The other day I noticed a lot of static and humming on my phone lines.
Then today I noticed that sometimes I can't get a dial tone, it sort of
goes in and out. I also noticed that the upstairs phones are the ones
that have more problems with getting a dial tone and the static. So I
went out to the phone box (NID) and tested the line with two different
phones. There was static and humming on both but it wasn't terribly
It seems the static is not so bad at the NID, at the downstairs phones
it gets worse and then on the upstairs phones it's horrible. Since I
get static and humming at the NID, that indicates the problem is in the
outside wiring. If the problem is outside, then shouldn't all the
phones have the same amount of static? Why would it be worse upstairs
if the problem is outside? Is it some sort of signal problem? The
further the line goes, the worse the problem gets?
Disconnect ALL the phones and any other devices on the line (answering
machine, satellite TV box, etc.). Plug in one phone, corded
preferably, and see if it is noisy. If so, a line problem. If not,
one of the phones is bad. Plug in one phone at a time until the noise
returns and you found the culprit.
The above is good advice, however, the problem may also be with your
house phone wiring. If it's just a bad phone, or answering device...
consider yourself lucky.
I had a similar problem with static and hum and it turned out to be
the crimps in one of the junction boxes inside the house where all the
cables joined had gone bad. It took a while to find it.
Severe hum on a phone line usually means a short to ground (or another
phone line) in one way or another. Static usually indicates loose
connections, oxidized intermittent connections, or electrical or RF
interference of some sort.
I find that my wireless phones exacerbate any ground or intermittant
*If* your outside box is the same as mine-- if something is plugged
into it into it, you've disconnected all inside lines.
So if you have *any* noise there, it is time to call the telco.
The modem receptacle may have accumilated dust and needs cleaning or
the RJ plug may be damaged.
They have computers, and they may have other weapons of mass destruction.
Janet Reno, Attorney General, Friday, February 27, 1998
If unplugging all phones and other devices, ie modems, answering
machines, etc doesn't eliminate it, then go to the NID and disconnect
the house from the incoming line. Put one simple phone on there and if
there is any noticeable hum, noise, etc. call the phone company it's
their problem. If not, then it's in the house wiring, which you'll
have to trace and diagnose section at a time.
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