The DSL diagnosis

On December 12, 2009, in news, by

Okay so several houses in the neighborhood have lost their phone service and it’s due to chipmunks squirrels that have chewed through the phone lines.  These are the same folks that have eaten through our power lines in the past causing us to get a ground wire installed at the house.  One night we noticed that the walls were “buzzing” and the squirrels had chewed through the ground wire up at the pole (our lines are above ground).

The good news is the phone company at least has enough “dead bodies” to know that there is a problem and we won’t have to attempt to convince them, there’s enough feedback and evidence of what has happened to do a proper diagnoses.

The bad news is that they will need to pull a new phone line.  But until then a Linksys router keeps on chuggin’.


(What?  Me bypass the opportunity to get that song stuck in your brain?  It’s a classic Christmas song!)


5 Responses to The DSL diagnosis

  1. Jim Behning says:

    National Electric Code has section 250 that talks about grounded, grounding and all that. I guess in days of old they just used your lead water pipe as your grounding source. Problem is lead pipes get replaced with copper which is still good, or smurf pipe or pvc which is bad for so many reasons. Plenty of flooded houses and yards from smurf pipe failing. Water meters in the house sometimes have insulators and seals that negate the grounding path. I suppose that is one reason why your electrician installed a proper grounding conductor. I suspect that many building have crummy grounding system which leads to messed up electronics and sometimes death. Of course you have to remember that I have a BBA which means I know little about electricity besides good grounds are a good thing.

    I see plenty of improper grounding happening in phone closets.

    If anyone is bored the NEC handbook is kind of interesting reading. A good $120 read but it gets replaced every 3 years. Mine happens to be the 1996 edition which was what I needed when I was building my house. Funny thing is when the electician was doing my barn he was not sure what the code said about the grounding element out at the barn. He was an industrial electrical contractor and the code confused him. Nohting has burned down in over 10 years so I guess all is good.

  2. Dale Unroe says:

    Its their sharp claws as they perform all those amazing acrobatic routines on the high wire running to and fro.

    One year a mother squirrel had found her way into a wall of my home and made a nest there. When the little guys were born the scratching gave it away. It was a lot of work to get them out without killing them and then to relocate them so they didn’t come back. My neighbor hasn’t been so lucky as they chew their way through her siding to return to their nesting site in her eaves – very noisy.

  3. Phil Wisch says:

    I didn’t know that you could build a house without a ground wire??

    I’ve seen groundwire (or lack thereof) cause all kinds of weird problems, especially killing electronics and computers throughout the building. Even seemingly go past/around surge protectors because of faulty ground wiring.

    Electrical storms and lightning play havoc in homes with faulty ground wiring.

  4. jim says:

    In days of old the ground was the water line. Of course in days of old there was no ground plug in the recepticle. Before my time about paying attention in my parents house built in 1900 or so. Most of the wiring was two wires. Only “new” work had three wires. No idea when they started requiring 3 wire home wiring.

  5. Joe Raby says:

    In our area, you have DSL from Bell Canada (or leased to one of their inferior resellers), or cable by Rogers. DSL in our area is limited to 5Mbps because of infrastructure limitations, and Bell doesn’t exactly have the money to upgrade phone lines to fiber-to-the-home. Cable is effectively double that rate, at 10Mbps for the same price, which is ~$50/mth for home users. Businesses pay ~$60/mth for similar speed service, but Rogers limits businesses to 8Mbps with an unlimited monthly cap, and the support to run a server (they don’t like home users with a server). Bell is still limited to 5Mbps regardless though.

    DSL sucks. It’s a dead-end technology with no future. Phone lines weren’t designed to handle the kind of bandwidth necessary to accomodate high data rates, so DSL is used as a band-aid to facilitate the expensive, but ultimately eventual migration for a phone company to offer fiber optic broadband.

    In contrast, Rogers infrastructure already offers the ability to support up to 50Mbps without needing to lay new cable. I dunno what cable is like in the US, but here in Canada, cable is the best, fastest, most economical option for an SMB, next to a much more expensive hardline directly into a backend pipe.