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BT line tester

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by opps, 20 Jul 2021 at 8:48 AM.

  1. opps

    opps

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    Hi all.

    I am about to paint the outside of my client's home.

    He has about 7.phone lines running along the edge of his porch. He claims that he only has one telephone line these days. Previously he had RedCare, fax machines etc.

    I recall a BT engineer once using what seemed to be an ear piece connected to a crocodile clip to noninvasively test to see if a line was live.

    Does anyone know where I can purchase something similar (at a reasonable price)?

    It is not possible to trace them all to the BT connections and I am not overly confident that he definitely only has one BT line.

    Thanks in advance.
     
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  3. wgt52

    wgt52

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    The unit the BT Tech was using is the Receiver of A two part tool, the Transmitter part is connected in at or closer to the exchange.
    So even if you could find a unit to buy you would still have difficulty in using it.
    best idea - get a meter and check for 50volts on each pair of wires. 80 volts if you suspect a Telex line.
     
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  4. Taylortwocities

    Taylortwocities

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    Wow, that takes me back to my telegraph days. I doubt that anyone* in the uk has a working telex line these days.

    *you watch, someone on here will have one…
     
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  5. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Test meter/ multimeter on a range suitable for 50v and test across each pair of lines. You might see some voltage, but if a line is live, it should be close to 50v. An old analogue multimeter might be better, if you have one - they present more of a load on the line/ less chance of showing spurious voltages. Dead lines, you can remove, providing they don't go out to the pole.

    Other way, would be to simply follow the known in use line and assume the rest are disused.
     
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  6. winston1

    winston1

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    The lines are the property of BT/Open Reach and you must not interfere with them any more than you would interfere with a DNO incoming cable.
     
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  7. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    The more load across the line the lower the voltage. When the line is in use ( telephone Off Hook ) the voltage will drop to ( typically ) 10 Volts

    Sensible advice.
     
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  8. opps

    opps

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    If they aren't connected to their network, are they really still considered to be their property. And if they are can the client simply ask them to remove them given that he doesn't want them anymore? I am not talking about cables running from a mast in the road. There are no masts.

    Over the years I have removed loads of disused NTE5 boxes that are no longer in use. BT never knocked on the door and asked for their property back. Equally, I have removed loads of unwanted Virgin Media coax cables from inside customer's properties.

    Initially, I thought that you were being facetious (on reflection) I suspect that you may be correct (my apologies). I will (with some difficultly) remove the trunking and trace the cables all the way back to the first junction box in the porch. I will then cut any thing no longer connected.

    From what I have read elsewhere, they will charge a couple of hundred quid for an engineer to spend a couple a minutes and say "yeah, you can remove these", that is even though they will charge a similar price to reinstate each of those lines if the customer wanted them back- the cost being exactly the same as if they needed to fit new cables...
     
  9. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Yes they still are their property as it is very likely that they are connected to a a pair ( of wires ) in a distribution cable.

    They need to protect the other circuits in a multipair cable from spurious signals that could be created by some one using a seemingly defunct telephone pair for an internal ( inside the house ) data or voice connection.

    The pair may be dissed at the exchange or in a street cabinet so it appears to be dead but is still capacitively coupled to other pairs in the cable betweem house and cabinet / exchange
     
    Last edited: 20 Jul 2021 at 5:49 PM
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  11. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    More useles rubbish from Pooh bear.
     
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  12. SUNRAY

    SUNRAY

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    According to BT call centres and engineers, BT do not (deliberately) keep records of dissused cables. In my days in BT the only reason records were kept was by engineers adding a note, such as ceased, on the record cards in the exchange... That is assuming an exchange engineer had any involvement in the ceasation.

    There will certainly be no record of where a drop wire (or any other cable) is physically run.

    If they are 100% unused and removed, BT will not give a flying fig if they ever find out, with the usual caveat that what you do doesn't affect BT systems.
     
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  13. winston1

    winston1

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    Another insult from SUNRAY. Have you read bernardgreens reply backing me up and explaining why they should not be interfered with? Are you going to insult him as well?
     
  14. sxturbo

    sxturbo

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  15. winston1

    winston1

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    This looks like a company promoting its own business that is not actually illegal but not in the spirit of OpenReach/BT contracts. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.
     
  16. securespark

    securespark

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    I have a tester that shows whether a line is live or not and whether it is "reverse polarity".

    It plugs into the socket.

    Conductor colour conventions were not always followed and it was very handy to find out polarity in the days when it mattered.
     
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  17. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

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    Agree,

    And for an ex_BT technician it is a shame he doesn't know the London Numbering System

    0203 633 XXXX is wrong
    020 3633 XXXX is correct

    Areas code for London is 020

    then four digit exchange code 3633
    then four digit subs' number XXXX ( on that exchange )

     
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