First off, at sick parade this morning we had two fallen soldiers, Linda with a cough/cold, and me…………I err, pulled the muscles in my shoulder yesterday lighting a cigarette, you read corectly…..Lighting a fag, so its true after all, smoking is dangerous!!

Fortunately, today was a day off anyway because our neighbours Jordan and Maria had managed to get hold of Ivan, the village electrician. The trouble is Ivan works in Varna or VT. during the week and is only available at weekends, the villages second electrician Nikoli is also busy working elsewhere.

Ivan speaks a little English but Nikoli speaks more, anyway Ivan’s first job was to drill through the 3 foot thick walls  to run a new cable, trouble was the longest drill bit he had was only 2 feet long but we got there in the end.

The filler he used around the hole he made was some fast drying stuff called ”Gibs” mixed 50 – 50 with ”Var,” I have Var in the shed already, it’s a very wet sand and lime mixture you buy in bags, about 2.80 Lev (1.20 GBP) per bag, you simply add cement powder, the lime is to reduce cracking during the hot summer months. Must buy myself some Gibs for deep hole filling.

Cooker is now on a separate fuse, the other 4 fuses are redundant so have been unscrewed, after following Ivan around the house looking in all the inspection covers it appears the house was re-wired perhaps as little as 10 years ago, all in very good condition and according to Ivan above average Bulgarian standard.

Linda was on lite duties today, only shelling walnuts, supervised by Bagpuss and Tiger.


I followed Ivan around the house all day and learned a lot, the following is information from Ian and PJ, with practical demonstrations from Ivan:

A) Houses in Bulgaria can have two electrical systems, single phase (Normal) and 3 phase.

4 cables entering a property means it has 3 phase as well as normal electrics, 3 phase is a good thing to have I’m told because you can really take a heavy load from the grid if you want a workshop with proper man-sized Arc welders, big bench saws, log splitters, lathes etc. So anybody looking for property in Bulgaria who plans to weld Aircraft Carriers together in the garden, make sure the house you choose has a pole on the roof  like mine with 4 cables. Also the cabling inside a house that runs both ways is much better, thicker diameter!!

B) The fuses are large, in my hand is one small fuse and its ceramic screw cap, the fuse its self is filled with sand internally, this is  to extinguish any fire that may occur when the fuse blows, but they do smoke a bit!!

C) When you first look at properties in Bulgaria your first reaction when you see all the different sockets and switches is ”Oh my God” and your second reaction is ”Why.”

Socket type 1….This is called the ”Radio Circuit.” During the Communist days everyone was issued with radios and very cheap alcohol, the booze was to keep you quite and happy, the radios were for Communist party broadcasts, a radio in every room running on its own lite load (Thin wire) circuit.

Socket type 2…..European standard two pin, the plugs for socket types 1 and 2 are not interchangeable without force.

Socket type 3…..3 phase lite load.

Socket type 4…..3 phase medium load for water heating systems, large cookers etc.

Socket type 5….Big assed industrial heavy load for machinery.

All the above sockets are in my house, now I know what each type is for and the load they were designed for, the electrics now make sense, and for most of  the sockets they will just be changed over to modern European two pin socket covers, the big assed 3 phase is being removed from in the house but I’m keeping it in the garage/workshop….I might just want to build an Aircraft Carrier one day!!







~ by travelswithmymotorbike on October 31, 2010.


  1. Don’t tell me, its 2000V, 36 hz AC on Tuesdays and 10 V DC on Wednesdays through to Monday? Or does ouzo come out of the sockets on Friday like in Greece?

    • ….Could be Ouzo, that would explain why everyone has barrels and vats in their cellars lol..



  2. Whats wrong with you?? This post was actually informative and useful to people lol

    • Hi James,

      I promise the next one will be the normal shallow drivel with blurred photos that you’ve come to expect lol



  3. Glad you have been sorted out now guys! Was worried now PJ is happy!

    • Hi Faye,

      No worries…..What does’nt kill you makes you stronger lol..



  4. Well done understanding bulgarian electrics lol, still looks sunny there.

    • Hi Stan,

      Got there in the end lol…..Still warm in the afternoons here when the suns out, about 20c but starting to get chilly (For us, we’re used to much higher temperatures) at night.



  5. I was thinking, this is The Shape of Things To Come.

    I checked my house. It looks as if it has two wires going in. Does this mean I can’t weld aircraft carriers?

    Definitely cold here at night. Went out last night for the first time not in shorts.

    • Hi MD,

      We are both dying of ”Annie Virus” at the moment, you could still weld Aircraft Carriers John, but you could only use the little pink girlie welding units, it would take you longer, perhaps think smaller and just weld a frigate on your half acre!!

      Getting cold here too, almost 20c yesterday afternoon, today we had an old 1960’s London pea soup fog, so of course Linda decides this would be a good time to drive to Rouse for kitchen tops etc, crawled along at 50 – 60kph couldnt see a damn thing…..Meat is back down to 2.9 a kilo at kaufland it rose to 3.7 the other week…Nearly considered becoming a vegetarian!!



  6. I don’t want to hear 3.7. All those Brits staying in Turkey will just say, I told you so!

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