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  • FIRST POST
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 9th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
    • 762Posts
    • 25Thanks
    wallofbeans
    removing excess phone sockets - who can do that?
    • #1
    • 9th Sep 17, 7:23 PM
    removing excess phone sockets - who can do that? 9th Sep 17 at 7:23 PM
    Hi all,

    Our house is full of phone sockets that are no longer used and we're about to do some redecorating and I'd like to remove all but the main one. Who do I call to do that - an electrician or someone from BT or someone else..?

    And does anybody have a recommendation of someone in south London?

    Thanks!

    UPDATED IMAGES OF ALL SOCKETS AND BOXES IN HOUSE:
    https://imgur.com/a/MEX9S
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 10-09-2017 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Added link to full set of images
Page 2
    • cajef
    • By cajef 10th Sep 17, 11:35 AM
    • 4,553 Posts
    • 3,617 Thanks
    cajef
    Your master socket is the one with the ring capacitor and spark gap on the PCB, which looks like the one hanging off the wall.

    http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Wiring/UK_telephone/uk_telephone.html
    I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 11:37 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    as said, the one hanging off the wall is the master socket.

    Yes BT / OR may come and replace this, although it would be a bigger box and stick out further, so you need to decide what exactly tidy is in your definition.

    i.e just screw it to the wall and it would be tidy.

    and would a bigger box that sticks out further be ugly?


    The red wire appears to go upstairs, maybe to the bedroom socket.
    Originally posted by AndyPK
    I don't care if it sticks out more as long as it's not hanging off the wall. And then I can use it as the master socket and plug in phone and broadband to that and remove the one further down the same wall that I'm currently using for phone and broadband.

    I'm not sure where that red wire goes. It doesn't go to the back bedroom as I can track that wire from the right hand side of the master socket, all the way up the stairs and around the wall of the back bedroom to the socket.

    The front bedroom has a socket as well (but it doesn't work) and I'm not sure that is connected to the red wire either..

    The socket in the kitchen also has two wires, I can see where one is coming from, but not the other. This could also lead upstairs. It's very confusing and such a mess!
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 11:42 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    Any wiring before the master socket is solely the responsibility of Openreach (OR).

    Looking at your photos, it is apparent that the wiring has 'evolved' over many years.

    If you can get OR in to just replace your master socket, then you can remove any other wiring yourself, as it should then be dead.

    It would be useful if you are present when they do the work, as you can quite often 'shame' the engineer into tidying up their mess.
    Originally posted by Mister G
    I think you're right. It has clearly evolved over many years! This is an old house so I'm guessing it's always just been added to and never sorted out or replaced.

    Can I get BT/OR to replace the master socket for free?

    And how much tidying do you think I could get them to do?
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 11:44 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    Your master socket is the one with the ring capacitor and spark gap on the PCB, which looks like the one hanging off the wall.

    http://www.wppltd.demon.co.uk/WPP/Wiring/UK_telephone/uk_telephone.html
    Originally posted by cajef
    So everything up to and including that point is BT/OR responsibility?

    So they should sort out the dodgy box above the front door with some dead wires in it that head off into the wall and to who knows where...
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 10th Sep 17, 11:46 AM
    • 2,441 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    AndyPK
    you could replace the one hanging off with one of these



    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Genuine-OpenReach-BT-Master-Socket-NTE5C-VDSL-MK4-New-2016-Faceplate-NEW-/182497181204?epid=569758785&hash=item2a7dadfe14:g: EmgAAOSwAuZX4ZQ8

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/BT-OPENREACH-TYPE-NTE5-MASTER-PHONE-SOCKET-AND-VDSL2-ADSL-FACEPLATE-FILTER-KIT-A-/221727286543?epid=883574121&hash=item339ff9e50f:g: wOMAAOSw7n9XEVSS


    fairly ugly though.

    and plug broadband in here
    Last edited by AndyPK; 10-09-2017 at 11:53 AM.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 11:47 AM
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    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    Should I open the "master socket" (hanging off the wall) and see what situation inside it is?
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 11:50 AM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    Originally posted by AndyPK
    That's a chunky ugly thing. I assume BT won't dig a hole and fit a nice pretty master socket set back into the wall? Like a proper grown up house has?
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 10th Sep 17, 11:56 AM
    • 2,441 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    AndyPK
    I did point out that they were ugly and stuck out.

    Which is why, just screwing the old one back on is better.

    The only advantage is you don't have a filter for broadband hanging out.

    No point opening the master socket. It's clear from the rear what is inside


    You could fit a metal back box yourself, (16mm one) but they still stick out loads, and doing that around your main cable isn't a great idea.
    Last edited by AndyPK; 10-09-2017 at 12:00 PM.
    • AndyPK
    • By AndyPK 10th Sep 17, 12:05 PM
    • 2,441 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    AndyPK
    the mk3 version sticks out as follows:

    Surface mounted = 6cm
    Flush mounted = 3.5cm


    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Original-Genuine-BT-Openreach-Phone-Master-Sockets-NTE5a-MK3-vdsl-back-box-/222414732719?hash=item33c8f37daf:g:z20AAOSwTuJYqaE S
    Last edited by AndyPK; 10-09-2017 at 12:07 PM.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 12:07 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    I did point out that they were ugly and stuck out.

    Which is why, just screwing the old one back on is better.

    The only advantage is you don't have a filter for broadband hanging out.

    No point opening the master socket. It's clear from the rear what is inside


    You could fit a metal back box yourself, (16mm one) but they still stick out loads, and doing that around your main cable isn't a great idea.
    Originally posted by AndyPK
    I don't think I can use the one that is there. I need to replace it with something more sturdy and screwed to the wall at least, not glued like this small crappy bit of flimsy plastic one was.

    I'll steer clear of a metal one though... I guess the best plastic one is the way to go...

    Does this mean that BT/OR won't sort this for free? If they wont then I'm sure I can do it for a lot cheaper than they'll charge...
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 12:10 PM
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    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    I assume this also means that if the hanging off the way one is the master socket then I can disconnect the other one further down the wall entirely, and every other socket in the house.. without worry?
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 10th Sep 17, 12:28 PM
    • 9,436 Posts
    • 9,005 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    The UK ring voltage is 50V DC. Apparently, it can rise to 60V for a modern exchange, close by, but the idea is that it is a non-fatal voltage.

    Confirmed here: http://www.britishtelephones.com/howtele.htm
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 10th Sep 17, 12:29 PM
    • 434 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    Mister G
    I'm assuming that the cable coming into the back of the master socket is the line in.

    Therefore you should be able to disconnect the cable coming into the side of this socket.

    I suggest that you remove it completely from inside the socket, rather than just cutting it, as this could short out the incoming line.

    Be careful not to disturb the incoming cable where it connects to the IDC connector block.

    You may want to consider getting one of these

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KRONE-STYLE-IDC-INSERTION-PUNCH-DOWN-TOOL-RJ45-NETWORK-PATCH-PANEL-AND-MODULES-/192182358527?hash=item2cbef611ff:g:lwMAAOSw5cRZEbx d
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 10th Sep 17, 12:33 PM
    • 434 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    Mister G
    The UK ring voltage is 50V DC. Apparently, it can rise to 60V for a modern exchange, close by, but the idea is that it is a non-fatal voltage.

    Confirmed here: http://www.britishtelephones.com/howtele.htm
    Originally posted by Cornucopia
    This appears to be incorrect.

    The steady state DC voltage is 50v, but the ring voltage is 90v AC.
    • Cornucopia
    • By Cornucopia 10th Sep 17, 12:43 PM
    • 9,436 Posts
    • 9,005 Thanks
    Cornucopia
    This appears to be incorrect.

    The steady state DC voltage is 50v, but the ring voltage is 90v AC.
    Originally posted by Mister G
    Another source here confirming the 50v steady voltage, but a 75v RMS AC signal at 25Hz providing the ring signal. (This would originally have driven the electro-mechanical bell).
    I'm a Board Guide on the Phones & TV, Techie Stuff, In My Home,
    The Money Savers Arms and Food Shopping boards. I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly, and I can move and merge threads there. Any views (especially those on the UK TV Licence) are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com.

    Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 12:45 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    Here is the entire layout of sockets and boxes in the house, covers on and off of all (except for the master - which I can't get one of the screws to come out and will have to break it to get inside).

    I'm still a little confused about how some of these things connect and where a couple of wires go to....

    https://imgur.com/a/MEX9S

    I am so grateful to everyone for advising me on this! I am learning a lot and starting to make sense of how this works, how it's connected, and what I can do to sort it all out. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 12:48 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    I'm assuming that the cable coming into the back of the master socket is the line in.

    Therefore you should be able to disconnect the cable coming into the side of this socket.

    I suggest that you remove it completely from inside the socket, rather than just cutting it, as this could short out the incoming line.

    Be careful not to disturb the incoming cable where it connects to the IDC connector block.

    You may want to consider getting one of these

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/KRONE-STYLE-IDC-INSERTION-PUNCH-DOWN-TOOL-RJ45-NETWORK-PATCH-PANEL-AND-MODULES-/192182358527?hash=item2cbef611ff:g:lwMAAOSw5cRZEbx d
    Originally posted by Mister G
    Great idea. Thank you! I think I will replace the master socket box entirely so can remove it then. The one there now is cheap and flimsy and can only be glued to the wall. I want to replace it with something more solid.

    Tool looks helpful - thanks for the link!
    • Mister G
    • By Mister G 10th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    • 434 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    Mister G
    You can use a small screwdriver, but you stand a chance of splaying the terminal too much, so that you get a poor connection. The tool is the correct size for the terminal.

    Why a plastic one is dearer I do not know!

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Solwise-Plastic-IDC-insertion-tool-/112108500083?hash=item1a1a2ff473:g:QpwAAOSw0TxZZk0 e
    • Colin_Maybe
    • By Colin_Maybe 10th Sep 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,305 Posts
    • 565 Thanks
    Colin_Maybe
    There's a useful looking website here: http://www.rob-r.co.uk/other/UKphonecatwiring.htm although I don't know how involved you want to get.

    If you just want to sort out the master socket (the one hanging off the wall) I would seriously consider phoning BT and tell them that you've got a very old master socket that's damaged and hanging off the wall. If they can do it for free (or a fixed low price) you can get them to fix it in a suitable place, they'll disconnect all of the extensions when fitting it.

    The small boxes by the way are purely junction boxes.
    • wallofbeans
    • By wallofbeans 10th Sep 17, 1:08 PM
    • 762 Posts
    • 25 Thanks
    wallofbeans
    There's a useful looking website here: http://www.rob-r.co.uk/other/UKphonecatwiring.htm although I don't know how involved you want to get.

    If you just want to sort out the master socket (the one hanging off the wall) I would seriously consider phoning BT and tell them that you've got a very old master socket that's damaged and hanging off the wall. If they can do it for free (or a fixed low price) you can get them to fix it in a suitable place, they'll disconnect all of the extensions when fitting it.

    The small boxes by the way are purely junction boxes.
    Originally posted by Colin_Maybe
    Originally, I just wanted to be able to remove the socket in the back bedroom. But now I've found the master socket (and the state it's in) I'd like to replace it. And then remove all the other sockets as well as the one I originally wanted to get rid of.

    Can I call BT and ask? I don't want to get stung with the call out charge. And I don't want to flag up to them that there's an issue with the master socket and then not let them fix it and do it myself... do I?

    FYI - keeping the master socket exactly where it is, is absolutely fine with me. I just want it to be safe and secure and work. I don't even mind the bulky boxes, anything is better than the current situation.

    And getting rid of all the junction boxes and random phone sockets would be wonderful, but `I can take them out and repair, replaster, repaint behind them. There's a lot of DIY to be done so it'll just go on the list...
    Last edited by wallofbeans; 10-09-2017 at 1:12 PM.
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