Sep 30, 2011

How to Troubleshoot Your Phone

A telephone is one of the most important gadgets inside your home which is why some people find it difficult to live without one. Telephones are typically manufactured to give you many years of uninterrupted service, but the phone and the wiring inside your home can sometimes become faulty. Calling a repair man to fix your phone is expensive, but learning how to troubleshoot it will save you some cash. 
  1. Look at each phone to make sure none of the phones was accidentally left off the hook, then unplug and replug each phone into its jack. 
  2. Check the ringer volume adjustment switch and see it has been set to minimum level, or if the phone is on mute. Increase the volume setting if it is muted or set to minimum. 
  3. Bring the telephone over to a friend's or neighbor's house, then plug each into a working phone jack to check if there is a dial tone. No dial tone is indicative of a faulty telephone. Replace the phone if it is defective.
  4. Open the network interface device (NID) mounted on an exterior wall of your house. Find the short cable (about two inches long) that is plugged into a telephone jack inside the NID and unplug the cable from the jack. Plug a working phone into the jack and listen for a dial tone. No dial tone is indicative of a problem in the telephone company's wiring. Call the telephone company to report the problem.
  5. Unplug each phone one by one, but listen for a dial tone in the other phones a couple of minutes after unplugging a phone. The phone you last unplugged is defective if you hear a dial tone in any of the phones.
  6. Unplug any other device plugged into your telephone lines such as a fax or computer. Listen for a dial tone after about two minutes each time you unplug a device. The device you last unplugged is faulty if you hear a dial tone.

Public Service Commission of Wisconsin: The Network Interface Device
Symantec: How to Troubleshoot Telephone Line Problems
Home Tips: Telephones--Troubleshooting Problems and Repairs
Qwest: Phone Service Troubleshooting Guide 

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