Outside Phone Line

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Old 12-12-07, 10:21 AM
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Outside Phone Line

The ice broke a tree limb down over the phone line outside.
I'm now using cable for my phone so I do not have phone service through this line.
Can I get shocked if I were to cut the line and roll it up until the phone company gets here?
 
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Old 12-12-07, 10:53 AM
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If it really is the phone cable and if it is not touching anything else then it is not dangerous.

I wouldn't mess with it though, especially wouldn't cut it. The phone company owns the line at that point, and they may not take kindly to you slicing up their wires.

Plus, if it was a bad storm you don't know what has happened upstream of you. Perhaps a block away a power line has come down and is in contact with the phone equipment. (It's not likely but hey it could happen.)
 
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Old 12-12-07, 11:11 AM
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It's a huge nuisance where it's at.
 
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Old 12-12-07, 06:53 PM
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Do not cut the line. Do not even touch the line. Call the phone company. Period.
 
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Old 12-13-07, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Dawter View Post
It's a huge nuisance where it's at.
If someone happens to call you while you're touching the line, the relatively high ring voltage will be a more than a nuisance.
 
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Old 12-13-07, 05:58 AM
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I considered adding that to my post, but he said the line is no longer active because he uses VOIP via cable now.

I remember when I was a wee young lad and first learned that the ring voltage was AC. Thought an easy way to make the all phones ring in my house would be to connect 120VAC right to the phone line.

Heh. It worked, and also took out my brand new transparent/neon telephone.
 
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Old 12-13-07, 03:32 PM
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What is ring voltage? 90 volts AC? 120vac is outside the +/- 10% range.

In any case, why is it that someone always calls while I have my fingers on the 66 block? One day I was leaning against it wearing a short sleeve shirt, yakking away to a customer. The jolt must have been obvious, because the customer asked if anything was wrong with his system.

Someday I'll learn.

Dawter, I hope these stories are hitting home ... I kid around, but under the right circumstances a live phone wire can stop a human heart.
 
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Old 12-13-07, 05:43 PM
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how is the insulated drop any different than handling a plugged in extension cord ?

insulted is insulated

ring voltage doesn't have enough amperage behind it to do any more than tingle
 
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Old 12-13-07, 07:34 PM
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I did something more stupid Rick.......

Note to everyone:

Do not attempt to strip live telephone cable with your teeth.

Though it didn't hurt to badly, I definetly felt it. My wife was wondering what the heck was going on with me.
 
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Old 12-14-07, 07:39 AM
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mango, you are incorrect. Under the right circumstances even telephone voltage and current can stop your heart.

An insulated phone line carrying normal phone line voltages is not dangerous. However, until and unless you examine it you have no idea if the insulation is intact. Constant rubbing of the insulation against items such as tree limbs and/or a piece of the house can easily damage the insulation. Further, if there is a live higher voltage line somewhere that is touching the phone line, the phone line can easily become charged.

And let's not even discuss a fiber optic line and the damage it can do.

Leave any and all downed lines alone. Whether cable, telephone, or power, leave the alone. Period.
 
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Old 12-14-07, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by racraft View Post
And let's not even discuss a fiber optic line and the damage it can do.
Let's discuss it. What damage will fiber do?
 
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Old 12-14-07, 09:56 AM
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mango, you are incorrect. Under the right circumstances even telephone voltage and current can stop your heart.
got some data to back that up ?
 
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Old 12-14-07, 11:57 AM
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unless you live out in the middle of nowhere, all phone and cable lines on the poles have a common grounding bond with the power company at the pole. This is for the safety of everyone. If a power line would fall on the phone line, it would short the line out. If the phone line is in the road or across your driveway, you could pick it up with a gloved hand. If you do not know anything about what kind of line it is Stay away from it........
 
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Old 12-15-07, 02:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mango man View Post
got some data to back that up ?
No one seems to question that 60 milliamps is deadly. I've seen claims as low as 5 milliamps. Telephone lines are certainly capable of carrying 60 milliamps.

It depends on the conditions, too. Body resistance varies with moisture (and some say the amount of iron in the blood). Women tend to have a lower tolerance than men. Hot, sweaty hands will conduct better than cool dry hands. A ring on a finger helps conduct current into the body.

The path the electricity takes is also important. A path directly across the chest (by grabbing a live wire in each hand) is the worst case, and requires the least amount of current.

A body's resistance can be as low as 1,000 ohms under the right conditions. For 60 milliamps of current, that's only 60 volts. For 5 milliamps, it's 5 volts. Again, telephone lines are capable of both.

I'm not saying a phone line will kill. I'm just saying that it can kill.

Funny ... I found a reference to this web site in a DIY thread from last January. Berkeley Lab is operated by the University of California for the US Department of Energy.
 
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Old 12-22-07, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Rick Johnston View Post
In any case, why is it that someone always calls while I have my fingers on the 66 block? One day I was leaning against it wearing a short sleeve shirt, yakking away to a customer. The jolt must have been obvious, because the customer asked if anything was wrong with his system.

I was training a guy who will be assisting me with my IT duties, but was completely new to 66 blocks and punch down tools. Without thinking, I had my hand against the 66 block that our incoming POTS lines are on. Right as he punched down a wire that I was holding for him, a call came in and I jerked and shook my hand (being that my wedding ring was probably dead on the 66 block didn't help!). He about had a heart attack as he thought what he'd done something wrong and zapped me.

So see, voltage on a phone line CAN kill...nearly got him, and he wasn't even the one who got zapped! lol
 
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