Utilities - Gas, Water, Electricity, Telephone

Telephones in Spain

Warning: If a landline telephone and/or internet access is important to you or your business, see Spanish Property Purchase Pifalls - Telephones

Bringing your phone with you

Spain uses standard AT&T RJ-11 connectors for its phone system, and so if using a British telephone, you will either need to change the cable or use a BT431A to RJ-11 adapter, available from UK computer shops.

Note that because the UK phone system uses a third wire to trigger ringing, a BT master socket to RJ11 plug adapter will be required for telephones, faxes or inbound modem use.

Telefonica Answer phones (conversion to English)

When you contract with Telefonica for a land line they normally install a Telefonica Domo manual hand set which offers answer phone services.

To find out if you have a message you depress the top left centre button (Mensajes) to clear a message press 3 or it will continually repeat.

When the phone is installed all messages will be in Spanish, to convert to English speaking messages carry out the following-

  1. Pick up the handset and press key CONTESTADOR, then replace the handset
  2. Lift handset and press the Mensajes key
  3. When the message you hear ends, press the key 1.
  4. When the next message ends, press the key 4.
  5. Now enter a four figure code, 0000 or any code you wish that you can remember
  6. When the next message you hear ends press key 3
  7. When the next message ends press key 1
  8. Finally after one last message press key 1 again
  9. Replace the handset.

Now when the phone rings and you do not answer, after 5 rings the answer phone recorder will tape any message left.

You may check for calls at any time by lifting the receiver and pressing Mensajes, it will answer in English

Cheaper Telephone Bills for Landline & Mobile users

Telefonica fined again for unfair pricing

In recent years Telefonica was fined 57 million Euros for unfair discrimination against its competitors and clients. Now once again in 2007 the EEC has shown they consider that Telefonica has made no improvement and the Spanish telecoms operator has been fined a further €151 million (102 million) by the European Commission for implementing anti-competitive practices against its domestic rivals between September 2001 and December 2006.

As happened in the UK following deregulation, we find various telephone call services offering far cheaper rate services; you still need to use a Telefonica landline and pay the Telefonica fixed monthly line charges, but you will find your telephone bills greatly reduced.

I have found what I consider to be the most cost effective of these alternative telephone service providers who:

  1. Guarantee to offer the lowest telephone call charges in Spain; which reduces your Local, National and International call charges by over 50%
  2. Large reductions for calls via your Mobile.
  3. Free calls between same service users.
  4. They also install for you a free UK telephone 0844 number (No extra codes needed) which allows relatives and friends in the UK to call you in Spain at local UK call rates.

Click here to request further details on low-cost telephone services in Spain and how to obtain a free UK number.Or if In Spain ring 96 296 0920 or from UK 0844 734 4154 (at UK local call rate) and ask for details

ADSL in Spain

ADSL is now becoming available in Spain via satellite or for Telefonica subscribers with a standard landline, regardless of distance from the local telephone exchange. Details of this and other digital services from Telefonica, including videophone and television are available on my Telecomms page

For more detail please call Ron on 96 296 0920.

Electricity in Spain

Spanish power is 220 volts allowing UK Domestic electrical equipment such as irons, kettles, DIY tools, televisions, videos, washing machines etc to be imported without problems other than changing plugs to the continental style. However if you come from the USA there are problems. Equipment such as TVs, Videos and some other electronic equipment use different formats and are not necessarily compliant, so do check before you incur removal expenses.

Note that many areas are subject to frequent disruptions to their supply, and so a UPS should be

Caution: some areas in Spain do not have mains electricity.

Gas in Spain

Following extensive improvements to the national infrastructure since the mid 90s, piped natural gas is now available in most larger cities, though the majority of homes in Spain still depend upon bottled butane, available by scheduled delivery or from specialist outlets and some service stations.

Water in Spain

Water quality and supply in Spain depends to some extent on the location and whether development has overtaken the local resource. Generally the water in the Gandia area is good, we use tap water for tea, coffee etc, but bottled water for cold drinks.

Not all water sources are owned by the Local Authorities, nor are they all on tap by demand. In some areas water sources are privately owned and it depends on your contract with the owner as to how much water you can draw or how often your water system will be refilled. Some systems are not linked directly to the source and need filling by tanker.

For further issues regarding water supply and property purchase, check under Property Purchase Pitfalls - Water

[Practical Hints
to Living in
Spain - Gandia - Valencia]

General Information
Emergency services, natural hazards & daily life
Language & Education
The languages of Spain and the education system
Health Care
Registration, english speaking doctors, A&E, hospital etc
Property Matters
Property purchase & residency, pitfalls and property for sale
Currency Transfer
Better rates from foreign exchange service companies
Utilities
Telecomm, water, gas & electricity service & supply issues
Useful Contacts
Recreational, consular, medical, travel & service contacts
Sports & Leisure
Sports, leisure & tourist information and contacts
Cars & Driving
Motor vehicle useage and ownership in Spain
Working in Spain
Moving to Spain to work or run a small business
Spanish Taxation
Introduction to Spanish taxes and where to get help
Hospice Appeal
Please help the Franciscan Brothers