If I know there already exists one (or more) buried splices in a single run of
buried drop, I usually have the line replaced. Given their assured, eventual
failure, more than one or two buried splices further reduces the usable life
of the line.
Graybar Electric comes to mind, but you didn't hear it from me.
Unless the official locating marks (if called for) were "off" by more than
18-inches or the locator was a "no show", the digger pays.
Have you called them? If no, you should.
If a simple, permanent repair is done, it should be less than $200.
Homeowner's insurance covers such things but I can't imagine anyone with a
deductible less than $200.
That's OK and quite common. Just don't attempt a DIY "permanent" fix. It
will fail and, in the frost belt, it always dies in January or February when
the frost is 3-feet deep. In such a case, I just lay a temporary wire on top
of the ground and the hapless homeowner gets to mow around it for x months
until a new drop is placed or I come back, dig up the newly landscaped yard
and do the repair at that later time.
Bite the bullet and have the telco fix it properly. It will last MUCH (years)
longer and you will enjoy trouble-free service <gag, hack> for it.
Look at it this way: You'll probably never cut another buried line.
My former neighbor, a farmer had a waterline leaking underground near
his barn. He took a front end loader and started digging. Not only
did he chop his own phone line to the house, but two other main lines
that feed the whole area. About a dozen farms lost phone service. He
chopped one of those lines in 3 or 4 different places, which made it
look as if it was placed in the same trench as the water line. The
phone company fixed it, then sent him a bill for close to $2000. He
was pissed, but he had no choice because he should have had them mark
the path (which is free).
On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 07:20:14 -0800 (PST), email@example.com
He got off cheap if it was a main cable, damaged in more than one place.
I worked yesterday (Sunday) and restored service to a rural residence
(acreage) whose phone line was augered apart in four out of five holes
mechanically dug for tree planting. They just drove in there (no locates) and
started blowing holes in the ground. Look overhead: There's NO WIRES up
there! Where are they? Also, just because there ARE wires in the air, it
does NOT mean there aren't ALSO buried wires. Some utilities bury their
lines, others hang 'em because it's cheaper.
1 cut = 2 splices
2 cuts = 4 splices
3 cuts = 6 splices
After the first cut, I just abandon the wire and order a new one to replace
the destroyed wire. Of course, to restore service to the affected customer, I
laid a temporary wire across the expansive lawn of the neighbor that cut the
Call before you dig, folks! You're already paying for the locating service as
part of your utility bills.
Heck, there's anywhere from 240 to 8kVAC down there! Then there's gas, water
I'd put 20:1 odds against the phone company fixing the lines for free.
Your viable options are to either repair the line properly yourself
(since it's just your service), or have the phone company repair it for
what I would expect to be a couple hundred dollars. Be glad you didn't
hit a power line and electrocute yourself. The call before you dig
numbers are easy, free and can save you a lot of headaches.
That sounds about like what I was thinking. Even though I hadn't
called to find out where the lines were first, it was clearly evident
where the line was as I could see where it exited the house into the
ground right at the foundation. I just hadn't expected the line to
still be buried about 4-5" at about 5 feet from the foundation. I
cannot recall if we placed the line at that shallow depth after a
prior nearby dig-up of the water line, or if the line was always that
Even if I HAD called before digging I probably would have dug in the
same place, it was only about 5" down that I was digging, to put some
landscaping border edging in. I'm surprised it hadn't ever been cut
To further complicate things, a friend of mine says he called his
buddy at the telco (who has a position that deals with these things)
and he says they wouldn't charge to fix it.
Call me paranoid, but that sounds too good to be true, especially when
telco's are losing income as people drop their land lines
completely....and me not having called first. So I'm not calling them
until I can get some assurance that there will not be any charges.
In the meantime, I am looking around for the proper way to fix it,
which at this point seems to be by the 'push button' type splicers you
mentioned (which i used to get the line repaired, temporarily) or by
some heat shrink butt splicers, covered by layers of shrink wrap and
surrounded by the proper 'goo' before reburial.
Thanks for all the input
On Mon, 19 Nov 2007 13:00:59 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org
The telco has special connectors that contain some goo, probably
silicone. If the guy said he will do it for free, maybe he could just
furnish the connectors to your friend. On the other hand, the cable
may be too short to splice. Depends on the connectors and the way it
was cut. You may have to replace the shortest part, which sounds like
the piece going into the house. If you do have telco come, at least
dig those few feet so they can get done fast. (dig carefully so you
do not chop it more). Is this just a single residence? I'm curious
why you have a 10 wire cable? My house just has a 2 wire. One phone
On Nov 19, 4:44�pm, email@example.com wrote:
geez i would do it a different way, run a entire new line, buried
shallow to save digging work but run inside conduit, for future
frankly i dont like spliced repairs and make do fixes..........
perhaps its just me,,,,,,,,,,,
Buried splices are like light bulbs and hard-disk drives: It's not IF - it's
Left undisturbed, buried cable/drop will outlast the house. Put a "hole" in
it and you can set your timer:
Even the best buried splice, done properly by a telco technician will
On Tue, 20 Nov 2007 15:25:07 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"
All that said I would suggest he fix it the best he can and hopefully
it will last until the scars of recent digging have cured. It it
starts acting up after that, call the telco and say your phone is
broke. They will test it and if they think the wire went bad they will
just run a new one, never digging out his splice of shame.
Moisture eventually breeches even the best encapsulant as the encapsulant ages.
Frost heave exacerbates the process, flexing the splice over time. Moisture
follows a little pinhole-size gap and infiltrates the splice. Eventually, the
moisture compromises the plastic insulation and the copper conductors contact
a ground source and each other. This is manifested by static, hum, buzz and
is worse during a wet season.
In the repair world there is a commonly-used acronym: ETIR.
Every Time It Rains.
On Nov 19, 4:44 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
The guy said the TELCO would do it for free, not the guy personally.
Which would be great, if it was true. I'm just not really convinced
its true and I don't want to tell them what address it is until I'm
sure there won't be any cost to me. (for the reasons I mentioned
House built 1974. Underground black cable, goldish metallic shielding,
ten strands of multi-cored wire inside, coated with a clearish gel-
like substance. All original as far as I know. It is buried way back
from the tel pole at the road, about 1 furlong (660 feet). The
connections that restored the service were the solid blue and the blue/
white strands. I've left the rest unconnected for now, but protected
from the elements.
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