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Dial-up disconnects during storms

  1. Aug 17, 2005 #1
    For some reason I keep getting disconnected whenever a storm is nearby. Its lightning outside pretty bad, but the power is not affected, instead the effect is limited to the phone line only. Is the lightning short-circuiting the phone line? Or is it something local?

    I'm having a difficult time posting this as I speak. I keep getting disconnected, cannot stay online for more than a minute.

    edit: Moderators, please delete one of these, I got disconnected when posting the original, and didn't think it posted. Ah darnit, thunderstorm power outage...
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 17, 2005 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Lightning and wet cable can both cause static which will degrade the signal enough for you to lose your internet connection. The noise may not affect talking over the line, but the signals sent for your connection to your ISP are more sensitive.

    Be careful, my house was hit by lightning last month and caused over $10,000 in lost appliances and electrical wiring, even though I had expensive surge protectors. :frown:
  4. Aug 17, 2005 #3
    Thanks Evo :smile:. There was only some light rain beforehand, and all the lightning in the area was a mile or so away, possibly farther. The lightning storm only passed by this area in a timeframe of 5 minutes or so, the rest being rain. I was just surprised by the range that the storm had over killing the internet connection.

    I'll have to check the cables sometime, occasionally our main phone line box gets water inside and screws things up a little, especially since all the phone jacks in the house connect to that one point.

    During the real bad storms though, the computer gets shut down.
  5. Aug 18, 2005 #4

    When you talk on the phone during a storm do you hear alot of noise? Modems are analogue so any noise would affect the signal as oppose to a digital connection which can take a bit more. In my experience though is what causes the modem to disconnect is usually due to a crappy modem. You wouldn't beleive the number of low quality modems are in the market, expecially ones that are built into the computer.
  6. Aug 18, 2005 #5


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    Staff Emeritus
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    I had that problem on an older computer I had with frequent disconnections. Sure enough, replacing the modem card ended all my problems with disconnections.

    Water getting into the phone lines during a storm is another source of added static and loss of reliability, as has been mentioned already. If it happens every time it rains, call the phone company and inform them of this problem. They may have a line that needs replacing (whether or not they can find it is another issue). However, if you also know you have water getting into your own phone connections, you should solve that problem first, and soon!
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