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Intermittent cracking on phone line

Intermittent cracking on phone line

Contributor moochie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-28-2010
Message 1 of 10

Every once in awhile there is a pretty loud cracking sound on my phone line.  Some days worse than others.  I can also hear a soft hum on the line most of the time.  When it rains, my dsl speed drops considerably, sometimes losing sync.  Does this sound like a line issue or is there something else maybe.  I just installed a new whole house dsl filter/splitter running cat5 cable from the nid to filter/splitter.  I also used cat5 cable to run to my jack for the modem.  Anyone have any ideas?

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎10-08-2009
Message 2 of 10

Can you undo your recent changes and see if the problem goes away?


You have so many variables it will be hard to isolate.

Try removing parts of the picture and see if anything changes


Disconnect your modem entirely and see if that affects the crackling.

Try unplugging all your phones except for one and see if that helps. Rotate through each phone .

Do you have any phone splitters? Try removing them and see if there is any difference.


Try plugging a phone directly at the NID with everything else disconnected to see if that reveals anything.


Contributor moochie
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-28-2010
Message 3 of 10

Thanks for the reply, but it's done it for quite a long while.  Even before I installed the filter and even before I got DSL.  I guess I just noticed it more since I got dsl.  When it rains or when temperature gets above say 75 degrees and it's sunny it will start.  Dsl will drop out and like I said the cracking noise and what sounds like a low hum.  Ran cat 5 cable for one of the phone jacks and will do the other when I get the time. 

Contributor Trekker1
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
Message 4 of 10

I have the same problem.

I have had the problem on and off for 12 years. Mostly when it rianed. That was repaired (outside  box at pole across street)

Had DSL connection issues. a repairman was sent and installed a whole house filter. Connection issues gone, but I have cracks and static constantly. I checked my outside customer access box, the line is clear. Inside it isn't.  So It has to be the filter and here is why.

 there are two sets of wiring. the phone wiring that was here when I bought the house, and a seperate line I ran from the customer box through my house for a second phone line when I had dial-up. I now use that for my DSL from my computer to the customer box where it is wired into the single land line phone number. SO it cannot be an inside wiring issue if two seperate physical lines are affected by the smae issue. the only thing they have in common is the whole house filter. Anyone experience this?

Contributor TheeMZ
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-02-2014
Message 5 of 10

I am experiencing the same exact issue.  I use a Panasonic cordless phone and all has been well since I signed up with Verizon about 10 years ago.  My DSL service is fine and uninterrupted.  My phone service has been the same up until about three weeks ago.  All of a sudden there's crackling and static when I answer a call, when I attempt to make a call and even, people are telling me that when they attempt to leave a message on my answering machine they can hear the staic and cracking.  It starts off intermitent then increases in intensity to where I can not make out whomever is on the other end of the line.  I live in California, so no moisture issue with rain affecting the wires.  I tried to call Verizon but the line got so bad that i could not understand the rep and had to end the call.  I don't understand how, or what this is.  I have unplugged the router, no fix.  I have replace the DSL filter, no fix.  I have moved the base staion of the phone to various parts of my house, no fix.  I live in a bachelor apartment so there is no issue with obstructions affecting the signal or being to far away from the base station.  I will try pluggin a phone into the NID outside but other than that I am at a loss and would apprecaite any and all help.   Thanks.

Moderator Moderator
Posts: 9,031
Registered: ‎03-18-2013
Message 6 of 10

Hi TheeMZ,


If you determine that the problem is with the line and not the cordless telephone, you can use the Verizon Troubleshooter to fix and report issues, as well as to schedule a repair, here is the link:
You can find tools on the Verizon Residential Support page that may help you diagnose your issue:

Contributor MattZ
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-05-2014
Message 7 of 10

Thanks for the info.  I did try to use the Verizon OnLine Troubleshooter Tool but it kept saying that it could not complete the test and to try again later.  I guess the next thing to do is to plug a phone into the NID outside and see what happens.

Copper Contributor K_I_S_S
Copper Contributor
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎04-13-2013
Message 8 of 10

This is really a common issue.  The very first thing is you have to determine if it is insode or outside the house.

This is where the NID comes into play.  You have to do the test with a known good phone at the NID when your having the problem.


Inside can be as simple as a damp cobweb in a phone jack.  The cobwebs can also be in verizon;s equipment like in a splice box or on a pole.  The cob webs get damp, the resistanceis lowered and you get crackling and hum.


With the inside line disconnected, an Ohmmeter can determine if the problem exists inside the house.  You do have to assure that all phone are on hook.  Resistances less than about 1 meg ohm indicate a parallel path.


Finding the culpret inside the house can be moderately difficult.  Since all of the jacks are in parallel, it can be anywhere.

It depends on how the house is wireed:  Home run is preferred, but even the telco company didn;t do that in the 1960's.


Noise can also mean a telephone is connected to a DSL modem without a filter.  Turn the modem off and see if the noise goes away.


An often overlooked area is the "protectors".  Older lines had carbon like blocks installed in the inside of the house.  Sometimes when NIDS were added, the inside protectors stayed in place.  Other times, the inserts were removed.

The NOD generally contains the protectors on the telco side of the box.


A telco jack in a damp basement near the floor is a good suspect.


It can also be a phone.

Contributor MattZ
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎09-05-2014
Message 9 of 10

Thank you so much for your insight.  You were the only person to mention spider webs and when I opened up the NID outside my apartment guess what I found?  All kinds of spider webs.  So, I cleaned all the inside of the NID and my phone line's clarity has improved.  I spoke with one of my neighbors 2 units away and she said that she has been experiencing the same thing but with her, if she is online, she says that when the crackling/static gets bad she gets bumped offfline.  That has yet to happen to me.  My internet connection has not been negatively affected.  Just the phone.  I only have one phone jack inside my place so troubleshooting my end of the phone line should be fairly simple.  If I deduce that the issue lies somewhere outside my apartment what do I do then? 

Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 6,232
Registered: ‎04-29-2009
Message 10 of 10

As this thread is now over two years old, it will be locked in order to keep discussions current. If you have the same or a similar question/issue we invite you to start a new thread on the topic.

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