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August 12, 2013

Charles asks…

Does moisture cause tarnish on phone copper wires and affect phone service (but not ADSL)?

I experienced loud crackling noise on my phone. Phone company repair man came out and tested good to my 8th floor junction box, but not to my 8th floor apartment. He said there were 4 pairs of wires available. He previously jumped from Pair #1 to #2 on similar complaint. Now he is jumping from #2 to #3. I have one last pair left. He suggested moisture and water in wire conduits causing copper to rust, then, when lit up, rust turns to “copper tarnish” which degrades signal. But while my phone stopped working (no dialing in and out), ADSL for Internet access still works. Do I really need to pull out old wiring as he suggested or is there another simpler remedy? Also, if there are bridge taps (wires branched out to various other rooms in the apartment), do I need to look for a junction box in my wall before pulling the wires out?

Administrator answers:

Junction box should not be burred in the wall… Wiring would either be run from jack to jack, or from a central point to all your jacks, or a combination of both..

Water causes the copper wiring to turn blackish… It also causes the pins in the jacks to turn greenish in color..

This would cause static on the voice side of the line… It would likely effect the speed of your DSL service, but may not knock it out completely…

I would be concerned that water may be entering the house somewhere behind the walls if this is the case…. Rat/mouse bites on the wire can cause the same problems… So this is also something to consider…

Best option would be to pull new wiring if this is an ongoing trouble..

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