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If you’ve been following this story, then you know that my Verizon DSL Internet connection has been dead since last Monday night’s thunderstorm.
And you know that, on Tuesday morning, I contacted Eleanor in Verizon’s Customer Escalations Department, and made an appointment to have a Verizon technician come to my home on Friday (my day off) to fix the problem — again.
And you know that, on Thursday, Verizon called and left a message at my home, telling me that, for some unknown reason, they had cancelled my Friday appointment — and they had unilaterally rescheduled that appointment for today, between noon and 4:00 PM — even though I work until 1:00 PM today.
But what you didn’t know is that, yesterday morning (Friday), Eleanor called me at home again.
She apologized profusely for her company cancelling my repair appointment the previous day and rescheduling it for today.
Then she told me that she had just been notified that my repair appointment for today had also been cancelled. She suspects that it’s because Verizon doesn’t have enough qualified repair techs who work in my area.
She offered to reschedule my repair for some time during this coming week.
But, as you may recall, Friday is my only day off during the week.
So she said she would schedule the new repair appointment for next Friday.
I asked her what good it does to schedule an appointment if someone can (and now has) repeatedly cancel those appointments at the last minute, leaving me with no DSL Internet connection and a noisy telephone line for almost two weeks at a time.
She had no answer, other than to apologize profusely again.
I suggested to her that, since my telephone line is noisy and I have no DSL connection at all, and it’s going to be another entire week before a Verizon repair technician might or might not show up to fix it, I might as well open the telephone access box on the side of my house and try to fix the problem myself.
She laughed and said, “Yeah, you might as well.”
So I did.
In the photo above, you can see two smaller plastic boxes up at the top of my telephone access box, along with a spaghetti mess of twisted, multiply-spliced wires underneath them.
The upper plastic box (marked “DSL”) sends a DSL-only signal to the DSL-only wall connector in my home office.
The lower plastic box is the whole-house DSL filter. It splits my phone line’s DSL and normal telephone signals, then sends the DSL signals to the “DSL” box above it, and sends the normal telephone signals to the telephone-only wall connectors in my home office and in other rooms.
Not knowing anything about such complicated telephone wiring, I simply peeked and poked around, looking for anything that might not be right.
After checking for any shorted connections on any of the internal screws, I worked my way through the box, making sure that every screw was tight.
Do you see the green and red screws, side-by-side on the whole-house-DSL filter?
When I tried to tighten the green screw, it was already really tight.
But when I jiggled its white and green wires, they easily pulled out from under the screw.
I quickly saw that, even though the screw itself was tight, there was about 1/8-inch of space between the washers underneath the screw head and the plate that the screw screws into.
So I unscrewed that screw completely.
Then I screwed it back in, making sure that the gren and white wires were clamped underneath its washers.
I snugged it up tight.
And made sure that its two wires were tightly held in place.
When I went back into the house and picked up one of my telephones, the crackling noises that I had been hearing for almost a week were gone.
In their place was a loud hissing sound.
In my home office, I watched my DSL modem/router’s flashing lights as it repeatedly struggled to try to connect to Verizon — just as it had been doing continuously since last Monday night.
But it still couldn’t connect.
Amazingly, through experimenting, I discovered that, if I picked up the phone in my office and pressed the “1” key to silence the dial tone, my DSL modem/router could connect to Verizon, and I would have my DSL connection back, at full speed — but only until I hung up the phone.
So I went back out to my telephone access box.
Even though I didn’t see any foregn materials there, I cleaned around each of the screws, just in case something was there, creating a short between two screws.
And I moved the mess of spaghetti wires around, to make sure that the unsealed ends of a few of them weren’t shorted against each other.
When I got back to my home office, my DSL modem/router’s lights had stopped blinking — it had connected!
I picked up my telephone.
I turned to my computer and opened my Web browser.
It displayed this site’s home page!
I immediately went to SpeedTest.net, to check my connection speed.
I was connected at full speed!
And now, my Verizon DSL has now been running full speed — and my telephone line has been noise-free — for almost 24 hours
Summary: After enduring slow and completely disconnected DSL service for a total of several weeks out of the past few months; and after Verizon sent several different repair technicians to try to fix the problem; and after hours of phone calls with Verizon employees in both India and the United States; and after Verizon cancelled my last two repair appointments without any explanation…
I finally fixed the problem myself — by tightening one screw and cleaning a few connections.
I think Verizon owes me something.
Update: Oh, no! There’s crackling noise on my phone line and my DSL died again, after more than 24 hours of everything working great!
The whole-house DSL filter is definitely defective — I’m hearing my DSL modem/router’s sounds on my telephone line again, and it can only connect if I have my telephone off the hook. I’m holding my phone up to my ear as I type this, to try to stay connected to DSL long enough to post this update.
Update: Now, about ten minutes later, there’s no noise on my telephone line, and my DSL is working perectly again — at full speed.
When I thought about it, I realized that the latest phone line noise and DSL disconnection that happened several minutes ago occurred during a long telephone conversation with one of my friends — and we could both hear the phone line noise getting worse and worse, the longer we talked.
So now I suspect that my telephone conversations are causing my defective whole-house DSL filter to mix more and more of my DSL and telephone signals together, which causes all kinds of noise on my telephone line, which then causes my DSL to disconnect. But, a few minutes after I hang up the phone, my DSL filter “cools down” to the point where it only allows some of my telephone and DSL signals to mix together — and at that point, my DSL connection starts working again, at full speed.
Until the next time that I make a phone call.
If I’m right about that, then — now that I’ve cleaned and fixed the connections inside my telephone access box — maybe the only thing the Verizon technician will have to do when he arrives next Friday will be to replace my defective whole-house DSL filter.
Until then, I guess I’ll have to try to keep my telephone conversations short.
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