This is an update to a thread from March:
»A cautionary tale: NEVER ASSUME!
I just spent several hours troubleshooting what initially looked like a gradual line failure in the aftermath of the severe weather we had several weeks ago. Noise margins dropped, impulse noise was detected, and sync started dropping. By this time, I was hearing static on the POTS line to the point where the phone was unusable.
I tested at the NID and got sync and normal stats. I narrowed the problem down to the whole house filter, the inside POTS wiring, or the home run on the data side of the filter. When I disconnected the filter, I got dial-tone. When I had the filter in line, the voice line was drowned in static. To rule out the splitter, I tested at the data terminals with a surface mount phone jack, some alligator clips and a cheap wired phone. The data side of the splitter had normal dial-tone.
The problem was therefore in the home run. I began to check along the length of the home run. It follows the phone wiring up one side of the house, then angles up and goes through an attic vent. From the vent, it runs through the attic and feeds down to the computer room.
When I got to the attic vent, I found the problem. A screen and the CAT5E had been chewed through by a squirrel. I figured this out while I was cleaning an old bird's nest out of the area between the screen and a homemade plastic weather cover I had in place over the vent.
All of a sudden, a squirrel popped in through the hole in the screen and was staring at me on the other side of the thick plastic. Since I was holding a can of compressed air at the time, my reflex action was to whack the squirrel with the can. The squirrel retreated quickly.
I replaced the CAT5E, doubled up the screens in the vent, and sprayed the whole area with Black Flag Ant & Roach Killer.
Hopefully, this will deter squirrels and birds. Otherwise, I'll have to resort to the cayenne/Vaseline mixture I discovered in this thread:
»Re: !@#$% Squirrel