Top 5 Common Phone Line Faults Affecting Landline & ADSL

Posted at 16/08/2015 07:58am

Landline not working or ADSL dropping out? Here are some basic tips you need to know for optimal home phone and ADSL connections.


 Phone Socket Corrosion

corroded phone socket

Among the tough-to-troubleshoot faults of a phone line are when phone socket corrosion is the issue. The problem with corrosion is that it will lead to varying performance with a better quality of transmission at one point and a deteriorating performance at another point in time. This is fairly common in coastal areas, especially around Sydney beaches like Coogee, Bondi, Manly and Queensland’s Gold Coast areas, but it could escape the notice of an inexperienced technician.

Telecom professionals will be able to home down on this issue when they examine the troubles that your phone line is demonstrating. Mounting of the phone point has to be done exactly in line with specifications to avoid the problems posed by phone socket corrosion. Methods are available to handle the problem of humidity.

However, when you have a socket that has aged, it would have picked up some level of corrosion that could be impacting with the transmission of the line. Replacing 605/610 type sockets with RJ11 or more commonly used RJ45 type sockets is recommended to stay in line with the evolution of technology.

The newer phone point sockets have a better resistance against corrosion and most of them are fitted with a protection piece that is fitted across the krone jumper points on the socket.

Old and Worn Phone Point

old style phone socket

The problem with legacy phone point systems is that they are not suitable for high-speed transmissions. Even though you might have been chugging along on a legacy phone point, it will give rise to a problem sooner or later. And, of course if you are upgrading to a new ADSL service, you would need to have it replaced anyway.

The newer phone points have vastly-better materials and engineering and will provide stable performance without any issues.

With a licensed telephone technician getting your installation done, you may want to ask them for a complete phone line replacement or have him simply attend to each phone socket and replace them one-by-one, you never know it might end up bumping your ADSL speed up and improving on those odd dropouts. The newer style RJ 11 or RJ 45 phone points will also be more compatible with all adapters so that you can get any extensions carried out without any trouble. Filters would also need to be checked and replaced.

Faulty telephone wiring inside your premises

phone line repairs

The cabling that connects your phone line and ADSL modem router has to be sufficient with the technologies that are being used to transmit your voice and data signals.

Termination of cables can be a problem if it is not done with the recommended tools and of course by a licensed technician. So chances are, if you’ve either purchased a new house or just signed up for your rental property, you might want to have all your phone cabling inspected for peace of mind.

Wiring problems could arise from the connections that are made inside the main socket. It could be a problem along any of the lines that you have added from the main socket, for example phone lines extending to your bedroom, study and the like that are additional and wired in series from your main phone socket.

Wiring might also have got corroded just like how sockets are prone to. Rewiring is recommended especially if you have not looked into it in the recent past. With a certified telco professional, you can be sure that all faults are identified with precision by utilisation of appropriate test equipment.  

A Time Domain Reflectometer (TDR) helps in identifying the source of the problem, whether it is at the Telstra lead-in point, phone points or along the cable itself. While it checks for an open point in the circuit or a short, it can also spot a situation wherein a problem is bound to arise going forward.

This makes it possible to be one up on wiring problems affecting voice and ADSL 2+ speed. It is also necessary to understand that the more phone points and cabling you’ve got going through your home or business, the more chances you have in having a local fault which could cause all types of issues.

Calling out a telephone engineer to assess your cabling could lift many troubles off your chest in relation to your phone line quality.

You may notice various symptoms for your faulty cabling such as picking up your handset and noticing a humming, buzzing or crackling on the line too, this will surely affect your ADSL or internet speeds.


Faulty ISP phone cabling out on the street

lead in cable

When the conduit of cabling is broken and cabling comes in contact with earth, you are bound to experience disturbances on your phone line.

Moisture might have seeped into the ISP phone cabling outside your perimeter. This can occur at the joints located in pits underground or pillars between cables as the line is being extended from the Telstra Exchange to your property. This will cause your available speeds to develop inefficiencies due to the state of the wiring not allowing a total utilisation.

The situation could escalate into a breakdown of service with symptoms such as no ring tone, severe interference issues or the service getting cut off completely. In an urban situation, it is incumbent upon the ISP to repair the fault from the Telephone Exchange to your Building Entry Point.

Natural disasters are kept out of the service guarantee requirement. Beyond the stipulated deadline, a compensation of $14.52 per day for the first five days can be claimed for a residential connection while for a business connection, it is $24.20. This applies to connection or repair of standard telephone services. After the first five days, the compensation is $48.40 per day for both residential and business.

Distances play a part in the quality of the line as do the condition of the cabling. If your area receives a high degree of lightning, you can also ask Telstra to install a Surge Protection Device. On the customer side, a PABX would require a separate earth connection to take care of the devices in the network. Checking whether the copper lines have been re-laid recently is an indicator of the condition of the lines that connect your home or office network to the DSLAM.


Loose fly leads & ADSL Filters

The filter connection might be loose leading to a drop in availability of your voice and data transmission. This will cause a disruption of the ADSL line when a call comes in. Basic checks can be made at the point of connection between the line and the router and between the ADSL 2+ router and the device.

Other aspects of looking up your connections for similar issues include checking whether the modem is set for the right type of technology, such as ADSL or ADSL 2+. All sockets will have to be inspected for complete and correct connections. Wiring inside the socket might have gotten a bit cramped and run into each other causing a problem such as shorts or high resistance.

Telephone Technicians