Telephone Troubleshooting Guide
The following is a step-by-step guide to diagnose your telephone service trouble at your house. These guidelines will often prevent a costly technician premise visit.
Do you have noise on the line or no dial tone?
- Bear in mind, a bad or dead battery on a cordless phone can cause problems with your telephone service!
Step 1: Noise or No Dial Tone: Check for Problems Inside the House
- If there is noise on the telephone line or no dial tone, you should unplug every device in the house that connects to a phone jack. This includes: computers, direct TV boxes, fax machines, DSL modems, DSL filters, etc. Start by plugging in a phone that is known to be in good working condition into each jack in the house. Does every jack have a noise on the line/have no dial tone or is it just one jack?
- If only one jack is noisy/have no dial tone, you may have a bad jack. Call 636-2274 and schedule an appointment to have the jack replaced.
- If all of the jacks are noisy/have no dial tone, you should check your test phone and make sure it is not the problem by trying a different phone. If the problem clears up, you may have had a bad phone.
- If all of the jacks are noisy/have no dial tone after trying two different phones, proceed to Step 2 and locate your NID. Remember to take a working phone and both a Philips head and flat head screwdriver to the NID on the outside of the house.
Step 2: Outside the House
- The NID is the Network Interface Device that the phone company uses to connect their service to your house.
- The NID is usually on an outside wall of the house near your electric meter. The NID is a small/medium, usually gray box. You may see conduit or wires running into the box.
- Use a screwdriver to open the NID. You will often see a screw labeled “Customer Access.” Use this.
- Once opened, you will see 1 or more lines. These lines can be tested by pressing down on a small clip on the module where all of the wires connect. Once opened, you will see a telephone jack that you can use your phone to test the service. If you see both a “Voice” and “Data” module, only test the “Voice” module.
- Once your phone is connected to the module, listen for dial-tone and make sure you can make a call.
- If you can make a call and have already tested the jacks and devices inside the house, then there is a problem with the house wiring/devices. A technician can be called to fix the problem and the repair is usually at the customer’s expense.
- If you cannot make a call from the NID, then the phone company (BIT) may have a problem. Most of the time this means that there is no service getting to the NID. Often this means a repair at no cost to the customer; however, there are exceptions such as cut drops or customer-induced, physical damage to the equipment.
- Examples of NID’s found on the outside of the house.
- Open NID’s. Plug a CORDED phone into circled jack to test functionality.
- There are many NID’s that have been used over the years in telecommunications. Here is a generalized outline of a NID in case you have a different NID than previously shown.