My kitchen phone was crackling horribly, so I bought a replacement
at Radio Shack. It worked fine for a month or so, then IT started
crackling just a week ago!
The phone AND the personal alarm system (in case of accident press
pendant around neck and summon help) both plug into the wall jack. I
unplugged the alarm and plugged in only the phone. Still crackled.
I plugged the phone into a jack in another room, where it worked
fine. So is the problem in the jack? Or where?
All other phones in house work OK.
If only I had inside wiring coverage, I'd be home free, but I
cancelled it a while back because it had become so expensive.
After looking in vain on-line for a diagram or something to help me
decide whether I can fix this,
I appeal to Your Greater Minds.
Is this something an amateur should be able to do?
Can someone offer succinct directions, or...
...refer me to a Web site for directions?
This is an easy fix. First unscrew the jack you now have and check the
connections. You should have two wires, a green one and a red one that are
screw connected to the back if the jack. If snugging these down does not
help, then take the old jack to the hardware store and purchase a
replacement. Connect the replacement the same way the original was and that
should fix the problem.
If it does not fix the problem then you probably have a loose connection at
the other end of the wire.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Thanks, Roger. Since posting, I found some info on-line. All said
I should disconnect the test gizmo in the box outside the house to
avoid elec.shock. But one said that the amount of electricity at the
jack is so small that not much risk.
I don't want to get fried even a little bit. <g>. What do people
ALSO: Strange why the new phone worked fine for a while, then
started crackling. If it IS the jack, then it should have crackled
from Day One.
We think you can find information about anything on the Web. Voltages found
on a telephone line are about as hazardous as a flashlight battery, unless,
as some Web sites suggest, you have angered the god Zeus who will fling down
a lightning bolt to spoil your purity of essence.
The contacts in the wall jack are corroded. When you plugged in the new
phone, it scraped a bare spot on the contact yielding a temporarily good
connection. In the fullness of time, the corrosion grew back.
Here's an experiment: Dampen a Q-tip with vinegar and "polish" the contact
wires in the wall jack. Betcha the 'phone now works swell!
This is only temporary, however. Best to follow the advice of replacing the
Actually, a flashlight battery is 1.5 volts DC. Phone wiring is 48 volts DC, or
90 volts AC when ringing, which is certainly enough to cause problems in worst
Neither is a problem if you use common sense.
Those miniature wall jacks can be quite problem. Especially in damp or
cool location where moisture can deposit on them.
The miniature wire contacts are also very close together with the
telephone line usually on the two 'middle ones' (In North American
practice) often the Red and green wires and it's virtually impossible
to clean off some sort of metal migration that forms across the
plastic. There is 48 volts standing across those two contacts all the
Suggestion would be to self-replace the wall jack with a cheap one
from a dollar store. Should be straightforward. Wire coliurs should be
marked on attachment screws. But regardless re-attach the wires
exactly as they are now. Wires go under and around screws clockwise.
Only other thing might be to make sure wiring to back of the wall
jack not loose or corroded by kitchen moisture.
Have also seen corrosion problems on surface mounted (not the in the
wall type) miniature contact jacks mounted low down in a cool
location. Also can depend on damp climate and sometimes when house air
is more damp during non-heating season etc.
In wall jacks mounted in a cool/cold 'outside' wall may get warm house
air condensing on them during winter.
In addition to the above important suggestions, check the remainder of
the "faulty" jacks wires back towards the house entry box (nowadays
called the ONT). I had a problem where an extra pair was hanging loose
in the basement and was shortcircuiting occasionally. Making sure the
wires wouldn't have a chance was a 2 sec job. Tracing the wires was only
a few minutes.
It may not be the jack, It could be the cable on your phone or it
could be another phone jack in your house or other connection, or
anything connected to it. I would start by didconnecting everything
except one phone then try another phone if need be. The ncheck all the
connections on all your jacks.
BTW you phone jack can have 90 volts ring voltage on it whenever
someone calls you. I have a neon indicator on one of my phones out in
the shop so I can tell which one is ringing. Those take at least 60
volts to light.
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