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Self building and DIY

Self building and DIY

Old Feb 18th 2010, 4:04 pm
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Lightbulb Self building and DIY

Self building and DIY
Because of 'la crisis' (long story) we're ending up doing most of the work on our own 'proyecto'. That is to say we're building a house in the Aracena area of Huelva province (Andalucia). Actually enjoying the long hours of backbreaking brickie-ing and the evening trawls through Collins Complete DIY and Larousse Bricolaje to find similarities and differences between Spanish and British ways of doing things. We're hoping to be doing the best of both! I'm now trying to work out which bits of wall I need to leave unplastered or to cut into for all the later plumbing and 'electrickery'. Any electricians or plumbers who want to impart a little knowledge? Or other self builders who want to share experiences out there?

For example. Do Spanish ring mains (for sockets) come up from the floor like British, or down from the ceiling, Or somewhere in between? And what are the rules about how deep they're buried?
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 4:32 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by angiescarr View Post
Self building and DIY
Because of 'la crisis' (long story) we're ending up doing most of the work on our own 'proyecto'. That is to say we're building a house in the Aracena area of Huelva province (Andalucia). Actually enjoying the long hours of backbreaking brickie-ing and the evening trawls through Collins Complete DIY and Larousse Bricolaje to find similarities and differences between Spanish and British ways of doing things. We're hoping to be doing the best of both! I'm now trying to work out which bits of wall I need to leave unplastered or to cut into for all the later plumbing and 'electrickery'. Any electricians or plumbers who want to impart a little knowledge? Or other self builders who want to share experiences out there?

For example. Do Spanish ring mains (for sockets) come up from the floor like British, or down from the ceiling, Or somewhere in between? And what are the rules about how deep they're buried?
Depends on where you live! PM sent with my number.
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post
Depends on where you live! PM sent with my number.
Hi 'Sparkplug'
Checked out your other posts. (sensible, I think, when someone private posts with a telephone number;-) ) You're a Yorkshire lad. We're from Hull.
'Guiris' is the word the Guardia used in your conversation. From 'girar' to turn (round)..... I suppose. It means tourists. Quite rude!:-)
So have you worked out any important differences between the two systems yet? Are you planning on working as an electrician here?
I won't be calling electricians in until the last moment. Just can't afford it. So we've no idea when that last moment will occur!
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 4:59 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

LOL already working (if you can call it that...)
Advice is free so just ask away should you need to. Spanish electrics are crap compared to uk regs, but have some peculiarities to say the least....
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by sparkplug View Post
LOL already working (if you can call it that...)
Advice is free so just ask away should you need to. Spanish electrics are crap compared to uk regs, but have some peculiarities to say the least....
Many thanks

Congrats! My husband is struggling even to find a way of working. He was self employed (computers) in UK but is more Geek than salesperson;-) So currently he's unemployed. But that can be useful as he's learned how to make a damned fine mortar mix!

Anyway. Yes. The question is as above. I'm at the stage of building internal walls. We've actually closed in one room, and several more are coming along nicely. Yahay!

I started looking at these beautifully built (English style) brick walls and thinking where do I chase out, and/or leave unplastered? I've left a channel on one side of each room at the top. Which just happened because of the shape and size of bricks I've had to use for the final course. So I guess that's the lighting ring half sorted. But what do I do for the socket ring. Do I chase out at floor level and then up to where I want the sockets? And if so how deep. Can I get away with just leaving nice gaps in the render and plaster by rendering over a stick or a piece of plastic trunking or something? Can I stick the main ring cables behind the skirting tiling?
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:22 pm
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It is against the law to use unqualified electricians in Spain.
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by angiescarr View Post
Hi 'Sparkplug'
Checked out your other posts. (sensible, I think, when someone private posts with a telephone number;-) ) You're a Yorkshire lad. We're from Hull.
'Guiris' is the word the Guardia used in your conversation. From 'girar' to turn (round)..... I suppose. It means tourists. Quite rude!:-)
So have you worked out any important differences between the two systems yet? Are you planning on working as an electrician here?
I won't be calling electricians in until the last moment. Just can't afford it. So we've no idea when that last moment will occur!
Not another cod head on the forum! lol I´m from 'ull as well (you can tell by the way I don´t pronounce the "H" in 'ull. OH even talks with my accent.

Originally Posted by jackytoo View Post
It is against the law to use unqualified electricians in Spain.
Lots of things are illegal over here but doesn´t seem to stop anyone
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:41 pm
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Wink Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by jackytoo View Post
It is against the law to use unqualified electricians in Spain.
DIY is not against the law. Just as it isn't in England. You just have to have a qualified Electrician check and connect. People often confuse this and are fearful of doing anything! Correct me if I'm wrong Electricians out there, but I believe;- you can sort the site out, mark up chase holes in walls, Run cable lengths even wire sockets and lamps etc if you want to. You just can't connect any of it to the mains until it's checked by a qualified person. Obviously, if you're an idiot and put a socket next to a bath or put channels diagonally across walls etc. Your work will be laughed at and you'll have to start again. That's why I'm finding out what can be/has to be done before I waste my time.
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by angiescarr View Post
For example. Do Spanish ring mains (for sockets) come up from the floor like British, or down from the ceiling, Or somewhere in between? And what are the rules about how deep they're buried?
From my observations they take the shortest route from one socket to the next zigzaging across the walls
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

I know someone that put rings in like the UK sparkies do and had to rip them all out.
Make sure you follow the Spanish codes and you know someone who will sign it off, oh yeah and get and pay for all the licences before you start.
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by jdr View Post
I know someone that put rings in like the UK sparkies do and had to rip them all out.
Make sure you follow the Spanish codes and you know someone who will sign it off, oh yeah and get and pay for all the licences before you start.
Yep. That's why I'm asking the questions upfront.
Anyone who actually knows the Spanish regs?
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Old Feb 18th 2010, 6:30 pm
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BTW I do have all the licences. A proper proyecto,an architect and a strong sturdy 'casa en bruto'. Just no money to finish the job.
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Old Feb 19th 2010, 3:16 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by angiescarr View Post
Yep. That's why I'm asking the questions upfront.
Anyone who actually knows the Spanish regs?
The concept of Ring Mains is simply not understood or certainly not used by Spanish electricians. All runs are straight off the 'fuse' board.

If you take a look at Spanish properties you will notice a number of boxes - almost at ceiling height. Commonly you will find one above a plug socket or light switch. These contain 'junctions' and so are really access panels.

When planning the electrics in a room, allow for a couple of these at useful positions and then run the necessary tubing from these to the plus/light sockets. It really doesn't seem to matter if these are vertical, horizontal or anything in between!

These access panels then run back to the main 'fuse' board so more channelling is required.

I'm a great believer in this system as new cables can be run through these tubes without the need to hack walls about or do any surface mounting.

As said before, a DIY'er can do all of this themselves providing they then get the necessary boletin from a qualified electrician who will then connect the 'fuse' board to the meter.

This boletin (and similar plumbing one) is essential later on to get the habitation licence.
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Old Feb 19th 2010, 6:35 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Self building and DIY

Originally Posted by snikpoh View Post
The concept of Ring Mains is simply not understood or certainly not used by Spanish electricians. All runs are straight off the 'fuse' board.

If you take a look at Spanish properties you will notice a number of boxes - almost at ceiling height. Commonly you will find one above a plug socket or light switch. These contain 'junctions' and so are really access panels.

When planning the electrics in a room, allow for a couple of these at useful positions and then run the necessary tubing from these to the plus/light sockets. It really doesn't seem to matter if these are vertical, horizontal or anything in between!


These access panels then run back to the main 'fuse' board so more channelling is required.

I'm a great believer in this system as new cables can be run through these tubes without the need to hack walls about or do any surface mounting.

As said before, a DIY'er can do all of this themselves providing they then get the necessary boletin from a qualified electrician who will then connect the 'fuse' board to the meter.

This boletin (and similar plumbing one) is essential later on to get the habitation licence.
Ahh. Very many thanks. Although I do speak Spanish, and have 'Larrousse Bricolaje' and a 'constructionario' (Dictionary of construction terms). I wasn't quite at a complete understanding of those little boxes. Now I see what you mean. I'll take your advice about burying tubes into the wall and fitting those boxes before rendering & plastering. I'm guessing that will be deep enough in the wall and that the junction boxes give some guidance for later house dwellers as to where the tubes/wires are. But now the diagram in the Bricolaje book (not anywhere near as good as my Collins DIY from home) makes much more sense.
Though we hope we'll be here a long time after all this effort!
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Old Mar 19th 2010, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: Self building and DIY

Hi,
I see that the OP is over 1 month old, so I hope this advice isn't too late,
but the flexible tube for cables comes in various sizes, 16mm, 20mm, 25mm and 32mm ( there are larger sizes, but they are not normally used in domestic wiring) and you should use at least 25mm between the junction boxes, as there rules about how many cables can be installed into the tubes, so if in doubt use the largest you can. The tubes from the junction box down to the switch or socket can be much smaller as these usually will only carry 3 or 4 cables.
Do keep the runs horizontal or vertical so that when you come to hang a picture or a shelf you will be able to avoid drilling through live cables, not a pleasant experience, and I've got the scars to prove it! Another point to remember is to not to make the bends too sharp as this will make the pulling in of the cables much easier.
I would always advise that planning the positioning of sockets very carefully, particularly in the kitchen, in my view you can't have too many sockets in a kitchen, DON'T put a socket where the kitchen sink will be, as I said plan everything.
The list of rules is endless, so I would advise getting a qulified electrician to to help with the planning of the system.
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