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A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

davidj66
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A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

My line was installed ~ 23 years ago by BT who also installed the 3 internal phone points. It consists of a grey unmarked  terminal box on the external wall about 12" above ground level from which 3 black cables run externally to the rooms where the phone points are ie no master socket.. The only prob. I have had was as a result of water ingress into this terminal box which was sorted for no charge a number of years ago by BT.
HOWEVER, under the "new rules" where does BT/Openreach's responsibility end? At the actual sockets in the three rooms or in this anonymous old grey box on the wall?
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

As I understand it the grey unmarked terminal box would be the demarcation line but I stand ready to be corrected.

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Superuser
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Quote
It consists of a grey unmarked  terminal box on the external wall about 12" above ground level from which 3 black cables run externally to the rooms where the phone points are ie no master socket.

I would guess that one of the sockets is in fact a 'master' socket. I've seen this arrangement before and goodness knows where the demarcation line is in this situation, I dont think its the grey box Strat because that's just a junction box. Technically the installation should have the extensions wired from the 'master' socket but for ease of cable runs BT obviously ran all the cables from the junction box. It may be that the wiring is 'technically' correct in that a spare pair is used back from the 'master' and then connected via the junction box to the extensions, OR it could be that all the sockets are just paralled off in the jb.
Is one of the sockets actually an NTE5 with removable lower faceplate and does the faceplate have any wiring attached to it ?
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Quote from: Strat
As I understand it the grey unmarked terminal box would be the demarcation line but I stand ready to be corrected.

Doesn't the demarcation point have to be internal not external?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

One for an ex-BT engineer I think Wink Smiley
Pedantic Mode
I suppose it depends on your strict definition of 'external'. External to the property boundary including paths and gardens or external to the physical building.
/Pedantic Mode Wink

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Lurker
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Junction boxes commonly used as demarcation points are those where the original telephone would have been hard-wired into the service back in the old days.
As intimated above, its a bit of a grey area, but I'd expect them to be considered as parallel demarcation points - as chances are they are all master sockets.
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Hi all,
There is no grey area (excuse the pun), the Master NTE5a LineBox is THE demarcation point. The difficulty arises with older or non-conventional installations. If everything is hard-wired with an old style master or anything that doesn't connect to the front plate of an NTE5a, then in theory you should not touch it.
In this instance, this grey box, which I assume is one of those which is not quite rectangular in shape, will/should have the connections from the BT feed and those to the extensions, joined by "jelly crimps" to be waterproof and corrosion free and you should should not be tampering with them at all, you could get into serious do-do if something goes wrong especially of a wire from the BT feed were to snap! (The bill might be at least the usual £144 +VAT!).
If these black cables are to the latest standard CW1411, then we should be onto a winner, with care.
MisterW is correct in that if the installation has been done correctly, the black cable (which by the way should have two pairs in it - an orange wire & a white wire - 1 pair, and a green wire & a black wire - 2nd pair) should have the first pair (orange and white) connecting the feed to the NTE5a & the Green and Black wires from terminals 2 & 5 on the frontplate of the NTE5a going via the Grey box to terminals 2 & 5 on the other 2 sockets.
(Note you may see what appears to be yellow wires in these black cables as well - these are just steel strainer wires and should not be used for connections!).
It is possible of course, that all the orange and all the white wires are crimped together in the grey box, possibly along with one of the others, maybe green connected to terminal 3 (the dreaded bell wire). This is not a disaster.
Now before going any further, we need to know exactly what''s there - forget the grey box for a moment.
The question has already been asked, is any of those sockets an NTE5a?
brewerdave obviously has something in mind to be asking the original question in the first place, so if he can advise what he's wanting to do, and secondly - unscrew each of the plates on each of the sockets and describe what he sees at each and the colours of all the wires at each. Photos of these as well, attached by the Additional Options button, below the window when using the Reply button (not quick reply) will be helpful.
Gel
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

It's odd that when BT was privatised that they suddenly disowned all the internal wiring that GPO/BT would have wired
as it seems in this case. ie from pole and then to every point around the home.
I never had a BT Master Socket and must admit fitted my own wiring off the old GPO black oblong box, which
had the Pole wires (2 single strands); inside are 2 metal plates, around 4" long that bridge the contact to the internal wiring.
Also an old earth wiring strip.
I just have to hope the line keeps behaving and any grief is fixable at exchange.
When we moved here 20+ yrs ago there were some old GPO sockets in fact that the BT Phones could be plugged in and out of
with strange old BT plugs on end of phone line cords.
davidj66
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Thanks for all the comments. The reasons I was interested in my wiring was two fold ;
1.  One of the external wires had broken loose from the wall and was flapping in the wind - I refixed it to the wall with some adhesive putty, didn't dare use cable clips as the cable appears to be quite hardened and possibly brittle; I'm now worried that this cable might fault and I was trying to work out whether it would take the other 2 extensions with it and, if so, who would carry the repair cost!!
2.  I have my router attached to one of the extensions downstairs - I wondered which 1 of the 3 would give me the best connection both for ADSL and wireless if any.(I know I can do this by trial and error)
Since I first posted I've had a good look at the situation.Its even more complicated than I thought!
There are actually only 2 black cables coming from the external "box". One goes direct to a socket in the lounge via the outside wall (this is the one which was flapping in the wind), the second goes to another junction box just inside the porch and then feeds two black cables back outside, up the wall and thru't to the other two sockets!
Tried to dissassemble the lounge socket this am but the screws are virtually fused into the plastic - afraid to use too much force in case I snap something!
I'll add to the thread if I can get a socket apart!
All the sockets look the same externally except that the direct wired socket in the lounge has PCS on the cover?
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Quote from: Gel
It's odd that when BT was privatised that they suddenly disowned all the internal wiring that GPO/BT would have wired

They didn't, haven't and can't.
Doesn't stop some of them trying to avoid responsibility for problems though as it can be a right pain if it goes wrong .
In many cases they just fit an NTE5A and THEN disown the internal wiring.
Sometimes, depending how it's all strung together, that can be difficult or result in existing extensions no longer working.
What they won't do is refurbish all your old extensions and wiring up to modern standards.
davidj66
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

Took all 3 sockets apart over the w/end;
Socket 1 ( independently wired from external junction box) - 3 wires connected internally (blue,orange and white with blue dashes) - also contains 8uF capacitor?(SOCKET marked PCS?)
Socket 2 ( wired from "splitter" box in porch) - 3 wires connected as above
Socket 3 (wired from "splitter"  box in porch) - 6 wires connected ( blue,green,orange,white,white with blue dashes and white with orange dashes)
I take it from this that I truly don't have a master socket - also that the wiring is non standard so I'll have to pray that it carries on working!! Roll eyes
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Re: A theoretical question re BT PHONE LINE

No problem Dave, it can be sorted. Just need a bit more info.
That'll be a 1.8uF capacitor by the way.
Can you confirm the terminal numbers that each of the wires is connected to on each socket?
Is there a capacitor on socket 2 or 3 or both? Any logo's on 22sockets 2 & 3 ?