Tag Archives: portugal

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

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winnie-the-Pooh

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Are you cold and miserable

Are you cold and miserable

Its raining cats and dogs today, grey skies, cold and miserable. One of those days when you have to motivate yourself to go out.

coimbra, stone house,damp wall, cold house,mold,,Are you cold and miserable,Portugal. castelo construction,
Are you cold and miserable

Although it is late November it is not cold enough to have the wood stove or central heating on until around 4 pm. (I live in a properly insulated and heated home)

I recently met a couple who have lived here in central Portugal just under three years the other day they both said they had never been so cold in their lives as their first year in Portugal this is something we hear often from people that we meet socially. So why is it so common?.

I believe that there is often a blindness or mental block (I don’t know what to call it) when it comes to home buyers thinking about, heating, cooling and ventilation.

It could be because most people have only visited Portugal in summer when it’s hot and sunny all day especially July and August up until the first half of September. Cold and Portugal just doesn’t seem to equate.

Take the Coimbra area where I live as an example. Coimbra, situated in central Portugal, enjoys a climate cooler than Lisbon and, is normally warmer than Porto. Temperatures here are mild with warm summers. The area within 10Km of the coast is mildest and as you head further east to locations like Arganil, Castanheira de Pera and Serta you get a little more rain than Coimbra.

One thing that is worth knowing if you are house hunting. Those villages strung out in lines along hillsides are built there for a reason. They are usually at low cloud level because the rely on the early morning fog/mist/rain to help water their crops. Old villages in Portugal are always located next to a natural water supply because that’s house people lived. Growing things on their land that the family could eat and sell.

Enough about the weather let’s take a look at why your home is so cold.

The average Portuguese home is as well protected from drafts as your home in the UK if you left the back door wide open all winter. Coupled with the fact that very few homes are insulated at all, have draughty single glazed windows and doors and a heating system that is totally inadequate.
The lack of insulation, dramatic daily temperature changes during the day, high humidity drafts poor heating systems it’s a recipe for months of misery.
We understand how to make an old house warm and a new house as warm as you would expect. Contact Kelvin by email kelvin@casteloconstruction.com and tell us about your problem.

This site has very detailed information on Portuguese weather.
https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/portugal

In fact, annual precipitation amounts to 1,450 mm (57 inches) in Braga, and 1,100 millimetres (45 in) in Porto, while it drops to around 900 mm (35 in) in Coimbra, to 700 mm (27.5 in) in Lisbon, and to about 500 mm (20 in) in Algarve. The rainiest season is winter.
Winter, from December to February, is mild on the coast, even in the northern part, since the average temperature in January goes from 9 °C (48 °F) in Porto, to 11 °C (52 °F) in Lisbon, to 12 °C (53.5 °F) in Faro.

In winter, there are periods of good weather, because the Azores Anticyclone can move over the country even in this season, but there are also waves of bad weather, with rain and wind. Sometimes, gale force winds may blow from the ocean, especially in the north.
The position of the country, overlooking the ocean, provides good shelter from cold winds and night frosts, which in fact are very rare and not intense: the coldest records along the coast are around -1/-2 °C (28/30 °F).