Thursday, 7 February 2013

The car computer says yes, the spluttering engine says no!!!!!!!! 01.02.13

The car computer says yes, the spluttering engine says no!!!!!!!! 01.02.13
Well the waste is all in place and now it’s time to start on the plumbing, this means that the water will be turned off today, so we fill the kettle, all the pans and a couple of buckets.

When putting in the water pipes john normally puts an isolation valve on all pipes so if there is ever a leak he does not have to turn the water off, he can just isolate the section with the leak, unfortunately we have not been able to find any isolation valves, Brico Depot may have some in stock next week. So we will get some then and add them later, we cannot get them sent over from the UK as the water pipes are different diameters in France, so if you are considering doing a project similar to us, do not bother bringing plumbing supplies from the UK as nothing fits.

how to install a bathroom in a derelict house in brittany france

how to install a bathroom in a derelict house in brittany france

how to install a bathroom in a derelict house in brittany france

We are able to recycle many of the pipes form the house, but we do not have enough, we try the local drougerie but they do not sell copper pipes, so we decide to go to Carhaix, the local big town.
While driving we notice that the dashboard states there is only 70 miles left till empty tank, so decide to get some diesel on the way, the gage suddenly drops to 40 miles then raises to 60 miles we decide we may need to get some diesel sooner rather than later, this decision is helped by the fact that when we go around a roundabout, the car splutters and then stops! 

OMG we have run out of petrol, how stupid can we be? Well on my behalf I can be even more stupid as I didn’t bring my phone! Luckily it turns out that John had brought both phones. I look for Sheila and Brian’s number and hope that they are home, this is when I realise I had not put it in there (this is a new phone if you remember I lost my last one in the bar) at this point a police van drives past in the opposite direction, they turn at the roundabout and come back. I am now desperately searching both phones for a telephone number, John gets out to speak to the police, who are really nice and helpful and can speak some English. They work out that we are out of diesel but do not have a petrol can in the car, John explains we had just been to the dechetterie and had emptied they car, and luckily they understand. In France you have to have a petrol can in the car (along with many other essential items) I manage to find Sheila’s phone number and the police stay until we confirm that we have somebody to come to our aid.

Brian comes to our rescue with a can full of diesel and we manage to get to Carhaix. We have decided in future not to trust the car computer system totally and to fill the engine when it gets to 100 miles.

We come back and at about 11pm John calls it a day with the plumbing, but because we do not have the isolation valves, we cannot turn the water back on without it spurting from every pipe in the new bathroom, we have also ran out of drinking water, what can we do, yes that’s right we have wine, we don’t have the power to turn wine into water, but we do the next best thing which is to just drink the wine, oh it’s a hard life!!!!

Top Tips
  1. Don’t let the car run out of diesel!
  2. Be aware of what you are required to carry in the car at all times by law (this includes breathalysers, although this may be changing, high visibility vests or jackets which must be worn, a reflective triangle which must be used if you breakdown. There are lots of requirements for cars and I would recommend that you follow the guidelines that can be found with most driving associations.
  3. Ensure have wine in case you run out of water!


  1. Oh No how awful for you,I must admit I didn't know it was law to carry a petrol can, better get one put in, mind you once you have put in the car everything you are legally bound to carry there isn't much room for anything else..we have a motto Jenny,"when in doubt open the wine" everything seems so much better afterwards.
    Roz & John

  2. Always best to save water and drink wine!

    Glad you made it home safely.

    Kate x

  3. neither did we :) but you learn something new everyday!

  4. thanks Kate and yes the wine is always a good idea :)

  5. This is such an exciting renovation! I can't even wait to see it as the pieces fall into place! I'm crazy about that stone work inside!

    I'm following you from the BBN follow-follow group! I didn't see you on my GFC but I'm hoping you will!


  6. Jenny, you should immediately get you car fuel filters checked and cleaned/replaced - running out of diesel is a big no-no as it stirs all the gunk up in the tank. It's much more serious than with petrol and a blocked filter will stop the car dead and could result in injector damage if any gunk gets through.

    Hope it is OK


  7. Hi Hannah

    thanks very much, we love the stone and are trying to keep as much as possible in the house.

    Thanks for the advice David :)