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Thread: Help testing phone land line.

  1. #1
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    Help testing phone land line.

    Been having trouble with my land line off and on.
    DSL works as it should. I can still make calls and receive calls but at times there is a loud humming sound to the point you can just barely hear the other person.

    Am I correct if I disconnect the little gray phone line in the box (photo below) and plug in a telephone. If I still hear the humming the problem is not in the house ?


    Phone box 2.jpg
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    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 01-13-2022 at 6:09 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Yes there should be a test port where you can determine if your wiring or their wiring is the problem.

    Looking at your picture though I'm wondering if you have two separate phone lines? I don't think my box has two ports like your picture shows.
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  3. #3
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    I once had two phone lines back in the day of dial-up internet.
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  4. #4
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    Dave, it has been about 50 years since my employment as a telephone installer/repair person.

    Often a hum is caused by a path to ground on one side of the line. In this case it would likely be on what is known as the tip side of the line.

    If it was on the ring side of the line you phone would likely not ring.

    FYI, the tip side of the line is supposed to be the green wire and the red wire is supposed to be the ring side. Of course now days not all the inside the house wire is the old jacketed wire used by phone companies many years ago. If you have the multi pair wire you may have blue/white pair.

    The junction box in your picture is one that likely came into use after my leaving work as a telephone employee.

    If you have had lightning strikes in your area the protecter may have arced over and created a connection to ground.

    Other likely culprits are dogs, cats or other animals chewing on your wiring inside or under your house.

    On the old style protectors there were only two large screws that held carbon rods close to a grounded plate. Unscrewing one of these could make the buzzing sound go away. They would need replacement if that were the case.

    It is also possible if a new service in your area (anywhere on the same cable as you) was installed or line work was done some sloppy work could have caused a problem for your line.

    Of course there are many other things that could be causing your on line noise.

    jtk
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  5. #5
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    We have had pretty bad noise in our phone line sometimes, and sometimes the cause has been the DSL splitter inside the building, and sometimes it has been a problem outside the building somewhere. In both cases the phone company repaired it free of charge. Plugging into the test port is a good idea, in my experience, so you can tell the phone company representative what difference there is.

  6. #6
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    That's the demarc. If you're hearing the noise, plugged into that RJ11 plug. It's outside the house.
    ~mike

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  7. #7
    Are you using inline filters? Back when we had DSL one of the filters went bad, a replacement took care of the problem-

    And, I'm not positive, but if you take a test-phone outside to check, it'll need a filter...
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  8. #8
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    Yes, the filter part is true.
    ~mike

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  9. #9
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    If I unplug the short gray cable from the jack in the box pictured above. The phone line in the house is dead.
    I plug a phone into that same jack in the box and can hear the noise and can dial out.

    Saying I should do the same test in the box with a filter?
    Last edited by Dave Lehnert; 01-13-2022 at 10:26 PM.
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  10. #10
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    yep, plug a filter into that rj11, and a phone into the filter. Plugged into there, you're on the telco side of the demarcation.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  11. #11
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    The D-mark has some carbon surge protectors that are still "in line" even with the house phones disconnected. Unless the cable has failed that is where your hum is coming from. Should be a free telco repair I would think.

  12. #12
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    I agree that if you hear the noise at the demark in the test jack, you need to get your carrier to take care of the issue because it's not coming from your inside wiring. You're responsible for inside wiring (unless you pay for a service contract) and they are responsible from the demark back to their facilities. The copper wiring plant out there has been degrading for years and there's pretty much been zero investment in fixing it...they probably need to find a different pair to supply your home.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I agree that if you hear the noise at the demark in the test jack, you need to get your carrier to take care of the issue because it's not coming from your inside wiring. You're responsible for inside wiring (unless you pay for a service contract) and they are responsible from the demark back to their facilities. The copper wiring plant out there has been degrading for years and there's pretty much been zero investment in fixing it...they probably need to find a different pair to supply your home.

    I had the phone co. out to the house. When he opened the box a wire fell off the connection. Thought that had fixed the issue but just happened to be working at the time. He said in 5 years they would have fiber installed 100% and will abandon the old phone system. I would have fiber a long time ago if they would put it past the house. Crazy I dont have fiber past the house. The business next to me does.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    I agree that if you hear the noise at the demark in the test jack, you need to get your carrier to take care of the issue because it's not coming from your inside wiring. You're responsible for inside wiring (unless you pay for a service contract) and they are responsible from the demark back to their facilities. The copper wiring plant out there has been degrading for years and there's pretty much been zero investment in fixing it...they probably need to find a different pair to supply your home.
    That's certainly true of Verizon, is it true of phone companies in other areas as well?

  15. #15
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    Which part? The demarcation is certainly so. The copper here is bad enough that I used to have to have test bursts run after rains to get t1s to work again... Almost twenty years ago now.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

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