how to trace and fix buzz in phone line

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  #1  
Old 12-07-02, 07:37 PM
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Question how to trace and fix buzz in phone line

I haven't had any problems until this week's snow storm. Now every phone in the house (all 2 of them) has a very noticable buzz in addition to the dial tone. I checked the outside box and that line is clear, so the problem is somewhere from there to the inside of the house.

I live in what have been less-than-lovingly dubbed the "Harry Handyman" house. Lots of things were obviously done by someone trying to save money, including wires running from lots of places in and outside the house, but none of the outside wires are iced up.

So far I've checked every working jack in the house and they all buzz. Any suggestions on how I can trace/fix this myself without paying the phone company?

Thanks.
 
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Old 12-08-02, 01:03 PM
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I was going to let Phonetek answer this, but I'll give you some quick fix answers.

The first thing you want to do is make sure you don't have any open phone circuits, and while you're doing this, make sure you don't have any wire ends/phone terminal screws that are touching other wires, or anything for that matter. You say it's not buzzing at the interface, so you want to try to eliminate some possibilities if you can. If you have a star configuration, you should be able to isolate the problem pretty easily. If you have a phone loop, you've got a weekend project ahead of you. If you don't know the difference, take a look at <a href="http://phonewiring.safewatchservice.com">this link</a>. Once you isolate your problem, you should be able to find the problem fairly easily. It's probably something really simple.

Phonetek may have some more ideas on how to track down the problem and probably be able to tell you what could be causing it.

I had the same problem about 2 months ago and I couldn't figure out what the heck is was. I live in an apartment and the wiring for the phones and cable are in the coat closet. The splitter for the cable was touching the 4 line jack that was in the wall in the coat closet. Little things like this can make a real problem on your phone lines.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
 

Last edited by SafeWatch; 07-29-03 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 12-08-02, 02:33 PM
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Thumbs up Bingo!

You were correct--it was a wiring problem.

There's a phone line that was run outside on the side of the house and both a neighbor and I have damaged it on various occasions with either a lawn mower or weedeater. But I never did figure out what jack it was for and it didn't seem to effect the phone lines I was using, so never thought much about it.

I pulled it out of the snow today and it was completely severed in one place and some wires exposed in another. So I cut off the bad parts, reconnected each color wire and wrapped it all in electrical tape. Voila! No more buzz. I don't understand why it worked since my phone couldn't have worked at all if that cable was my connection, but I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

It's a good thing this took care of it, because I was clueless about the loops and stars you were describing (sounded like cereal to me...)

Thanks a lot for your help.

P.S. I will check out the Web site though, because I also have a few dead jacks in the house and would like to fix them if I can figure out how.
 
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Old 12-08-02, 02:50 PM
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One additional question

I'm thinking about getting a second line for my computer. If I do that and also get the phone company inside maintenance plan, will they fix future problems without extra charge once they see how crazy this place is wired?
 
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Old 12-08-02, 04:32 PM
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The only way the Phone Company will fix inside wiring is with an inside wiring plan - however, this is only for future wiring problems, they will NOT correct any problems you have now, at least not for the heck of it, they will charge you, usually pretty steep too. You would be better off finding a local handy man to fix problems you have now, if you want to do that. Adding second lines is easy. If you look at the above website, it explains all the concepts of wiring phones and adding lines, etc.
 
  #6  
Old 12-13-02, 09:49 PM
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The wiring plan will only cover "Normal Wear and Tear" I am not sure if a phone wire loosing to a weedwacker would be considered normal wear and tear. They do not cover telephones themselves. They will replace a phone jack and maybe some wiring. Usually its all just spliced together and bad sections cut out. Rarely is new wire pulled. I would do just as Safewatch says, find a handy man or a friend who knows about it and save your monthly wire plan fee. For more on this subject see PhonePhact#2 in this forum.

The buzz that you were hearing is called ground hum. Many times it is caused by water, corrosion, wires touching a ground, wires touching other phone lines, degraded cable pairs and about a million other things. If it goes on long enough eventually it will get worse, short and you will loose your dial tone.

P.S. Most places which inludes both homes and business are wired crazy, usually always a rats nest. It is actually more unusual to find a place that is wired how it should be than to find it a mess.
 
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