Telephone line experts in here..naked gals

bones`

Active Member
I have a bit of a dilema with my phone line.
Apparantly you are not allowed to touch the cable that comes from the outside and into your master socket. Thats fair enough but someone has butchered mine. Basically they have cut it before it enters the house and spliced in an extension that runs off down the side of the house, then another cable runs inside to the master socket. So whats the problem?

I currently run my sky router off the extension which re-enters the property at the back bedroom. I have a lot of errors on my line so I thought I'd try the test socket but thats no use until I can sort out the wiring. Could the current setup be the cause of the errors? The cable they have used is only 4 core so possibly not up to standard. Would I be better off cutting the extensions off and joining some decent cable to the existing BT stuff then running that to the master socket? If so then whats the best method of joining the cable? They have used some clear connectors that dont seem to be re-usable. They have 1 wire in and 2 out.

Any help appreciated I know nothing about telecoms stuff:lease:
 

niceguy235uk

Well-known Member
You should be careful when messing with BT's lines.

SOMETIMES voltage can exist on these cables that could give you a tingle!

Oh and you are not allowed to mess with them.

I suggest you call BT cust service and explain your situation.
 

Singh400

Distinguished Member
My advice is don't mess at all. These things can be more complex than you think. Case in point, had the engineer around ages ago. I wanted something doing to the line (long story) anyway he was about to spilt the line, when I reminded him about the BB connection. We then spent the next 30 minutes talking to his supervisor and other engineers on the phone.
 

njp

Well-known Member
Apparantly you are not allowed to touch the cable that comes from the outside and into your master socket.
The important thing as far as the exchange is concerned is that your installation should present the right sort of load, so that the automated line tests pass. BT have also been concerned about the possibility of people inadvertently sticking high voltages on the line, risking damage to their equipment and engineers! This is why you aren't supposed to fiddle about with anything before the master socket (or the master socket itself, unless it is designed to allow you to add extensions).

Thats fair enough but someone has butchered mine. Basically they have cut it before it enters the house and spliced in an extension that runs off down the side of the house, then another cable runs inside to the master socket. So whats the problem?

I currently run my sky router off the extension which re-enters the property at the back bedroom. I have a lot of errors on my line so I thought I'd try the test socket but thats no use until I can sort out the wiring. Could the current setup be the cause of the errors?
It certainly doesn't sound right. There should only be a single master socket in the installation, and the extension wiring should come off that. Assuming your extension phone works normally (rings!), that must also be using a master socket in order to derive the ringing current. I suspect that could adversely affect the high frequency ADSL signals.

I assume you have microfilters on all your telephone equipment? That's the first thing to check, as well as seeing if the errors disappear when all equipment is disconnected apart from your ADSL modem/router.

The cable they have used is only 4 core so possibly not up to standard.

Only 3 wires are actually used... I doubt that the cable is the source of your problems.

Would I be better off cutting the extensions off and joining some decent cable to the existing BT stuff then running that to the master socket? If so then whats the best method of joining the cable? They have used some clear connectors that dont seem to be re-usable. They have 1 wire in and 2 out.

Do the checks and test I suggested first. If you still have problems, I suggest replacing the extension socket with a normal one, and wiring it back to the master socket. We can discuss that later!
 

bones`

Active Member
If you have a look at the picture njp you will probably get a better idea. The Black cable is the BT stuff that comes out of the ground and should go through the wall to the master socket. This has 5 twisted pairs.
Someone has cut it and joined on the 2 brown cables, one goes through the wall to the master socket and the other goes down the grey protecion cover then out the bottom and round the exterior of my house to the back bedroom. This Brown stuff has 2 pairs (not sure if thier twisted or not).
I was under the impression that even basic spec telephone cable had to be 4 twisted pairs? The twists to cut down on interferance.
What I wanted to do was get rid of all the brown stuff and for the time being join some decent cable to the black, through the wall and to the master socket. Thing is I am told this is illegal. This is the only way I can get a true reflection of my line. I have tried the router plugged in with every other phone and sky box etc unplugged and still loads of errors. I can only hope the butcher job and cheap cable are causing me the problems. What is the best way to join cable together? SOmeone has used clear plastic things that aren't reusable but I cant find these anywhere?
 

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stevefish69

Well-known Member
I instal Auto-diallers on lifts all of the time. There are only two wires used, and you will have 50-54V DC which will give you a tingle if touched.
 

njp

Well-known Member
If you have a look at the picture njp you will probably get a better idea.
It's quite a mess, isn't it?!

I was under the impression that even basic spec telephone cable had to be 4 twisted pairs? The twists to cut down on interferance.
No, a single line will use a single twisted pair. The master socket derives the ringing current, and this is supplied to the phones on a third line. So: 2 wires into the master socket, 3 wires out. The incoming BT cable is likely to have spare twisted pairs for future use, and the wiring inside the house may do the same.

How many extension sockets are there? If you unscrew the cover(s), you will be able to see if they are master sockets - these contain a surge suppressor and a capacitor. Slave sockets don't. I've half convinced myself that this is the source of your problems.

What I wanted to do was get rid of all the brown stuff and for the time being join some decent cable to the black, through the wall and to the master socket. Thing is I am told this is illegal.
Is it feasible to just cut or disconnect the brown cable leading to the back bedroom? The you could see if the router works ok via the master socket, with no other sockets connected.

Also, is there enough black cable to pass through the wall to the master socket? Whilst frowned upon (I'm not convinced it's actually illegal), there is no rocket science involved in connecting two wires to a master socket! Just hope nobody phones while you are doing it. And you can buy master sockets that are designed to allow the householder to add extension wiring, so you could then "normalise" the rest of your installation.
 

bones`

Active Member
My master socket is an NTE5, standard BT stuff with the removable faceplate. In practice the BT cable should enter the house (unfortunately there isn't enough cable to pull through the wall) and connect via 2 screws to the backplate on this socket. Any extensions should be run from the faceplate (the faceplate when secured plugs into the test socket) so when you remove the faceplate you can plug into the test socket and have as direct a route as possible. Is that correct? :confused:

That being the case then the current setup is bi-passing any suppressors or capacitors in the master socket. It is feasable to cut the wires to the extension but that means moving the router downstairs and connecting via wireless which I don't mind doing for the time being and its certainly worth it to determine the root of my problem before I start ringing Sky:)

Should this have no effect then whats the best method of joining 2 small wires?
 

njp

Well-known Member
My master socket is an NTE5, standard BT stuff with the removable faceplate.
That's the chappy.

In practice the BT cable should enter the house (unfortunately there isn't enough cable to pull through the wall) and connect via 2 screws to the backplate on this socket. Any extensions should be run from the faceplate (the faceplate when secured plugs into the test socket) so when you remove the faceplate you can plug into the test socket and have as direct a route as possible. Is that correct? :confused:
Yep. All your internal wiring is isolated when you remove the face plate, so that you can decide if any faults are internal or external. I'm still confused about your current installation though. Presumably one of the brown wires is connected to this master socket and then the other goes to another master socket?

That being the case then the current setup is bi-passing any suppressors or capacitors in the master socket.
Have you checked what type of socket is being used for the extension?

It is feasable to cut the wires to the extension but that means moving the router downstairs and connecting via wireless which I don't mind doing for the time being and its certainly worth it to determine the root of my problem before I start ringing Sky:)

Should this have no effect then whats the best method of joining 2 small wires?
If they're outside I would probably solder them and use heatshrink to seal the joint. Either that or self-amalgamating tape.
 

bones`

Active Member
One of the brown cables goes through the brickwork and connects to the master, the other goes externally round to the back bedroom where it comes through the wall to a standard extension box.

I wish I was able to solder and use heatshrink :(
 

njp

Well-known Member
I think if you are unhappy about fiddling about with the wiring you should probably bite the bullet and talk to BT. Since you didn't butcher the installation yourself it's possible they might fix it for you without charging you. Don't bank on it though!

If the cable to the extension is long enough you could cut that off at the splice, feed it through the wall, and connect it to the NTE5 socket as you are supposed to, leaving the other brown cable alone. And before you do that, you could test the router connected directly to the test socket. You could even do this via an extension phone lead so that you don't have to move the router.

Lots of options, but I'm afraid they all involve some trial and error...
 

bones`

Active Member
Thanks njp you have been very helpful.:thumbsup:

I will bite the bullet and cut the extension off this weekend. :eek:
 

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