TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: RTV in Phone Jack

Re: RTV in Phone Jack

Paul A Lee (
Thu, 1 Jun 2006 15:54:40 -0400

In TELECOM Digest V25 #206, sawney beane <>
wrote (in part):

> Outside, I found that one of the contacts on his plug was=0D
> invisible. There appeared to be unpigmented RTV in the jack. =0D
> It had the physical characteristics of RTV when I scraped it=0D
> off the plug. That restored his service. He said the=0D
> crackling he'd had for two months was gone.

> Bellsouth will annoy me with useless telemarketing day after=0D
> day, so I don't know how they think. Could Bellsouth be=0D
> injecting RTV into phone jacks because they think it's=0D
> preventive maintenance or to create more service calls?

Some carriers use gel-filled jacks outside (at the demarc/NID) in
coastal or tropical areas where high humidity and temperature tend
to corrode connections. The gel helps exclude moisture and oxygen to
prevent corrosion that degrades electrical connections.

The stuff I've encountered is similar or identical to the gel filling
in so-called "ickyPIC" cable and serves a similar purpose. Like the
stuff in the cable, I suppose the gel in the jack could congeal and/or
migrate over time.

It shouldn't have disrupted the connection all by itself. Maybe the
BellSouth tech unplugged the prem wiring plug for testing, and the
congealed gel prevented the jack contact "whisker" from mating to the=
plug contact when she plugged it back in.

I'd tend to discount the "conspiracy theory", though ...

Paul A Lee Sr Telecom Engineer <>
Rite Aid Corporation WP-IS-COM (Telecomm) V: +1 717 791-6408
5280 Simpson Ferry Rd, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 F: +1 717 791-6406
P.O. Box 3165, Harrisburg, PA 17105-3165 C: +1 717 805-6208

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