To repair any problem, you first must establish what you’re up against. Is it just one of several phones that isn’t working, or are none of the phones working? If it is just one, swap two of your phones. If the trouble moves with the phone, the phone or its cord is defective. If the trouble stays with the particular outlet, the problem is in that outlet or the wires leading up to it.
Now that you have an idea of the nature of the problem, attempt to sectionalize the trouble. There are numerous places where you can logically separate sections of your phone service. Consider each of these places and ask yourself which side the trouble is likely to be on. If testing your telephones does not identify one that is defective, the problem may be either with your inside wiring or with service from your phone company.
You can determine which by checking for dial tone at the NID, or Network Interface Device. The NID is normally on the outside of your home, usually a gray box.
Follow These Steps to Diagnose the Problem
- Take a working corded phone & screwdriver to the NID and test the phone service entering your home. If you only have one phone and do not get dial tone using it, you should borrow a known working phone, if possible, to test for dial tone again at your NID. If you do not have dial tone at the NID, the problem is most likely with the phone company, and you should call the repair service department. Viewing the video to the right or here, will give you some great information on how to diagnose the issue yourself.
- Please check our video here for more detailed information.
- If you have dial tone at the NID, the problem is in your inside wiring. Keep in mind that the problem may not be in the phone itself. Instead, it may be a problem in the telephone jack or the wiring. If moisture gets into ANY phone jack anywhere in the home, it can cause the connections to corrode and eventually to short out, which could cause some or all phones to stop working. Bad splices, particularly if exposed to moisture, can also cause a phone to stop working.
- Consider everything connected to your phone line. Often the trouble is in a device you may not think about, since these devices may be out of sight, out of mind. If all of your phones are dead, disconnect all of these devices as your first troubleshooting step.
These devices include:
- Answering machine
- Computer modem
- Satellite receiver or cable box (these devices sometimes have telephone connections for authorization and pay-per-view)