HUMOR: Telephone line cleaning

From: Chris Rasch (
Date: Fri Mar 02 2001 - 11:10:48 MST

Something to send to all of your Luddite friends....:>

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: FW: Telephone line cleaning - humor (I hope!)
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2001 08:49:28 -0500
From: "James M. De Arras" <>
To: <>

> Please don't take this issue lightly!
> Before you allow the telephone company (Telco) to clean out your phone
> lines ...
> The following is taken from a Telephone New Subscriber Pamphlet dated
> November 1, 1997.
> There is a serious side-effect to having the phone company blow or
> out your lines. If there is a weak spot in the insulation anywhere
> between the central office and your phone, it can cause an insulation
> break in your phone line. Through this break, solder ants can enter
> thus
> causing an infestation, especially when the insulation break is close
> your house. For the uninformed, solder ants, a close cousin to the
> leaf-cutter ant, crawl through the phone lines and attack the soldered
> connections in phone equipment, answering machines, telephones,
> digital satellite receivers (plugged into a phone jack) and home
> computers, especially those using an internal modem. They eat the
> solder
> off of joints causing cold solder joints and opens. Symptoms of a
> solder
> ant infestation are the crackling and popping sounds heard on your
> phone,
> spurious reboots on your computer and wrong numbers/incomplete calls
> your phone. Remember the electrical outage that affected nearly the
> entire
> western United States several years ago? It was caused by solder
> Three ways to combat this pest are as follows ...
> 1. Cracks in your phone line insulation, the cause of solder ant
> infestations, are caused by excess slack in cables between the
> central office and your home. This slack causes excessive bending
> of the insulation on your phone lines thus causing cracks thus
> allowing solder ants to enter. In order to correct this, insist
> the phone company pull all the slack out of your lines from the
> central office end. This is not widely known, but the telcos must
> do this at no charge to the subscriber requesting it. Lobbying by
> the telcos prevented them from having to do this automatically.
> 2. Four to six inches from the device (phone, modem, etc.) tie a tight
> knot in the phone cord to prevent solder ants from exiting to your
> equipment (Make sure you loosen the knot when the lines are blown
> out!). This also has the added benefit of preventing lightning
> destroying your equipment. It is a known fact that lightning must
> travel in a straight line and it cannot make it around the bends
> a tight knot tied in your phone cord. This is a little known fact
> that
> companies such as APC, who make surge suppression equipment,
> do not want you to know.
> 3. Insist that the phone company flush your lines instead of blow them
> out. Chemicals contained in the flushing solution ward off solder
> ants and are just as effective in cleaning out your lines. The
> problem is that once notified that your lines are to be flushed,
> have the responsibility of unplugging all telecom devices and
> the phone cord ends extended in to some type of bucket to capture
> the flushing solution. Otherwise the solution will drain all over
> your
> equipment and require professional cleaning. An environmental
> note: Smaller, less well-financed telcos use cheaper, older, more
> dangerous flushing solutions. The residue left from line flushing
> must be dealt with the same way you would deal with any petroleum
> based solvent. The easiest way to get around this is to insist
> your Telco use environmentally friendly subscriber line flushing
> solvents.
> Warning: Do not attempt to blow out the lines yourself or try to look
> into a line that is being blown clean. You could destroy your phone
> equipment or injure yourself. It is best left to the experts. I have
> been in the telephone business for twenty-two years. I know what I am
> talking about! ;^)

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