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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Funny French Electrics


  1. "EU Harmonisation" - My arse!!!
    Why pretend that we are all "One", when you see things like this? There have been threats to force us to change over to the European "Shuko" style sockets, all I can say is "over my dead body". I'm damned if I am going to replace our well proven, and individually fused, sockets with a crap throwback from across the channel...

  2. Heh. When adapters of both types (UK-Euro-UK) are freely available, there is no point whatever in harmonising the systems, and the cost would be immense. Never mind the 'metric martyrs' angle as so ably expressed by microdave. To be fair, the French system has recently been updated, and this house has obviously missed the boat. Our 'new' adapters only work in about 50% of the sockets. The pic above is of a socket which is probably original to the house. We don't know when the house was built, and it's impossible to guess as you would with a UK house from the design and features, but we know that the owner spent a long time in Algeria and returned when there was 'trouble' out there. The Algerian war of independence ended in 1962 with around 10% of the residents returning to France because of the violence, so that date is likely for the build. The design of the system is bizarre to the point of madness. Many light switches are on the outside of the room (creating great comic potential for the upstairs loo) and have a rocker switch above and a button beneath. The button seems to operate a light or set of lights somewhere else in the building, but seemingly on a random basis. The upstairs loo button operates the downstairs hallway, for example. It has provided hours of innocent fun.

    Our square-pinned 13A plugs seem massively over-engineered in comparison with the flimsy 2-pin jobs here. But everything works, after a fashion. After a couple of beers, none of it matters anyway :)

  3. It's not a 'button', it's a fuse. Betcha!

  4. If it's a fuse, why did pressing it operate a ring of lights on another floor? Tell me that, eh? Nah, Woodsy, it really was as random as that. Like French plumbing, sorta.


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