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Old 06-06-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
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phone problems


A few months back our phone stopped working, so we purchased a new one. Within a few weeks we started having problems with it (no dial tone but the answering machine would pick up, or only one handset of the two wireless handsets would work at a time, etc). So, we exchanged the phone set for another. Within a couple weeks we got problems again. I think we're on the fourth phone set now (a different brand or model every time) and seeing the same problems. In all cases, the problem will go away for some time if we unplug the power to the phone and plug it in again.

Obviously this isn't a problem with the phones themselves, but I'm not really sure where to start looking, and I'd like to avoid having to pay a lot of money to someone when it could be something simple.

I did try plugging the power cable into my UPS and the phone cord into a surge protector, but that hasn't seemed to help. We definitely did not make any recent changes to our phone or DSL setup any time in the recent past.

I did borrow an analog test phone from someone, and found a web page that gave some tips about wiring testing ( http://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/i...e/inftel1.html ).

Does anyone here have a decent idea what may be going on, or further tips on what and how to check? I haven't really done any messing around with wiring in the past, so I don't know much.

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Old 06-06-2008, 06:31 PM   #2
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phone problems


Did you install the DSL filters?

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Old 06-07-2008, 06:23 AM   #3
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phone problems


First unplug all phones, modems etc. Check you are getting the dial tone. If still no tone, you have to call phone company for line test. If you are getting tone, Then try one by one connecting to the phone socket untill the fault comes back.
If your phones are working , the fault may be intermitant. You need a line test for your internal wiring.
Try this first .
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Old 06-07-2008, 08:56 AM   #4
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Yes, the DSL filters are installed, and have been installed for a long, long time.

mpj111, I'll do some testing today.
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Old 06-07-2008, 09:04 AM   #5
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phone problems


I would also check to make sure the ground wire from your telephone interface (if you have one) or where the phone line comes into the house and make sure it's connected properly. Sometimes it's connected to the cold water pipe (if metal) or to the grounding electrode system. This is pretty important. Not sure if you've had any plumbing work done or something that could have had this disconnected or damaged. Just a thought.
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Old 06-07-2008, 11:47 AM   #6
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Well, I just went out to the telephone interface and hooked up the analog test phone to the lines. The voltage test seemed to indicate that things were normal. However, when the test phone was off-hook, the lights indicating polarity would occasionally switch for a second and then switch back. This was accompanied by a pop in the line that could be heard through the handset. I'm not sure what that means, or if that's normal. This is NOT something that I've ever heard on the phones inside the house. Any thoughts?

Oh, and I wasn't able to find a ground wire.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AStott View Post
Oh, and I wasn't able to find a ground wire.
I can't strees the importance of this, and also is code. article 800.100

http://www.epanorama.net/documents/surge/telesurge.html

You may want to read this article.
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Old 06-07-2008, 12:55 PM   #8
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phone problems


I'm pretty sure that my inability to find a ground wire is due to me not knowing what to look for. There was nothing obvious that stood out as such in the telephone interface box, and I really have no idea where else I'd look. The house is not particularly old (built in ... 1998 I believe), so I assume it shouldn't be too badly out of code.

In addition, as I stated in the original post, I did plug the phone cable from the phone into a surge suppressor, which should be protecting against this kind of problem.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:17 PM   #9
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No problem, just trying to help.
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Old 06-07-2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Well, I'm at the limit of what I know to do. Unless anyone else has suggestions I guess I'll have to call the phone company next week.

One other thing of note. Our old wired phone that we still have (and which has always remained plugged in this whole time) seems to ignore whatever problems are going on and continues to happily operate.

All this really looks (from what little I know) like some kind of surge problem, but I'd have thought that I was sufficiently protected from that.
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Old 06-07-2008, 02:33 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by AStott View Post
Well, I'm at the limit of what I know to do. Unless anyone else has suggestions I guess I'll have to call the phone company next week.

One other thing of note. Our old wired phone that we still have (and which has always remained plugged in this whole time) seems to ignore whatever problems are going on and continues to happily operate.

All this really looks (from what little I know) like some kind of surge problem, but I'd have thought that I was sufficiently protected from that.
Are you only having problems with the cordless phones? If so, you might have to start looking for sources of RF interfence.
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Old 06-07-2008, 03:58 PM   #12
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phone problems


I was wondering about that, but we haven't brought in any new electronic devices since well before the problems started.
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Old 06-07-2008, 04:01 PM   #13
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I was wondering about that, but we haven't brought in any new electronic devices since well before the problems started.
Your neighbors might have installed something new. Have you always placed the base station in the same spot when you get a new phone?
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Old 06-07-2008, 07:27 PM   #14
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phone problems


It's had problems upstairs along the side of the house, then upstairs along the back of the house, then downstairs along the front of the house.

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