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Old 7th Mar 2019, 1:09 am   #1
JohnBG8JMB
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Default External telephone line junction box.

What is the approved method or junction box for joining the external phone cable - i.e. under the eaves, between the drop wire and the house wiring? And where do I get one?. I need tidy up the choc block + tape splice that I did following the builder pulling the drop wire bracket off the facia with a JCB.

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Old 7th Mar 2019, 8:53 am   #2
M0FYA Andy
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Default Re: junction box

Isn't all the external wiring BT's responsibility?
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 9:13 am   #3
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Default Re: junction box

As has been said anything before the Master Socket is BT's domain.
As it's been "DIY'd" though, you may get it in the neck if you admit it was you that did it and incur a charge if you call them in.
If you want to continue the DIY approach I'd use a weatherproof ABS box box and join with gel crimps inside it.
I did this inside the "official" BT box outside as the screw terminals and wiring had turned a pretty blue colour and the screws had corroded themselves into the terminal block.
There had been loads of past DIY activity in there as well (before my time !).
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 10:04 am   #4
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Default Re: junction box

I got and fitted one of these boxes from 'Comtec' or somesuch (can't remember now) back in 2012, but available here on Bristol Communications and Electrical.

https://www.bcedirect.co.uk/products...side-joint-box

They also do the dropwire and PJ connectors. I had to do this because the builders doing up the house cut the original dropwire! Never had an issue with BT. Strictly speaking, there could be, but I've also had the Openreach lot around to do jobs and they willingly left me to finish them (just nipping up a few connections, etc...). I suppose this allowed them to make up time before moving to their computer-dictated next job.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 12:08 pm   #5
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Yes, I suspect that Openreach Engineers have more to worry about than forensically examining installations in these time restricted days. You can get most of their kit on eBay and a workmanlike installation is unlikely to attract attention. Pigs ears may be different of course, but like for like should be OK. It's only two wires after all!
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 12:21 pm   #6
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Easy. You loosen the terminals and then report a fault. How are you supposed to know what someone in the past has done? Not your problem!
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 4:01 pm   #7
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

I would go for replacement of the "temporary" fix with the above-mentioned box and just keep quiet, rather than contacting the "powers that be" with a fictionalised account.

By the way, don't forget that the box is designed to have cables entering from below with a loop from which rain can drip away from the junction, so I hope you have enough slack in yours.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 4:05 pm   #8
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC/HL View Post
'Yes, I suspect that Openreach Engineers have more to worry about than forensically examining installations...'
Not long after we moved into our house, the old copper-coated iron 1970s 'figure-of-eight' twin dropwire went H/R because of water ingress from a rogue hammer-blow near a cleat. The BT chap came out to replace the dropwire with some of the new two-pair and steel catenary black-sheathed stuff.

He made a very neat installation, took his time, and even fitted a loop into the wire where it left the wall anchor. Intrigued, I asked him why he gave the job the attention he did. 'It's because there are random inspections', he said. The quality of the installations had certainly improved a hundredfold since the bad old days of burying a DP feeder cable six inches beneath a field across its width rather than keeping to the edges (another story)!

That was in 1996. I don't know if 'random inspections' are still carried out as there has been a lot of staff turnover and changes in working practice since then, in particular with the employment of contractors.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 6:00 pm   #9
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

When my wife had a second line installed for her work, Openreach used this cylindrical plastic contraption.
I imagine it uses screw terminals instead/as well as IDC, because of the mixture of wire types.

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The 2pr from the pole enters on the RHS the "new line" (long since disconnected) is the lower cable, and the existing CCS "figure eight" is the one still in use, it's only a couple of metres long until it gets to the linebox in the house, but is well past its sell-by date, although gives no trouble.

When I moved into this house in the mid '70s one of my first DIY jobs was to remove two runs of unsightly cable on the front of the house that served a bedroom phone extension.

The cable turned out to be lead-sheathed twin, that looked a bit like modern 1mm or 1.5mm twin & earth mains cable.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 10:16 pm   #10
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
.....I imagine it uses screw terminals instead/as well as IDC, because of the mixture of wire types....
From memory of seeing inside one of these "gel seals" a while ago, I'm sure there are no internal connectors and the cables are joined with telecoms industry standard jelly crimps, although I'm not sure how sucessful that would be when jointing the more modern type drop wire to the older figure 8 type.

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Old 7th Mar 2019, 10:25 pm   #11
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

be aware that Openreach now try to charge for every fault on the dropwire as a mater of course but I might have one of their boxes in my junk box if so you can have it for postage
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 10:36 pm   #12
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

They can't. Anything north of the NTE is Openreach liability.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 1:08 am   #13
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

When I reported a fault on my son's BT line last year, the standard recorded message intimated that there would be a charge for fixing any damage to the overhead line inside your property boundary. In his case, it wasn't an issue.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 2:47 am   #14
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scimitar View Post
They can't. Anything north of the NTE is Openreach liability.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that they try though, it then a matter of how forthright you are in arguing your case.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 11:44 am   #15
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiiT View Post
'...although I'm not sure how sucessful that would be when jointing the more modern type drop wire to the older figure 8 type.'
The grey flat-figure-of-eight stuff I remember had iron cores that were copper coated, and I'm told it was manufactured specifically because of a copper shortage. But was it ever made with solid copper conductors?
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 12:00 pm   #16
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

The use of iron (actually I think it was steel) coated copper for drop wire had nothing to do with a shortage of copper. It was done to impart strength to what would otherwise been comparatively small diameter cadmium copper wire. Before the advent of drop wire two bare copper wires weighing 40 pounds per mile were run from the distribution pole to the premises.

It pre-dates the copper shortage which came about when Rhodesia unilaterally declared independence from the UK in November 1965. Sanctions meant that Zambian cooper could no longer be shipped via Rhodesia and South Africa.

I believe drop wire was introduced to permit speedier installation of domestic telephones by "One Man Installers". Previous to that an overhead gang made up of four men would have installed the drop using bare copper wire.
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 12:02 pm   #17
nutteronthebus
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

I have found the gel seal in my box of bits you will need the crimps but the seal if yours for postage

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Old 8th Mar 2019, 12:35 pm   #18
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo1152 View Post
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that they try though, it then a matter of how forthright you are in arguing your case.
I have never heard that before and quite by co-incidence, I have just had exactly that job done here. One leg has gone high impedance and knocked out the landline. vDSL was still working though at 20Mb instead of the expected 40Mb. Openreach bunny managed to knock out next door in the process of sorting mine though. ;-)
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 12:35 pm   #19
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
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The use of iron (actually I think it was steel) coated copper for drop wire had nothing to do with a shortage of copper. It was done to impart strength to what would otherwise been comparatively small diameter cadmium copper wire. Before the advent of drop wire two bare copper wires weighing 40 pounds per mile were run from the distribution pole to the premises.
Thanks for that, Graham. I well remember open-wire cadmium-copper wires to pot-heads on the premises, but I can't remember what went from pot-head on the wall to lightning arrestor in the hall. Was it two single-core lead-sheathed secured by lead cleats on steel wedges? Or was it twin lead-sheathed cable secured similarly?

Iron or steel core, what happened with mine is the water got in, rotted away the core leaving two 'hollows' of copper plate and nothing in the middle!
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Old 8th Mar 2019, 12:51 pm   #20
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Default Re: External telephone line junction box.

Quote:
Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
I well remember open-wire cadmium-copper wires to pot-heads on the premises, but I can't remember what went from pot-head on the wall to lightning arrestor in the hall. Was it two single-core lead-sheathed secured by lead cleats on steel wedges? Or was it twin lead-sheathed cable secured similarly?
Originally two core lead, but later replaced by some kind of plastic flat or figure of eight cable whose name I forget. I have a feeling one wire was tinned to indicate polarity.

When I started my apprenticeship in 1967 the use of drop wire for new installations or replacements was almost universal. However the training schools (Bletchley Park in my case) still taught the installation of bare copper drops and then cable from the insulator to the protector, in addition to the use of drop wire. A case of overlapping syllabuses like valves and transistors.
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