Things to Check Before
Calling Your Phone Company
By checking your phones and finding the source of the problem before you call your phone company,
you may avoid the charge for an unnecessary repair call.
Here's how to determine the location of the problem:
If the problem is caused by the telephone set or other type of telephone equipment, follow the instructions on the warranty.
If you experience service problems, first check to see if your telephones are hung up properly. Next, disconnect any
answering machines, cordless phones and auxiliary equipment from your phone jacks and see if dial tone is restored.
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 at your jack. If the borrowed phone works, the problem is caused by the telephone set, follow the
instructions on the warranty for the set.
If you have more than one phone, check all of them. If only one is malfunctioning, the trouble is probably with that set.
If none of the telephones are working properly, the trouble may be in one phone locking your line out. Disconnect each
phone, one at a time, checking another phone each time you disconnect one until your dial tone returns. The last phone
you disconnected before your dial tone returned is the unit causing the problem. If you identify a defective set, follow
the instructions on the warranty for the set.
Network Interface Device (NID)
If testing your telephones does not identify one that is defective, the problem may be either with your inside wiring or
with service from you phone company. You can determine which by checking for dial tone at the NID. Take a working
phone 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 a NID, you should still check your telephones as described above, before reporting service troubles to your
phone company. If you have dial tone at the NID, the problem is in your inside wiring. If you do not have dial tone at
the NID, contact you phone company repair service. If a repair person comes to your location, and the problem is with
service to the NID and not in your telephones or inside wiring, you will not be charged for the service call. Any repairs
requested for the inside wiring will involve charges.
Service problems caused by inside wiring are generally infrequent. However, since you will probably have been
disturbing the connections in your wiring while getting set up for connection of a second line, the probability of an
inside wiring problem is considerably increased. The frequency of inside wiring problems also increases with the
amount of exposure to moisture, heat, and other hazards. If the problem is in your inside wiring you can a) make
your own repairs, b) have someone else make the repair, or c) have your phone company make the repair. If you
chose to have your phone company make the repair, time and material charges will apply. Most phone companies
offer some type of maintenance plans for your inside wiring. If you have subscribed to one of these plans, consult
your phone company to determine when charges will apply.
Note: In most cases, outside wires or jacks for extensions are included as "inside wiring" depending on
the wiring configuration. If in doubt, check with your phone company regarding the status of any wiring to other
buildings before attempting to maintain or change it.
Back to Phone-Man's Home Page
Need wiring materials and tools? Get them here and help support this page.
Copyright © 1996-2006 Keith A. Michal All Rights Reserved.
All trademarks and logos shown herein are the property of their respective proprietors.