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Telephone Engineer


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#1 Lilian

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 04:23 PM

I've got a BT line and have an extension in my spare room which I've never needed up to now. It's a terrible line and needs fixing. BT are charging a minimum of £110 to come out and fix it. Has anyone got any suggestions?

#2 Borgus

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 05:50 PM

Maplin (and B&Q and Homebase) do telephone extension kits (see here). They are easy to fit and should do the job.

The other question that springs to mind is do you have broadband supplied via your BT line? If so, you would get noise on the extension line if it does not have an ADSL filter fitted. Maplin and others sell these (see here).
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#3 James

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 09:01 PM

Pick up the phone and dial "1" (i.e. start dialling) then listen. If you hear crackle it is probably the line going to your building. BT repair faults for free but threaten you with a call out charge if it's your equipment that is at fault. You may be worried about a call out charge if the line conditions are fine one day and not the next, which is usually caused by moisture getting into the junction box at the top of a poll outside your house.

If you have anything other than a basic phone you want to make sure it is disconnected before any tests are run. Phones with answering machines and caller display that contain a battery, or are powered from the mains (the base station, not the phone) can throw the automated test into a false result. Unplug everything - absolutely everything - then call BT's automated fault reporting number (from a mobile) and get it to check the line. If it comes up with a fault you can then be certain it has nothing to do with your equipment.

If it is a bad line on the extension, then it's easiest to get a new extension kit first.

You can work out which is the main socket into the house because it has a split box - a horizontal line right across the middle - you are allowed to remove the frontmost bottom half for fitting extension kits.

If you need to do any rewiring and buy new sockets etc make sure you ask for a punchdown tool which pushes the wire into the metal slots - its quite hard to do with any other tool unless you've done it a few times before. It will only cost about £1 but worth getting at the same time - just ask the storekeeper if you need it for installation of any of the sockets you have selected.

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#4 Lilian

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Posted 28 November 2005 - 10:27 PM

Thanks for the advice. I'll check to see whether it's a fault on the line.

If it's not I'm not up to replacing the extension as it's extending from one floor to the next and there will be wiring and stuff to consider. If anyone does know of someone who could do the work can you let me know?

Thanks