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Get help with your TalkTalk landline and calling features.

Crackling on landline confirmed using TalkTalk tools

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Message 89 of 89

There is crackling on the landline, running a TalkTalk test confirms this and a reference is generated. The recent visit of an Openreach engineer confirmed the crackling in on the line not in my head. At the start of the month this crackling overwhelmed the landline and after a snapping sound the call terminated. When the caller tried again their voice was distorting/echoing. TalkTalk website confirmed there was a fault on the landline.


The fault persists, I am using a new phone - it is not a cordless one. It is directly connected to the Openreach 5C master socket which has a new faceplate fitted by a Qube GB engineer.


The crackling continues when the electrical supply to the house is off.


A fresh test yesterday indicated a fault with the landline, there has not been an update for 24 hours.

I spent a long time on Live Chat as I was requested to do so, a test by the agent warned me it might last 20 minutes. The results of this test were to be included with the notes on my account.


Three weeks since the initial complaint - anyone with poor mental health would be put at risk by these circumstances.


I live in an area with a poor mobile phone signal, 28% again today. A landline is very important, to be able to hear and be heard is also important.


There have been landline faults here since I switched to TalkTalk six years ago.




Message 61 of 89

Yes please.


Crackling on a landline can be caused by a


high resistance fault


rectified loop


battery contact.


The latter is possible, as in December 2023 the Openreach engineer in my home detected a surplus voltage. I understand this surplus can be caused by


the landline coming in contact with another landline


worn cables


wet joints


other water related issues.


I think the problem is in the usual place, at the top of the nearby pole or the cable that runs to and between the two nearby Openreach cabinets.


Should these have been investigated by the Openreach engineer? He could hear the continuous crackling noise on the landline using his handset connected to the test socket. I can hear the continuous crackling noise when my new phone [bought to rule out the old phone] is connected to the test socket while the electricity to my home is switched off.


Message 62 of 89

I repeatedly report the landline having a continuous crackling noise coming from the test socket using multiple phones while the electricity to the house is switched off.


Qube GB reports continuous crackling noise on the landline and repeated failure of a test. The equipment is set up correctly.


TalkTalk repeatedly reports the line as clear.


Openreach report the line as OK in December 2023 and February 2024.


If this is a matter of semantics I think Openreach and TalkTalk should be honest with me rather than ganging up on the person paying the bill and experiencing the continuous crackling noise on the landline.


CLEAR LINE       is not the same as       LINE OKAY       which is not the same as       CONTINUOUS CRACKLING NOISE ON THE


Message 63 of 89

Message 64 of 89

No, the date was missing.


Thank you for confirming it was from you and the date of the Openreach engineer appointment.


Message 65 of 89

Regarding the question about acceptable faults - I've never really heard the term "acceptable fault" but I suppose you could have a fault that causes a slight drop in speed, for instance, but the speed is still within acceptable limits in which case it may be seen as acceptable not to fix the fault. But if there's a bad crackle on the line affecting call quality then the cause would need to be found and fixed.



Message 66 of 89

I booked the appointment for Feb 28 AM, as per my previous post. Is this what it says in the email?



Message 67 of 89

Hello Chris,


Thank you for booking a return visit by Openreach.


An email has arrived confirming an Openreach appointment, was that from you? If so, please take a look at it.


If not from you, please let me know in case someone else has sent it. As I do not want to be charged £75 by missing an Openreach engineer appointment.


Message 68 of 89

Hello Chris,


Openreach engineers have conducted tests from my house, for example in December 2023 when the broadband was continually disconnecting. I was told by the Openreach engineer that the number of disconnections was to be expected/acceptable or words to that effect - 6 disconnections in a day would be a problem. The voltage of the landline was 2 volts above that expected but the threshold or words to that effect was 3 volts before it was of concern.


Looking at the last two reports produced by Openreach for TalkTalk and watching the engineers in my home, I assume it is a tick box exercise. The actual results of the tests are not passed on. An exasperated Openreach engineer a few years ago told me how unsatisfactory the tick box approach was to him and of course customers such as myself who have to repeatedly complain about faults. That engineer told me about the concept of acceptable faults and gave me advice on how to help myself by being very confident of the equipment I was using in my home and how to report faults to TalkTalk.


Long ago I was able to talk to TalkTalk network engineers and they also gave me tips on how to ensure the router worked well. Profile Management was explained to me, I think this is software used by TalkTalk to manage network traffic. I am not sure if the landline is also subject to Dynamic Line Management by Openreach.


An Openreach trouble shooter has been in my home in the past and I have heard a conference call between Openreach engineers and a troubleshooter.


As I am piggy in the middle between TalkTalk and Openreach, I pay close attention to what happens in my home, take notes and try to communicate as best I can with TalkTalk.


My suspicion is that Openreach only needs to wait for FTTP and certain problems will end, a cost effective solution for that business but not for me nor TalkTalk.


I have asked National Grid if they have encountered any Openreach cables while digging up the road from their very large substation towards my house and past the two nearby Openreach cabinets. This work is on the road between those cabinets and the local exchange. Nation Grid have crossed the road from side to side a number of times. They have told me there have not been any incidents.


To be frank, I am exhausted by this matter. It is 23 days since a landline call which was crackling very badly eventually disconnected with a loud snap. When the caller rang again their voice was distorting/echoing, they sounded like a dalek. They tried again and it was the usual background crackling noise.


I am so weary of the problems and the amount of effort I have to put in once I decide to complain.  I am asked the same questions over and over as if TalkTalk staff do not share information given to them. There must be pages and pages of notes on my account.


Thank you for continuing to try to help me.




Message 69 of 89

I've booked the first appointment available - February 28 2024, AM - please let us know how you get on


Message 70 of 89

Yes, noise on the line can cause the broadband to disconnect (and it can affect connection speed).


Sorry not sure what you mean about "number of acceptable faults". A continuous loud crackle isn't acceptable so the cause needs to investigated and fixed.




Message 71 of 89

Hello Chris,


Thank you for your reply. I will try to find about the possibility of an external filter if Openreach are unable to identify the cause of the continuous crackling noise on my landline.


Can a number of acceptable faults cause a continuous crackling noise on a landline?


Could these faults at times together be responsible for the reason I complained about on Thursday 1 February 2024.


Could these faults be the reason the broadband disconnects, sometimes for only a few seconds?


Thank you for trying to help me.


Message 72 of 89

Sorry, I don't know about the filter. I'll book the first AM appointment available (excluding the 27th) and put a note on the fault ticket about the hoist. I'll let you know when I've booked the appointment



Message 73 of 89

Hello Chris,


Does Openreach have a filter that could be fitted to the landline, before it enters my house, which would remove the continuous crackling noise on the landline, if they are unable to determine its cause?


Message 74 of 89

Hello Chris,


Is the Openreach engineer visit booked for this morning [Friday 23 February 2024]?


Message 75 of 89

A morning appointment will give the Openreach engineer the chance of getting a hoist while here if they need to reach the top of the pole for the reasons I described.


If a hoist is required and is not available, it requires another Openreach appointment to be made. Previous Openreach engineers have asked me to point out that a morning appointment is best for the reasons I have described and that a hoist may well be required.


Do you think problems previously picked up by  TDR tests that were within the distance between the Openreach Master Socket and the Openreach Cabinets may well include the box at the top of the telegraph pole? The last time an Openreach engineer was at the top of the telegraph pole they made a remark about it and tried different connections.


When my adjoining neighbour's had a problem Openreach went to the top of this telegraph pole and removed their landline and reconnected it to a different telegraph pole further away from the Openreach cabinets.


Message 76 of 89

Sorry, do you mean will the engineer have a hoist?



Message 77 of 89



Will the Openreach engineer be able to conduct the necessary tests to identify the cause of the continuous crackling noise on the landline under the conditions I have described?


Please book a morning appointment, but not for Tuesday 27 February 2024.


Thank you.


Message 78 of 89

OK, if you'd like us to book the engineer can you confirm that you accept potential Engineers charges and we'll book the first engineer appointment available




Message 79 of 89

Hello Chris,


Yes, please book another Openreach engineer visit. The nearby telegraph pole leans a lot, to my knowledge it has not been climbed for 5 or 6 years. Repeat Openreach engineer visits have been required because the pole leans so much, a hoist has been used each time for my visits and also recently when my adjoining neighbour's landline was moved from that pole to one further away from the Openreach cabinets.


Morning appointments are best for me as I gather Openreach engineers do not visit the tops of poles once it becomes dark.


I am not available on Tuesday 27 February 2024 as I have an appointment to attend.


Thank you once again for your help.




Message 80 of 89

Thanks for the information. We can book another engineer visit to investigate further, would you like me to arrange this?