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Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Tue 12-Feb-19 17:33:24
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When is a line fault not a line fault ?


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When is a line fault not a line fault ... when the Openreach engineer agrees that he can hear noise on the line via the telephone (plugged into the test port behind the master socket and yes, I've tried two different phones. But all his test/s say the line is fine. So case closed!

I originally reported a noisy line (crackle, crackle... really quite loud) to BT (my phone supplier, broadband is via Uno) last Friday and they ran the usual test and said that there did appear to be a line fault but it looked to be within our house. Odd as I was plugged into the test port at this point. So an engineer visit was booked for the next day.

Question... how can there be noise on the phone, yet tests say the line is fine (he plugged his equipment into the test port behind the master socket)???

My internet connection usually syncs at around 11.5Mbps. But currently its dropped back to 8 Mbps and the Routerstats plot for the noise margin looks a bit like the Himalayas, varying from 2 to 12db. It's usually a pretty straight line at around 5/6 db

Now I appreciate that as the fault is some what intermittent, that it's probably going to be difficult to trace. But we've lived here some 40 years and this very same thing tends to occur every few years. It's a rural property. Line from house goes to a pole in our grounds (replaced a couple of years ago when a tree fell on it) the line from the pole then goes underground for about 20 or so yards and there is then a buried waterproof joint that connects it to the main line that runs down the road parallel to our property.

Now I know these joints are "supposed" to be totally waterproof. But when this joint has been opened in the past (when we have had similar problems), it's had water/damp in it (hence causing the crackling noises etc.). One engineer in the past suggested that the short run of cable underground could have some damage to it (rodents, or just age) and that water was getting through the outer sheath and finally after long enough working its way to the joint. Could be BS I suppose, but that's what I was told once. Should point out that this underground cable has probably been there since Alexander Bell invented the telephone. I know my house was one of the first rural properties round here to get a telephone (spoke to the old house keeper once about it). Still got the original phone out in the garage somewhere, might even be worth something.

So.............. just wondering what to do now? Anyone got any suggestions?

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Mike
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 12-Feb-19 18:50:02
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Get Uno to raise a broadband fault, DON’T mention the intermittent line noise.

Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Tue 12-Feb-19 21:14:54
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Zarjaz:
Get Uno to raise a broadband fault, DON’T mention the intermittent line noise.


Thanks for that. I've raised a ticket with Uno as suggested.

TBC as they say.

PS. Hope they get it sorted soon, as I want to watch the latest episode of "The Grand Tour".

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Mike


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Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Wed 13-Feb-19 11:02:46
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Uno came back within a couple of hours and said:

"We've tested the line and it indicates there is a line issue and it is likely to be a local wiring or hardware issue."

Wonder if the above means they suspect problems within the boundary of my property? Can't see it can be, as I'm currently connected to the test port behind the BT filtered faceplate. Tried two different filters and two different phones!

So I've replied to Uno and said that I've gone through all the recommended tests again and the problem still exists. And asked what their recommended next course of actioned would be.

I have a horrible suspicion that they will suggest phoning my phone supplier (IE. BT) which will yet again end up with another OpenReach visit.

O'hum.

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Mike
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 13-Feb-19 11:22:53
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
I think the most likely area is that underground cable and joint, and/or the joint(s) between that cable and however it gets from the base of the replaced pole and your master socket.

I expect all of those would show up on the standard test as being “local wiring or equipment”, and within your property. Even if just outside it at the joint you mention.

Another possibility could be extension wiring in the house, which sounds as if that could be very old wiring. Are there any extension sockets, whether in use or not, and if there are do any of them work for the phone when the master faceplate is removed? Are any of them damaged?

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Standard User PhilipD
(experienced) Wed 13-Feb-19 11:49:52
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Hi

We had the same thing at a previous property. The phone would crackle sounding just like a bad connection for many minutes or hours then just go away. Usually it would clear by making the phone ring. This was still heard when in the test socket.

Remote tests always came back okay, either because it wasn't happening at the time of the remote test or the test doesn't really detect it. On reporting the fault we were put off getting an engineer out because if no fault was found they would charge us.

It became so bad the Internet was up and down so reported it again as a voice fault and said yes we'd have an engineer out.

Of course the line was fine when the engineer arrived! The difference being I think it comes down to the individual engineer at the end of the day, as this one didn't even enter the property but did believe their was a problem. He said he would go off and remake some joints somewhere, which I wondered if he really would, but yes he did as we saw our Internet go down and on checking the phone it was dead. Some 10 minutes later it was all up and running and the fault never came back over the remaining 5 or so years we were there.

One suggestion is if the phone is crackly badly, call to your mobile and leave a voice message to record the crackles, at least you have some sort of evidence then and the engineer can hear exactly what the issue sounds like.

Regards

Phil
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Wed 13-Feb-19 11:56:43
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
I think the most likely area is that underground cable and joint, and/or the joint(s) between that cable and however it gets from the base of the replaced pole and your master socket.

I expect all of those would show up on the standard test as being “local wiring or equipment”, and within your property. Even if just outside it at the joint you mention.

Another possibility could be extension wiring in the house, which sounds as if that could be very old wiring. Are there any extension sockets, whether in use or not, and if there are do any of them work for the phone when the master faceplate is removed? Are any of them damaged?


Thanks for the reply.

There is an extension, but this is definitely disconnected when the faceplate is removed. You can see that it's actually connected to the removable faceplate and the extension goes dead when the faceplate is removed.. Good thought though.

Uno unluckily have come back and basically said, looks like a local line fault, we suggest that you report it to your phone supplier (in my case, BT). So back to square one.

Not quite sure how the OpenReach engineer on Saturday could say "no fault", when you can clearly hear the noise on the phone!?

Think I'll have my lunch and then phone good old BT once again. TBC

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Mike
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Wed 13-Feb-19 15:24:54
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
That's another OpenReach visit booked for Friday morning. At least when I phoned BT to raise yet another line fault, the guy at the other end had to phone me back on my mobile, as he could not hear himself speak over the noise. Lets hope it's like that when the engineer turns up on Friday!

Got to laugh at times.

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Mike
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Fri 15-Feb-19 10:41:35
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
What a joke!

OpenReach supposed to be coming again today but as no sign either O/L or via TEXT/Email that an engineer visit has actually been booked.... Rather than wait around all day, I phoned BT for an update. While BT seemed to think an engineer visit was booked, OpenReach didn't. I am starting to wonder if BT and OpenReach actually talk to one another?

So yet another visit booked for tomorrow afternoon. So another day sat around waiting!

At least this time the BT guy could hear the noise from his end and how bad it was. Lets hope it's like this tomorrow afternoon.

Why is it so difficult these days to get anything done? Progress... I think not at times.

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Mike
Standard User MrBeeline
(committed) Sat 16-Feb-19 13:42:02
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Re: When is a line fault not a line fault ?


[re: MrBeeline] [link to this post]
 
Finally... An OpenReach engineer that was willing to listen to me and have a go at actually sorting the issue.

The problem ended up exactly where we've had no end of problems over the 40+ years that we've lived here. The supposed waterproof joint that was buried under the hedge by the roadside. When he open it up, it was full of water. He's repaired it best he can and is going to submit a request to have a proper waterproof box fitted there.

Currently sync'd at the best rate I've ever seen here (11.7Mbps) with an almost straight line at 6db on RouterStats.

Problem hopefully over for now.

Thanks for your suggestions etc. folks, appreciated.

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Mike
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