Here are some simple steps that you can use to determine if the phone wiring inside your house, or possibly a malfunctioning phone or device such as an alarm system or answering machine is causing your phone problems.
- Unplug all phones and devices from the phone jacks in the house including alarm systems and answering machines.
- Using a regular corded phone, check for clear dial-tone at the demarc to make sure the line is good and that this one phone is functional.
- Once good dial-tone has been checked at the demarc, plug the wiring for the house back into the module at the demarc.
- Take that same known good corded phone around to every jack in the house to check for dial-tone, one jack at a time (do not plug anything back in to any of the phone jacks inside the house yet).
- If you do not have clear dial-tone at any jack in the house with all the phones and devices unplugged, then there is most likely a short in the wiring somewhere inside the house (in the attic or crawl space under the house, a phone cable running along the outside of the house, or maybe an actual phone jack is shorted out), and you will need to contact a qualified wiring technician to repair the problem.
- If all the jacks in the house have good dial-tone, then plug each extra phone/device back in to their phone jack, one at a time, and check for dial-tone each time a new phone/device is plugged back in.
- If the dial-tone becomes unclear or is gone after plugging in one phone or device, then most likely that phone or device is the cause of the problem.
- Unplug the last phone/device that was plugged in, and check for dial-tone again to verify that the phone/device that was just unplugged is the problem.