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Electricity and gas

Electricity

Electricity in France is 220 volts, with the standard Continental two-pin round plugs, or 10 amp waterproof three pin plugs. British appliances will work on French electricity but a British TV will not receive French TV programmes.

Some of the marinas have larger, 16 amp and 30 amp plugs. They can usually supply an adaptor but we find it useful to carry our own, or they can be bought at most bricolage (DIY), quincaillerie, (hardware) or camping store. 25 metres of electric cable should be sufficient.

Gas

Bottled gas is widely available throughout France from marinas, garages and supermarkets, especially small bottles of Camping Gaz, but French and British propane fittings are completely different. Calor gas (butane) has fittings which are similar. French chandleries, hardware shops and camping shops stock suitable replacement fittings. Empty (British) cylinders are not exchangeable in France. Propane is best if you plan to live aboard in the winter as it is not affected by very low temperatures, otherwise butane is easiest.

The connections on French bottles are male with the regulator connecting directly to the bottle via a female, reverse threaded connection. This is the opposite of the British system where the bottle has the female thread and the male is on the regulator connector pipe. Gas bottles are not readily refillable in France but when you purchase a bottle from a bottle supplier (supermarket or petrol station) you will initially have to pay a deposit, for the bottle itself.

When you need more gas you replace the empty bottle with a full one and only pay for the gas. As and when you leave the country you can return the bottle to any supplier and have your deposit refunded provided you can produce your receipt.

The flexible rubber hose bought in France is stamped with the limit of validity. It will need to be replaced every four or five years.

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