6 simple steps to avoid a costly engineer callout

Fix your noisy phone line


efore you call an engineer, make sure your noisy phone line is not being caused by an internal issue.

Engineer call-outs can be costly if the problem turns out to be your fault. To avoid any charges – which can sometimes be in excess of £100 – you need to check your internal wiring and equipment properly.

Let’s look at a few steps you can take to make sure your faulty phone line isn’t caused by a problem you’ve created.

1. Check for loose connections

The first port of call is the wiring. If the cables to your phone are loose or worn, this can lead to noise on the line. Get these checked first.

2. Test the line with an alternative handset and cable

A simple test but one that you need to carry out nonetheless. All the cables beyond your master phone socket leading to your exchange are the responsibility of your provider. All the internal cables are your responsibility. Your provider will charge you for an engineer callout that is deemed to be outside of their control.

3. Are you running on empty?

If you have a cordless phone, you need to check that it has adequate battery charge. Noisy or faulty phone lines can often be caused by low batteries. If you have more than one cordless phone in the house, you should also try disconnecting additional handsets to see if the noise stops.

4. Remove all other equipment from the phone line

If you have a Digital TV box, fax or modem, you will need to remove them to make sure they’re not causing the problem. ADSL broadband filters are designed to ensure broadband doesn’t interfere with voice calls. But they can also develop a fault and stop filtering the broadband frequencies properly. So if you’re still getting a noisy line, remove those as well.

5. Connect your handset directly to the master phone socket in your property

This simple test can determine whether internal wiring is the source of the problem. The master socket is normally located close to where the phone line enters your property. Connect your handset directly to it. Don’t use an extension lead or slave socket as they are a common cause of noise on the line. If you still have a faulty phone line, you know your internal connections are not to blame.

6. Try the test socket

Your master phone socket should have a front plate that is removable. Behind this plate is a test socket. You need to try that to help rule out issues with the master socket itself. Unscrew the removable plate and connect your phone to the test socket. If you still have noise, there is a very good chance the fault is external.

Now is the time to contact your provider.

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