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UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
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Wiring to the NID

Sorry if this is a bit off topic. I'm getting DSL next week and was going to run a wire from the NID to the modem, and put a DSL splitter there. Problem is, there isn't a NID, or even a lightning protector or ground on my line, it comes right from the ped underground and into my basement, where it connects to a terminal block. No ground wire, nothing.

I called Qwest repair, they sent me to customer care, who sent me back to repair, who told me I have to pay for the installation of the NID, and they can't help me anyway since I have dialtone. So, if I have any problems with the wiring in my house, where does their responsibility end, and mine begin? With no point of demarcation, who knows?

Any tips on getting Qwest to install the NID and ground their wire? I understand I would be responsible to wire from the NID to the rest of the house.

I've had problems with lightning frying some phone jacks so I wane the wiring grounded. I'm fairly certain that is their responsibility.

Jeffg7

join:2001-07-27
Colorado Springs, CO

1 edit
>Any tips on getting Qwest to install the NID and ground >their wire? I understand I would be responsible to wire >from the NID to the rest of the house.

Yep I had a small metal box with two srews inside and my line was wrapped around the screws...Wow High tech... I got the same answer from qwest $200 for a new NID. So I waited for the next windy day and with a little crackle on the line I called qwest and said my line is all crackley... They send a repair tech over who replaced the metal box with a new NID free of charge...

So tell em your line is noisy... They will have no choice but to install a NID to determine if its your end or theirs...


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
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1 edit
said by Jeffg7:

So tell em your line is noisy... They will have no choice but to install a NID to determine if its your end or theirs...
That just might work! Maybe as I'm rewiring I could accidentally ground one side of the line so it buzzes, then they would have to check at the NID to see which side it's on.


Icon
Time Keeper
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2004-01-07
Little Rock, AR
kudos:3
When you called repair service, did you tell them that you had absolutely no lightning/surge protection and that they were responsible for providing this? Sounds like you were talking to a moron. I'd go with garnerjg's idea to tell them it's got a hum on it, or like you said "accidentally" ground one side of your station wire.

Good luck
--
OT...getcha some!


ewth8tr
Premium
join:2005-04-03
Salt Lake City, UT
reply to UHF
said by UHF:

I've had problems with lightning frying some phone jacks so I wane the wiring grounded. I'm fairly certain that is their responsibility.
The pots techs will generally try to replace the old protectors when they run across them, but they won't send someone out to do it if there is nothing wrong. As far as the ground wire, the tech will ground it as long as there is something close by like the power meter or something to do it, but if there is nothing near it, the homeowner will have to get a ground wire run and then the tech will hook it up.

Hahausuck
Premium
join:2003-12-14
kudos:2
That doesnt seem kosher with electrical code. I had a customer once that had the NID at the top of the house near the gable vents (it was an aireal drop), and the nearest ground was down and around the corner. I had the owner of the joint call into repairs and qwest took care of the matter themselves.....btw that was a HUGE ground run, it was 20' from the NID to the ground, let alone around the building.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
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join:2002-05-24
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reply to UHF
I did some more investigating and there IS a ground wire, but it doesn't connect to ground anywhere that I can find. It might attach to a cold water pipe somewhere where I can't see it. The funny thing is, there is nothing attached to the 'ground' lug on the terminal block other than this ground wire. I thought the underground cables generally had a ground wire or shield in them that attached there. Whatever that old block is, it isn't much of a protector. And code says it has to be grounded BEFORE it enters the building anyway, and be bonded to the other utility grounds. The city would never allow them to ground it the way it is now.

If I can just get the NID box installed I'll ground the thing myself, it isn't more than 20' to the utility ground, but you have to run a wire underneath a deck to do it. I can't blame a telco tech for not wanting to do that, especially since this deck has skirting all the way around it so there is no easy access underneath it. I need to replace an old tv coax that runs under there also, so it's doesn't bother me in the least to route a ground wire under there at the same time.


Icon
Time Keeper
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2004-01-07
Little Rock, AR
kudos:3
reply to ewth8tr
So if there isn't a ground that is "close" enough for Qwest, will the tech still hook up dial tone without one, or will the customer have to wait until a ground is available then call back to have dial tone brought to their home? And do Qwest techs not drive ground rods? It seems odd to me that would be the case, because Qwest should install the NID to begin with, so therefore is responsible for grounding their equipment. But then I work for an independent, and not a bell, and I have seen several differences as far as "specs" go.
--
OT...getcha some!


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
I'm positive that when that older style protector was put in, it was grounded properly to the available ground. Cold water pipes were an acceptable method. Matter of fact they still are, albeit not the preferred 1st choice.

If over the years however that ground got disconnected from it's bonding; i.e. cold water pipe, main electrical ground, etc... That is Qwest's fault, or responsibility. Installing protectors inside the house was a very common and acceptable practice. Current practice states that the customer needs to have access to the NI for testing purposes, and Qwest personnel need to have access. Any new NI's that are put up will 99% of the time be on the outside of the house. They can with certain permissions and conditions go insdie, but that is rare.

To get yours replaced, all you have to do is call Qwest and tell them that you want to test your line and hook up some more jack wiring but aren't able to because the existing NI is too old and doesn't allow for that. They will replace it. And NO IT DOESN'T COST YOU ANYTHING. It may not be a priority and be something that might take a couple of days, but just get the job number when you call it in and if it hasn't been taken care of call back.

If it is a new installation and/or a replacement of the NI and Qwest can't get to the power ground because the electricians used all PVC conduit or their's no actual outside ground, they will try for a cold water pipe or tell you to have an electrician provide a ground. Have Qwest techs driven ground rods? Yes! Do they have to, or should they, NO!. The cold water pipe is generally electrically bonded to the power ground near where the water heater is and such, so that is a good ground. A ground stake, while legal in MOST states, is not neccessarily the SAME ground as power and such if the tech doesn't feel comfortable driving a ground stake for that reason, or because of unknown underground conditions, he or she does not have to do that. They can request you call them back when you have a proper ground available.

There is of course exceptions to every rule. One rule is techs who don't KNOW the rules and do it anyway. The other exception is the MANY Older techs that have been around since Alexander first said "Can You Hear Me Now?" Their attitude is; "That's the way we always did it". A good tech will move the NI to where the same electrical ground is available, or use cold water if neccessary, or have you get an electrician. If you fight that, they SHOULD tell you to take it up with their supervisor. Either way, except for having an electrician provide a ground because your house is so old that a good ground can't be found, there is NO COST for you to have Qwest put in a NEW NI. Later... Mike....


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
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join:2002-05-24
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Several comments..

First, Qwest already told me I will probably have to pay to have the NI installed. They didn't care that one wasn't there. If there is not a "problem" affecting service they will not dispatch a tech without charging the minimum $85 charge. I got bounced among several people at Qwest in my attempt to get this fixed.

Two, cold water pipe grounding is a violation of NEC, unless you run the ground wire to the STREET side of the water meter. A jumper across the meter is no longer acceptable, even though it was at one time.

Three, driving their own stake wouldn't really help since all wiring entering the home (power, cable tv, phone, etc) must be bonded together, so they end up running a ground wire to the power companies ground anyway.

Four, I have certainly seen the "thats the way we always did it" techs! I don't care how they used to do it, I want it done right, and that means a single point ground.

I'm just going to say to heck with it and install my own lightning protector inside the house where it can bond to the electrical ground, and reroute their ground wire to the street side of the water meter since there isn't very far to go to get there. If I ever do have an issue then Qwest is going to get an earful from me for not being able to test the line myself.


ewth8tr
Premium
join:2005-04-03
Salt Lake City, UT
reply to Icon
said by Icon:

So if there isn't a ground that is "close" enough for Qwest, will the tech still hook up dial tone without one, or will the customer have to wait until a ground is available then call back to have dial tone brought to their home? And do Qwest techs not drive ground rods? It seems odd to me that would be the case, because Qwest should install the NID to begin with, so therefore is responsible for grounding their equipment. But then I work for an independent, and not a bell, and I have seen several differences as far as "specs" go.
I have never been a tech and am not privy to the exact rules given to the techs, but I have seen on countless occasions where techs have gone out to install new service and a NID and then put the order on hold while the customer provided somewhere to ground the NI.


christcorp
Premium
join:2001-05-21
Cheyenne, WY
kudos:1
reply to UHF
I understand your frustratation, but they can't charge you for replacing an NI that you CAN'T test yourself. That was part of the 1984 and 1996 rulings. YOU are ALLOWED to work on ALL PHONE WIRING in your house, or hier anyone else you want, (State licensing rules apply, except for yourself). Qwest has to provide you a means to separate and test their lines from yours. I'm sorry that you are getting the run around from some dildos at Qwest.

The grounding issue with the water pipe, I meant on the outside of the house side. Qwest installs their NI's outside only now, (Some rare exceptions). I didn't mean to the hose faucet or running it into your basement unless it's like mine and the meter is down their also. You are correct about BEFORE THE METER.

The $85 charge they speak of is their trouble isolation charge they throw at everyone to say; "If the problem is on YOUR side of OUR protector you will be charged $85". Even if their was a charge for replacing the NI, which their isn't, it wouldn't be $85. The charge wouldn't be a flat rate. It's what is called T&M. Time and Materials. It's a By the hour charge. i.e. I'm residing my house and I need you to move the box and then come back in a week and return it where it was;;;; I'm remodeling the house and cutting down trees, can you disconnect the line from the pole and lay a temp on the ground until next week.

All I can say is you are being given wrong information from whomever you called. If by chance you live in the same state as me, drop me an email and I'll have you talk to the right person. If you are out of state, maybe one of the other people can help you find the right person. Later... Mike....

nonymous
Premium
join:2003-09-08
Glendale, AZ

2 edits
reply to UHF
"I did some more investigating and there IS a ground wire, but it doesn't connect to ground anywhere that I can find. It might attach to a cold water pipe somewhere where I can't see it. The funny thing is, there is nothing attached to the 'ground' lug on the terminal block other than this ground wire. I thought the underground cables generally had a ground wire or shield in them that attached there. Whatever that old block is, it isn't much of a protector. And code says it has to be grounded BEFORE it enters the building anyway, and be bonded to the other utility grounds. The city would never allow them to ground it the way it is now."

Here is what might happen given what you want. Place a new sni near the electric meter. Place a temp drop until a contractor can dig in a new drop wire correctly to the new sni near the electric meter. This at Qwest's cost. None charged to you. All done to code all up to date. Then if there is no inside wiring near that point either Qwest at a time and materials charge to you would tie in your existing house wiring to the up to date per code network interface. Or since it is your own inside wiring you would be allowed to do it.

SECOND POSSIBLE:
How old is the house? Do you know if other neighbors have the demarc in the basement? Maybe the real demarc was remodeled over. Or maybe there is a real ground somewhere that is hidden and by having worked at other houses nearby the tech will just walk right up to it.

Last edit.
Plus you do not have dial tone.The tech when they come to install the dsl must leave it at an up to date sni so it will be taken care of at that time. Just try to schedule the dsl install for when you are home.


ArgMeMatey

join:2001-08-09
Milwaukee, WI
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reply to UHF
said by UHF:

Two, cold water pipe grounding is a violation of NEC, unless you run the ground wire to the STREET side of the water meter. A jumper across the meter is no longer acceptable, even though it was at one time.

There are lots of things that violate the NEC, but state and local codes often specify that certain articles of the NEC do not apply, or that only certain articles apply. Have you checked your local codes for exclusions?

Where I live, low voltage wiring such as telephone and CATV are not regulated by state and local authorities so codes do not apply. According to my local electrical inspector, code also does not apply to the electrical service wiring until it gets to the service head or pedestal, which are their demarcations. Telephone, CATV and electrical service standards are all determined by the respective companies that install and maintain them. And for that matter, natural gas piping is completely unregulated inside and outside the house. So much for the "safety" argument.


Red_Menace
poking around since 1978

join:2001-11-03
Littleton, CO
The NFPA 70 doesn't apply to the utility side, so the local inspector is correct there (although most utilities have some kind of installation practice). If the state or local jurisdiction has accepted the NEC (and most do), then it doesn't really matter if is is "regulated" or not, since there are sections in there dealing with low voltage wiring such as telephone and CATV. And remember, it isn't so much about "safety" as it is determining liability - most companies will do what is needed to protect themselves.


UHF
All static, all day, Forever
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join:2002-05-24
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reply to UHF
They specifically stated that I would pay $85 to have the tech come look, and pay T&M to actually install the box. Which I agree, is BS, it is their responsibility to do it, but they don't even want to dispatch a tech to look into it.

I decided to escalate straight to the top. A letter is in the mail today to the VP of Operations at the corporate Qwest offices describing the situation and what the dweebs at reapir tried to tell me. I'm confident that I will see results from that. I once had to do that after 14 months of arguing with the local tech that my CallerID was broken.

That was a fun one, CallerID worked fine on long distance calls, but would only spit out the last four digits of calls in my own area code. How weird is that? They insisted it was my equipment. Ok.... Tell me how 5 different displays can have the same problem? Each tried seperatly? They refused to have a tech come look at the line at the house since there was no NID, all they would do is call me back from Colorado and ask if CID was displayed. Of course it was, it was from a different area code. They all but told me I was stupid. The joke was on them when corporate caught wind of my issue. They called the same day they got the letter, had a tech at the house 30 minutes after initially contacting me and verified that I was right. 24 hours later they called to tell me that the Switch Engineering group identified an error in the config for my line in the local switch. The problem was fixed, and I would recieve a credit for 14 months of Caller ID service. Amazing!

sir_brizz

join:2005-12-29
Pleasant Grove, UT
It's amazing what you can get done with these corporate m0tards by going straight to the top.

Actually, it's pretty pathetic that their first- and second-tier support are so terrible when it comes to tech-savvy people.