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

Re: RTV in Phone Jack

sawney beane (
Fri, 02 Jun 2006 14:59:46 -0400

Paul A Lee wrote:

> 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

My neighbor thought it was something that had melted and seeped in,
but I'm sure the stretchy stuff I removed from the plug was RTV. I
wonder if the repair person had two similar tubes and injected RTV by

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