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Rain having dramatic effect on connection

masonic
Dabbler
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Rain having dramatic effect on connection

(apologies in advance for the long post)
I recently joined PN, and during the first 2 weeks or so I was enjoying download speeds of 2-4 Mbps. My problems started with the observation that when I made or received a call my broadband would lose sync and not be able to re-establish a connection until I ended the call. There was an audible crackling on the line, which would come and go. I could also hear sounds similar to an old-school dialup modem when my router tried to re-sync. I reported this as a fault and arranged an initial engineer visit. At this point I had never re-synced below 2 Mbps.
The engineer visited, replaced my master socket and did an SNR reset, but "ran out of time" before he could re-test the line. I was left to make a second appointment the following week. After the SNR reset, my broadband connection was much less stable and I ended up with my IP profile being banded at 250 kbps. I was observing frequent re-syncs on some days, but on others my connection would be stable for 12+ hours at a time.
The second engineer's visit was booked for last Friday afternoon, but no engineer showed up. This was extremely annoying as I had taken half a day off work for this visit. However, at this point my line had been stable for over 2 days and I was looking forward to my IP profile possibly rising a notch to the dizzy heights of 0.5 Mbps over the weekend.
Then something happened... I had been monitoring my connection with RouterStats Lite during Saturday. During the morning it was totally stable with a downstream data rate 287 kbps and SNR of 13. Then I watched the SNR drop from 13 to 10, then to 7, then to 5, then started fluctuating between 2-6. I looked outside and it had just started drizzling. As the rain got heavier, my connection started dropping out (every 15-30 minutes). This continued through the afternoon and into the evening. When it stopped raining, my connection stabilised and SNR returned to a stable 6.
Looking back at some Visual Radius charts provided in my support ticket, the correlation between wet weather and connection drop-outs looks quite convincing. Could this really be contributing to my problems, and would it help at all in narrowing down the fault?
Edit: Additional Info
I am running with a single 'rats-tail' microfilter plugged into the test socket, connected to a Belkin F5D8636 router.
I have tested stability with two different phones connected, and also with no phone connected. I have tried 3 different microfilters. I have also tried replacing the router with a very old Siemans Gigaset SE587 router.
My current stats are (downstream/upstream):
Data rate: 287 kbps, 440 kbps
Noise margin: 6, 22
Attenuation: 51, 30
PN Estimated line speed: 5Mb (This may vary between 3Mb and 7.5Mb) - Checked on 2012-10-18 23:20:50
PN Current line speed: 0.25 Mb
BT Download speed achieved during the test was - 0.09 Mbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 0.1 Mbps-0.25 Mbps.
IP Profile for your line is - 0.25 Mbps
BT Upload speed achieved during the test was - 0.32Mbps
Upstream Rate IP profile on your line is - 0.45 Mbps
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Quote from: masonic
Could this really be contributing to my problems, and would it help at all in narrowing down the fault?

Yes defintely and it should!
Does the line come in to the house underground or overhead?
With the router disconnected can you hear any noise on the line when it is wet?
Who do you pay for your phone rental?
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
masonic
Dabbler
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Quote from: jelv
Does the line come in to the house underground or overhead?
With the router disconnected can you hear any noise on the line when it is wet?
Who do you pay for your phone rental?

It comes in from overhead. The pole is about 5 meters from my house. I can indeed hear noise on the line when it is wet and I pay PN line rental.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
Thanks: 916
Fixes: 10
Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Your best bet is to deal with this initially as a phone fault not a broadband fault. If you could ring to report the fault when the line is noisy and check if they can hear the noise and if so record that fact it would be good. Make sure you tell them the line is overhead and it's bad when the weather is wet.
PS We tend to try to avoid whole scale quotes of the previous post on here and only do so if responding to specific points as in my first reply (or the reply has gone on to a new page).
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
masonic
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Quote from: jelv
Your best bet is to deal with this initially as a phone fault not a broadband fault.

That's exactly what I did 2 weeks ago today. However, PN switched it to a broadband fault after asking me on a sunny day whether I could hear noise on the line without broadband connected (I've only made the connection with the weather this weekend and hadn't known there was a difference on wet days). Does it matter whether is it reported as a phone or broadband fault if I'm already at the stage of booking a third engineer visit?
(PS Sorry about the long quote, but I noticed you edited your reply to add some further questions after I'd hit the reply button, so I wanted to make it clear which version of your edited post I'd seen)
computing50yrs
Grafter
Posts: 27
Registered: 24-06-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

I had a similar problem in that my speed was slow or lost connections, lots of noise on the telephone,
BT replaced my overhead cable and master box, not much improvement so they taced the underground line and eventually found on a chamber in the pavement that was flooded and all the copper cable connections badly corroded. All connections remade and that cured the problem.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,692
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Registered: 10-04-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

As you pay PN for the phone rental it is less important whether it's reported as a phone of broadband fault but it is crucial that you get them to concentrate on the wet weather affecting the phone. They need to book an engineer to check all the joints are good and watertight.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

The initial symptoms were that of a phone line fault! Sounds like a bit of bungling by the agent that dealt with the ticket. When things were "good", what sort of sync speed did you get?
As for the engineer not turning up, I hope that you've noted that on your fault ticket! I'd also emphasis this noisy phone line you've been having.
You could try a single reboot, just to see what happens, in case something was fixed, even though the engineer didn't knock on your door!
masonic
Dabbler
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

jelv, I will certainly be stressing the effect the wet weather is having now that I understand its relevance.
Anotherone, when things were good, I was getting typical sync speeds of 3.5 Mbps. Other than not being able to use the phone and broadband at the same time, I didn't experience any problems until the first engineer performed an SNR reset on my line. After that my broadband became much more unstable and my IP profile got banded to 250 kbps. I've been on 'dial-up' speeds ever since. I had over a dozen drop-outs yesterday and had difficulty doing anything on the internet, so I took the opportunity to turn the router off for a while, but when I turned it on again this morning there was no improvement.
I certainly have commented about the engineer no show on my fault ticket. I will be discussing the noise on the line during this wet weather when I re-book the engineer.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 14-07-2009

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Quote from: computing50yrs
I had a similar problem in that my speed was slow or lost connections, lots of noise on the telephone,
BT ... eventually found on a chamber in the pavement that was flooded and all the copper cable connections badly corroded.

This has happened to me twice.  The first time, the corroded joint was right outside my house, the next time some way off.  The joints are supposed to be enclosed in a waterproof seal but these don't last forever.  There does not appear to be much if any drainage provided for the underground chambers.
masonic
Dabbler
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Well an engineer turned up out of the blue at 8 am this morning. The mere mention of the issues getting worse when it rained got him on the right track. He replaced the external cable going from the master socket to the pole and switched me onto a different circuit from the pole to the cabinet.
My connection is now synching at 6 Mbps. My BT IP profile has now been raised to 5.92 Mbps (fingers crossed it will be stable when it next rains). Now all I need is for my PN IP profile to increase from its current 0.25 Mbps.
Thanks to all for your suggestions.
quelquod
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

That was a good result. I had rain affecting my broadband speed for several years but without any noticeable noise on the phone handset. Eventually the line failed (along with several neighbours') and it turned out to be a faulty surge arrester on the pole.
Democracy - 3 wolves and a lamb voting about what to have for lunch!
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
Posts: 10,540
Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Hi there, looks like it's been increased on our side now - hope you're seeing the same speeds? If not it could just be that the BT speed profile needs to uplift, please post results from a BT speed test if it hasn't and we'll see what we can do for you.
Community Veteran
Posts: 19,101
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Registered: 31-08-2007

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

That's a pretty good result, more like the sort of sync speed you should see, let's hope it stays stable close to that figure.
This http://speedtest.btwholesale.com/ may be the best one to run, but after it gives the first result, do the Diagnostic test
masonic
Dabbler
Posts: 12
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Registered: 25-11-2012

Re: Rain having dramatic effect on connection

Looks like the profile increase on the PN side has taken effect:
Plusnet
Estimated line speed: 5Mb (This may vary between 3Mb and 7.5Mb) - Checked on 2012-10-18 23:20:50
Current line speed: 6.7 Mb
BT
Download speed achieved during the test was - 6.12 Mbps
For your connection, the acceptable range of speeds is 2 Mbps-7.15 Mbps.
IP Profile for your line is - 5.92 Mbps
I've got a couple of PPP terminations at approx 2 pm, which could be the result of PN raising the speed profile, but apart from that the line has been stable. It's been raining here this evening, so if there were remaining problems I would have expected to see some disconnections by now.