Replacing my master socket - apparently I can do it myself..?!

Discussion in 'ISPs & The Internet' started by McBain, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. McBain

    McBain
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    Hi,

    Long story short - I'm having sync issues and want to rule out internal wiring. I have an old style master socket (no faceplate).

    I've asked around and read the legal bumpf on clarity's website about messing with the master socket myself. The gist of it was that I shouldn't ever touch it, or any of the extension directly hardwired into the back of the socket.

    I decided to contact BT and see how much it would be to get a NTE5 fitted and was told it would be ~200 quid. Obviously this didn't appeal, so while I had them on the phone I asked what I could legally do myself...

    To my surprise, I was told I could do anything! I specifically asked if I sourced a NTE5 could I replace the master socket myself - and was told yes. I mentioned I'd read this was illegal/breach of service and she said that the socket is only property of BT for the first 12 months and after that I can do what I want..

    Obviously I asked for this in writing, and have recieved an email stating this is the case.

    I'm still a little concerned, however, that I might just have been told a load of porkies.

    Are there any people reading these forums in the business? If I have the email is this enough evidence to avoid fines etc. should a BT engineer need to visit in the future and see my non standard master socket?
     
  2. Jammie dodger

    Jammie dodger
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    My understanding is the demarcation point is the master socket, you are not supposed to tamper with the incoming wires/junction boxes or mastersocket (other than the removeable panel on NTE5s).

    If you do replace the master socket, I'd suggest getting one with a BT or Openreach logo on it, so that if you ever have a BT engineer in, he will be none the wiser. I've seen OpenReach master sockets on ebay for about £10, not sure if they are genuine or knock-offs. If you do fit a non standard socket, and an engineer notices you could tell him that it was like that when you moved in, but if he decides to replace it, you will get charged the regularisation fee which is about £30.


    Alternatively, if just one cable feeds to the extensions, and you've got enough slack cable on it, you could carefully disconnect it from the back of the master socket, and maybe fit a combined BT plug and phone splitter to the end of it so that you can plug it into the front of the existing master socket.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  3. beerhunter

    beerhunter
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    You can always tell when a BT Call Centre Agent is talking round things - you can hear speech on the line. No you are not allowed to install an NTE5 yourself. It Is the demarcation point between BT's wiring and yours and if you screw it up be prepared for a big bill. However as you appear to have the permission of a 'servant of BT' IN WRITING to do it, I reckon that is your get out of jail free card. However do make sure that it specifically allows you to tamper with BT's wiring. That is the issue NOT the NTE5 as such.

    As to the extensions wiring, you shouldn't really touch it as you may disturb the incoming pair but if you can ID them, I'd remove them.

    If I was you I would call the ISP (BT?) with the fault and when you are told to use the Test Socket say you don't have one.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2009
  4. shoestring25

    shoestring25
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    i was always told never mess with the master socket because if in the course of installing it you create a short you blow the panel out on the street and you are libel for the entire cost
     
  5. bobcats

    bobcats
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    unless things have changed drastically IMO that is crappola.

    Loop disconnect dialling does exactly that, (I know tone dialling is the main signalling now) but with BT I believe loop dis can still be used if there is a switch to change on the phone then try the old flashing the cradle hook to mimic dialling.

    Make sure you write the colours and conns down, it is very easy to do something wrong then as someone says `big bill` if they can prove you screwed it up. about 15 or so years ago an engineer tried it on with my Mum and Dad for a new curly cable and wanted an extortionate fee but didn`t realise someone in the family was old school BT, made a few phone calls to make sure they had the correct info and the charge was dropped.
     
  6. holiver

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    What about relocating an existing master socket? I too want to rule out any issues with internal wiring by moving the master socket to the closest point it enters my flat. When the line was activated, the engineer disconnected all non-necessary wires from the master socket, so it will just be a case of unscrewing the socket from the wall and cutting the cable. Should take only a few minutes.
     
  7. bobcats

    bobcats
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    if you have hollow walls why not push the excess into the cavity, then if you want to move it in the future, you can just unscrew the socket and move it to where you want, (obviously if it is to short you will have to join some cable)..
    if at some time in the future the join created a problem then BT will hit you.

    Obviously if you create a fault when doing this BT will hit you!

    PS, normally the spare individual and the used wires are left inside the socket with an inch or so spare ..not cut to the sleeve.
     
  8. leckie

    leckie
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    I work for BT and I can assure you that you can't touch the master socket (the only thing you can do is change the faceplate on NTE5 sockets). The sockets themselves are owned and maintained by OpenReach and you are effectively just renting its use.

    I know that customers on our old system would receive a hardwired socket to NTE5 conversion free of charge but that new accounts generally have to pay. I'll double check our procedure for you tonight and post back seeing if there is anyway past the charges.
     

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