Signs of a Crossed Phone Line

Cross phone lines are a common problem on the ancient telephone infrastructure supporting the network.

Here are a few simple ways to tell if your line is crossed and what you can do about it.

Cross Line Symptoms:

1. Usually the first sign of a crossed line is the sound of faint voices in the background of your conversation. Alternativly there may be either a faint dial tone or busy tone in the background of your conversation.

2. Another noticeable symptom is that when you call a mobile phone, the first call goes through ok but you can hear the person you called’s voice mail in the background. This is due to the fact that because of the crossed line, you have effectively dialed the same person 2 times at the exact same moment.

3. A more subtle effect of a cross line can be that you hear a sound that has a similar pulse to a normal ring tone but doesn’t actually sound like a phone ringing. This is the sound of the extra voltage that gets sent across a phone line, it comes in short bursts that can sometimes be heard on a cross line when the other line is ringing.

Common Causes:

Cross lines are caused when one of the 2 wires that provide the line to your telephone handset touch one of the wires feeding another line. The most common area for these faults is in the junctions out in the street which can become water logged after heavy rain.

Other causes include corroded terminals, phone cables that have been squashed or partially severed and unintentional double connections made by telecommunications technicians on the telephone cabling.