Evening ! Does anybody know if you can rent out your house with English eletrics ? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

John, I’ve just been reading all this discussion to this point, following with some concern really. Living on my own, from what I’ve read, I’m probably living quite dangerously, although I did buy a French plug and change it on my hair dryer myself, after taking some advice here on SFN last year. I know that the higher rated sockets and plugs have thicker pin on the plugs, so that the limit of my knowledge of French electricity where equipment, appliances are concerned and that each sockets wiring runs directly to the fuse board. My fuse board still has some of the old porcelain wired fuses in them plus a small modern plastic fuse box with switches, dangerous for the porcelain, yes or no? I could rewire a fuse correctly decades ago back in UK, but not here and now so not about to attempt to do so whether necessary or not!

To this end I have today made an appt with the electrician who came out to my previous rental and same man comes highly recommended by the other English woman who lives near my village. He speaks some English and I had sufficient French to explain what I would like him to look at with the situation here, change some more plugs from UK to French ones and assess where I can and can’t be safe with extension leads or the French multi adapters I also have with some stuff plugged into them I.e., radio, mobile charger,uplus a small light, which I think is safe, but I feel much of my spaghetti junction for TV and computer equipment isn’t though andI hate the jumble of cables. fortunately I have a box of my spare leads and plugs handy for him to use if necessary.

John If you, or anyone else, can think of anything specific, what should I ask him to check. I know my equipment is my responsibility, but I don’t like the look of the fuse board or know what fuse goes to what! I can’t even reach the main on/off switch in it, so in the event of a power cut I always have 2 torches plus big battery operated lamp and a 2step stepladder indoors. Always, have spare batteries indoors for the torches and can’t think what else I may possibly need. Thank goodness I stumbled upon this discussion.

Clare, I'm afraid that this is a very old chestnut arising from the fact that, many years ago, 'continental' domestic mains voltage was declared as 220V whereas the UK was said to be 240V, so 'potentially' slightly more 'shocking'.

Mains (single phase) electricity is not as simple as that, and the power generators put much more effort in keeping extremely close to 50 Hz than they do to keeping the voltage constant. In fact, the voltage variation is inevitable as the load is constantly changing. As I write, the mains voltage here is 237V, as given by a widget on my desktop from my battery backup (UPS) system, but I can see it changing constantly. The important thing for most electrical apparatus is that the voltage remains within the normal limits, 230V ± 10%, giving the range 207 - 253V quoted by ERDF (& John).

I agree with almost everything John has said, especially that I would be amazed to find 2 x 110V anywhere in France outside a specialist location. However, I feel that the fact that the UK imports (& occasionally exports) electricity from/to France is something of a red herring. This is done using high-voltage (270Kv) DC link which is converted to grid voltages (also high voltage, but AC) at both ends.The local systems could therefore theoretically be quite different. For details see HVDC Cross-Channel & Interconnexion France-Angleterre (UK National Grid site).

I am not even going to humour you John. As for putting words in someones mouth, I believe you said that. Touché I think LOL !!! :-)

Well yes I could do that at my expense but with enough qualified French electricians in the family already I think I will pass. What I really wanted was for some information to substantiate your post that French electricity is delivered in the same way that parts of the USA do two phase 110v as I believe it's 240v single phase.

Perhaps you might like to enrole on, and pay for a France norm course and that would answer all of your questions. You too could then go and earn extortionate amounts of money. LOL :-)

Hang on Clare, it was you that brought it up, we covered the topic several post before you joined in. The 3 phase is to highlight that even domestic electricians in the UK will not be competent to work on 3 phase, so a non qualified person should stay well away 415v doesn't give you much chance if you catch a packet from that.

Now back to your post as you have me interested now. Are you/OH saying that in France they adopt the same power delivery system as parts of the USA with two phase lines, giving two phase 110v together to give 220-240? I can't find anything to substantiate that but always willing to learn.

The french regs I have a copy of make no mention of two phase.

Conditions Générales de Vente pour la fourniture d’électricité
applicables aux clients résidentiels
1er février 2014

La tension nominale est de 230 V en courant
monophasé et de 400 V en courant triphasé.
ERDF maintient la tension de fourniture au
point de livraison à l’intérieur d’une plage de
variation fixée par décret : entre 207 V et 253
V en courant monophasé, et entre 360 V et
440 V en courant triphasé, sauf dispositions
contraires prévues par le cahier des charges de
concession de distribution publique applicable.
La valeur nominale de la fréquence de la tension
est de 50 Hertz. Les conditions de mesure de ces
caractéristiques sont celles de la norme NF EN
50160 disponible auprès de l’AFNOR

You mean, electrician with qualification recognised in France, Yes, I only ever do all the cable laying then get the electrician in to do all connections, cable joins and so on. I prefer to have the receipt of my payment to show the people who count, like the insurance company if necessary.

Yes he would be far to busy untangling weird french electric bodged up jobs to start learning something he won't use but hey a great big fat juicy rewire doesn't come cheap so he may be quids in. Lol

& if you have a problem you may end up calling out a French electrician who will suck his teeth in horror & say "Je n'y touche pas, désolé" & take to his heels as he has lots of other work to do and isn't interested in untangling weird foreign electric set-ups, bodged or not. Or so my neighbour the electrician has told me ;-)

All that was needed for the purpose of this forum John was a simplified answer, which is what was given. As I said it is the application that supposedly makes it safer, He has explained it but, to give an in depth explanation on a forum like this would be ludicrous and it would probably go over a lot of people heads. The bottom line on this is that unless you are a qualified electrician no one should really attempt electrics themselves.

Selling on a property which has a uk electrical type installation will be tricky too unless you are lucky enough to find naiive Brit buyers who don't know the insurance regs etc.

Well ask him to explain it, because the potential 240v moves through all the cables of both systems and you can get the equal shock from both systems. In the UK they also have RCD's on circuits (17th edition) like france but France disconnects the live and neutral lines the UK just the live.

I would also go further to say as 3 phase if often supplied to french domestic houses the potential 415v is a damn sight more dangerous. on on forum recently someone wrote "I have four cables inside my supply and they are all the same which is the earth and the live and neutral" Now there is someone who hasn't a clue getting involved with a system they would only come across in a UK commercial setup.

John, I didn't say it was anything to do with the supply, it is how the system is wired up. My husband is qualified in both UK & French applications. Its all about the disjonteurs and differentials I believe. and the other is how the the electric is supplied, as an example,In the UK any external work has to be done 110 volts through the relevant transformers in France this is not necessary because the French AC is supplied on two pulses of 110 volts opposite each other as opposed to the single pulse of 230 volts.

Sorry Clare that's not true, The UK imports electricity from France, it's pretty much all the same even the voltage fluctuations, 220-245v

You could be right! I remember when I first moved over here & had to do my own plumbing. Now I can just about afford a proper plumber when I need one. Horses for courses...

Apparently the French system is safer due to the voltage levels when wired up in the French way. You will get less of a shock if something goes wrong then you would from a UK set up.

Mark don't stop at 18mm, next is 22mm (the same and then 28mm also the same) a tube expander will alter UK to French size for 15mm and the tube is a lot cheaper because the wall thickness is thinner. None of that is going to kill anyone unlike electrics done badly. In fact if you use plastic, in the event of a fire you get a sprinkler system as well.

One of the biggest mistakes English electricians make here is that they use a ring main and the French don't and that is why some electric done by Brits will not conform.

You are right about the threads, Paul, but I was on about joining a UK copper pipe to a french one.

I found this on another site:-

"French copper pipe sizes are not compatible with UK sizes. French sizes are normally 12mm, 14mm, 16mm 18mm whilst UK are 15mm and 22mm generally. If you want to join French Copper to UK Plastic or copper pipe you will need a Connector available from a company based in the UK. "