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Telephone problem with the lines

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by [email protected], Jul 22, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    I need a solution for this if one exists. At the end of the street is
    an obviously defective trunk. I've been round and round with the phone
    co and last time which was last week or so. This has happened before,
    when the heavy rains come we get about two thirds of a ring and then
    the caller gets noise and then a fast busy or a message to please try
    their call again.

    It has recurred over the years and what is happening is the cable is
    wet with plenty of residue no doubt and the ring voltage is causing a
    breach of the insulation, the substation or whatever then thinks the
    phone was picked up, but when the voltage drops the breach stops.

    To complicate matters I now have DSL on the line and an HF carrier
    surely can't be helping.

    Anyway the question is : can somebody tell me just what limits there
    are on what I can do at this end ? I am prepared to build a supressor
    if nessecary to at least forestall the problem. If I put the supressor
    on my line it should protect the trunk pair since they are connected.
    The question is, how much can I supress the ring voltage without
    triggering the "tip" sense. If I can just decrease the ring voltage
    enough it will happen alot less.

    I've worked with the telco on the phone, making them look up the
    history and I was right.

    I don't know exactly what to use, VDRs and some resistors, or simply a
    resistor to boost my RE. Also I have no old style inductive ringers on
    the line, and if I did I would have already disconnected them for
    reasons obvious.

    Perhaps I should simply pad it with resistance ? Perhaps incorporating
    a bandpass for the DSL. I know if I use non-linear devices like VDRs or
    Zeners the internet will probably slow down, but only while the phone
    is actually ringing. I could live with that.

    I'm not asking anyone to design this, but I'd like some ideas on how
    the phonco's computer will handle what. Even a ballpark figure from
    which to start would be nice. Just how much can I clamp it without
    causing a false tip ?

    I know this is somebody else's job, but I need the problem to STOP
    HAPPENING. I can't miss calls like this.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest

    Hi Jurb...

    I can sympathize, had a similar problem a few years back
    on a few of my lines... (used to run a large bbs, for those
    old enough to remember what they are :)

    Problem here is that water got into the lines at the point of
    exit from the ground, where it came up the side of the house
    to enter. Worse than yours, it always kept the lines off-hook,
    and even when the telco disconnected at their end there was
    a bit of noisy ac on the lines. (not sine like ac, just weird

    Only cure was to remove and re-do the whole thing. Tough,
    'cause almost all was hiding under the driveway.

    Having wasted so much bandwidth saying all that, your
    proposed cure confuses me... if you, at your end, introduce
    resistance, then the load will decrease, and the ring
    voltage will be higher at the problem point, won't it?

    Suggest that you get your telco to come out, use ringback on
    the line, and watch it from inside your house. Then work
    backwards 'till they find the trouble spot.

    Take care.

  3. Bob  AZ

    Bob AZ Guest

    Corporation Commission or the like. Telcos don't like the Corporation
    Commission inquiring.
    Or do some trouble shootong of your own and send Telco a bill.
  4. Don Bowey

    Don Bowey Guest

    Why is there "obviously a defective trunk?" Do you mean a defective cable?

    The Telco is able to measure line leakage to ground and across the pair.
    They can also place a controlled ring on the cable so see if they can
    break-down a wet spot, If they have done this, what was the result? At
    some point they should have had you unplug the RJ11 plug from the Telco's
    jack at the Network Interface, to determine if the trouble is in their cable
    or your premises wiring. Has this been done?
    In what manner do you believe the DSL is affecting the "ring trip?" Are
    there any problems with the DSL during the heavy rains?
    There is nothing you can do to help matters if the problem is in the Telco
    You are right about exactly what?
    And on the subject of false trip..... How many Ringer Equivalents (REN) are
    connected to the phone line? Too many ringers can cause ring trips. It
    usually sounds like a "bell tap" from a bell, or a brief chirp from
    electronic ringers.
    If they have done all the tests and agree they have a problem, they should
    fix it asap and no excuses.

    Who is your telco?

  5. spudnuty

    spudnuty Guest

    I've had this happen a couple of times in two different houses. The
    first time I had no clue as where the problem was. The second time the
    cable splice was right outside my back door. It was always after a
    heavy rain. In this case the problem was we'd be connected to other
    peoples line. It was like having a party line. Every time I'd see a
    telco guy out there working on this gigantic splice in the cable that
    had hundreds of splices all bundled together and wrapped in kind of a
    heavy black plastic. Every tech I talked to told the same story.
    "We have to come out here every time there's a big rain and we complain
    but nobody higher up will act." Well finally after about 2 years that
    that splice is in what looks like a huge black case that apparently is
    waterproof because our problems have finally gone away. Sheesh!
  6. drwxr-xr-x

    drwxr-xr-x Guest

    Just _what_ are you nattering on about?
    Oh, I see the problem:
  7. Jerry G.

    Jerry G. Guest

    I would suggest that you get the phone company out there to fix it
    properly. Try to get them on a bad day.

    Jerry G.
  8. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    I've read your post, and others', replies on this subject and just want to
    add my $.02 concerning recent dealings with the Telco (BellSouth in my

    I've got four separate physical phone cables attached to my house, swagged
    accross a two hundred foot span to the pole. We started out 15 years ago
    with only two lines in a single cable. Over the years, the inordinately
    long span, coupled with various physical events--like tree limbs and ice
    storms--have introduced open circuits in the lines. Each time one goes out,
    instead of replacing the run from the pole to the house, they just *add
    another one!* Now I have three phone numbers, and four cables. I don't
    know how many of them work. In the middle of the span, they are barely five
    foot off the ground.

    Last service call, they 'found' a working pair and simply re-hooked wires
    which were already present (possibly ones which had gone out years ago?).

    But that's not the main issue. On the second to last service call, the
    lineman alerted me to the fact that my entire bundle of cable was being born
    upon by the cable companies trunk line. He said he'd fix it when he got the

    Sure enough, I went out to the alley, and there was a cable bearing at a
    right angle on the quad of phone cables running across the yard to the

    Two weeks another of our three lines went dead following a storm, while
    another developed noise and the false trip syndrome. It took them three
    days to get it all working again. (Idiots were totally confused by my 'off
    premise extension' ie I have one number connected at a totally different
    address. They 'thought' that since I had a dial tone, the everything was
    hunky-dory. I had to make another service call to explain to them that the
    number was only working at one address.)

    Guess what...they left the lines as they were, still with someone elses
    cable dragging them down.

    But, here's the real treat: I traced the cable which was bearing on my
    already overburdened phone cables. Far from being cable company issue, the
    actual identity of that line is the *AC power drop to my neighbor's house!*
    It obviously originates at the pole pig at the other neighbor's property
    line, swags all the way across his and mine, and is guyed from three points
    where it turns and runs down the far property line. The TV cable is an
    obvious separate run...easily identified, and not a problem.

    Add to that, all four of my phone cables are anchored to an ancient,
    undersized pole on the far side of the alley. The thing is only about 8" in
    diameter...rotten and bowed over from the load.

    Given that I don't have any phone problems at the do I get them
    to fix the lines?

  9. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Back into the pole with a truck?

  10. clfe

    clfe Guest

    I've had similar problems with the Telco. It can be a real pain in the ass,
    not only with the techs but the screw balls who are clueless - answering the
    phones to start with. They never seem to want to accept responsibility.

    One instance, there were two lines in this building that went down at the
    same time. One "I" wired in, the other - the Telco wired in. When I called,
    first they tried to say it was my computer, it was my answering machine, it
    was my phone, and on and on and on. Then when I said all was unplugged
    separately and together to no avail, they said it was my workmanship. I said
    "look, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to wire a phone line up. Secondly,
    I hold a Commercial FCC license, I sure in hell ought to know how to do
    something so simple. And third, the other phone line which is down right now
    in this building, was wired in by YOUR people - so there. It isn't just "my"
    work that has failed." That kind of blew them out of the water. It turned
    out to be a box on a pole a mile away from my house - according to them -
    that was causing the problem.

    I had the problem reoccur about 3 years later. They tried the same routine
    with me, but I reminded them of the past problem and whalah, it was the
    "same" problem. Yeah, they're quick to blame the consumer. I guess they
    think all consumers are stupid. You should be able to withhold payment,
    placing it in an Escrow account until the problem is fixed. Also, check with
    the Public Utility Commission as well. I'm not sure how they will help,
    sometimes they don't seem so effectiive either.

    My neighbor was having trouble with her phone lines. My "Ham" station was
    reported to be coming across her system. My system was grounded, filtered,
    etc. They called the phone company. One of the village idiots employed by
    them said as was told to me by the lady - oh, it's his fault, his ham
    equipment is causing it. The woman came to my door and demanded I stop
    talking on my radios or she was calling the FCC. I asked her - which number
    do you want, Gettysburg or Langhorne PA - or - Washington DC? I said it is
    NOT my equipment. She said well the phone man said it was. I shut the door.
    I called the phone company and asked to speak to their supervisor. I told
    him the problem and the accusation. He said he'd look up the repair bill to
    see who it was and set him straight. He also said, NO, I don't think it is
    your fault and I'll get to the bottom of it. They came back out and fixed a
    "GROUND" on that lady's phone system. IT wasn't grounded. They had to eat
    crow........ The lot of them. I've never heard a peep out of them since. Has
    she approached me politely I would have assisted her to find the problem.
    But, being so rude, I thought it best to allow a Neutral party to intercede.
    I would have went further had I gotten no satisfaction with the Telco.

    Another phone issue....... About 4 years ago, our entire area's phone system
    crashed. Of about 2000+ people, only a very few could make calls. I am in a
    position where it behooved me to call to look into the problem. I did and
    was told up front, "just have everyone use cell phones." Good answer - NOT.
    Most of the elderly in this area that "I" know, don't have cell phones.
    Hell, some still have rotary phones. It was said the lines went down due to
    overload due to computer users, etc. Hmmm. Well anyway, I told that numb
    nut - the elderly here don't all have "cell" phones, there are MANY who have
    "no" phones at all and those who may need to call 911 can't go running up
    and down the street trying to figure out WHO had phone use and who didn't.
    That was my argument to the Telco. I also told them I would notify the FCC
    as well as hold them liable for any problems due to lack of phone service.
    In the mean time, we did set up an emergency network to deal with the
    communications problem, having people man the Fire Station radios as well.

    It is pretty easy to check "your" phone lines outside - which the Telco will
    tell you to do anyway. So, best to check there first then tell them you did
    it. After a hard rain, unless "you" wired phones up with wires outside in
    the elements, it is typically the Phone Company's problem. Most "consumer"
    wiring is inside. Problems there can be a bad phone or phone device (quickly
    identified by removing phone or device), wires which have come off connector
    in box (screw loosened up due to not being tightened or vibration), broken
    wires from whatever reason - did some one move furniture lately near a line?
    Install anything using nails or screws to maybe severe a line? Are lines
    being run loosely under rugs, desks, etc - where someone may trip over them
    or rip them by getting feet tangled in them. The Teleco will claim - too
    many devices on a system. When you buy a device it gives a ringer rating.
    You can add them up to make sure you don't overload the system. Your telco
    can tell you for sure what the rating may be in your area. And, it very well
    may vary in location. Also, I've seen bugs nests in my line of work - mainly
    due to roaches - which caused phones to cease working. YUCK -that is one of
    the things which turns me off - NOW. "I" do phone repairs for part of my
    business. Have seen some normal stuff and some weird things too. Never
    "assume". Check all out - or you may find yourself going back to find the
    assumed good item to be at fault.

    Electric Company funny.... I called in a burned out street light once that
    was in dire need of being replaced as it left a rather very dark area being
    no other lights around. The lady who answered for the Electric company
    said - why don't you replace it yourself? WTH? I asked for her supervisor
    immediately. Man, what idiots.....

  11. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Thought of one likely sounding work around that you might
    use until it's properly fixed... so that the young ladies
    will still be able to call you :)

    See if you can't get your hands on one of those answering
    machines that answer instantly. That way you should be
    able to pick up while your caller is leaving you a message
    and have your conversation.

  12. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    Ken Weitzel wrote:
    The ratio of hang ups to messages left on my machine is around 50/50 or
    less. Many people hear the machine and automatically hang up and call the
    cel. I explain to them (as the cel phone is beeping to let me know my voice
    mail is calling) that whenever they call the office line, the voicemail
    automatically calls and plays the message back for me...whether they left
    one or not.

    Annoying, but there's no way to screen the hang ups.

    The OP would be better served by forwarding his landline to a cel phone when
    he's having issues.

  13. jakdedert

    jakdedert Guest

    It 'would' snap like a matchstick, no doubt...bringing the phone lines and
    the neighbor's power line down on kinda hard to explain and hard on
    the truck to boot. That's not even counting the probable damage to the
    house when the lines shock-load the strain relief to which they're
    connected...not to mention having all three phone lines down for dog knows
    how long.

    Still, tempting....<G>

  14. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Maybe it's SOP to replace it yourself in India? Have you ever seen pictures
    of the wiring there? "Professional Electrician" would be a local oxymoron.

  15. James Sweet

    James Sweet Guest

    Replace it yourself? I'd love to be told that, I could get rid of that awful
    ugly orange HPS light near my house and retrofit it with nice white metal
  16. Ken Weitzel

    Ken Weitzel Guest


    Wonder how big a leap it is to think that perhaps your
    utility has outsourced their "support" to India? :)

    Yikes, parts made in China, support in India, send all your
    money to the USA....

  17. Ya got it all wrong. It's send all your money _from_ the USA.

    Each time I drive the I-40 stretch between Arizona and Barstow, Calif.
    (it parallels a major railroad corridor), I see all those rail cars
    loaded with "CHINA SHIPPING" sea containers.
    I know they are full of clap-trap junque headed for WalMart when they
    are rolling east. I am quite sure they are packed full of 20 dollar
    bills when rolling back west.

  18. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Or never left there. Good to know that a nation that has marriage ceremonies
    for monkeys and goats is trusted to analyze your tax returns and your wife's
    breast X-Rays.

  19. NSM

    NSM Guest

    Actually the USA is a major exporter of used paper which is made into boxes
    that ship Chinese crap back to the USA.

    The money doesn't physically leave the USA, the USA just ships IOU's to
    China - ISTR hearing about a billion $$$'s a day.

    See for what the corporate newsertainment shows
    don't tell you.

  20. clfe

    clfe Guest

    Wouldn't know about India, I live in the U.S. and never been to India. I
    suppose the person who gave me that answer may have come from there.

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