Who to call for telephone wiring repair?

    Something's the matter with my telephone wiring in my old house. The original hard-wired rotary phone works, and two of my six modern phone jacks work. But the others periodically lose their dial tone. I have a full basement, and can trace the wires, but don't see any loose wires. When I examine the jack, they look fine, too. The problem is probably simple, but unfortunately so am I!     My question is, who do I call for inside telephone wiring problems? The phone company, or a general electrician, or who? TIA, email welcome, watch the spam trap.
-- bruce The dignified don't even enter in the game. -- The Jam
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The Sanity Inspector wrote:

The phone company is best equipped to handle this (it's their business).
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On Mon, 15 Nov 2004 21:50:52 -0500, "John Harlow"

considered your equipment and the service call is pretty expensive. I would check for a cracked or half broken wire at the connections. I know you said have you looked there but I have seen them appear ok and when I touched the wire it broke off in my hand. Or maybe if the wiring is really old you could have a short inside the insulated sheathing. And it makes contact until bumped.
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"Periodically" is the key. Loose wires/connections is almost certainly the culprit. Using adapters (those little snap-together plastic gadgets, specially cheap ones, can be a problem.
I have a full basement, and can trace the wires, but don't see

You don't LOOK for loose wires; you get a dial tone and then wiggle the wires and connectors and so on, and see if you can discover what can repeatedly cause an interruption.

Geez, those guys cost money! ;-)
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On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 02:58:49 GMT, Bert Byfield

That's how I solved my problem also.
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The phone company will do it but they can be expensive. Check your bill to see if you are paying for coverage of the wires. In some states it is an itemized line item.
Assuming you have no coverage for that, ask at the local Radio Shack to see if they can recommend someone.
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wrote:

Check with the yellow pages under Telephone Wiring. Your looking for an independent company (usually one guy or a family business) that installs phone jacks, PBX wiring, maybe even computer network or alarm wiring. Many of the old-timers in this business used to work for AT&T and really know there stuff.
If your cable runs are OK and it's just your jacks that are messed up, the cost shouldn't be too outrageous to replace/repare the jacks.
Lots of sites on the Internet are available if you want to attempt to troubleshoot it yourself. Phone wiring is normally just 2 wires per line and fairly simple to understand.
Beachcomber
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On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 03:46:16 GMT, not snipped-for-privacy@xxx.yyy (Beachcomber) wrote:

new phone javk about $3.00 just rewire it yourself. It's really simple/ Like the poster says you can find out how on the web.
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The Sanity Inspector wrote:

How many phones do you have throughout the house. There is a load limit per drop. Tony
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This is Turtle.
Look on your phone bill and see if you were charged for inside wire service repair. Most everybody i know has the $1.30 a month for this service. They will come fix any part of your wire service inside your house or phones if need be. If you have a phone put in and don't go over the different type services . they will put it on there for you.
TURTLE
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Where the main phone line enters the house there is a "block". There are several bolts with nuts there. One for the red wires, one for the green, and one for the ground *black*. Loosen each of them, and be sure the wires are all tight. If they are corroded, clean them with steel wool, or just re-strip them. Be sure you get the same colors back in the same place.
If that dont do it, I would NOT call the phone company, unless you want to pay about $50 or more per hour, plus a service call. If you must call someone, call an electrician or reputable handyman. If you know anyone that works with electronics for a living or hobby, they can probably help too. .. /|\
On Tue, 16 Nov 2004 02:40:03 GMT, The Sanity Inspector

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The Sanity Inspector wrote:

First I agree that "periodically" would tend to point to a poor connection somewhere and just checking the connections may handle it. Disconnect and reconnect each line. Do one at a time to make sure you get them all back the way they started.
The other possibility is the number and types of phones you have. Phone lines can only supply so many phones. New phones generally draw little current, but the old phones are a different matter. Next time you have a problem, try disconnecting that hard-wired rotary phone and see if the others don't come back on line.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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If you're smart enough to get a post on this newsgroup, you certainly can fix your phone wiring. Loads of stuff if you google.
If you have a rotary phone, your wiring is pretty old - like all my houses. You'll likely have a "black thing" about 2"-3" square, with four brass posts. Might also have some fuses in between. I have never seen phone company guys do anything with the fuses, except unscrew them and toss them out. (These fuses don't seem to be necessary. ??) Once you find the "black thing", you need to figure out which is the incoming pair of wires. (I have a modular jack with two plain wires coming out, so I can plug in a phone and use the plain wires to test any phone line.) Once you identify the incoming pair, just move on to the others.
Old phone wiring was fun from one jack to another. If you have two working jacks, these two are probably either (1) the only jacks on one particular pair of wires leaving the "black thing." or (2) the first two jacks on the pair.
The trick is to figure out the sequence of jacks on the pair of wires that is malfunctioning. You can open each jack and, by using your test setup (above), tell which pair is incoming. You just work your way along from one jack to the next.
HOWEVER: Since you have access in the basement, you might as well replace the old wire. Hook up a modular jack directly in place of the "black thing." Go to Radio Shack and get a -- I forget what it's called, but it is plastic about 1"x4" with a modular plug coming out one end. Inside the plastic box are color-coded screws to which you can connect phone wire going out to each phone jack. Run a new wire to each phone jack, using the old wire to pull the new wire up from the basement. Use Category-5 wire while you're at it.
Bill

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wrote:

Do YOU have a black thing?
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