June 23, 2014 | Posted in: Residential

Master sockets

 

I’m often asked by residential phone customers if their master socket can be moved. This might be because it’s in an awkward place or perhaps because they want the Master Socket in their office to plug the broadband straight in to.

The answer, however, to whether you can move your Master Socket is a simple, “no”. The Master Socket belongs to either your service provider, or in most cases, BT or Openreach (part of BT). Rather like the gas and electricity boards own the meters, the telephone service provider owns the Master Socket.  Everything up to and including the Master Socket, all the way from the exchange, along the telegraph wiring and cable to your house, is their responsibility and ownership.

If you do move the Master Socket yourself, for whatever reason, then BT will charge you in the region of £150 to put it right, should a Master Socket fault then occur. The won’t be best pleased either.

However, the Master Socket can also assist you in diagnosing where a phone line fault is, and can test whether the problem is with the extensions, or the main line coming in. So, it’s worth reading on rather than instantly phoning BT to send out an engineer before you’ve done some simple checks of your own.

You can remove the faceplate of the Master Socket (just take out the screws) and this will show you another BT phone socket from which you can plug your phone straight in. You are allowed to do this, and indeed if you phone BT with a fault then they will often ask you to test in this way, before they send an engineer out.

If all works fine by testing from the Master Socket, then the problem is with your extensions or internal wiring. This is your responsibility to sort out and BT will charge a hefty call out fee if they have to come out and rectify it.

If the phone line is dead from the Master Socket, then this is up to BT (or your service provider) to fix – at no cost to you.

If the Master Socket location is an issue, then instead of relocating your Master Socket you can instead add an extension, as the Master Socket allows this. Again, BT (or your service provider) will charge round £150+ for this and you may have to wait some time until they can schedule you in for this.

To improve your broadband performance, you can plug your router directly into the Master Socket instead of into an extension socket. Or, you can plug your router into the Master Socket and connect an ethernet cable (patch cable) from the router to your PC. This will improve your speed and reduce interference from the phone wiring in the house.

Alternatively, you can buy another Master Socket (from all good hardware shops) that has both broadband and phone sockets on the front. You can then cable from the new socket you have just bought, to the Master Socket, which would give you a whole new Master Socket – wherever you wanted it in the house to plug your broadband in to.

If you need any help with telephone extensions, faults and Master Sockets then feel free to get in contact and we’ll be happy to assist (at generally less than half the price service providers would charge!).