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patomlin
Beginner
2,388 Views
Message 1 of 8

Static Line Noise & black box outside...

Hi

 

Hopefully someone can help with this problem before I have to call an engineer.

 

We've always had a slightly noisy line but recently it's been terrible. You can't hear the dial tone, and it doesn't change regardless of phone used or whether the BT home hub is turned off. I've also tested it through the master socket, and the online help shows no fault on the line.

 

However tonight I found that by playing with a circular black box that is just sitting loose outside of the front door, I temporarily improved the line quality. The black circular case, approximately 6 inches across, looks very old, hardly weather proof any more and really muddy.

 

I'm guessing that there's some corrosion that's gone on inside and is affecting connection, question is can I open this up and give it a clean, or is it BT's property that i can't tough. Technically this sits outside of the property, before the master socket. There is one line feeding into the case from underground, thick black cable, and one thinner one working its way into the master socket.

 

Thanks for any help.IMG_0411.JPG

0 Ratings
7 REPLIES 7
iniltous
Guru
2,384 Views
Message 2 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

That looks like a block terminal 18 (BT18) and should be attached to the wall ,not laid on the ground where it's electrical terminations are more likely to  corrode.

BT 18's were commonly used in the 60's and 70's on housing fed by underground cables! inside it should be the 'underground' cable and a cable running to the master phone socket , or if serving 2 property's , 2 cables running to 2 master sockets.

You could remove the cover and inspect for corrosion, and possibly give it a clean ,(and re-fix  it to the wall where it's less likely to become damp) , but you could report it faulty (noisy line) and when OR visit, they should replace it for a more modern block terminal.

Unfortunately , if you do report it, unless a line test does show a defect  you will get the 'if it's your equipment its chargeable' script, personally I wouldn't worry too much about that as they should repair it 'free of charge' IMHO it's fair wear and tear and not 'damage' , so something included in your line rental fee

Havnalaff
Aspiring Expert
2,361 Views
Message 3 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

Looks like some wag took that 'box' off the wall when a porch or extension was built (the brickwork and mortar look different to the 'original' house to the right of your picture.) Fix the box back up again and have a look inside, your answer is there for you. Best regards and good fortune go with you.

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iniltous
Guru
2,344 Views
Message 4 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

That's well spotted by Havnalaff, I assumed due to age  it had  just fell from the wall, if it were removed by builders and left on the ground then that may not be considered fair wear and tear

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patomlin
Beginner
2,335 Views
Message 5 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

Thanks for your comments/suggestions.

 

Looks like I'll not be risking anything or losing out by trying to clean it myself - I'm sure inside there's a way to disconnect, clean up and reconnect. We are aware work was done on the house in the 90s (we moved in 6 years ago) so you're probably right that builders just left it where it sits right now. No wonder we've had gradual noise interference on the line.

 

Also as suggested I'd be wary of BT claiming it's not just wear and tear, am I right in thinking I could buy a replacement block and fit it myself?

 

Thanks!

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patomlin
Beginner
2,308 Views
Message 6 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

Thought I'd wrap this thread up with the results, and hopefully it may help others in similar situations.

 

I opened the box up - full of mud, water... and a broken wire.

 

Washed it all out, cleaned the terminal blocks and stripped back the broken wires and refitted.

 

Mounted back on to wall, we now have crystal clear audio, no static and no interference.

 

All done in zero degrees and with a few minor electrical shocks along the way!

 

Before and after...

IMG_0412.JPG

IMG_0413.JPG

 

 

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Ectophile
Distinguished Guru
2,306 Views
Message 7 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...

Anything before the master socket belongs to Openreach, so you will be fiddling with their kit.  If there's any further problems later on, you could be hit for a charge (around £130) for fixing it.

 

Edit:  looks like I was typing while you posted your last post.  If anyone from Openreach sees it in future, you found it like that!

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Keith_Beddoe
Distinguished Sage
Distinguished Sage
2,294 Views
Message 8 of 8

Re: Static Line Noise & black box outside...


@patomlin wrote:

Thought I'd wrap this thread up with the results, and hopefully it may help others in similar situations.

 

I opened the box up - full of mud, water... and a broken wire.

 

Washed it all out, cleaned the terminal blocks and stripped back the broken wires and refitted.

 

Mounted back on to wall, we now have crystal clear audio, no static and no interference.

 

All done in zero degrees and with a few minor electrical shocks along the way!

 

 


 

Openreach are quite often looking for apprentices  Smiley Wink