Dead BT test socket in master socket?

  virtuallythere 10:24 04 Sep 2008

We have been trying to troubleshoot our intermittent and very slow BT broadband connection. While doing this we followed the instructions (found on this forum and elsewhere)to remove the lower front plate on the master socket and plug the router, via a microfilter, directly into the test socket. Seemed like a good idea, however the test socket seems to be completely dead: no dialtone with a telephone plugged into it.
We originally had 2 phone lines coming into the house, and when we went over to broadband, a few years ago got BT to disconnect one of them. There is one telephone extension wired through, presumably from the master socket. Really puzzled by this as considerable Googling doesnt show this problem.

Considering calling BT, but concerned by the threat of an expensive engineer visit. Any ideas? Explanations?

  woodchip 10:37 04 Sep 2008

You should contact BT if you pay BT for the line. If not go through your supplier

  Poitier 12:31 04 Sep 2008

Note that you had one line disconnected.It is odd that the line is dead but the broadband works slowly.If you normally use the extention,that should also be dead when the faceplate is removed from the master socket as it will be disconnected, if as you presume ,the extention is wired to it. If the line is dead it will be a problem for BT or your supplier.

  lotvic 19:34 04 Sep 2008

1. "originally had 2 phone lines coming into the house" = 2 master sockets and each with their own telephone number

2. "plug the router, via a microfilter, directly into the test socket" - why use a microfilter for testing of the phone line? Maybe it is the microfilter that has the fault

3. Maybe what you think is the extension is actually the 2nd master socket - is this where you usually plug the router, via a microfilter for your internet connection? Does this still have a Dial tone when a phone is plugged in?

  virtuallythere 21:17 04 Sep 2008

Yes, originally 2 separate lines with 2 different phone numbers. Cable comes in from the roof, down from the loft and to what certainly looks like a BT master socket - has a split across, can unscrew bottom half of front plate, has what looks like a test socket. 2 (blue/white and white/blue) wires come from the back to the removable half front plate. However the test socket gives no dial tone, either with or without a microfilter. The socket on the removable half front plate does give a dial tone, both with and without a microfilter. Seems like the test socket just isnt connected to anything. The extension, which goes through to the kitchen is a smaller box with no split across, just one plate, and no test socket behind that plate.

Yes, Netgear router is plugged into master socket as it wont sync otherwise.

Although the other line had been disconnected by BT, the sockets are still there, but completely dead, as I would expect.

Hope that clarifies things. Grateful for any ideas. Just to complicate things, we get the problem sometimes where the broadband router only syncs when we use the phone.

  Cockney Rebel 21:37 04 Sep 2008

If as you say you have dial tone on the front plate but not the main part,the line is wired incorrectly.The line from outside should be wired to the two screws on the main part.These wires should either be an orange and white or in some cases if yyou,ve had a second line they may be green and a black.The blue wires are definitely xtn wiring and as such they should be connected from the face plate to other xtn sockets.

  lotvic 00:58 05 Sep 2008

"... to what certainly looks like a BT master socket - has a split across, can unscrew bottom half of front plate, has what looks like a test socket...."

Does this 'master socket' have the BT piper logo on it?
If there is no BT piper logo on it then it cannot be the BT master socket and you need to trace the wiring from the loft to find out what's going on.
It is not allowed to mess with the wiring TO the BT master - heavy ££'s penalty for doing so if BT find out. click here

I wonder if you have this setup click here (scroll down about 3/4)
"phone line comes into a junction box in the roofspace from which the wires run in a "star" or spur configuration, the "master" socket is on one leg of the spur system and is identified by having a ring capacitor and a surge arrestor fitted."
and if so someone has fitted their own NTE5 box (with no BT piper logo) as per my first link above (which shows how to do it the legal way)

  FatboySlim71 08:24 05 Sep 2008

Have you tried this forum:
click here

They are normally very good with broadband problems.

  virtuallythere 09:12 05 Sep 2008

Yes, does have the BT Piper logo. I will investigate this further. Thanks for the suggestion about the other forum too.

  virtuallythere 09:18 05 Sep 2008

Both the old (disconnected) and the working telephone lines come from a junction box in the loft, this has a cable in with a load of wires. Is this the star that people are mentioning? And is this why what I am assuming is a master socket is wired as it is, perhaps?

  woodchip 11:41 05 Sep 2008

This may sound daft, But is the BT socket a redundant socket that as not been removed and you may have a new one fitted somewhere els

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