February 27, 2012

MYSTERY WIRING

I find French electrics both fascinating and terrifying.

The electrics in our little house have obviously been through several incarnations of bodging on a grand scale.  We are gradually untangling the dodgy bits as they come to light – or not, as the case may be !!

For example, there is a switch by the terrace door that looks like a light switch but actually connects to two wall sockets on the other side of the room.  We have scratched our heads over that one many times.  But they work so we left them exactly as they are.  Apart from anything else we would have to excavate into several inches of plaster and dig up the tiled floor to change it.  We operate an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” policy.

wires

However, we don’t have anything so nearly as pretty as this.

wires2

It’s on a building near the château at Paulmy.  Definitely a thing of great beauty and intricacy. 

I don’t really need to know what it does – just knowing that it’s there at all and I can go and admire it at any time is more than enough.  On the other hand, if anyone does know what it does………

18 comments:

  1. With my Electrical Engineering head on |I would say the building was once a substation that supplied the village or parts of it... OR it could be where Frankenstein was created!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is the entry point [three-phase] of the power to a transformer that supplies the correct voltage for the chateau and surrounds... 440V probbabibbly at some ginormous current... same as the boxes on poles you see around... but as you say and show... much more attractive!
    I particularly like the curves over the top!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Colin - you could be right about the Frankenstein thing !!

    Tim - I wonder if the artistic appearance is essential to its functionality. Or if the engineers were just feeling frivolous.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our electrical is also not wonderful. Part of the house is still on the old wiring, and the new part is sort of OK. When I say OK there are some switches which go up and some down, nothing is regular! A friend came and sorted out the switches for me at the front door, there are two there. and somehow one switch turned one light on and another one off. While the other switch did the opposite. Very confusing! Diane

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diane, that's so funny. How on earth (forgive the pun) did anyone ever install something as daft as that ??!!

      Delete
    2. Your guess is as good as mine, it was a French Electrician so maybe he though it would be fun to confuse the issue :-))

      Delete
  5. Most of the wiring in our house is 'OK' -- however, there is one notable exception! Every year we have had a problem with the guttering system in the back of the house -- it is joined to a barn owned by our next door neighbour and the gutter between the two building gets clogged with various detritus over the year -- each year my husband goes up there and clears it all out. One year after switching the bathroom overhead light on, I realized that the glass shade screwed on over the light bulb was very dirty. When my husband took it down it was filled with rusty water!!!! This was caused by the gutter overflowing and somehow the water worked its way down through the wiring and very neatly into the bowl! Bizarre...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Broad, that's scary. In our house the mains fuse box where the electricity supply is brought into the house is in the bathroom!!
      To be fair, we think the electricity was there before the bathroom, but even so ....!!

      Delete
  6. Thankfully for my peace of mind our cottage had to be completely rewired aux normes, as its little bit of wiring and couple of sockets had definitely seen better days, if not decades.

    The chateau whatsit looks rather nice, as does the new look on your blog. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perpetua, we really should have our place completely rewired but we're putting it right bit by bit ourselves, which is a lot less disruptive.

      Delete
  7. A truly electrifying report, Jean. I do hope it doesn't cause any problems for any of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rob, all the scary things have been dealt with.....I hope !!

      Delete
  8. We have a three phase supply to our garage!

    We will have to look at our wiring. A surveyors report when we bought used the word 'vertruste'. Our best translation was delapidated. We bought anyway ....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gaynor, if it works resaonably well, why go to the expense? So long as it's safe.
      That's one of the things I love about France, the make do and mend philosophy....so long as it stops short of outright bodging !!

      Delete
  9. Ah,electrics and old French houses! The electrical fuse box in the smallest room is not uncommon - probably a store cupboard before they decided it was ok to have the loo indoors. At our house in LGP we had bare wires above the bathroom sink - when I suggested to a French neighbour that this was very dangerous he said no, as why would anyone be silly enough to touch it! Love the logic!

    ReplyDelete
  10. There is still some wiring here in the longere that is the just post-war steel wire, wrapped in resin-soaked cloth that is then painted over with the wire code... we have disconected all of these that we know of... I repeat.. that we know of!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim, what's the expression - what you don't know won't kill you ??!!

      Delete