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Message 1 of 5

Unreliable landline

Hi,

My dad has been having a problem with his landline. He is elderly and relies on his landline to stay in touch, and also has a medical alert system on it, so it needs to work reliably. It's started working again at the moment, but I don't have confidence in it, so thought I would describe the issue here to see if there are thoughts as to what might be going on. Thanks in advance! (I don't live locally to him, and it's really hard to try and troubleshoot these things remotely when they stop working.)

Last week, the landline stopped working completely - no dial tone, could not make or receive calls (callers just heard the line ring and ring). Broadband continued to work (most of the time, but did go off occasionally). It stayed like this for several days. The automated BT fault finder found no problem.

There are two phone sockets in the hall:

  1. an old one that has always been the socket in use. It is a 5cm by 5cm square with a "T" in the lower-right front.
  2. an openreach master socket 5c that was installed a few years ago, and has never been used for anything.

What made everything start working again was when I plugged a handset directly into the openreach socket. Even after removing that again, things are still working.

Does that make sense to anyone?

Should I switch everything over to the openreach socket? It's not located in as convenient a position as the old socket, and has never been used for anything - the existing connections using the old socket have worked fine for many years. (There was a fault out in the street a few months ago that was fixed with engineering work.)

Thanks again!

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Message 2 of 5

Re: Unreliable landline

I would try the new master socket and if that works ok then problem could easily be the extension socket and not the actual line. Extension sockets are. Customers responsibility



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Message 3 of 5

Re: Unreliable landline

Hi @gmorristb and welcome to our community.

Sorry your Dad is having problems with his line. I think @imjolly is correct here. It sounds like there's a problem with the extension as everything is working at the master socket. We can arrange an engineer visit but it would likely be chargeable due to fault being with the extension. Let me know if you wish to proceed with that.

Cheers

David

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Message 4 of 5

Re: Unreliable landline

Thank you both. Some comments/questions:

  1. There was an intermittent line fault earlier in the year, which was traced to a faulty connection in the street, which was supposedly repaired (a high resistance fault?). Seems like a coincidence if there is a fault in the house a few months later...
  2. The socket in use is what I have always called the master socket. I'm pretty sure it was the only socket in the house at one time - the "Openreach Master Socket 5C" was only installed a few years ago. Has that relegated the old master socket to being an extension socket?
  3. Does it seem plausible that a socket will stop working after many years, affecting the phone but not broadband, and somehow start working again when a handset is briefly plugged into another socket?

I guess I will leave things as they are for now, and if it stops working again switch to the newer socket, and if there are still issues request an engineer visit. Thanks!

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Message 5 of 5

Re: Unreliable landline

If openreach made the socket changes then the new socket will be the master and the other now extension.  They would not make 2 masters on the same line.

It is possible for broadband to work on a socket when the phone does not.  The phone needs both incoming wires connected whereas broadband will work with only 1 wire connected albeit slower than normal

 



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