This week I turned up at Stockton on Forest to move the phone point to a more convenient position. A simple enough job and I spied out where I was going to run the cable. Before I disconnected the telephone line I plugged my ‘test’ telephone into the master socket to check the line. It’s as well that I did as there was no dial tone but the broadband was working.
I have come across that scenario before, it occurs when the part of the line goes down because possibly it has become disconnected on it’s path back to the exchange. However as the broadband is at a higher frequency the fault can allow the broadband to still work, only you may find that it is slower than usual.
I find nowadays that people tend to use their landline just to deliver the broadband as they use their mobiles for calls. I have got used to asking homeowners what their telephone number is and they usually can’t remember it as it's so long since they have used it!
I suggested that the homeowner report the line as faulty to their service provider. As they started to do that I proceeded to move the line.
The first thing that I had to do was open up an external cigar shaped above ground joint to be able to intercept the telephone line. I got quite a surprise when I got it cracked open, as it was full of cold water and it deposited the lot on my T shirt!
I had to ask myself how had it filled with water as the joint was supposed to keep the water off the silicon crimps within it. When I found it the joint was hanging down with two cables going into it. What you find when it rains is that rain will drip down a cable which is why telephone engineers put ‘drip loops’ in a cable run before it say goes through a wall. With this installation the drips could only go into the joint!
It was also a bit of a eureka moment as I had probably found the fault with the telephone line. One look at the corroded silicon crimps that had been submerged in the joint and things were looking pretty conclusive. To make sure I cut off the crimps, bared the wire, attached my test telephone and sure enough there was dial tone!
I popped through to see the homeowner who was still speaking to their service provider and I updated them. It took me a little while longer to complete the wiring and happily I left the line in full working order. Engage Smug Mode.