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Always Check Your Install or Repair

In the early nineties an installer installed a modem and did not have a way to mount it. So he left it in the plastic bag it came in and hung it in the rack. Over time, the modem heated up due to insufficient cooling/air flow, the plastic bag melted around the modem and it eventually overheated and failed.

Since that experience, I got in the habit of reviewing any installs or repairs for 2 reasons:

  1. Knowing and DOCUMENTING the location of the installation equipment, cables, reference numbers and tidying up is critical when you will have to revisit the area for support or upgrades.

  2. In some cases, I might not agree with how the technician routed the cables. I’ve seen cabling prevent cabinet doors from closing, pinched cables, excess cabling wrapped around other equipment, equipment hanging from wires, etc. As part of the review I also might not agree with the repair materials or techniques when the technician has a ‘quick fix’ and please do not fall for the “I will back later to clean it up” line.

While I was out of town, my home phone line (yes, I still have a land line) had issues in the winter and my wife contacted the phone company. The technician came out during a typical Ontario winter night. It was cold and windy night when the repair was made. When I got home I immediately noticed the wad of electrical tape and cringed at the thought of what was under it. The phone line is working, but I know it is just a matter of time before the tape loosens up, moisture gets in and I have a problem at the most inconvenient moment.

The weather was half decent so I thought I would record what I found and that my repair job took about 15 – 20 minutes. I must admit, I was a bit unprepared but repaired the cable to the best of my ability and confident it will be fine. The proper repair would be to pull a new cable from the box inside, but that is not as easy as it sounds, so I will settle for this.

I had to chuckle near the end when I slipped the only heat shrink tubing I had, only to find out it wasn’t large enough, so I finished off with the self-fusing tape which withstands temperatures up to 356 degrees f (180 degrees c) and protects against moisture.

The moral of the story is to take a few minutes when the technician is done to review what they did, you have nothing to lose.

Note; i realized i forgot the drip loop after i posted it and went back to adjust the cable

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