Troubleshooting Phone Issues

29 March 2019

If you don’t have dial tone on any of your phones, begin troubleshooting by figuring out whether the problem is happening inside or outside the business.

Are You Getting Any Signal?

If you aren’t getting any signal, you won’t have dial tone on any of your phones, and the problem is probably outside the business. To test if this is issue:

Locate the Network Interface Device (NID).

The NID links the telephone network to the wiring inside this location. It’s where our outside wiring meets your inside wiring. NIDs are usually 6″ by 9″ gray boxes attached to the outside wall of the business, in a teleco room, network room, possibly a storage room, or could really be anywhere.

Use Your Butt Set to Test the NID/ DMARC Location

If you don’t hear a dial tone or the tone is faint, unclear or intermittent, then the problem is with the carrier’s equipment.

If you hear a clear dial tone, then the problem is somewhere inside this location, with wiring or the site’s equipment. 

Checking jacks, wiring and equipment?

If you have dial tone, then you are getting a signal, and you need to keep troubleshooting. They could be having a problem with jacks or wiring. These kinds of problems can impact one or multiple phones.

To isolate the problem:

  1. Restart the phone if the location has only one phone. Wait a moment, and see if this corrects the problem.
  2. Unplug or reset equipment and test jack.
    • Unplugging equipment. If there is any equipment that uses a jack, try unplugging or restarting that equipment. (Satellite receivers, computer modems, Caller ID boxes, fax machines, answering machines and alarm/security systems typically use phone jacks and can cause interference on the line.) If necessary test routers and modems if using VOIP equipment.
    • Test the jacks. After you’ve plugged in all the equipment, wait a minute and then plug a corded phone into an outlet or use your butt set. Test a jack, you should hear a clear, strong dial tone when you test the outlet. 

If the dial tone on one (or more) of the jacks is faint, unclear or intermittent, you probably have an inside wiring problem.

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