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  #1  
Old 11-26-2006, 06:38 PM
Muriel Muriel is offline
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Loud Hum In Phone Line

I just recently started to get a LOUD hum in my landline. I don't use it for much except my internet which is still dial up. Anyway I called AT&T and they charge $125.00 an hour to come out. I want to see if I can try to fix this on my own before I pay.

Anyway here is what I know. I live in an apt complext with about 100 other apartments. The phone box where the line comes in, is in the laundry room. I was able to go back there, take the cover off and it has apartment numbers and a regular phone cord and a jack. I took the phone cord out of the jack back there and plugged my phone in and it works fine. No hum at all. So I am assuming the hum has to be between the laundry room where the wires come in and my phone jack. It can't be the phone.

And yes I know it is pretty unsecure that anyone can plug into anyone else's phone.

Anyway what should I be looking at? Does anyone have any suggestions before I call the phone company. I only have the one phone jack in the apartment, franky I really don't use my landline for anything but internets. So I was a little hesitant to play with the jack as I don't want to cut off my dial up interent. That works fine so the hum doesn't afect the internet.
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  #2  
Old 11-26-2006, 07:21 PM
Patty O'Furniture Patty O'Furniture is offline
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Disconnect any other devices connected to your line - answering machines, caller ID boxes, everything. Does he hum go away? Is there hum in other jacks as well?

Failing that, I would think the landlord should be responsible for trouble with the inside wiring.
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Old 11-26-2006, 08:53 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is online now
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The phone box in your laundry room is what the phone company refers to as the NID (Network Interface Device). If the signal is good at that point, it's not their problem and is a problem with the inside wiring. Unless you are paying for Inside Maintenance on your phone bill, they will charge an arm and a leg to fix it.

As Patty O'Furniture said, the landlord should take care of this, but if it's way low on his list of priorities you may not get very prompt service.

Typically, hum on a line is caused by wires being crossed or shorted. If you haven't done anything to your jack recently, is it possible that another tenant has tapped into your line to get free service?

If you want to check your jack here is what you should look for. Take the cover off, and you will (typically) see 4 terminals with green, red, yellow and black wires going to the jack. Depending on the installation, the wires going back to the NID will either be the same colors, or will be striped wires of different colors.

First, make sure that none of the wires are touching each other, and that they are all connected securely. The green and red wires are for your primary line, and the yellow and black are for a second line. If you have the striped wires going to the NID, typically the white wire with blue stripe should go to green, blue with white stripe to red, white with orange stripe to yellow and orange with white stripe to black. These are for a typical installation, and if you have a large complex, the colors assigned may be different.

If these simple steps don't solve your problem, get on the landlord. Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2006, 02:06 PM
AskNott AskNott is offline
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When I had a loud buzz on my phones, it turned out to be a miswired ground in my alarm system. I did the same test you did, plugging a phone into the NID.

Your phone is grounded, probably to the same ground as the power plugs. You may have something leaking current to ground. Call a patient friend, to keep the line open. Then unplug and replug everything in your apartment, one at a time. If the buzz quits, you've found a defective (and possibly dangerous) appliance.

I agree with the previous posters; I'm merely suggesting a few more places to look.
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:13 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Old 11-27-2006, 03:28 PM
Zabali_Clawbane Zabali_Clawbane is offline
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Have you looked over your phone bill? Have you had a bill since the hum started? That is something to also investigate. Good luck.
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Old 11-27-2006, 04:23 PM
Drum God Drum God is offline
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A suggestion about the Inside Wire Maintenance fee

First of all, when I was an apartment dweller, no landlord ever cared about the phone wiring. All they were required to do was provide access to the phone network. Clearly, in your case, that was done. You have an NID. I doubt that your landlord is going to be really concerned about a hum on your phone.

So, what to do? My phone company (Verizon) offers the inside wiring plan for $3.99 or some such a month. Typically, when I moved into a new apartment, I would take the maintenance plan for the first six months to a year. If no problems, I would cancel it. In our house (owned, not rented), however, I didn't take the plan. Sure enough, a problem developed. It was, however, an intermittent problem. Sooooo, I got on the internet to see about the maintenance plan. Verizon offers an alternative plan where you pay a one-time fee of $39.95 and they will fix the problem immediately, as if you had the plan all along. The only catch (besides the fee) is that you are committed to one year of paying $3.99 per month. Maybe your company offers a plan where you can get the phone fixed without paying $125 per hour.
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Old 11-27-2006, 06:32 PM
Muriel Muriel is offline
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Yeah I can tell you my landlord will care less about the wiring. I have been in the apartment 11 years and I'm sure he'd just as soon as I leave as he could raise the rent a lot.

It couldn't be more than 2 months ago I noticed it. I noticed it on a quick call. I have the landline for my apartment and I only use that for the internet, but yesterday for the holidays someone called and I actually talked on my landline.

It probably would be easier to get cable and high speed and just use the cell phone. Most people in my building probably don't have landlines because out of the 100 or so apartments it looks like only about 20 are plugged in.

Fortunately I only have 1 jack and nothing on it. I plug the computer in and if I want to use the phone I unplug the computer and plug in the phone. The landline has voice mail if I'm on the computer so checking won't be a problem.

Thanks for the suggestions regarding the jack, I'll have to try that
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:43 AM
TPWombat TPWombat is offline
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Taking advantage of this thread with my own variant of the problem -
I too have an annoying hum on my landline - I live in a house on my own. The hum appeared even when my brother dropped by and plugged his test phone (he works in security and fire alarm systems) directly into the little junction box where the incoming phone company service ends and my internal phone wires attach to.
It didn't just suddenly start, it was there as soon as I had the landline activated.
Don't see where else I can go other than the phone company now to check their end, since the hum is present with my wiring detached and just a test phone in the juction box but I thought I'd ask.
Could a problem with my electrical wiring be causing interference to the phone company's junction box? It occurred to me afterwards that one thing I didnt do was turn my power off while my brother was checking with his test phone.
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Old 11-29-2006, 08:53 AM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPWombat
Taking advantage of this thread with my own variant of the problem -
I too have an annoying hum on my landline - I live in a house on my own. The hum appeared even when my brother dropped by and plugged his test phone (he works in security and fire alarm systems) directly into the little junction box where the incoming phone company service ends and my internal phone wires attach to.
It didn't just suddenly start, it was there as soon as I had the landline activated.
Don't see where else I can go other than the phone company now to check their end, since the hum is present with my wiring detached and just a test phone in the juction box but I thought I'd ask.
Could a problem with my electrical wiring be causing interference to the phone company's junction box? It occurred to me afterwards that one thing I didnt do was turn my power off while my brother was checking with his test phone.
If you still have the hum when you unplug your house wiring and plug a phone directly into the box, it is definitely the phone company's problem.

When you call for service, tell them that you have hum even when you plug directly into the NID. That way they won't be as likely to brush you off.
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