on 27-07-2010 21h44
My house was built in the early 1970s and as far as I can tell has no master socket. The line comes into the loft from a pole, attaches to a small plastic box below the eves and a white cable is threaded into the loft through the brickwork. It then disappears through the loft insulation and somehome finds its way into two normal sockets within the house with no sign of a standard BT master socket.
Is this normal for the age of property and does anyone know how its resolved? I don't really need one right now but need to make wiring changes for a new socket and need to know where their bit ends and the internal wiring starts.
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on 27-07-2010 21h57
The section in this link marked No NTE5 Master Socket plus the associated information might help you?
on 27-07-2010 22h18
Thanks - I think that might be it.
I'm going to take the faceplates off tomorrow to look for a yellow capacitor - however does anyone know what BT's attitude would be to (them obviously) creating a new master socket in the loft? If one of the existing sockets proves to be the master it will be very tricky to run new sockets off it wheras new sockets from a master in the loft will be very straightforward as we have quite a few conduits running from the loft for TV etc and these will easily take new phone lines.
on 27-07-2010 22h49
The primary reason for the master socket is for the split of the ringing voltage and current from the main telephone line. This is transferred to wire connection 3 on the internal telephone line. Wire connection 2 and 5 are for the audio and will work without any of the other lines with the exception that the telephone extension will not ring.
The OpenReach people as a bit fussy if you have more than one master socket as it tends to confuse their line testing as they use the electronics in the master socket.
The typical master socket can support up to 5 telephone extensions with ringing telephones. This depends also on the rating of the telephone used. On the label of the phone, usually underneath, there is a REN number. This is typically 1. The total REN number in the house should typically not exceed 5.
It is best to install secondaries instead and just wire connections 2, 3 and 5. You can connect the secondary sockets in series so all the different extensions don't have to come from the master socket. Secondaries are cheaper then masters but if you already have masters you can convert them to secondaries by cutting out the capacitor (yellow thing), diode (usually silver with blue around it) and resistor.
on 27-07-2010 23h01
Sorry my mistake - I didn't mean an additional master I meant a replacement one.
Right now I have a cable coming into a nice open loft that has mulitple conduits running from the loft into various rooms for TV/satellite cables etc. I also have (probably) the BT cable running though the floors and plasterwork to what is probably an old-style master socket near the front door.
Running extensions from that master is going to be a pain. There's no conduit running there (no need for TV in the hall) and even if I do run a new conduit I'd be running phone lines back up to the loft only to run back down again. Seems a bit of a palava and not a tidy solution.
On the other hand a new master socket in the loft (cutting off the exisitng socket) would give me a simple socket off which to run new lines to new extensions next to each of the conduits in the rooms downstairs.
But - do BT do that sort of thing?
on 28-07-2010 18h31
That sounds logical to me. All I really know is that BT like to have their master socket located as their external cable enters the property. Essentially, on their cable. If it is not then they can pass any problem onto you.
From what you have explained there does not seem any reason why it cannot be done. The only problem you may have is BT like to install only their master socket by only their technicians. This is the way it has become since BT sold off OpenReach. If it has been installed by them then they take responsibility for the fault. If it has been installed by someone else, then it is your responsibility.
The next thing that I will expect is BT will try to charge you for a new telephone installation. To be fair this is not BT but OpenReach that will charge this. I believe it is approaching around £200 to have this done.
If it is an old socket, it would be to BT's advantage to change the socket. However, they will probably be reluctant to do that unless their is a fault as they have to pay OpenReach to do it.Then if you report a fult then they will only replace the socket in its present location.
If the moderator is reading this he or she may be able to suggest something or pass you on the the correct people.
I am sorry about the doom and gloom but this is the way BT has become and what I am telling you is based on experience people I know have had.
on 28-07-2010 20h04
The plot thickens!
Turns out that the socket in the hall is not the master even though its the one with various wires attached snaking off into the plasterwork. Its the bedroom socket that's the master (has the yellow capacitor from the link above). The bedroom socket though is a plain vanilla socket - only a phone attached to it and no internal cables leading to an extension.
Looks like I have a seriously non-compliant system!
on 14-08-2010 0h28
I seem to be in the same boat with regards to a non compliant system. I've had a good look round online and am now pretty sure most of it is circa 1970!!!!
The external box attatched to the outside of the property has a cable going in to it. That cable is then connected to a small junction box (about the size of a match box) inside. All the cable up to that point is thick black cable. Then a piece of white cable runs along the floor to a white socket on the wall about 3 feet away.
I was just wondering if you found any sort of a solution? Or could offer any advice?
on 14-08-2010 4h52
Yeh i'm in the same pickle as well, i've got this in my living room http://img245.imageshack.us/i/p1000336k.jpg/ i believe that this is a drop line box but the wire that leads off it goes to a cut line. (inside) http://img814.imageshack.us/i/p1000338.jpg/
Up in my loft i also have this box http://img818.imageshack.us/i/p1000340k.jpg/ it has three wires going into it.
I do have this in my living room http://www.telephonesuk.co.uk/images/LJU3_1A_rear.
So do i actually have a master socket? could i get one fitted or make an extension of one of those boxes above?