Help! I have a Line Fault

When your Internet telephone and Broadband stop working, it’s perhaps a little daunting to try and figure out if you have an internal or external line fault.


The ‘Good old days’ 23 years working for BT

Follow my easy steps below to identify if your Line Fault is inside or outside, or if your Line Fault is caused by your own equipment. You can also do a test to see how your line quality is for Broadband, and find out what speed you are getting. Please read on..

BT Telephone Line Fault – What to check yourself

Your telephone line fault will be fixed free if the problem, or damage is just down to normal wear and tear. Your service provider has to maintain your telephone line wiring from the exchange, up to and including your master socket. You pay rental for the telephone line, and so it’s all covered for normal wear and tear by your maintenance agreement! If all you have is a master socket, then your service provider has to fix your line fault free of charge!

If you have extension wiring, and you have the newer style master socket (has a split front panel) you can undo the two screws securing the lower plate, then carefully pull it forward and out of the way just enough to expose a second test socket. This isolates your extension wiring, takes it out of the equation. You can now plug your phone, or even the Broadband router into this and see if things are OK. Run my Broadband Speed Test to check everything is alright 🙂 Your Broadband speed should ideally be 3 meg or above.

BT-Master-Socket-TestIf you plug a phone in the test socket and your line is dead, just call your service provider, and they will send BT out to repair the line fault. One word of caution, make sure you don’t have dampness or water ingress around the socket as they may say that the problem is down to a building defect (unless the dampness is due to the location or way the socket was installed by BT IE the hole for the wire wasn’t sealed externally).

If you plug a phone in to the test socket and things are OK, then you have a LINE FAULT ON YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT. It now becomes your responsibility and will be chargeable if you call your service provider.

How much will it cost if my line fault is due to my own extensions?

Some service providers charge around £130 for the call out, and then £70 per hour to rectify the problem. Ouch!!!

First unplug every broadband filter, phone, Sky box telephone lead, all at once. Now replace the front plate. If your line is ok, plug each phone etc one at a time back into the sockets and check for dial tone. You should be able to eliminate which one is causing the fault.

You need a known good working phone to do the test, so if you doubt your own, borrow one from a neighbour, or test your handset in their socket.

If your line is still faulty when you plug the front plate in with everything else disconnected, then you have a LINE FAULT WITH YOUR OWN WIRING and it’s time to get that screwdriver out and fix yourself, or you could call me!

Broadband Speed Test

Broadband is strange, in that it can still function with just 1 wire intact! Your telephone line comes in to the house using 2 cores, so if there’s a break in 1 wire, the circuit will be incomplete and your phone will be dead, however your broadband may still work, although the speed test may be low.

To do a simple and quick broadband speed test click on this link

Test My Broadband Speed Now

It’s a great quick way to see if everything is fine or not. The kind of broadband speed test result you want to see is 3 meg upwards (1 o’clock onwards on the ‘speedo’)
See, easy! 🙂

This Namesco broadband speed test is so quick and easy to do, and it won’t put any stupid programs or spy ware on your computer or hurt it in any way. It’s free, and I find it reliable.

Line-FaultSo, see how you get on. If you need any help you know where to come, help is here and it won’t cost you a fortune! Free advice from someone you can understand, without having to go through a call centre in Outer Mongolia

Kind regards,

Geoff Grove

Ex BT Openreach Telephone Engineer Geoff Grove making the world be a better place, helping you locate your Line Fault and do a Broadband Speed Test


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