neighbor's contractor cut my phone line

The neighbor's contractor cut my phone line
Is soldering and taping good enough for an outdoor phone line repair?
Or should I have the phone company come and do it according to its standards?
I don't want to get stuck paying later, when the contractor is long gone and maybe the neighbor too.    
The neighbor's contractor was working right at the property line and cut my phone line. I found him with the 4 wires stripped from each end, and he was wrapping the wires together, and going to use wire nuts and electrical tape.
I stopped him and soldered the connections, used his wire nuts for some reason, and then used stretch tape (I think it is called silicon tape) which normally gives a much better seal, afaict. But I don't really know how long the tape lasts. The splice is two inches above the dirt, and would look better covered with dirt (which I guess they didn't do, because I had complained that just wrapping the wires isn't good enough for an underground connection.)
All 4 of my solders were good. No possible cold solders.
The neighbor himself suggested I call the phone company, and that he would pay. The woman at the repair office won't tell me how much they charge for this until the repairman comes out. And then I will have to pay for the service call. The woman admitted a lot of people don't call them, of course.
I don't want the neighbor or even the contractor to pay if my repair is good enough, but if I don't get him to pay now, when it breaks later, the contractor will be long gone, and maybe my neighbor too. And I'll have to pay.
(The contractors didn't cut a buried wire. They knew the wire was there and one was holding it out of the way, while the other used a 4- or 5-foot rod to jab at the cement left in the ground from a fence post. He hit it several times before he cut the wire. :) ) They should have used a rod that they held in place, and hit it with a sledge or something, instead of moving the whole 5 foot pole, right?
(FWIW, they also didn't tell me they had cut my line, didn't apologize when I found out (I was 15 feet away and on the ohter side of bushes, but I heard one talk to the other), didn't tell me they were going to "fix" it or when, and I was going to call the phone company when I went outside again to do a temporary repair, and saw that they had started their repair. I don't think they planned to tell me at all that they had cut it.)
Thanks.
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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meirman wrote:

That's not your phone cable, it belongs to the phone company. Call them and let them deal with it. (your phone cables begin at the Network Interconnection Device, probably on the side of your house.)
Best regards, Bob
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meirman wrote:

From the way you describe the repair I think it should hold up fine for quite a while. as long as it stays above ground.
If it was me, I would have slid an appropriate diameter piece of heat shrink tubing about 6" long onto the jacket on one side of the break, made the four staggered in line soldered splices each covered with heat shrink tubing, and then slid the larger heat shrink tubing back over those four joints and over the outer jacket of the wire on the other side of the splices and shrunk it in place. That should last as long as the original wire itself, particularly if it's not buried.
But then, I'm anal about those kind of things.
Jeff
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In Illinois it is against the law for a contractor or home owner, that is digging on the property, to NOT to call the Joint Utilities Locating service. They, then have all of the individual utilities come out and mark the area where cables, pipes, etc. are buried. If someone cuts a cable and didn't have the stuff marked, they are liable and there may be fines imposed.
Jeff Wisnia wrote:

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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 21 Aug 2005 05:05:35 GMT Art Todesco

Just about the same thing here, in Md. I think the phone number is Miss-utility. (Or Miss-uti) They advertise it all the time.
But in this case, they saw the phone lines. They come out of the ground and then go seven feet across our little patios to the front wall. One of the men was holding the wires out of the way, while the other one used a five-foot rod with a wider part on the end (I've never seen one before) to jab at the cement in the ground. The top of that was about 8 inches down, in the hole that removing the old 4x4 fence post made, expanded by them.
Eventually they got the chunk of cement out so they could put the new 4x4 farther into the ground. I don't think jabbing it with that rod did any good but I wasn't watching. Maybe they pushed the cement chunk sideways with the rod, so one of them could put his hands on either side and pull it out, but they should have pried instead.
Or used a shorter rod, held it in the right place, on the cement 8 inches below the wires, and hit it with a sledge.

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In alt.home.repair on Sat, 20 Aug 2005 23:30:31 -0400 Jeff Wisnia

......
Well I don't have to look at it. It's on their side of my bushes. FTM, they had bushes or plants there too and plan to plant new ones.
But someone might bury it, come to think of it, if not them, whoever comes later.

I normally do all this when fixing something indoors or in my car. I hate to say it, but I was intimidated by the fact that the 2 guys were waiting. And that all four pair had already been twisted together. Then again, they probably could have found something to do. But they didn't say anything like "Take your time" and one even insisted that twisting the wires and taping was good enough, and I'm sure that's not true.

I think you do it right.

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meirman wrote:

So what's the problem? Get a signed slip from the contractor or neighbor that they will pay and call the phone company. How are you planning to explain to them a year or two down the road when your 'temporary' fix fails?
Harry K
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The bottom line, if this is going underground and moisture leaks into your splices, you're going to have hum on the phone line

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meirman wrote:

its about the same as the phone company did for my above ground line, and it has tension on it. so that should be fine.
If it fails just call the phone company, its their line anyway. My line is kinda low and trucks kept ripping it down. After It became appearant to them they they would have to put a new pole up, then decided to tighten the lines on the existing poles straigntning out the dip a bit to get me over the trucks. Cable did same thing. So your probably good.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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meirman wrote:

Reply is also posted.
As others have pointed out that telephone cable does not belong to you it belongs to the telephone company. It needs to be repaired using standard techniques. This is especially true if the cable has a copper shield beneath it's plastic jacket. There are repair kits available from Greybar electric that reestablish the continuity of the grounded shield but you really need to turn it over to the telephone company and let the contractor take his lumps on the utility locating service issue. If you don't have it repaired by the telephone company then you may end up footing the bill later. You didn't cut the dammed thing why make it your problem. -- Tom Horne
"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous for general use." Thomas Alva Edison
--
Tom Horne


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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 21 Aug 2005 16:18:17 GMT HorneTD

There definitely was no copper shield. Just 4 wires. Each insulated of course with another layer of insulation around all four.
This doesn't change your mind, does it?
BTW, two of them were white! They connected the white wires one way and my phone didn't work. So they reversed it and my phone does work**.
As to the other pair of wires, I can't tell because there is no phone number on that line. Maybe they could if I plugged a phone into the second line of the interface box.

BTW, I like to see people's signatures when I quote them, but your double hyphen, >--, makes it look like you are trying to avoid that. Add one space after the second hyphen and it will work.
P&Mailed
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posted:

You might want to look carefully at the white wires for a color tracer. Standard color coding for the first two lines is as follows:
Line 1 Tip green OR white with blue trace Ring red OR blue with white trace
Ling 2 Tip black OR white with orange trace Ring yellow OR orange with white trace
HTH!
Don
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The wires are probably solid colors, without stripes.
The color code varies slightly between indoor station wire, and outdoor cable.
On indoor cable, sometimes you find color+stripe, paired with the matching color+stripe (ie: white/blue stripe paired with blue/white stripe).
On outdoor cable, you normally find color paired with opposing color, without the additional stripe. (ie: white paired with blue).
The manufacturers sometimes make it easier on inside wire, but not always. I have used a lot of cat-5 cable that was coded using solid colors only. Standard cat-1 telephone station wire tends to have the additional stripes, cat-5 seems to be about 50/50.
--
-- Welcome My Son, Welcome To The Machine --
Bob Vaughan | techie @ tantivy.net |
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meirman wrote:

Meirman It's your lifeline that you are splicing with materials that are not suitable for burial. It will go bad at the worst possible moment. You didn't cut it so it should be repaired at the expense of the contractor that did cut it. The splice kit for the two pair cable you describe comes with a mold and an epoxy filler that makes an absolutely waterproof seal over the Insulating Displacing Connectors (IDCs) that are prefilled with water proofing compound.
--
Tom Horne

"This alternating current stuff is just a fad. It is much too dangerous
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On Sat, 20 Aug 2005 23:14:47 -0400, meirman wrote in alt.home.repair:

Call the phone company.
Last month the people burying the TV cable made hash out of my phone cable. BellSouth came in promptly and repaired it free. If you can be home when the repair person does the job, watch it and marvel at the technology in that splice.
Besides, it's a real hoot going through the automated menu system as it tries to suggest different possibilities for where the problem might be while you're sitting there holding a foot of severed cable in your hand and no way to say so.
--

Why put fault tolerance in the OS, when it\'s already built into the
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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 21 Aug 2005 20:09:20 GMT Dick Yuknavech

They didn't charge you because you didn't do it. But either they charged the cable tv people, or they have some sort of deal between mutual repeat offenders.
BTW, I forgot that although my dial-up connection speed varies quite a bit, in about 15 connections since then, it has never gotten to the speed it used to get to often. At least 13K short.
I know with cable a bad connection can cause reflections, maybe like splicing a heavy rope to a string or light rope, and then shaking the light rope, I think it is. You'll see a wave go down the light rope until the splice and then part of the wave will continue onto the heavy rope, and part will reflect back on the light rope. This will cause ghosts with cable tv sometimes.
I don't know if a solder joint that is thicker than the original wire was, or more or less conductive than the original wire, can cause a reflection or some other phenomenon, but I wouldn't be surprised.
In fact, I'm not sure now any repair they can do will leave me in as good as a situation as I was.
But you've convinced me that it would be better than what I did.

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Here in NC I have had the phone company make a repair on cable cut by a contractor and they don't ask for names so I assume they are not charging anybody. It surprised the heck out of me. Maybe they prefer a good free fix rather than a burried amateur splice that they will have to find in a few years.
posted:

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On Sun, 21 Aug 2005 16:53:34 -0400, meirman wrote in alt.home.repair:

I didn't get that impression from the phone repair guy, but then he's not in Legal or Accounting. What he did say that was real cute was after I'd idly mentioned that the spray-paint marking of the gas line was a good, almost solid yellow line but the phone line marking was just a few orange dots in the dirt. He came back with: it doesn't matter how well you mark it; those cable clowns think the orange line marks where they're supposed to dig. A bit of levity. I didn't ask how often the phone-line burying guys slice and dice the TV cable.

Roger that. My phone line got cut right after I moved in here and I spliced it myself. Did rather a fine job if I do say so myself. The phone cable is filled with a gel-slime (probably a lot of silicon chains in there), so I used solder, shrink-wrap, much tape, and over all some plastic tubing just a bit larger in I.D. than the cable's O.D. I then pumped that full of the highest quality silicone caulk, taped the ends closed and re-buried the cable. That was a few years before 56KB came in, but when it did I was enjoying 46-point-something KB for quite a while. It then slowly started to deteriorate. BellSouth came in when I asked a couple of years ago and replaced the entire 50-something foot run from the curbside box to the house entry box. After that I was locked in at 49.x KB, which persists even after last month's splice.
The official splice is a big heavy plastic thing that clamps onto all the little wires AND the conductive sheath. The repair guy said that last was more important than you'd suppose. It's also full of the same sili-slime that's in the cable. Well, at least it feels the same. Uck!

It's been a long time since I've looked at that kind of stuff, but I'd really suspect that the frequencies of interest in an analog phone line wouldn't be sensitive to that.

As I said above, it's working for me - for a couple of months anyway. Ask me next decade. BTW, there are TWO of those splicy thingys in the cable. When I said they'd made hash out of the thing I wasn't kidding. There were no fewer than five breaks in it, so the Bell guy just cut out that whole section and spliced in about 10 feet of new cable.

Yeah, that's my gut feeling.
--

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meirman wrote:

Hi, Your job is to report the incident to your phone co. They'll take care of everything. The cable is not your property. Your phone service is interrupted for whatever reason, they will take care of it properly. Tony
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