How To Troubleshoot Static On Phone Lines

With the freezing temperatures that we had last month in Dallas and Fort Worth, we have had some problems with frozen pipes and flooding in some buildings as a result.  One of my clients had some flooding in their building and called me because he was having static on his phone lines.  When I arrived, I checked the wiring on the wall and it seemed OK but by tracing the phone wires going to each device, however  I found that there was a phone wire that had been cut off and laying on the floor.  When the flooding happened, that exposed wire got wet and corroded in a very short period of time and caused a short.  Once I was able to remove that phone wire, the static disappeared immediately.

This is similar to a problem that I had in my home several years ago when we happened to be visited by our local police department in the middle of the night after a rainstorm had just come through the area.  The officer said that they had received a 911 call from our address.  We were pretty surprised by the visit and it was somewhat disconcerting having an officer check out our residence to see if anyone was in our house that didn’t belong.  Come to find out we had an exposed phone wire underneath our peer and beam house that was laying in a puddle of water and was causing a short.  The short caused our phones to appear to the phone company as “off the hook” and apparently that caused the police to come out.  Moral of the story?  If you have static on your phones and it rained or you’ve had a flood, chances are some wiring is shorting out because of contact with moisture.  Check your wires!!  For more general information on the basics of telephone wiring, Jerry Alonzy’s website, The Natural Handy Man, has some great info.

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