Worsening static and now completely dead. The phones test OK on the
network interface device box attached to the exterior siding of the
house, which suggests that the problem is inside the house. We have a
maintainance policy for inside the house. Could this problem be due
to mice chewing wires? If so is there a danger? -- Worried
The mice are the ones to worry... the voltage on the wires is around
75 Volts, DC, on an open line, IIRC. Enough to get their attention,
but NOT a fire hazard, as the current is limited in the local loop.
Since you do have a contract, now is the time to call the. You might
check -- are ALL interior jacks giving trouble, or just one or two? If
only one, check for loose wire, just tighten them down a tad.
On Sat, 13 Jun 2009 06:20:53 -0700 (PDT), professorpaul
Thanks, that's a relief.
Called Verizon Friday and they said a tech would be here Monday, which
is hard to believe. In the past, we've had to wait five or more days
for service, and now with much of their resources being allocated to
FIOS, I expected an even longer wait. Now let's see if he shows up
Out of his professional posterior orifice.
The nominal on hook DC battery voltage on
a POTS line is 48 volts DC. I've never seen
it run over 55 volts DC on a CO line. The
nominal ringer voltage is 90 volts AC at
20 HZ or 20 cycles per second for the
electronically correct. Party lines use
different ringer frequencies for each customer.
I respectfully disagree.
Two-party service (2FR) signals the "ring party" by delivering ringing
current on the ring side of the pair that passes through a
specially-wired telephone to ground. The "tip party" is signaled by
ringing on the other conductor through a specially-wired set to ground.
4, 6 and 8-party service also uses the above technique on a single pair
but uses distinctive ringing patterns assigned to each party. Example:
Two, short rings.
On an eight-party line, only FOUR parties hear ringing.
OBTrivia: Multi-party service was originally required due to inadequate
infrastructure (not enough pairs). The customers were "bridged" in the
As enough pairs became available, many subscribers re-graded to private
service (1FR, 1FB, etc). Those that kept their two-party service were
bridged in the Central Office. This allowed for easier trouble shooting.
As party line subscribers died off, moved or re-graded to 1FR, their
former partymates enjoyed virtually private service at the lower,
About once a year, the business office would call these "bridged alone"
subscribers and offer them a private line using Measured Rate service
that was about the same price. About half of these folks would
re-grade. Those that didn't were in for a surprise:
The Central Office Technician would then connect each remaining, bridged
alone subscriber with a new partymate. Most of those would then
promptly call to change to private service.
New technology, I'm 45 years behind on that one. I haven't
seen a party line in that long but it was the different
frequency response ringer type, all the ringers would tap
whenever anyone on the party line was called with only the
called party getting a full ring. It was in a rural area
and hunters were always putting buckshot through those nice
lead cased overhead lines. "Maw, the phones out uhgin."
"Dang that Earl, he don't never know what he's a shootn at."
Through the 70's and 80's, I always ordered 2 party service. It was much
cheaper and there was never another party. At that time, in that place, I think
most people didn't know you could get multi-party service. -- Doug
Mice chewing wires, or more likely a spider nest in the back of the
demarc box, or in the basement ceiling. How old is your house? In an
older house, the spot in the basement where the demarc is jumpered over
to the old legacy house wiring, is often not very well done. Or, it
could simply be a fubar'd phone on one jack, or one rusty jack. Unplug
ALL the phones, and carry one phone around from jack to jack to see if
problem can be localized.
It can be a tedious PITA, but it ain't rocket science. Start with what
you know works, the test jack at the demarc, and work back from there.
Only change or add back one thing at a time.
No, there isn't any danger, unless you wear a pacemaker or something,
and are holding tip in one hand and ring in the other, when the phone
rings. If you are paying for inside maint, let them figure it all out.
On Sat, 13 Jun 2009 12:58:36 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@Home.org (Murriel) wrote:
Are these standard telephone lines or are you using a cable
Assuming it is traditional phone lines, then it could be
nothing more than a poor connection somewhere. You just have to track
I don't know much about the line backer insurance policies. I
suggest you read what is covered and see if it is covered. Funny
thing about those. When I had traditional phone lines they tried to
sell me that service. Under the rules of my local public utility
commission, the provider was responsible for the interior lines, even
without the insurance.
You can easily determine if it is a short or an open circuit with a
multi-meter. Remove all phones and detach the house phone wiring from the
network inferface device. Now measure the resistance across the two middle
contacts (red/green wires) of any phone jack. If the resistance is close to
zero then you have a short.
If there is indeed a short, it would be interesting to see how the telco
technician locate and fix it -- there is no simple tool to locate short
If you have miniature sockets (phone jacks) especially if they are
mounted in a cool outside wall they could have moisture from condensed
humidity from warm house air on them.
That can cause corrosion to build up between those thin wire contacts.
In a typical six contact jack the telephone line is often on the two
closest together centre contacts. (Red/Green wires).
When the phone is 'on hook' (not in use), there is some 48 volts DC
across those two possibly humid contacts all the time. When the phone
rings there can be some 100 volts AC across the contacts.
So we have the ideal set-up for what is called 'tracking' whereby
minute amounts of metal 'migrate' onto the insulation between the two
contacts and make an intermittent and noisy connection across the
Some years back the telephone utility I worked with had some
considerable trouble with noisy phone jacks which by then had been in
use for some 5 to 10 years.
Cleaning the area between the contacts in each jack is often not
successful and a better solution is to replace the corroded and
All the jacks should be wired back to a central point. And if a noisy
jack/s is suspected each jack can be disconnected one at a time until
the faulty one is found. And as suggested replaced.
Unfortunately the much used design is a poor one; the centre contacts
being no more than one millimetre apart!
Permanent wiring of each phone or use of those 'old fashioned' four
pin plugs was/is more reliable.
Maybe this suggestion helps.
I haven't heard of anyone blanking off telephone jacks that are in
cool locations and as to whether this would prevent/slow down the
Sounds like something on Star Trek.
"Uhm, Kaptan, muh time domain refractometer be telling me we
won't do warp speed until we get to a star base for repairs.
Unless that green blooded pointy eared thing wants to have a
try at it."
No, it is a simple device that works like a closed circuit radar. It sends
a pulse down the wiring and any problems will cause the pulse to bounce
back. Time of travel indicates how far the problem is. High dollar enough
that not very many would have one laying around the house.
Slightly more complicated than that, but close enough for a simple
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