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Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

I'm trying to troubleshoot a possibly noisy line at my mum's.

My understanding was that if I plugged a wired phone into the 'Test' socket, it should cutoff all the other extensions and provide a direct connection to the outside world. (In order to eliminate possible internal factors.)

However, doing this does not disconnect the extensions, ie. the other phones in the house still function as normal.

Am I simply wrong, or is there some non-standard wiring in the house? (According to my mum, the extensions were installed by a BT engineer within the last 15 years.)

Many thanks in advance for any guidance or information.

 

Cheers,
Tony

13 REPLIES 13
OskarPapa
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @toggie101, thanks for your post.

 

Apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs here - but by test socket do you mean the master socket, or have you removed the face plate and plugged directly into the socket that's revealed?

toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @OskarPapa

 

Many thanks for the quick reply.

Yes, removed the face-plate off the master socket and plugged into that hidden socket.

OskarPapa
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @toggie101, thanks for getting back to me.

 

Can you send me over an image of the socket?

 

Essentially, your initial post was 100% correct, the only thing I can think of is if you have a second line but I'm sure you would've mentioned that.

 

NGL - We're scratching our heads a little bit!

 

 

toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @OskarPapa

 

Here you go...

Test Socket.jpg

 

 

OskarPapa
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
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Registered: ‎09-10-2018

Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @toggie101, thanks for your post.

 

As silly as it sounds, do any of your extensions also have a test socket?

 

Is it possible that this is an extension socket that's for some reason been fitted with a test socket?

 

Is this the socket that the line enters the house via? (does it correspond with external cabling?)

 

Apologies for the 1000 questions, we really haven't experienced this issue many times at all!

toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

@OskarPapa

 

Mum is out shopping at the mo', so hopefully I haven't missed anything.

 

- There appears to be two extensions, both with normal smaller socket boxes (no face plate thingamajig).

- The supply wire to this alleged master socket routes back into the loft.

- Externally it's a bit unclear as it's getting dark* and some of the original BT wiring hasn't been removed (pre socket era) and appears to be utilized with the newer installation (one extension routes externally rather than internally, the other routes into the loft) so there isn't an absolutely clear path to follow.

Loft access isn't realistically possible.

 

* (Mum's neighbours now probably think I'm mildly insane, as I was seen staring at her roof eaves with binoculars in the deepening dusk!) Smiley

OskarPapa
Plusnet Alumni (retired)
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Thanks for getting back to me @toggie101.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about looking mad, you can always blame a made up festive party or a rogue drone sighting Wink

 

With regards loft access, I can fully appreciate it may be difficult to access but please let me assure you that we only need the connection in the test socket for a few minutes to run further diagnostics.

 

My concern is that without test socket diagnostics being run, were we to send an engineer there could well be a £65 charge if the fault is found to be internal and I really don't want your Mum to be charged for that.

 

Have you perchance been able to try a different 'phone?

toggie101
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

I really do appreciate your time & trouble @OskarPapa, thank you.

 

Mum's back: apparently that most definitely is the master socket, "always has been".

As is often the way with theses things, there isn't currently any noise on the line (just tried a silent line test). So it's either due to me prodding about with the master socket, or the problem is inconsistent, or maybe...it's fixed elsewhere (but I won't hold my breath with that one!).

The noise was present with both the wired phone (in the master socket & test socket) and DECT phones (in an extension).

She's been experiencing the noise on the line, weird erratic ringing from the phones when a call is incoming, and very occasionally CLI failure (last couple of days); needless to say that causes internet disconnects (and consequently probably reduced speeds), but that's been happening for longer than this more obvious phone problem.

Hence the troubleshooting which came to a standstill when I couldn't ascertain if the cause was internal or external.

Not sure what to do now, any advice?

 

Many thanks again.

OskarPapa
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Thanks for getting back to me @toggie101.

 

The strange intermittent ring - just a thought but have you tried 1571? The reason I ask is that if there's a VM waiting, it can sometimes change the ring. (It probably isn't this but definitely worth a check).

 

It's sods law that the issues have stopped now that you're actually testing it.

 

We're really at a loss as to what could be causing the issue and so, as we've completed all of our testing we'd recommend raising a fault at faults.plus.net for further investigation.

 

When you've raised it, please let me know via this thread so that I can progress it ASAP for you.

198kHz
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

@OskarPapa wrote:The reason I ask is that if there's a VM waiting, it can sometimes change the ring.


[panto] Oh no it can't! [/panto]
A stuttered dial tone indicates a waiting voice message, but the ring will not be affected in any way.


 

Murphy was an optimist
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toggie101
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008

Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @OskarPapa

 

Many thanks for your patience.

I'm still in the process of changing different variables (phones, router etc.) in order to attempt to eliminate the root cause to these troubles as being internal, or not. But because the problem is intermittent it's a long drawn out palaver.

The lack of a correctly functioning 'Test' socket is really a huge pain.

A thought occurred to me - are BT responsible for the Master Socket?

As it's obviously not wired correctly (ie. the 'Test' socket does not cut off the extension sockets) would it be possible to get an engineer booked to fix that problem?

Ideally the engineer could also check for these other problems at the same time, ie. intermittent noisy line, stuttering phone ringers (1571 is disabled).

If the Master Socket is BT's responsibility then there shouldn't be any risk of a £65 charge.

Thanks for any help you, or anyone else, can provide on this annoying problem.

While I'm here...Happy New Year!

 

FWIW (not a lot!) the installation of the master & extension sockets was performed by a BT engineer, all phones are BT ones, the router & microfilters are Plusnet supplied.

TheMightyAJ
Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

Hi @toggie101,

I'm sorry to hear that you're experiencing these issues. To clarify, as the master socket (and in turn the test socket) is within the property, neither we nor Openreach have anyway to reasonably maintain this equipment as it's not publicly accessible. As such, if this equipment were to be found faulty upon an engineer visit, it would result in an engineer charge being passed along.

This wouldn't apply if the master socket wasn't properly installed, however as the socket has been installed for some time and was working properly in the past, I'm afraid it's more likely that a fault developed with the equipment over time.

If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Alex H
 Plusnet Help Team
pvmb
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Re: Troubleshooting line noise - 'Test' socket query

You can't be responsible because "the master socket is within the property"? That cannot be right!

The master socket is "within the property" in most cases. Yet, if a fault is on the BT Openreach side, rather than the subscriber side, it is surely still down to Openreach to deal with it?

 

I realise this may not apply to the particular case in question.