Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited


Everything posted by SC

  1. Yes, he meant those :) but also the ones with the switch in the bulb holder. You don't have to change them, but you must bear in mind that a pin in the bulb holder may be live even when the light is switched off at the switch. We have friends who lost a little girl in the 1950s in just such an incident, feeling for the switch when someone had removed the bulb. Regarding the use of UK/French adapters, particularly for lower powered items that have a thin flex, I would argue that to use an adapter and keep the moulded on correctly fused UK plug in place is safer than fitting a French plug. My Freesat boxes for example draw 0.052 amps through 10 amp rated adapters.The protection of the 3 amp fuse in the UK plug isn't as comprehensive as it would be in the UK because it may end up being on the neutral wire, but it will give protection against overloading (fire) in a situation where a RCD (if you have one) or the main 20A fuse may not. In addition, the plug has not been changed for a French plug of dubious quality (IMO) by someone who may or may not have their mind on what they're doing. Whether you take the advice here or not, at least some of the things to watch out for have been highlighted. Steve
  2. If the OP is still looking in, I was in a motoculture shop this morning and noticed that they had a range of Club Cadet mowers (same brand as he has now). They're badged MTD mowers too so will have much in common with all the other MTD mowers including the Toro and supermarket own brand ones. Steve
  3. Quillan said: "I don't really understand why you would use them if you bought something over from the UK perminantly" Well, one reason is of course that in the case of chargers for phones and power tools, the UK plug and charger are one and the same, and you've got to use an adapter. Another is the UK guarantee. Although cutting the plug off may not in theory invalidate the guarantee, the chances are it would result in unwanted hassle if you come to return the item. Steve
  4. I regret saying "why not buy adapters" earlier without noting that we must stay within the rating of the adapter. It seems that the pin diameter isn't an indication of the rating though Théière . I see that my Asda ones which have the thinner pins are marked 7.5 amp (although 6 amp is in line with small french 2-pin plugs). Also "temporary use only", but despite this, looking inside my adapters at the action of the contacts and size of the bus bars/continuity of earth pins I'm confident that they'll give no problem in sustained use in low power applications such as freesat boxes, battery chargers, etc., and the pins are the same size as those plugs on  similar french items. In our gites it's only the Humax boxes and one 750W vac cleaner that use adapters, everything else is French.  We use adapters ourselves for phone chargers, and some rechargeable and mains power tools. The thinner pin ones may be manufactured as "europlug" compatible, capable of fitting sockets in different countries. At least with the snug body fit and the earth pin they are unlikely to get knocked out of a 2-pin + earth socket as easily an after market French 2-pin plug is. Anyone who can't wait another moment to read more on this fascinating subject will find the website of the Plug and Socket Museum (oh yes there is) interesting. http://fam-oud.nl/~plugsocket/Europlug1.html Steve
  5. Quillan said: "Oh and by the way an English persons house caught fire last month up in the village. The cause was a 2kw UK portable oil filled radiator running through a UK to French adapter." Bet it was the French bit that caught fire! (please imagine a whistling icon here) Steve
  6. I stand corrected on this. I was thinking of older two pole sockets like this and the old ones that are sometimes mounted below a light switch: http://www.maison.com/brico-travaux/electricite/changer-prise-electrique-sans-terre-7366/galerie/32812/ edit- where there's very little recess. Steve
  7. "I don't find un-switched sockets a problem. The MCB protects the circuit." A 20A fuse or MCB doesn't properly protect the 5A flex going to a small appliance! "Who in their right mind would attempt to plug a 3 pin plug into a two pin socket? " I correct myself- there is no such thing as a 3 PIN French plug is there? (except for the 20A system) "Attempt" doesn't come into it, it goes in easily and the sockets are readily available. Not everyone would understand the issues as you do. Referring to aftermarket plugs: "All my French plugs have cable grips, I have not seen one without." Yes, but some are the cam type, others rely on the cable staying wedged between two plastic legs, both are ineffective over the full range of cable diameters allowing movement of the cable in the plug and in some cases withdrawal. Only those larger plugs with screwed clamps are as effective as a UK one. You may not have sockets with grip fittings but more houses must have them than the screw fittings, and griffe fittings for replacements are still readily available as they are not as far as I know, interchangeable. Steve
  8. Powerdiesel wrote: "I do not consider French plugs to be either flimsy nor poorly designed." We beg to differ, perhaps you've never had a plug body come away from the inner while trying to remove it from the socket. Or found a bare pin that's come out of a plug still in a socket. "As an electrical engineer of many years experience I prefer the the French system - that is of course only my personal view, others may differ" And so do I, until the supply gets to the socket. No switch on the socket, no (correct) fuse to protect the flex, no earth prong on the three pin plug so it can be plugged into a two pin socket, no effective cable clamp (generally), some sockets with grips rather than screws that pull out of the wall with the plug ........I think the designers of the French electrical plug and telephone plug received each other's design briefs! edit: my comments regarding flimsiness and cable security don't apply to moulded-on plugs.
  9. I hope that Chancer's post has corrected the erroneus statement that I was wrong regarding table lamps etc clearly enough. I forgot toasters, yes I've had a belt getting a small slice out of a UK toaster here........  Théière  said: "RCD's can trip faster than fuses these days. " As I'm sure you know RCDs perform a different function to fuses.  MCBs perform the same function as fuses. The circumstances in which they trip/blow can overlap, but not necessarily so. RCDs are the best protection against shock (particularly on two-wire appliances), correct MCBs or fuses the best  protection against fire. If bringing over UK electrical equipment why not pay 50 pence for an eu/uk adapter at the same time. It's quicker, no need to cut off the moulded plug, and it negates the chance that you may make a poor job of stuffing the cable into the flimsy, poorly designed french plug. Steve
  10. I imagine that swedes would be more of a problem.
  11. Be careful with UK table lamps that have single pole switches on the cable - change them to bi-pole. Referring to Clarke Kent's post above, if you put a French plug on it you do not know if you are isolating the bulbholder from the supply or not. No problem for you perhaps, but little fingers? Exactly why sockets are shielded. Steve
  12. Hi Adrian, are you sure that you want to cut 3 acres of grass for hours each week, and depending where in France you're living, for most of the year? Four legged alternatives might be a better solution! Ride-ons seem novel if you've never had one before, but after a while cutting the grass with them becomes the same chore it always was. The mower that you have highlighted is recommended for 6000 square metres, half what you want to cut. It is made by American company MTD, as are most of the mowers sold by Bricos and supermarkets despite their different branding and bonnets, and you will find mowers with the same specification and chassis sold a great deal cheaper elsewhere (eg ELeclerc) during the upcoming spring promotions . On this model the grass collector can be emptied by pressing a pedal from the driver's seat, so you can leave cut grass in piles and pick it up later, there will be an awful lot of it! These mowers don't handle long or wet grass as well as you might think, side ejection is less likely to block, but lawns do benefit tremendously from having the cut grass collected . The Toro DH210 has an electrostatic clutch, an unessary expense unless you need to cut around shrubs etc in confined spaces. If you are detemined to keep the 3 acres trimmed, you really need a bigger and more powerful mower . Whichever one you buy, service it annually and most important - clean rotting grass out of the deck with a karcher, remove rust and repaint every so often, if you don't it will rust through in a very short time and is extremely costly to replace. Steve
  13. I wonder if the characterisation of a typical Frenchman having a mistress is, like berets and pissoirs, a bit passé? Are there still 24-hour bouquet dispensing machines in the cities? There used to be, and if they've gone that should be a clue. I know that they're a bit macho, but among the many French couples from many walks of life that I know there's only one that divorced, and that didn't happen until the age of 68 (why when the finish was in sight?). They seem to live contented lives uncomplicated my extra marital affairs. I am surprised that the public profess to be disinterested in the business (despite Closer selling out) when the newstands are stuffed with magazines detailing the life of international stars and royalty (they bought and published the pics of Kate topless after all). I'm sure that I saw a large photo of Diana on a magazine recently. I would be fascinated to know what the public reaction would have been if the French president had been a woman......fat chance of that I hear you say! Steve
  14. [quote user="Quillan"]See if I just use the edit button nad save without actually changing anything it comes out OK for some reason.[/quote] Oh. for opera weird innit Steve
  15. [quote user="Loiseau"]Have you tried using a different browser, Steve?[/quote] and this is Opera Opera OK too methinks Not OK, funny though because the markup didn't show in the reply field like with IE and Chrome
  16. [quote user="Quillan"]Which one are you using SC? [/quote] Thanks, see above. Steve
  17. [quote user="Loiseau"]Have you tried using a different browser, Steve?[/quote] And this is FF edit: So Firefox OK others not that's a pita. Steve
  18. [quote user="Loiseau"]Have you tried using a different browser, Steve?[/quote] Normally IE11, this is Chrome.
  19. Hi, thanks,. I should have made it clear that it's quotes that are the problem for me too. I use a PC and its a new phenomenon for me. RH seems to have it all the time too. Steve
  20. Hi, the markup has started showing in my replies to posts. I can't think of anything that may have changed that's caused this. I've made a quick search but couldn't find any reference to it. Any ideas anyone? Steve
  21. [quote user="Frederick"]Most reliable we had was my wife's Volvo 360... After 14 years with only a snapped clutch cable to be replaced it failed the MOT due to rust in suspension leg mount . It went off to the fire service for them to practice cutting people out of crashed cars . Any value from scrap after into the Fire Service charity fund Its worth a thought if anybody has an old car to get rid of and you can drive it round to the fire station . . [/quote] When we came to France we bought a Toyota Picnic with 100kKM - funny looking thing, turned out it had been a taxi in Nantes, but it suited us with renovations going on. In 2007 it fell in a ditch and was written off. We did 275000 KM and aside from servicing, all it cost for a breakage was 12 euros. Not only that, even when it was oldish, the dealers treated us like royalty. That's a different story with VW too. Steve edit:corrected
  22. [quote user="nomoss"]This is making me feel my current 1994 car is really old.[:(] I bought it nearly four years ago with 60k on the clock, and it's almost the most "modern" car I've ever had, as I bought my last new car in 1995. [/quote] Is that spleen? Lovely colour! My VW is in damp tarmac. Are they as unreliable as we are led to believe? One is supposed to have an Alfa before one dies and I confess to thinking about it. We've got a 13yr old Punto that we use most of the time and despite Fiat's reputation, it's a super little car, faults have been mostly restricted to poor bulb connections that cost £0 to fix. The cylinder head did fail last year and it's so easy to work on I did it myself. Its not much good for a 300 mile blast with five people, dog and luggage though...... Steve
  23. Whoops, just noticed I put 1996 in first post, should have been 2006. Freudian slip or what? Steve
  24. [quote user="PaulT"] 1996 car falls in to that category...... [/quote] Yerse, but it was just as crappy in 2007 (electric handbrake, computer), 2008, I'm paying now- ( radiator), 2009 (electric handbrake again, frequent limp mode), 2010/11/12 handbrake mechanicals, d m flywheel, turbo - hey you're not looking for a banger at the moment are you?
  25. [quote user="AnOther"]I doubt I've paid a total of £500 to garages in my entire life never mind for one job ![/quote] Obviously never owned a 1996 2.00 TDI Passat like mine then. A suggested. 2-3K euros spend at the annual service.
  • Create New...