I am renovating my flat and have Virgin Media TV, phone and broadband. There are 2 sockets for cabling - a phone socket and a TV cable socket. Both sockets are wall mounted and do not recess into the wall. I am recessing all my other sockets as part of the renovation.
Yesterday, a VM technician came out to move the sockets as the phone socket was jammed on top of the TV cable socket which was jammed on top of the skirting board which was jammed onto the floorboards which meant flooring could not be installed as flooring needs to go under skirting boards and the skirting boards could not be moved upwards to create any space for the flooring to go into. His instructions were to: move the 2 sockets; and recess the sockets, changing them for sockets that could be recessed if necessary. I paid £99 for this service.
The technician moved the sockets but did not recess them. He had no intention of recessing them as he did not bring the parts or tools he would have needed to do that part of the job. I complained to VM, VM communicated with the technician and the technician came out with a litany of excuses which totally conflicted with reality. For example, he tried to blame the construction of the property when he drilled through the very 1 foot thick wall he was blaming claiming he could not work with it even though he had no intention of executing any recess when he came to the property to do the job - as is evidenced by his not bringing the parts or tools required to recess the sockets. He really did lie.
VM are now sending another technician round to deal with the situation. I really want these sockets recessed as it will be taking me months to finish the room due to the amount of other work I need to do it and I do not want the finish to be ruined by ugly wall mounted VM sockets sticking out.
Does anyone know what sockets can be used instead of the standard VM sockets, so that the new ones can be recessed into the wall with flush faceplates? I would be grateful for the knowledge as I do not want to end up with another technician who turns up talking nonsense about how he cannot do what he has been instructed to do when the reality is the last one just did not want to cut out parts of the wall to recess the necessary sockets into and instead wanted to do a quick job so he could move onto the next one. Flush, recessed non-wall mounted sockets must exist. I just do not know what they are called or where to find them.
If the cable comes in from outside, then a safety isolator must be fitted at the point it enters the room. This is why VM's internal boxes are surface, as otherwise a large chunk of wall would have to be taken out to use a flush type outlet.
Cable customer since 1993. Services: FH TV, Sky Sports & Movies (2xV+), Talk Unlim Telco, VIVID 100, Virgin PAYG Mobile
There are back boxes capable of housing the isolator in terms of its size. The problem is the locations of the in/out sockets on the isolator. They are at the top and bottom. The out socket would need to be on the front side for a recess socket to work. I am therefore wondering if there is a socket with a built in isolator incorporated on the back of the face plate so that the cable from outside could plug into that isolator within a recessed back box and the out socket in the inside room could be flush mounted like any other normal F plate. The wall depth is not an issue - it is a foot thick and the isolator fits into a back box which has a depth the same as recessed 2 gang plug sockets.
As to the master phone socket, the last technician said he would have put a recessed socket in for me if I had cut out the recess from the wall beforehand. I have also seen recessed flush master phone sockets in every property I have been in. Given the number of properties I am talking about, at least some of them must have been VM phone lines. This element must therefore be possible but where are the parts?
Thanks for the responses. They have helped me understand the technical side a lot better.
For the phone, I found the following products: MK part K422WHI with MK part DB152. Part K422WHI is a BT master socket. Part DB152 is a 1 gang 16mm metal back box. These parts are compatible with each other but I do not know if they are compatible with the incoming Virgin phone line. They are obviously compatible with BT phone lines. If compatible, they would be flush mounted into a 16mm plaster depth recess.
For the TV cable, I found the following products: MK part K3522WHI with MK part 861 ZIC. Part K3522WHI is a 2000Va.c. isolated twin F type socket. Part 861 ZIC is a 1 gang 25mm metal back box. These parts are compatible with each other but I do not know if they are compatible with the incoming Virgin TV cable or the outgoing TV receiving equipment (the TV and the TV box). If compatible, they would be flush mounted into a 25mm depth recess.
If these parts would work, the TV and phone cables would need to be separated before they came in from outside and come through different holes unlike now where they come through 1 hole together and are separated on the indoor side of the wall.
All the parts except part DB152 can be found on the MK website. Part DB152 can be googled. I would have put links in this message but they will not paste for some reason.
I would be grateful for any thoughts on the validity of these parts.
An isolator on an outside wall would leave the installation far more susceptible to lightning induced surges than one installed inside.
Why? If lightning strikes it's always heading for the path of least resistance. Is the lightning more attracted to the earthed isolator or the earthed cable going to it? The incoming cable is connected to the isolator, whether inside or out. The cable screen is earthed, so in theory, there should be no potential difference between it and earth. In reality it will be different by a fraction of a volt, is lighting going to notice that? No. Whether it's outside, or a foot away inside will not make a jot of difference. If it hits your cable from Virgin, your mains supply, or any other cable in or on your house, anything connected to it that is earthed to the same point will most likely get cooked.
I just wanted to close this thread in case anybody else had the same intentions as me when it comes to flush mounting the Virgin Media sockets. The short answer to the question of whether it is possible to do it is - yes it is.
For background, I live in a 1 bed flat which shares inbound cabling and phone wires with the other flats. There is only 1 phone socket here, a master socket. I have Virgin Media TV, phone and broadband.
A Virgin Media phone line comes into the flat along with 1 Virgin Media cable for both TV and broadband. Both cables come through a single hole in the wall into a 25mm deep flush mount dual (1 plus 1) metal back box. I ended up having to fit that back box.
The phone line connects straight into an MK K422WHI. The phone connects into that faceplate in the usual way - the wires go into 2 and 5. The standard Virgin Media wall mounted phone socket has therefore been replaced with the flush mounted MK K422WHI without there being any issue.
The TV/broadband cable has a standard Virgin Media F connector on it. I did not want to cut that cable so I acquired a bit of identical cable with an F connector on 1 end and joined both F connectors together with an F to F barrel connector behind the faceplates within the metal back box. The other end of the bit of cable I acquired was stripped to the core and screw clamped into the back of a Sline SL435.
The Sline SL435 is a flush mount, isolated, 1 in 2 out, non-diplexed coax socket. It was flush mounted onto the metal back box and has therefore replaced the standard wall mounted Virgin Media socket, isolator, extra cable and splitter.
The broadband hub cable is connected to the hub with the usual Virgin Media F connector. The other end of that cable is connected to the Sline SL435 via a right angled F to male coax connector which is plugged into the front of that faceplate.
The Tivo cable is connected to the hub with the usual Virgin Media Connector. The other end of that cable is connected to the Sline SL435 via a right angled F to male coax connector which is plugged into the front of that faceplate.
There appear to be no F sockets that do the same as the Sline SL435 - isolate and split the inbound signal without diplexing that signal. There appear to be no other coax sockets that do the same as the Sline SL435. The Sline SL435 appears to be the only socket that does the required job. I have therefore stocked up on them.
For the avoidance of doubt, there has been zero loss of signal quality for TV, broadband or phone and the socket is isolated.
Virgin Media has always been positive about making this happen. Its subcontractors have been the opposite. To cut a long story short, the subcontractors made 5 visits and I ended up doing the job myself after they falsely said it was impossible for a myriad of fictitious reasons and Virgin Media gave me a full refund without me having to ask - apparently the back box I fitted could not be physically fitted where I ended up fitting it and the parts I ended up using did not exist, just by way of 2 examples.
The sockets are now fitted and fully functioning. So much for impossibility. I have to say that the only negative aspects of the Virgin Media service I have ever encountered have been the subcontractors and that has been every time those subcontractors visited, even when the installation was done when I first joined - they are polite but useless and technically wanting and simply lie. It may be a local thing.
As an aside, there seem to have been a few comments about the point of the isolator. It is probable that allegations that it protects against electrical surges are true but the primary reason I found to be the case is that it stops any outbound signal being sent through the TV/broadband cable. Without the isolator there would be signal interference for other Virgin Media users in this block of flats and possibly elsewhere.
I have kept the standard Virgin Media parts just in case.