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Posts posted by cheminot

  1. [quote user="Monika"]

    The answers were of great interest to me as we have just had a fosse installed. In our case, a pump pumps the water up quite a steep slope to the filter bed. What if this pump fails? Does the pump need to be on all the time, even if we are away.How do we know the pump is working?  The fosse has not been used yet but there is already water in the chambers at the filter bed?


    Your pump should be operated by a float switch which switches the pump on when the water reaches a certain level and cuts out again when the level drops. It will probably be located somewhere on the top of the fosse and resembles a toilet cistern ball fixed to a rod with the actual switch on the top end. When the water level reaches the ball it floats up and operates the switch which starts the pump.

    If you are worried about pump failure you can install a second pump in parallel with the first with its own switch set slightly higher in the fosse. Thus, if the first pump fails the second will cut in shortly afterwards and if an alarm is also fitted it will automatically warn you that there is a problem.

     Of course this additional equipment comes at a price!

    If you havent got anything like this then it sounds as if you have to operate it manually and will have to keep a close eye on the fosse level, but provided it is only grey water from the house goes in it then it should not keep filling while you are away.


  2. [quote user="Alcazar"]

    As Anton says, but what you CAN now do, (or so I believe), is use UK sourced single cored cable in the proper colours, and fitted in a conduit.Bought from Screwfix, they are cheaper.



    I beg to differ on this. I bought 3x 100m coils of 2.5mm cable from screwfix only to find it was cheaper in the local brico!

    As for TW+E and sleeving, dont bother, it is not acceptable in France. You can use 3 core flex but it is relatively expensive and like single core has to be run in 'gaine' (conduit). As Anton said french consumer units must be double pole, all the english ones I've seen are single pole so cannot be used in France now.



  3. We took possession of our house in January and stayed there for a week. As it was b****dy freezing! at the time and the house had been unoccupied for some time we used the electric heating virtually round the clock that week.

    After we left the meter was read  by EDF and as we had signed up for a monthly 'prelévement' we were sent a bill for around 80 euros which was automatically deducted from our bank account. So far so good, this is when it starts to go pear-shaped!As the meter is only read twice a year our next bill was an estimate which was 380 euros! not bad considering we had not been living there!  We conclude that as our consumption for one week was around 80, EDF had just multiplied by 4 and added a bit on and decided that that was our monthly consumption.

    We duly phoned our neighbour who read our meter for us and armed with this logged onto the EDF website and used the link to send our meter readings. Problem was that as our actual meter reading was less than their estimate it refused to accept our readings.

    Next step, we wrote a letter to EDF explaining that it was our maison secondaire and as a result we were not using that much electricity enclosing our meter readings and the date they were taken.

    Got a letter back yesterday which says effectively; tough luck, our estimated bills cannot be changed until the meter is read again in July so in the meantime you will just have to pay up!

    This means we will end up paying over 1000 euros for electricity we have not used until August when hopefully we will get a rebate.

    The only way I think we could have avoided this is by signing up to the online meter reading service as soon as we bought the house but we didnt know it existed then, nor would we have necessarily thought it was worth doing.

    Anyone else had this problem and were you able to do anyhting about it?



  4. My concerns were not with the stability of the ship or the weather. I have been on a lot worse ships from that point of view. My issue is with the standard of accomodation. Has anyone else tried to sleep in a cabin above or below the bar when the disco is going full blast?

    Try to escape the smell and fumes of cigarettes, outside the restaurant this is quite a challenge and as for the standard of the food we were served in there....................!


  5. [quote user="cheminot"]

    You can get what is called a 'Kit de raccordement mélanger' from most bricos (definitely at Castorama) which consists of a flexible pipe with a quarter turn shut off cock ( usually called a 'Vanne' I think). The cock usually has a small handle rather than a screw slot and comes in 12 & 14mm sizes. Costs around 20-25 euros.



    Its me again! Obviously the forum has a zealous censorship policy when a legitimate plumbing term like c**k cannot be used!

     Please substitute the word 'valve' for **** in the previous post.


  6. You can get what is called a 'Kit de raccordement mélanger' from most bricos (definitely at Castorama) which consists of a flexible pipe with a quarter turn shut off cock ( usually called a 'Vanne' I think). The cock usually has a small handle rather than a screw slot and comes in 12 & 14mm sizes. Costs around 20-25 euros.

    With the correct adaptors you can easily join these to mixer taps as the name implies. Most mixer taps are 10mm connection but again the adaptors are readily available.


  7. Dont dispute what you are saying, but as no-one is selling any land, just exchanging it, the value doesnt necessarily come into it, but as I said before, as it is of no concern to me whether this exchange takes place or not then any fees of any kind will have to be borne by my neighbour or the exchange will not take place.

    Will post again when I find out more.


  8. [quote user="BJSLIV"]

    if so, how they go about it


    To be legal the transfer has to be handled by a Notaire. He knows the price and levies the taxes accordingly.

    If you substitute a lower value then the authorities can impute a true market value.


    Yes, but the point is that there is no price, both pieces of land are about the same size and value.


  9. Yes this is the interesting point I think, I know there will be a fee for the geometre to measure the land and amend the cadastral plan but the big question will be whether the government wants to tax this kind of transaction, and if so, how they go about it.


  10. One thing I am certain about regarding this issue is that if it is going to cost me anything it is not going to happen!

    After all I dont need either piece of land but will accomodate my neighbour if possible. I have been advised by my solicitor that the notaire must be involved as it will require changes to the cadastral plan but whether the resulting fees will be as high as with a purchase I have yet to find out

    I am going to my house at the end of the month and will give an update when I return.


  11. WE used a UK based, french nationality, qualified in both UK and France, solicitor. What we found useful apart from the obvious potential language difficulties being averted was the thoroughness with which she investigated all the not so obvious issues which confront a house buyer in France.  One of the most important things about buying anything is knowing what questions to ask and who to ask. Some are obvious but many are not. With her experience she made enquiries on our behalf about many things which would not otherwise have occured to us. A couple of examples being whether a proposed new TGV line would come near our property and insisting that the Fosse Septique was emptied before we completed our purchase. In addition to this she gave us detailed advice on inheritance law, drafted suitable Holographic wills for us with translations. Checking the wording of the 'Acte' before we signed and providing us with a translation of it. When we actually signed the acte the notaire asked if she could keep a copy of the translation to assist her with future english clients.

    This was all for a fixed fee and we regard it as money well spent.


  12. Our neighbour, whose house is situated at the bottom of our garden has asked if we would swap a piece of our garden adjacent to his house so that he can get vehicular access, for a separate piece of land that he owns at the side of our property. The idea being that apparently 'land swaps' do not attract the fees and taxes that buying the land from us would. We are minded to agree to this provided we do not incur any costs ourselves.

    Has anyone had any experience of this and the processes involved?


  13. I intend to buy a ride on mower/garden tractor when we go down to our house near Cognac in March/April.

    I know that the brico's do a good selection of them but if anyone knows of any other sources in the Cognac area, new or used, I would much appreciate any leads you can give me. It will not have to work too hard as our garden is only about 1600 sq m so I dont want to spend a fortune on one.

    Many thanks in anticipation


  14. [quote user="Teamedup"]

    On the back of this bill it is quite clear that the government says that the person owning the property on the 1st of January is responsible for the bill for the whole year.


    The above is certainly true of the tax d'habitation (much to the annoyance of our seller as we completed in january) but it was made clear to us by our own uk-based solicitor, the agent and the notaire that we would be liable for the portion of the year from the date we took over the property. Whether this has legal force or not it was certainly the impression conveyed to us.

    Perhaps we were lucky to be kept so well informed, but even if we hadnt been I doubt if it would have released us from our obligation to pay our share.


  15. Apologies if this is 'hijacking' this thread but when I retire ( in a few years) we are going to live permanantly in France and like Gilles are considering buying another property to rent out to supplement our pension income. We dont want to use the second property as a holiday let because of the work involved, but would like to let it on a long term basis in the same way that Gilles is thinking of.

    Our neighbours in France have said that we should avoid it at all costs because of the difficulties in obtaining rent or eviction if a tenant defaults.

    We realise this can happen but can anyone tell us if this as big a problem as our neighbours seem to think?


  16. I am on 'heures creuses' in my french house and with Atlantic electricity in the UK. I find that the cost per unit of electricity is almost identical between heures creuses peak time and Atlantic. The hc off-peak is thus cheaper than my uk supplier.  The main difference is in the standing charges which are far higher with edf than with Atlantic.

    Overall though, with judicious use of energy hungry appliances in France ( I have fitted timeswitches to washing mc and dishwasher etc) I believe that in my case at least the difference is negligable.


  17. Thanks to everyone for their replies. If I were building a new house I would indeed use as much insulation as possible and go for the most efficient heat source but because my house is already built my options in this direction are limited unless I spend large amounts.

    One thing seems common to almost all forms of heating is that the initial installation costs are high, thus my wondering whether at my time of life those more economical than electricity would be financially viable over a period that I can reasonably expect as a lifespan.

    Given the near impossible nature of my question I am very pleased with the variety and depth of the replies, in the end I suppose it will come down to whether I want to part with the cash!


  18. Regarding the bike, (I am assuming you have a 'new for old policy'), get a price and the specification for the model which matches the one you lost, send it to the Insurance company with a letter explaining that this is the equivilant to the one you lost and thus unless they can find a cheaper equivilant this is the sum you want to claim.  It worked for me.

    Regarding the door and shutters, get a quotation for renewal/ repair of the original pattern. submit this quotation to the insurance company.

     You can then make up the difference as required, If you try to claim for a different type of door etc the insurance company are likely to delay paying out until they are satisfied you are not getting more than you are entitled to. Again this worked satisfactorily for me.

    Good luck


  19. Hi bj,

    I am not sure what you mean by this. If you mean insulation ie: rockwool etc then surely this works no matter what form of heating you use.

    My house (pavillion) was built in the 1980's and is pretty well insulated, wall lining, loft insulation, double glazing, (dont know about the floor)

    Are there any other factors which lend a house to a particular form of heating?


  20. Interesting stuff about alternative heating methods, but to return to the central question, what I am asking is is the capital outlay required to change from electric heating worth the outlay? I frequently read that electric heating is the most expensive but have been unable to discover how much more it costs compared to other forms. Every type of heating has its start up costs and how long would it take for the supposedly cheaper forms of energy to make a saving in real terms if these costs are factored in?

    I am looking at it from my own circumstances, heading for my dotage at what seems to be a disagreeably accelerating rate, I wonder if, even at todays energy prices whether it would be worth the layout given my possible life expectancy. 


  21. Our house in 16 has electric convectors for heating and an electric chauffe-eau for hot water. At present it is our 'maison secondaire' until I retire. I have been exploring the idea of fitting an oil fired system. I have calculated that it will cost me in the region of 4000 euros to fit such a system. ( This is just for materials as I would install it myself) I have discounted gas because of the cost and I cannot be bothered with woodburners.

    So, given that electric heating is supposed to be more expensive to run than oil the following question comes to mind; If I assume my lifespan from my date of retirement (age 60) to be 20 years how much more will I pay in fuel bills over that period by keeping to electric heating rather than changing to oil? Will the extra come to more than 4000 euros? bearing in mind that on top of the price of oil, oil boilers have to be serviced annually, modern electric convectors are cheap, reliable, easy to install, come with timers and thermostats fitted and can be individually switched off in rooms that are not in use. Nor would I have to fork out 4000 euros up front.

    Your thoughts on this please! Has anyone tried doing any calculations on these lines?[I]


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