Electrician

Do you have a query about moving to Andalucia and buying property in Andalucia. Find out by posting questions and reading about other peoples experiences.
kevjohn
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Electrician

Postby kevjohn » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:29 pm

Hi Everyone,

Me and my family are plan ing to move to malaga at the end of the year, hopefully as soon as I've finished my Level 3 in electrical installation.
I'm hoping to work for myself as i am also a qualified time served joiner and can tile, plaster (although I'm told this yeso stuff if a whole different game entirely!) Anyway I'm handy with other stuff.
I was just wondering if my electrical qualification here will be enough there? And if anyone would be kind enough to share a few tips on setting up.
A few people have told me the Spanish will not employ me as I'm English ( currently learning Spanish ) which is fine at the start i have some English family living there already with some contacts.
Each time i visit i find myself looking at plug sockets, light switches, ccu's and wondering how do they fit together? How do they run the cables in poncrete walls? How do they bury the whole board in the wall?
I can appreciate I'm asking a 100 questions here but its getting closer to the time to go and I'm getting nervous.
I soooo want our lives to be in Spain so i need some one to help answer and ease some fears

Hope to speak to you soon

Thanks

Kevin

Lyric
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Re: Electrician

Postby Lyric » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:48 pm

I don't mean to discourage or be negative but your qualifications are meaningless here. Electrics are totally different to the British method.
The building trade has taken one of the biggest hits so there are unemployed tradesmen everywhere.
It really is a non-starter as others will confirm, and without fluent Spanish ..........................
Sorry.

northandsouth
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Re: Electrician

Postby northandsouth » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:21 pm

I'll try to be brief. Circuitry is radial not ring. Domestic properties do not enjoy the 100amp main breaker common in the UK . Here you'll find properties are restricted dependent on various criteria and can be as low as 10amp. Inside dwellings the majority of cables are run singularly (ie separate colour coded cables rather than the twin and earth style cables) in multiples through corrugated flex plastic tubing inside walls under floors and across dropped ceiling voids arriving at junction boxes accessible by plastic covers. Remember there are no loft spaces and floor boards to lift and install boxes under. Cons units are mostly chopped into the wall and plastered in. Concrete and brick is the main construction method here.
Spanish regs have leaped forward immensely in the past decade or so with increased diferencial (RCD) protection and separation along withthe adoption of halogen free cables. Even small sized properties now have at least 2 dif zones and surge protection and bi polar breakers have been mandatory since the early mid 2000's. Larger properties can have upwards of 5 dif zones. External circuits and lighting must have separation too.

As to you wanting to work in Spain, make sure you have a pile of cash in reserve first, a big big pile. Yes the construction industry is still struggling but things are definitely moving up, well they are here anyway However, nothing is impossible and many others have done it, but you need to be realistic and assume that you will struggle to make ends meet for some time hence the big pile of cash. You would need to be competent with the Spanish language and then I would suggest consulting with at least in the first instance an existing accredited contractor for advice and go from there. You may have to re-qualify.

Remember that if you want to be self employed here known as Autonomo you would be paying a monthly ss stamp of around €350 a month from day one, although there can be a concession for the initial period. I would strongly recommend speaking to a gestor here for advice on that and all aspects of working in Spain before packing your bags. Who knows what Brexit holds as well.
Good luck you will need it.

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costakid
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Re: Electrician

Postby costakid » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:14 pm

Without the lingo you will only work in a Brit area for Brits. The plus side of this is you will be able to charge them more. We always use Spaniards for this reason.

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Wicksey
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Re: Electrician

Postby Wicksey » Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:45 am

We've had quite a lot of work done over the years we have lived here but all the British builders we know have had to move back to the UK, (even one brought up in the UK whose parents were Spanish and so spoke the language fluently). I think the autonomo payment will be the killer as it's a lot to pay if income is sporadic. The fact that your UK qualifications are not worth anything here and that the electrical system here is different to that in the UK, I'm afraid it will take you some time to get re-qualified in Spain. Unemployment in Andalucia is around 30% and I think Spanish nationals will get work rather a foreigner. Sorry to be negative, as Lyric says, but it is just a fact here.

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Martin Page
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Re: Electrician

Postby Martin Page » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:23 am

hi kevjohn ....and welcome to the forum

At the risk of being contentious - the UK tradesmen here in Spain are Generally the ones that cant make it in the UK. They are also looking for UK skilled rates compared with the typical Spanish Rate. This is the voice of personal experience.
If a Spanish craftsman isn't any good he doesn't make it either, so the one that do give good value for money.
...And as for Spanish electrics - you can forget about level 3 electric installation - you need to be a member of Mensa and capable of taking 230v straight on, to be in with a chance. Electrics in Spain are a bloody nightmare
eg ... why do I get 9v from earth to tile grout - good luck !

Free at Last
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Re: Electrician

Postby Free at Last » Fri Aug 05, 2016 10:48 am

Just as an indication as to what you are up against when competing with Spanish tradesmen, we use an excellent Spanish electrician who is 100% reliable and always turns up when he says he will. We once called him on a Sunday evening regarding a problem, expecting to have to wait until at least the next day, but he came out within the hour and charged us the princely sum of €15 to fix the problem.

northandsouth
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Re: Electrician

Postby northandsouth » Sun Aug 07, 2016 2:52 pm

Martin Page wrote:hi kevjohn ....and welcome to the forum

At the risk of being contentious - the UK tradesmen here in Spain are Generally the ones that cant make it in the UK. They are also looking for UK skilled rates compared with the typical Spanish Rate. This is the voice of personal experience.
If a Spanish craftsman isn't any good he doesn't make it either, so the one that do give good value for money.
...And as for Spanish electrics - you can forget about level 3 electric installation - you need to be a member of Mensa and capable of taking 230v straight on, to be in with a chance. Electrics in Spain are a bloody nightmare
eg ... why do I get 9v from earth to tile grout - good luck !


Electrics in Spain done correctly are not a nightmare, in fact they are extremely straightforward, but unfortunately especially on older properties every man, his brother, his son and his goat have normally been in and fiddled fettled and more. Things were a lot different in the old days, as I said standards and regs are much improved now. With the situation you mention you definitely have an earth problem. Probably could be rectified with a new earth spike (pica). I would get it renewed sharpish. :thumbup:

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peteroldracer
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Re: Electrician

Postby peteroldracer » Mon Aug 08, 2016 7:07 pm

Your chances of success wil depend on what you mean by "family are planning to move".
If you are coming with your parents, retired folk with good pensions, who can afford to keep you, that might let you survive here.
If you think that you can come with a family to support then you are going to be sadly disappointed. You will not get a job with a contract of employment, (that gives you medical cover for you and dependents), and you will probably never earn enough as northandsouth says for a very long time to cover the 'autonomo'. You will stop building up any pension entitlement in the UK, and will end up with no money and no future.
You will be far far better staying in the UK, where there are jobs, health care and pensions for those prepared to work hard.
If you are prepared to risk any member of your family needing serious (or even minor) health care without proper cover just to live in a sunny place then you are potty. Your costs from day 1 for a family of 2+2 could be rent 500€, social security 350€, food & drink 200-300€, power 100-200€ per month, meaning if you bring savings of GBP 10,000 you will be flat broke in ten months.....but you shoukd have a nice tan.
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Martin Page
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Re: Electrician

Postby Martin Page » Wed Aug 10, 2016 11:52 am

With the situation you mention you definitely have an earth problem. Probably could be rectified with a new earth spike (pica). I would get it renewed sharpish.


Indeed ...I even replaced the earth Spike to the individual plug socket that causes the problem, giving me as Far as I know 3 separate Earths that I know about. You can feel the tingle from the PC case.

northandsouth
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Re: Electrician

Postby northandsouth » Wed Aug 10, 2016 1:42 pm

Which means that the pc case is not connected to earth. When you say you replaced the spike you do mean the earth rod into the ground outside don't you?

Len S
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Re: Electrician

Postby Len S » Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:48 pm

Unfortunately kevjohn I know little/nothing about the job prospects about a Brit Electrician in Spain, but I wish you well.

I have noticed when I lightly touch the metal handle of our oven door I can feel a very very slight tingle or sensation. Nobody else than feel it! I was concerned that the device was not properly earthed but discounted it as it was only me that could feel it. The property is only approx 11 years old. Do I have an earth problem? And if so I presume I need to get it sorted asap.

I would be very grateful for a considered response.

northandsouth
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Re: Electrician

Postby northandsouth » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:06 pm

A poor earth would appear to be the issue I would get it checked.

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Enrique
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Re: Electrician

Postby Enrique » Wed Aug 10, 2016 7:18 pm

Hi Len S,
I'd say YES.........my lad (he was only one) could feel tingling on dishwasher until we had Earth Spike sorted.

I guess you're kind sensitive chap............ :angel:
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gerryh
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Re: Electrician

Postby gerryh » Wed Aug 10, 2016 8:34 pm

Could also be static generated by walking on a nylon carpet and then discharging by touching something earthed
Cheers
Gerry
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Enrique
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Re: Electrician

Postby Enrique » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:06 pm

"Could also be static generated by walking on a nylon carpet and then discharging by touching something earthed "

Not in Spain unless I'm missing something............Tiled floors rule here.....from what I've seem.......... :D
UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity.

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gerryh
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Re: Electrician

Postby gerryh » Wed Aug 10, 2016 9:59 pm

But Len S also lives in Wirral, Merseyside which, according to my atlas, isn't in Spain. :angel: :angel:
There are other ways of generating static electricity, I posted that reply on my smartphone with a little keyboard so I posted the shortest message I could. :wave:
Cheers
Gerry
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Len S
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Re: Electrician

Postby Len S » Wed Aug 10, 2016 10:40 pm

Many thanks for the info Guys. The problem is in Spain so I will get it checked out and sorted when next over.

northandsouth
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Re: Electrician

Postby northandsouth » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:07 am

gerryh wrote:Could also be static generated by walking on a nylon carpet and then discharging by touching something earthed
Cheers
Gerry

That would normally be a clack and then over and done with. From what I can make out the "tingle" is more likely a poor earth.

TorreDelAguila
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Re: Electrician

Postby TorreDelAguila » Thu Aug 11, 2016 7:42 pm

With a poor earth (poorly grounded), it is possible for the earth cabling around the property (which should be at zero volts relative to the ground) to have a voltage induced into it, simply because it normally runs in the same conduits as the Live cabling - or even in the same cable, in the case of a 3-core cable (L, N & E). It's a bit like the two windings on a transformer: one winding induces a current in the other.

If the earth cable is decently grounded, the tiny current/voltage in it is reduced to zero, and everything is safe. If it isn't, and it is allowed to "float", then you may find your hi-fi system develops a bit of hum or buzz, and bits of metal pipework round the house (which should also be earthed, at least in the UK) also start to feel a bit odd.

The real danger in a poor earth is that, in the absence of a safety trip (RCCB), if an appliance were to develop a fault, its metal body (eg kettle, washing machine...) could become live, and remain that way, and not safely shorted to ground. RCCBs (residual current circuit breakers) are now mandatory on all new wiring and rewiring, and are designed to cut the supply within milliseconds as soon as (usually) 30mA* "goes astray" - that's enough to trip the trip, but not enough to kill you.

* For hospital operating theatres the tripping figure is just 3mA! For domestic purposes, never employ an RCCD rated at 300mA; these are for industrial purposes only, and must not be used domestically. They have been known to be fitted by clueless electricians "to avoid nuisance tripping" :shifty: .
Chris


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