supporters team flags? The flag was at Bordeaux last night 29th April. Anybody ot there know the answer?
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