Removing an unused telephone socket

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Hello

I'm in the middle of decorating what used to be my parents' old home (now mine) and would like to remove a telephone socket from a bedroom that is no longer needed.

I'm aware (basically from reading posts on here) that it isn't just a simple case of cutting the wires off at the wall and plastering over the hole and that the 'master socket' comes into play ... but that's where my knowledge starts and ends :oops:

Here are a couple of photos of the socket in the bedroom I want to remove:

[/img]


However, when I've gone to look for the master socket I've discovered two, side by side, in the front room (where my parents installed the first telephone, back in the early 80s).

The older of the two sockets is practically hanging off the wall, but they are both wired up although haven't had a telephone attached in many years as my parents got a socket installed in the living room years ago and had just used that one.

Here are the images of the newer of the sockets:



and the older master socket:




Please note that I didn't pull the bedroom socket off the wall, that happened when the walls were being re-plastered.

From the photos, is it straightforward what I should do to remove the bedroom socket, or should I just bite the bullet and get a telecoms guy out to do the job?

Thank you.
 
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It looks like the socket you want to remove is connected to the telewest network - can you try a phone in it and confirm it is dead? If so just remove and stuff the wires in the wall.

If your parents have only the one line, then the newer of the sockets downstairs SHOULD be the only socket connected, because it has external wire going into it and no extensions connected. This would mean you could also remove the second one downstairs too if you wanted. Check for dead first, because although that's what it should be, someone could have bodged it in the past. (bt or otherwise)

I would also follow the black wire coming out of the newer socket and see if it goes straight to the pole without any other wires connecting into it. If so, then you can be certain and disconnect the other sockets.
 
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Thank you for your reply, cajar, I appreciate it.

I have taken my main phone up and stuck it in the socket in the bedroom (the one I want to remove) and annoyingly even though it's off the wall and hanging by very fine wires, the line is live as I can ring out on it.

I then took the phone into the front room and stuck it in the two master sockets and it seems that the one I thought was the older socket (again, hanging off the wall) is actually the one that works and the other socket (that I described as the newer socket) seems dead when I plug the phone into it.

Why is nothing ever straightforward?

I had wanted to remove (or at least loosen) the Telewest box too, so I could decorate around it, but the screws are the teeny tiniest flower-shaped screws (tamper proof) and I can't find a screwdriver to fit anywhere.
 
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Does the upstairs socket go dead when you detach the bottom faceplate on the downstairs one?
 
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Does the upstairs socket go dead when you detach the bottom faceplate on the downstairs one?

Hmm - when you say the 'downstairs one', do you mean the downstairs one that's hanging off the wall but seems to work (I'm presuming you do mean that one)?

And with regards to detaching the 'bottom faceplate' - do you mean just literally unscrewing it (which I had done to take the photos), or doing something to the wiring inside also?

Anyway, I am off to do some wallpapering (something I actually can do :) ) and will look into the socket matter later.
 
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With the easily detachable part of the older, working, downstairs 'master' socket unplugged can you try plugging your phone into:
1. The bedroom socket you wish to remove
2. The phone socket your parents actually use
3. The detached front plate of the working downstairs 'master' socket
4. The test socket of the back part of the downstairs 'master' socket
...and note for which ones the phone works

The socket in the bedroom that you want to remove is a secondary socket, and has only one telephone cable going to it. That suggests that you can remove it and cut the cable back. Any other sockets that currently work will still do so. However, it would be better to find and disconnect the other end of the cable first. If your phone worked in test 1 above, you haven't found the other end yet.

The newer (not working) downstairs socket looks like a correctly-wired master socket. However, as there is no signal at it, it has been disconnected elsewhere so you can get rid of that if you wish.

The older (working) downstairs socket is wired rather strangely. It seems to be connected to one extension cable only, and that is wired to both the socket itself and to the extensions side. As such it is unlikely that it is actually the master socket for the line, even though it has the components for one.
 
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The older (working) downstairs socket is wired rather strangely. It seems to be connected to one extension cable only, and that is wired to both the socket itself and to the extensions side. As such it is unlikely that it is actually the master socket for the line, even though it has the components for one.

It's backwired, meaning electrically it is the master socket but there is another socket / junction box somewhere else that the line comes to first, and bypasses, to run back to via the same cable, which if I read your post right is what you mean.
 
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My apologies for not responding to these latest posts earlier, but I work full-time and have been trying to crack on with wallpapering the rest of the bedroom when not at work, so I haven't been on the internet for a few days.

I'll print out your suggestions and test it all out tonight when I get in.

Thanks so much :)
 
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With the easily detachable part of the older, working, downstairs 'master' socket unplugged can you try plugging your phone into:

Bit in bold - do you mean 'unscrewed/detached' ?

There's never been any phone plugged into either of the master sockets for years, as they're both in the front room and once my parents got a telephone socket fitted in the living room they just used that one.

My parents both died so unfortunately I can't question them on when the master sockets were ever last used, but from memory I think it's been years and years.

Anyway, like I said I shall test out everything tonight :)
 
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Hi,
I meant the bit that is detached in your top picture of the older/working downstairs master socket. Then you test (with it detached but still wired) in both the test socket (the socket on the bit still attached to the wall in that picture) and the socket in the detached bit. And in the socket, elsewhere, that your parents used to use :oops: if you know which that was! And in the upstairs socket that you want to get rid of.

Then let us know which ones worked.

I think I agree with cajar that the downstairs master socket is backwired from somewhere else, in which case with is front panel detached only the test socket will work. But it would be helpful to know.

Also there is certainly a socket/joint somewhere else in the house that the master is backwired from. Identifying that might be useful - what other sockets are there in the house?
 
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Hi

I tested everything out this morning, and following your suggestions I found that the telephone, once the master socket's front panel had been removed, would only work when the phone was plugged into the test socket at the back of the master socket.

I was getting 'No Line' when the phone was plugged into the bedroom socket, the socket in the living room, and the detached socket of the master. Although when ringing the house phone from my mobile, they all sounded as if they were ringing (but no ringing from the phone itself if you see what I mean)

Only when plugged into the test socket did the phone operate normally :(

Apart from the 'other' master socket right next to the 'old but working' master socket there are no other telephone sockets in the house.

:confused:
 
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The only other things I can think of is the Telewest box that is right above the phone socket in the bedroom (which I can't open up thanks to the aformentioned teeny tiny tamper proof screws! :mad: ) and a white plastic box on the wall behind the television which was fitted when my dad got a V-box.

It's looking like I have to get a professional in, right?
 
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Still some amateur options to check first...

What does the wiring into the socket in the lounge look like? It could be that that is where the BT line comes in and where the downstairs master is backwired to, AND where the bedroom socket is wired from. Even if it isn't, you can get rid of the bedroom socket, you'll just have to accept that the cable is still wired up at the other end.
 
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Hi

I tested everything out this morning, and following your suggestions I found that the telephone, once the master socket's front panel had been removed, would only work when the phone was plugged into the test socket at the back of the master socket.

I was getting 'No Line' when the phone was plugged into the bedroom socket, the socket in the living room, and the detached socket of the master. Although when ringing the house phone from my mobile, they all sounded as if they were ringing (but no ringing from the phone itself if you see what I mean)

Only when plugged into the test socket did the phone operate normally :(

Apart from the 'other' master socket right next to the 'old but working' master socket there are no other telephone sockets in the house.

:confused:

Good news, this means the master socket downstairs is wired and functioning as a master socket (demarcation point). So, simply disconnect the WIRES from the FRONT PLATE, then screw it back together and you can remove the upstairs socket and the other sockets if you wish. This will also remove the backwiring issue. No need for a professional.
 

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