Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

I have had Uverse TV and Internet for almost 4 years now installed in a new construction house. I have a RG set up in the center closet of the house along with two DVR boxes, one in the living room and one in a bedroom.

 

I have had a consistent problem throughout the entire time having the service and now i am finally fed up and cannot handle it anymore. The entire service, both internet and tv will drop signal when certain lightswitches and other "switches" are turned on or off in the house. The switches that cause the dropped signal are:

  • changing the living room cieling fan speed on the wall switch
  • turning the living room can lights on/off
  • turning the master bath lights on/off
  • turning master closet lights on/off
  • ringing the door bell
  • when the air conditioning unit switches on (only sometimes though)

When the service drops, i will lose service for probably 15-30 seconds then the service comes right back on working perfectly. The RG lights blink red during this and then everything goes back green again.

 

This basically causes every show recorded on the DVR to have massive sections missing and skipped. It causes any downloads being performed to terminate. Dropped phone calls over wifi (since i dont have ATT cell phone service in my area i am forced to use wifi to make phone calls in the home).

 

A seperate issue though possibly related: the service dropps during the faintest of thunder storm. If you hear thunder maybe 15 miles away the service dropps for about 15-30 seconds then comes back on. You lose service completely if it is raining until it has stopped.

 

I have had multiple techs out replacing all of the equipment (5 RG, 3-4 DVR boxes, one new outside box) over the past couple of years. They dismiss my issue and say they dont know what it could be but something wrong with the wiring in the house.

 

Before i go and hire an electrician to come out and trouble shoot the house i was wondering if anyone has experienced this same thing and if there would be any specific item to target when i do have an electrician come out.

 

Thanks for any help in advance.

Message 1 of 25 (1,311 Views)
Highlighted
Master

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

I would definitely call an electrician.

Message 2 of 25 (1,288 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - Some thoughts -

Sounds like you have pretty much narrowed it down to those circuits.

The AC could have a bad relay or bad connection that sparks when you turn it on or your wiring could be inadequate & the voltage drops too low. Depending on how hard it is to start may cause the problem or not. Perhaps change the starting capacitor. You do have a circuit that blocks restart for 10 -15 minutes?? Preventing hard start.
Is the RG & DVR on the same circuit as the offending equipment? I would try them plugged in to an extension cord that goes to another circuit as far away as possible, as a test.
If the DVR is connected to the RG cat5 it would be OK in the living room.
After, u-verse was installed, I did have a number momentary power failures that caused restarts. I got two battery backups for computers and TVs and U-verse boxes. Worked great for me. I think they were APC. One did wear out & I got whatever they had at costco. This may or may not solve your problem, but I like having them.

You can get a simple plug-in tester to see if your sockets are wired correctly. That would help direct the electrician. It may be the first step an electrician would do.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_23?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=electrical%20socke...
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 3 of 25 (1,282 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

Since you noted that you have a new construction home, I want to ask this question...

 

Do you by chance have arc-fault circuit breakers installed?

 

If so, check the circuit your RG is on.  If it has an arc-fault breaker, try moving it to a circuit with a standard breaker.  You can use an extension cord for a quick test.

 

 

Message 4 of 25 (1,223 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

This is good info. I am going to try the extension cord test. My question is though, do i need to have all of the equipment plugged into seperate plugs or just the RG. I assume the RG is the brain which controls the boxes, right?

 

I checked and all of the breakers are arc fault breakers with the exception of a few. The ones that are not are circuits that the appliances are on, garage plugs, and one master bedroom GFI. I will try plugging the RG into the master bedroom non AFC circuit and report back.

Message 5 of 25 (1,204 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - I do not fault your logic that the RG is the brain & probably most sensitive, But, the DVR is also susceptible to power loss. If I were doing it I would want to cover everything in one shot. You only need one extension cord. Use a multiplier at the U-verse end.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_10?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=multi%20plug%20out...
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 25 (1,201 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

Ok, i have tried every combination i can think of. I plugged the RG and both Uverse boxes to one power strip and plugged the power strip into an extension cord. I have plugged the extension cord into every possible plug that i could access. I have plugged it into:

  • arc fault breakers circuits
  • non arc fault breaker circuits but are GFI
  • plain circuit with no GFI or AFC that i know is not on same circuit as any of the offending equipment

Unfortunately after doing all of this i get the same dropped signal. After doing this though i narrowed it down to 6 switches that cause the dropped signal. They are:

  • Living Room Ceiling Fan Speed Control
  • Master Bedroom Ceiling Fan Speed Control
  • 2 Exhaust Fans in the Master Bath (each on their own switch)
  • Master Closet Light (florescent)
  • Doorbell

The even stranger thing is with the exhaust fans and closet light, they don't always cause the dropped signal when turned on but do when turned off or vice versa. Also each of those items are own different circuits. Nothing else in the house causes the signal to drop. I couldn't get the Air Conditioner to cause it to drop either this time. It may have been a coincidence in the past when someone was using one of the other switches.

 

I am not sure now if it is something wrong with the electrical in the house or if it a certain frequency these items work on that cause it to drop.

 

When the signal drops, the RG broadband and service lights both go blank then the broadband light flashes red for about 15-30 sec as i said before. Then both turn green and we are good to go. All other lights stay green during the drop.

 

Thanks for your suggestions. Frustrating

Message 7 of 25 (1,196 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - Wow! That is a lot of testing in a very short time. Two possibilities come to mind.

The devices are not properly grounded. Seems unlikely with GFI breakers. But, iy may be complicated. Something for the electrician to check.

Perhaps plug the u-verse equip in to a box that can smooth out the electric current. Here is a recommend - http://forums.att.com/t5/Residential-Gateway/Treadmill-interference-with-U-Verse/td-p/3797387
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 8 of 25 (1,187 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

That is interesting about the treadmill. I would think that would be the same as my issue if the service dropped the entire time the exhaust fans were running or while the flouroescent lights were on.

 

Is there a possibility since the RG isnt really losing power but just losing the broadband/service that the offending devices could be affecting the signal coming from the outside box?

 

I am willing to try the isobar surge protectors but seem to be pretty expensive for not a guaranteed fix. I think im going to have to get an electrician out first to inspect the doorbell/fans/exhaust fans/lights first, i guess.

 

A seperate question, when AT&T installed my uverse they installed a "power box" that you can put a battery in as a back up in the closet near my RG. What is this and why do i need it? IT just stays plugged into the wall and today i found out it the RG does not work unless this "power box" is powered as well. (and yes i plugged it into the power strip as well).

Message 9 of 25 (1,186 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - I think there is a difference between the treadmill and your case. I think a lot of the treadmill problem is on-going caused by static electricity generated by the belt. I think yours is a start-up problem. Motor and fluorescent light start-ups can be nasty and a doorbell is a primitive relay. If these generate spikes & the wiring has a fault that allows them to travel they can upset the U-verse boxes. Of course, this is all speculation. But, you have to start somewhere.

That power box bothers me. I would think att visits would have sorted that out. i do mot have great knowledge on it because I do not have one.

It's purpose is to keep VOIP service going if you have a power failure. I believe the power is hardwired from it to the RG. It could well be the source of your problem. Opens the door for another test - disconnect it from power and power the RG without it. THis may need to be done by att.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 10 of 25 (1,176 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

Yes the power supply is starting to really make me think. I unplugged the power supply and the same thing happens as if i hit one of the affecting switches. The RG broadband and service lights drop and the broadband goes red. From my research this afternoon, the power supply is used to power the outside box.

 

It has a red coated power wire that comes out of it and goes through the sheet rock all the way to the outside box to power it. It has plug that plugs into a socket to provide the power. If i had a battery in it i could disconnect the cord and run the outside box off the battery power and see if the same interference happens with the switches. That really wouldnt check the power cable coming from the power supply but could isolate any power interference on the house circuits, i guess?

 

I also am going to try hooking a volt meter to that red power cord coming from the power supply and monitor the voltage when i turn those switches on/off to see if there is a variation. I think a slight drop could cause the broadband and service to drop. I will try this now and see what happens, not sure what it will tell me but it will be interesting to see.

 

BTW, electricity and i dont jive. Im an engineer by profession but not electrical. I failed it twice in college....

Message 11 of 25 (1,173 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - Is it possible that there are power wires in the wall where the red wire goes through? I believe the red wire is low voltage, but it could be dangerous if it is getting tangled up with 110. Please be careful.

The outside box that it is powering is your RG. Do you have access at both ends? could you disconnect and run another wire through a window or doorway as a test in case there are wires in the wall.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 12 of 25 (1,170 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

OK, so now im confused. I thought the RG was my 2-wire box in the house. The outside box i thought was the optical network terminal or something or another, the fiber box. I monitored the voltage going through the red wire leaving the power supply and it never varied from 13.6V no matter what i did. Tomorrow i will have to open the outside fiber box and see what that red wire connection inside the box looks like.

 

What you are saying is i could bypass that red wire by disconnecting it at the outside box and rig up a wire that i could plug into an extension cord and have an exposed power and ground that i could go directly into the fiber box with to power it directly. In return bypassing the power supply. Im not sure i could do this because the power supply is knocking the voltage down to the 13V. Could i use a 12V battery to accomplish this?

Message 13 of 25 (1,166 Views)
ACE - Expert

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

dillonshuler - It is confusing when there are multiple possibilities & it is difficult to accurately communicate with posts.

The most common - original setup did have the RG in the house. To reach more customers new technology combined (bonded) two pairs to carry the bandwidth. The RG electronics moved to the NID (renamed iNID) on the side of the house. It is easy to think each case is the original setup.

Also, the original iNID used the inside modem only for internet. TV was fed COAX and wireless boxes were not allowed. I believe wireless is now allowed.

What you say about the battery does make sense. I do not want to recommend it & have any problems. It does sound like a step att should do to eliminate your wiring as the cause.

You have observed that the voltage does not go too high or too low, but there could still be noise in the feed that you cannot see with the meter. You would need more sophisticated equipment, such as an oscilloscope to detect.

While you are checking out the inid look for good solid ground.
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 14 of 25 (1,145 Views)

Re: Uverse TV and Internet Drops When Light Switches Turned On/Off, Storming

I had the electrical company come out today to check their equipment for faulty ground and no such luck. Everything was as it was supposed to be.

 

I have an electrician coming out on Friday to evaluate everything. Will know more then. Im afraid he is going to say it is something wrong with the Uverse and then i will be in this endless cycle of never getting it resolved. If that happens im afriad i will just move to other service provider which i dont want to do.

 

Will report back after electrician comes out.

Message 15 of 25 (1,109 Views)
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