Portuguese plumbing

So, the wifie didn\’t sleep well. Feeling a bit Meh.

\”I\’m off for a deep hot bath. Maybe then I\’ll feel like doing the housework\”.

\”OK, although having the bath before the work is interesting….\”

An hour later. Wifie on sofa.

\”Didn\’t the bath make you feel better?\”

\”Yes, but how can I clean the floors without hot water?\”


No, I\’m old enough and wise enough to know that technocratic solutions to boiling water are not what is called for here.

15 thoughts on “Portuguese plumbing”

  1. In my experience, all “foreign” countries – France, Italy, Spain, and (now) Portugal tend to have Mickey-Mouse plumbing and electrics.

    One bath is generally all you can run at a time; drains often back up; Italian houses usually have 30A main fuses, so you can’t boil a kettle and run the washing machine at the same time. Or, you probably can because the kettle has a 150W element in it or something like that.

    I expect it’s because of EU regulations which we will soon be forced to implement.

  2. Aren’t domestics cheap in Portugal? Seems a bit rum to be mopping one’s own floors in this day and age.

  3. When I was stationed in Sardegna the local landlords would advertise up-amped breakers in the electrical system to get us Americans to rent from them.

    Still had to operate gas appliances from a portable propane tank though.

  4. There’s something deeply troubling about a man being concerned enough by the cleanliness of floors to mention it in a blog.
    You got an alcohol shortage over there?

  5. Tell the lazy cow to boil a kettle or two. But then is it worth sleeping alone in the spare room for two nights just to get the floors cleaned?

  6. @pjt

    Yes & yes.

    I live in the U.K. much of the time. Have never figured either of those out, because I know for a fact Brits aren’t dumber or more suicidal than the inhabitants of other countries.

  7. PJT:

    I came across the following explanation for the two taps. Unfortunately, it’s at a sub-forum where you have to sign in, so I’ll have to quote extensively instead of just giving a link:

    In times gone bye, when few countries had Hot water systems England did, it also had clean cold main water systems. Unfortunately (this is funny but true) England suffers from a perpetual shortage of fresh water. To stop taps running dry at 7am and 6pm, water tanks were built into the loft. Now every house had 20 -40 gallons of reserved water as a buffer. This water also fed the HOT WATER storage tanks. This water was not potable, and so it was decreed separate taps must be used to stop potable water being infected by potentially contaminated storage water. Only the main Sink tap could be fed from the true clean mains water, everything else was from the storage tanks.

    Note that I don’t know how true this is, as I’m not British.

  8. Ted (#13), yes, true that it used to commonly be only the kitchen tap that was fed directly from the mains. Don’t know if it was the whole country, but as children we were only allowed to drink from that one.

    I believe it’s less common now, and more houses have direct feed rather than a tank (but I’m not on mains water, so don’t really know).

    Although I think it was due to crappy mains plumbing not delivering at enough volume, rather than an actual shortage of water at the reservoir end of the system.

    But although that says why we need separate taps in the kitchen, it doesn’t say why we need them in the bathroom, because both taps there would be fed from the tank in the loft.

  9. The point of the tank in the loft is that it means you still have a supply of water if the mains are being repaired, and it acts like a very effective non-return valve to stop you polluting the mains. In its time it made good sense.

    The shortage of water point is just silly of course: perhaps they are referring to low mains pressure at times of peak demand.

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