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Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

I closed a fault ticket, number 20129272, last week because my previously intermittently unstable connection now appeared to be stable, even in wet'n'windy weather (which was when it was most unstable). Also, the associated crackling on the voice line had disappeared. I thought BT had everything fixed at last.

Since yesterday and more rain it's been playing up again, with the line attenuation jumping about as well as the sync speed swinging between over 6000 and under 2000, and the crackling is back on the line again. Lots of loss of sync and LCP down too, which had stopped happening.

When things are steady, attenuation is always 31db downstream and 18db upstream but when it's mucking about downstream goes up to 34db with upstream reaching 20db, with occasional in-between readings.

According to the ticket, BT made adjustments which really seemed to stabilise things and apparently could find no further faults, but there must be something wrong like water getting in somewhere between here and the exchange.

Previously, this was happening whether or not I had the router plugged into the back of the master socket but I've not tried that this time as it's only just started jumping about again. The problem with doing that is that it then knocks out the phone extensions and also means my husband can't access the internet on his laptop which he has to connect via ethernet as it doesn't do WPA security which I've got the router set for (WEP is too fiddly to set up between the router and a Mac for a temporary arrangement!), so I can only really conveniently test it on the odd weekdays I'm not working.

I really can't face messing around with opening another ticket only to be told BT say there's nothing wrong. All I can think of doing is to get one of these 'magic' splitter faceplates or similar and then, if I still get the fluctuations, raise the problem again so BT can come round and see that it can't be anything to do with the internal wiring.

Any recommendations on which faceplate is most effective in this sort of situation?
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
6 REPLIES
shellsong
Grafter
Posts: 2,191
Registered: 03-08-2007

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

Thanks, that looks interesting.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
ffupi
Grafter
Posts: 370
Registered: 01-08-2007

Completely speechless - BT faulty line

I am completely speechless. I thought to be para. Whenever there is torrential rain in my area (that is for days) then my BT line gets crackling noises (http://www.ffupi.plus.com/bt/BT-line-crackling-03-09-2006-11-34.wav ).

BT said its the fault of PlusNet and their ADSL signal on my telephone line ( :!: ). Other excuses were, that it's my ADSL modem (which was not connected), or my answerphone (which I had unplugged), or some satellite-TV equipment (which I don't have), or the initial test indicated that the line was OK (which it wasn't).

The ADSL signal just dropped and the ADSL modem would not connect. The only trick was to make a phonecall, because this seemed to stablise the line after the first two days (until then it was impossible to get a connection to the ADSL signal).

PlusNet then wrote that all hardware is managed by BT and that PlusNet has no physical presence at the BT-exchange neither maintains the copper wire of BT. I forwarded that to BT. It took BT nearly a week of bright, hot, sunny weather to turn up, by which time the crackling noise had nearly disappeared. However, the ADSL modem still disconnected on occassions. The BT-guy said, that BT forbids them to take ADSL-testing equipment with them in such a situation ( :?: :?: ). It is unbelievable. They then tried to charge 50 Pounds for a five minute visit, and I told them to get my telephone line working or I would complain to OFCOM. I have also started to record every event and publish it on the net (http://www.ffupi.plus.com/bt/ ).

At the last BT visit I was asked to unscrew next time the master-BT-socket where a "secret" telephone plug were. I should then plug into this "secret" socket my telephone and if the crackling noise were there present that would indicate it's a BT-line fault. (He suspects it's in my house, so he wants that proof).

Let's wait for the next rainy period.....
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

Yours sounds worse than mine, which at least connects even if it's all over the place speed-wise.

Having said the problem was back, it cleared up again as suddenly as it started and has been solid at a good speed since a little before midday yesterday.

Yes, I sometimes find lifting the phone will help to increase the speed again. I press zero and listen to the crackling or do the quiet line test and it seems to do the trick. I reckon connecting the voice line bit to the exchange somehow clears some sort of interference off the line - an extra boost if you like. I'm wondering on that basis if using a filtered faceplate would do the trick as, if I have it right, the ADSL connection on that is unfiltered so the router is connected over all wavelengths even if it's only using some of them.

I must get it sorted out one way or another because with this 3 day thing for getting the stable rate up to speed again after a drop, I'm not getting the benefit of the speed I'm synched at most of the time.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls
N/A

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

Not sure if this will help or not...

I had the very same issue - crackling and unstable connections in (and after) poor weather.

Having talked to my ISP (which was BTOpenworld at the time), I realised that it had to be a problem with the line - the relationship to the weather was just too obvious.

So, after BT checking my line and telling me it was fine (ho ho ho - they checked in the sun!), I eventually managed to get some BT engineers out (although I had to accept that if they found the fault was to do with me - I may be charged).

To be fair - the engineers were great, they tracked down the issue to being a slightly dodgy connection up a pole about 15m from my house. They used some neat checking tool inside my house which told them exactly how far away the issue was. Anyway, there was water getting in the box where the connection was - hence the problem during but also after rain. As it drained away, things went back to normal.

Whether their tools and that would have worked if they had come out in mid-summer is another matter I guess...!

They re-did the connections and everything has been fine since.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,160
Thanks: 1
Registered: 01-08-2007

Help! Faults have returned with the rain!

I initially reported it to BT as a voice fault because of the crackling but they allegedly checked the two poles the line uses to reach my house; I was out at the time and the weather was good and they said they found nothing amiss. They closed the ticket before I got back to them after testing with the phone plugged into the back of the socket as they asked me to do. The second time I contacted them (which was after me doing the testing), they closed the ticket because I hadn't answered the phone when they rang me back; they hadn't bothered to ring my mobile number which they had as a second contact number, as I get alerts if I've missed calls when the phone is switched off. I get the impression that they don't really want to trace faults that don't actually cut you off!

My thinking is that if a faceplate doesn't fix things permanently, I can at least present BT with a set up where the problem can't possibly be to do with the internal wiring (two hard wired extensions) then they can't possibly charge me for a house call. So far, either when it was being treated directly as a voice fault or when it was being treated as an ADSL fault via PlusNet, BT haven't inspected their socket inside the house.
Plusnet user since November 2003
Currently on Unlimited Fibre Extra and Unlimited UK & Mobile Calls