Electronics > RF, Microwave, Ham Radio

Why does my phone distort near running water ?

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MathWizard:
I have a cordless landline telephone, and if i stand by the metal kitchen sink, I get good reception, but if I turn on the water tap, which is plastic pipe, running into a stainless steel sink, the reception gets pretty full of static.

The telep. TX is in the basement, about 10ft total from the cordless phone.

So what exactly is going on ?

coppercone2:
I have seen things with non water fluids and plastic that does something like this but never with water, it works like a vandegraff generator

not sure if water can carry a charge, I imagine it depends on purity somewhat

ejeffrey:
Do you have an instant-on water heater?  If so maybe it has a really noisy triac?

Whales:
Hot water system kicking in?
Water pump on property?
In-sink shredding equipment?

Try searching around using an AM radio that's tuned off-station, see if it also picks up the interference when you turn the sink on.  Check whether it's really coming from the sink itself or not.

coppercone2:
oh right it could be a switch detecting pressure drop in a tank that turns on a pump with an arcing contact but usually this would just be a burst of interference, but if its a more modern house it could have a noisy drive powering it
but usually its not so quick that would be a bad system, a well usually pressurizes the tank and it holds for a while, and you would notice the interference throughout the day as water is used.

I never seen a shredder that turns on automatically though. Hot water inline heater is a possibility. but keep in mind the office chair oscilloscope ESD discharge.

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