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140 posts

Master Geek

# 126824 21-Jul-2013 09:36
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A week ago I had a very noisy/crackly phone line.  The phone line has ADSL on it and a permanent splitter is installed.  The ADSL performance was not affected even when the line was so noisy it was unusable for voice calling.  A Chorus person came while I was out and apparently did something to the cabling in the ceiling that "fixed" it.  But when I got home and checked it it was doing the same thing.  A few hours later it was ok when I picked up the handset then the extreme noise came back within a couple of seconds.  Not long after all sockets appear dead - no sound when picking up the handset.  Calling the line gives an engaged signal.

I would have got Chorus (via Telecom) back but a VDSL installation was booked for the next day so I figured that since it was likely an internal wiring problem (or maybe the splitter) best to wait until the tech had installed VDSL splitter and cablng.  Unfortunately that installation and the following two rescheduled installs didnt happen because nobody from Chorus attempted to contact me (not even to say they cant make it - very bad service).  So the phone has been dead for a week but ADSL is still working fine.

What is likely cause of an engaged tone if the ADSL is fine but all other POTS sockets behind the splitter appear dead?  Any advice on troubleshooting while I wait for the 4th attempt to get a VDSL installation done would be welcome.

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7053 posts

Uber Geek


  # 862916 21-Jul-2013 09:44
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Hi, sounds like the voice side of your wiring has a short across it.


19282 posts

Uber Geek
Inactive user

  # 862918 21-Jul-2013 09:46
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Wiring issue


5595 posts

Uber Geek

  # 862920 21-Jul-2013 09:47
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Failed splitter?

884 posts

Ultimate Geek

  # 862928 21-Jul-2013 10:20
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Unplug the modem - is the noise still there? ( I have had this once before and it was a Telecom / chorus wiring issue )

I know enough to be dangerous

40 posts


  # 863010 21-Jul-2013 13:51
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We had a similar problem in our old house.  Master filter installed, ADSL was fine, but phone line was noisy/crackly and incoming calls would be auto-answered and disconnected at the first ring.

It turned out to be an unused phone jack had gotten some water in it and the copper contacts inside had rusted and shorted.  Replaced the jack, problem solved.

140 posts

Master Geek

  # 863018 21-Jul-2013 14:21
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Thanks for your help everyone.

The filter was ok.  It was a problem with wires connected to the voice line side of the ADSL filter that used to run to socket in the garage prior to renovation a few months ago.  The builders just chopped the end of the cable that used to run to the garage and left it sitting in the dirt under the house.  It was a thick black sheathed cable with grease inside the sheathing.  I think it must have eventually shorted out at the ends where they chopped it.  

When the Chorus guy eventually comes to install the VDSL splitter (they cant possibly miss showing up for scheduled installation a 4th time!!!!) I just need to get them to reconnect the wires I disconnected from an inside phone jack while I was troubleshooting.  I don't have one one of those IDC tools to do it properly. 

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