Buzzing on phone line?

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I hate to ask this question - as I expect the most logical answer is 'it could be anything'. But since the repairman can't get here until Thursday, I thought I would throw it out to see if anyone can suggest something.
It seems my 4 house phones were all working just fine this morning at 10AM. The this afternoon, I discovered that there is a horrible 'buzzing' or 'humming' kind of sound on the line that renders conversation impossible, and in fact my dial-up is non working as a result as well.
I have tried connecting a spare phone outside to the phone company box, and there is no noise there, and the phone works fine. Obviously, then, the problem must be in my house somewhere, despite the fact that I did nothing to cause a problem.
I have tried disconnecting red/green wires from each of the outlets one outlet at a time, but have ended up with no improvement.
Since the repairman wants $90/half hour, I am hoping someone of you can suggest something I can try. I have until Thursday!
Thanks
Jethro
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For a start:
Pull the phone line from the dial up modem and blow the dust out of the connection with canned air. Dust collects there and needs to be checked.
..2 cents.. -- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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The last time we had similar incident, my 9-year old son was playing with the phone jack in his room and inserted a wire in one of those phone jacks.
Ken
Opportunities are never lost. The other fellow takes those you miss.
| Torrey Hills Technologies, LLC | | www.threerollmill.com | | www.torreyhillstech.com |
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On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 15:52:04 -0700, Torrey Hills

Yikes!
Anyway, I have disconnected the phone jacks one at a time to see if removal of any one jack will fix it, and it won't. I fear the problem is not in the jacks. Thanks Jethro

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I only mentioned that in addition to the buzzing, that my dialup was inoperative too. That's most likely because the buzzing prevents the dialup from have an intelligible signal(s). I don't think if I can get rid of the buzzing, then the dialup will work. Thanks Jethro
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If the buzzing is caused by the modem; do you think it may affect other devices?
Unplug the dial up... rule the modem out.
-- Oren
"The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!"
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I think that I have already done that.
Jethro
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Jethro wrote:

Try unplugging all phones (and modem) for 5-10 minutes.
--

dadiOH
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wrote:

I really think as I was working on the problem, that there were several 5-minute periods during which there were none connected. There was one point when I had disconnected the actual wires from all the plugs. And then I connected them back and re-plugged the phones thereto. Which is where I am now. I would go out and buy a few hundred feet of wiring and re-do same, but I would have to crawl under my house, and since I am a handicapped senior citizen, that's really not feasible. If I could only find my kids. But that's my problem. Thanks anyway
Jethro
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One at a time, checking after each one is plugged in? Or all at once? All at once just puts you back werhere you were.
Which is where I am now. I would go out and buy a few

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And then plug them back in one at a time, checking for the buzz each time. Unless rain water has gotten in your demarc or into a rotted cable, or you have accidently damaged a cord or the wall wiring moving furniture or working on the house, odds are a cheapo phone has either crapped out, or a cordless is picking up a hum from somewhere. (One of many reasons I hate cordless and modern throw-away corded phones, and keep a crate of old Ma Bell real phones on hand.)
aem sends....
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wrote:

Hmmm
Of the several phones that I have in use, two are old corded type and three others are the cordless ones. at one point, I had unplugged all the cordless phones, and the dialup plug, leaving only the two corded type. I still had the damned buzzing. At one point, I had disconnected all my house phones and dialup, and connected up JUST a corded extra phone I had in my closet. Still got a buzzing.
Thanks
Jethro
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aemeijers wrote:

Thank you, forgot to add that important instruction.
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dadiOH
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Jethro wrote:

    As others have suggested, you should disconnect ALL other devices connected to the phone wiring inside the house. Then try your phone. If the buzzing still exists, disconnect the house wiring from the phone company line at the box outside, and place an ohmmeter across the inside tip and ring while all devices (phones etc.) are disconnected to see if there is a short.
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If I read you right, I think I have done just that. And the buzzing still existed.

I can disconnect the wiring from the company line at the outside box okay. But I don't understand what you mean by 'tip and ring'. Please excuse my ignorance. If you are saying to take an ohmage reading of the two wires I disconnect there (with all inside phones etc disconnected) then I can do that. I should get zero?
Thanks
Jethro
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Tip and Ring comes from the old days when phones were connected using a "phone plug" and "phone jack", the same 1/4 inch plug/jack that is used today to connect audio like electric guitar and headphones. The tip was the tip of the plug and the ring was the shank. If your house uses standard color code then the tip is green and the ring is red, or the tip is black and the ring is yellow, but dont depend on those colors. You can pick up a cheap polarity tester from radio shack to test the proper polarity of your jacks. But your problem is probably not polarity since the system worked before. You need to get every phone device off of your inside wiring and disconnect the demarcation box. Using a multimeter test one of your inside jacks for voltage to ensure that there is no current on your inside line, test both DC and AC there should be zero volts. Then test the ohms of the internal wiring it should be at infinity. Then short out one of the inside jacks (tip/ring) (make sure you are disconnected from phone company), measure ohms again, the line should go to zero ohms. If all this checks out then plug in your "best phone" and see if you get hum.
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On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 16:44:13 -0700, RickH

Hmmm At the outside box, my house wires (blue-green-yellow-black) are stripped and connected into the phone company's plug. I saw no plug/jack arrangement. Blue & green are the colors common to all my house 'jacks'.

I agree. I do have a good tester already.

I guess by 'demarcation box' you mean the phone company's outside box?

I will tomorrow.

I seem to get a hum no matter which one phone I try.
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If all the logic/continuity checks above check out ok, then its probably induced hum from the AC line. Has it been raining there a lot this week?
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On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 17:28:34 -0700, RickH

Sure has - several inches.
Jethro

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RickH wrote:
...

Also test for voltage and then continuity between each of the lines (tip/ring) and ground. Again, it should be zero volts and infinity ohms. But this hum/buzz sounds like one of the lines has a short to ground somewhere.
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