Cold Plates - Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers

Cold Plates – Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers

Cold Plates – Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers

Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers. They all have one thing in common.
They don’t turn up when they arranged too. Some don’t turn up at all!

After 20 years of hiring electrical people here in Portugal, we have slowly gained an understanding of the good, bad and downright ugly side of the Portuguese electrical profession.
I should be clear up front that 50% of this opinion is probably caused by me and my initially poor understanding of how things work here. You may be in the same boat?

When we think of hiring an electrician in the UK, for instance, we don’t usually worry because the person will have been through thorough training or an apprenticeship over many years. Night school courses and have at the very least a piece of paper/certificate proving that probably won’t kill himself or you when he is fixing an electrical problem at your home.

It’s simply not the case here. Here’s a red-hot tip, if you are looking to hire an electrician here and he is available at short notice and wants to be paid in cash. You have just found what I would call an Electrical laborer.

This is someone who installs plastic conduits in walls at the direction of a trained Electrician.

They can wire up a socket if the wires are in the right place and wire up a light switch. They are no better able to understand the electrical circuits than you or me. You have just hired the equivalent of the “bloke next door”.

I know this situation well because of the number of properties we have seen that have electrical systems so badly wired they should be located on the end of death row.

Next, we have the certified Electrician, These are hard to get a hold of because they are always busy and here’s one of the main reasons for this. Good electricians can make a lot more money by working in the UK, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Luxemburg. Which means there simply are not enough available in Portugal.

Then we have the real “rare as hen’s teeth” Properly trained and certified Electrical Engineers who can look at a lighting plan and interpret it.

They can understand what components are blown on your pool heater and know how to fix them. They can identify the electrical problems in your house previously caused by the Electrical laborers/Muppets that you hired last month. If you don’t believe me take a look at this little beauty we came across last week.

Cold Plates - Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers
Cold Plates – Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers

A small child would know that this is not a proper solution to any electrical requirement in the home.

Cold Plates – Electricians, Electrical laborers, electrical engineers

Winnie-the-Pooh, cold plates, portugal

Cold Plates -Winnie-the-Pooh


Today unannounced we had an early morning visit to our home of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Not the fictional character created by English author A. A. Milne but just as welcome this was Winnie-the-Pooh the council’s cesspit emptying man.

Every foreigner that I know calls him Winnie-the-Pooh. His real name is Paulinho the diminutive of Paulo.
After trying to navigate him through the electronic gates for five minutes. He kept standing in front of the sensors and trying to pull the gates open!. I was eventually able to show him where the manhole was.

Retiring to a safe/smell free distance while he battled to open the lid I heard his assistant saying he is going to the beach about six times (I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt) The funny thing that struck me was that I had been talking to them in Portuguese and answering their questions in Portuguese but because I was a foreigner they thought I wouldn’t understand their joke.

After a couple of cold beers, they were on their merry way.
The work will cost around 25 to 30 Euros which I am delighted with because in the UK it was 700 pounds?????

This brings me on to a new directive that we are all going to be affected by. It came from the EEC of course which is why it makes so much sense.
Virtually all homes in Portugal are going to be forced to connect to the council’s new sewer network. This network is going into every village and you can tell where the new sewer pipe has already been laid by the awful state of the road after they have been laid and backfilled.

Potholes and dips in the road everywhere.

You can obtain a special exemption but it will require some work on your part. Those of us with a septic tank in the back garden will need to fill it in and run a new sewerage pipe out into the road next to the sewer. The fact that this could be up hill doesn’t seem to have occurred to them.

Personally, I will resist and rely upon my unannounced visits of Winnie-the-Pooh a far more human and pleasant experience that anything that came out of the EEC.

Winnie-the-Pooh, cold plates, portugal
Winnie-the-Pooh, cold plates


Woodworm is a problem in old Portuguese houses

Woodworm is a problem in old Portuguese houses

Woodworm, as you have probably already heard, is a problem in old Portuguese houses.

Woodworm is a problem in old Portuguese houses with a mixture of the right climate and unprotected wood used to build homes its wood worm heaven.
Wood worm control or prevention is a major concern to anyone spending money on refurbishing or building a home here in Portugal.
With insects varying in size from the huge wood wasps to tiny wood-boring insects such as Xestobium rufovillosum, The death-watch Beatle.

Portugal,old house,woodworm in old house, Castelo construction

Once a support beam in a sheltered part of the house, usually the roof or floors is devoured by the wood boring insects the bean starts to sag or just crumbles resulting in dipping floors or roofs which let the rain in. Once the rain is allowed to contact the roof timber the mixture of dry rot and woodwork attack can result in a collapsed roof in a very short time.

If you are lying in bed or sitting quietly you can often hear a crunching sound all night, every night. It’s the Death-watch Beatle whose head makes a clicking sound as it burrows into the wood.

I know clients who it has driven crazy. The pear under the floor or up in the roof space trying to find the source of the noise.

As the woodworm is actually inside the wood its impossible to locate them.

We have just the thing to sort them out.

Once everything wooden in the house structure is treated. You should have no problem.

“The beams supporting the first floor ie: the ground floor ceiling beams Is the woodworm treated in those beams, or is it still active?” It will be active at the moment.

The previous owners or people before they used old engine oil to treat the woodwork.

It’s free, cosmetic and does nothing harmful to the insects because they are already inside the wood, chomping away merrily.

To find out more about the death watch beetle

Contact to discuss the best solution for your woodworm problem.