Assessing and Addressing Noisy Phone Lines
Posted Apr 16th 2014 | By:
There are few things more annoying and inconvenient than trying to have an important conversation over the phone with a constant hum, buzz, or static in your ear. There are a number of reasons such a noise might be present but what is certain is that having a continuous, distracting sound coming across your phone line is an irritant that must be handled promptly. For those who do business from home or have such issues with a business line in an office setting, background phone line noise can be detrimental to the business and frustrating as well.
The first step in fixing a hum is to find the source. Line noise can be caused by a defective phone, a short in the wires, power or light fixture line interference, or a signal from another electronic device. Also possible are flooded lines, which is a problem the phone company themselves may have to rectify on your behalf.
To locate the source of a hum, start at the telephone interface box. Inside you will find a test jack, which you should disconnect. In its place, plug in a corded phone. If the hum goes away, the problem you are having is originating inside of your home. If the hum persists, the problem is with the phone company and a call to them is in order.
With the test jack in your telephone interface box reconnected, return to the interior of your home. From there you will need to conduct a process of elimination of sorts on all of the phones within your house. With a phone in hand that you are able to listen in on, go through the house and unplug each phone one by one. As you unplug each phone, listen for any changes to the sound on the line. If at some point the noise goes away when you unplug a phone, that particular phone itself is the culprit.
Should a hum still be present after your phones have been checked, return to the telephone interface box. Inside of the box, disconnect each set of wires, one at a time, from the terminals. Listen on a phone for sound changes in the line as you do this and if a change is noted upon a wire disconnect, it is a sign that those wires are faulty. With problem wires located, check their connection at the jack. Also unplug any nearby electronics that could be causing interference. If after this you are still having problems, you may be forced to disconnect the faulty wires and run a new line from the telephone interface box to the jack in order to achieve a solution to your noise problems.
Even though fixing a constant sound in your phone line can be almost as frustrating as listening to that noise in the first place, at some time such a repair may become necessary. With a little luck, it will be within your scope to assess and repair the line issues you are having. If not, the phone company is just a call away, albeit a noisy one.
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