Problem: Phone doesn’t
operate, emits excessive noise or rapid busy signal.
Background: Problems can stem from your phone set,
the wiring in side your home, or in outside lines and
switching equipment. A rapid busy signal means all phone
circuits are busy; try your call again in a few minutes.
Noise on phone may be caused by weather, aerial
satellites, poor grounding, or other temporary conditions.
(If the noise persists, the tips below may help you
identify the problem.) Interference may also come from
citizens band (CB) radios and AM/FM broadcast stations. In
stalling a modular filter, available through stores that
sell phone equipment, may help. Cordless phones (see
Phone Defective) use radio frequencies and may receive
interference from radio transmitters. If so, contact the
cordless phone supplier or manufacturer for help.
What to do: First make sure all phones are hung up.
If you have only one phone, take it to another home and
plug it in. If it doesn’t work there, the problem is
likely in the phone. If you have two or more phones,
unplug them all. Then try each one—one at a time—in each
phone jack. If a phone doesn’t work anywhere, the problem
is most likely in that phone. If none work in one jack,
the problem is with the jack. You might also borrow a
friend’s phone and try it in each of your jacks. If it
doesn’t work in one jack, that jack is the problem. If it
doesn’t work in any jack, the problem may be in the line.
(Note: If you have installed new phone wire or jacks, you
can test the installation by plugging a phone into the
jack and listening for a dial tone. You should be able to
interrupt the dial tone by dialing any single number other
than 0. If the dial tone is not interrupted, reverse the
wires at the jack. If you still don’t hear a dial tone,
recheck the connections and equipment.)
Special advice: If there is no dial tone, make sure
the line cord is firmly plugged into the jack and phone,
and that the handset cord is firmly plugged in at both
ends. If the phone won’t ring, check to see that the
ringer switch is set to “on.” If so, note the ringer
equivalence number (REN) on the bottom and ask your phone
company if it requires more ringing power than is normal.
If there is static, check for a loose handset cord or, if
possible, try an other cord. (Some weather conditions,
such as very low humidity, can cause static build-up.) If
you get a dial tone, but can’t dial out, make sure the
tone/pulse switch is set to “pulse” if you have
rotary-only ser vice.
Helpful hint: If you
have phone accessories—such as answering machines, speaker
phones, or cordless phones—make sure they are working. If
phones work without the added equipment, the problem may
be with the accessories. If you have a phone connected to
an answering machine and have a dial tone but can’t dial
out, try plugging only the phone into the jack. If it
works, you may have a compatibility problem and may need a
2-for-1 adaptor, available where phone equipment is sold.