Phone is dead and then not at the NID

Old 03-03-05, 10:26 AM
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Phone is dead and then not at the NID

For the last two weeks or so, we've had the dreaded "DSL works but phone line is dead" problem. I plugged in a phone at the NID and got a dial tone. I checked all the jacks, none work. Someone else on this board reported the same problem and had a simple loose connection at the NID, so I unscrewed the red and green terminal screws then screwed them back in. Voila! The phone works. Then 2 days later, the same thing happened. I do my trick again, and it works again. This has happened about every two days for a couple of weeks now. Yesterday when the phone went out, my trick stopped working. Unscrewing/screwing in the terminals no longer works. That leads me to believe that the problem is "in the box", but I don't know what I should do next. Any ideas?

Old 03-03-05, 01:11 PM
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if you have phone box outside unscrew the cover inside you will see a phone jack unplug the jack and plug in your phone if it has a dail tone mean it's at your end else no tone it's the phone company

Old 03-03-05, 06:59 PM
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This can be the symptom of a wire to wire short. If the ring and tip make contact, this looks like the phone is off the hook. Nowdays, after about a minute the phone company equipment shuts off the dialtone. When you unplug it, you "hang up" the line, so the dialtone comes back.

If your phone lines all homerun to the NID, you can disconnect them one by one until you figure out which one is the problem. If your phone jacks are Daisy chained, you can pick a halfway point, break the lines and check. Youthen repeat this moving forward and backward.

I've seen it happen from something as simple as a phone cord getting crunched between a table and the wall.
Old 03-04-05, 02:48 PM
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Worked For 2 Days I Dont Think Its A Short

If You Have A Short You Might Get Dialtone Once Then It Wouldnt Hang Up. If It Worked For 2 Days I Would Think It An Open(broken Connection). If You Have Slack In The Wires I Would Strip Them Back An Inch Or Two To Make Sure Its Not Broken Off Then Reconnect Them To Make Sure The Connections Are Good.
Old 03-04-05, 04:59 PM
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Seriously, I had it happen to my own house. The wires were skinned enough to expose the copper. The intermittant problem would show up whenever it was damp enough (heavy dew, fog, or rain) to let the green copper corrosion conduct. It would then clear up when the weather dried out. It took me weeks to find because it would never do it while I was at home with enough daylight to examine the exposed wires near the NID. Oddly enough, my DSL on that same line still worked, but had reduced throughput.
Old 04-01-05, 05:39 PM
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Have you plugged a phone line into an ethernet port?

My apartment had symptoms almost exactly like yours. We have cable modem and a home networking system that uses the pre-existing phone lines to connect our computers to the router. Recently we started losing the dial tone on our phones, but our computers continued to connect to the router through the phone lines without any problem. Also, we were able to get a dial tone from the NID outside, so we knew the problem was somewhere inside the house.

It turns out one of my housemates had connected a phone cord from his phone jack to an ethernet port on his computer. He was supposed to connect the phone cord from his phone jack to the dial-up modem port on his computer. (Phone cords will fit into phone jacks *and* ethernet ports, whereas ethernet cords will only fit into ethernet ports.)

(I should clarify: We don’t use dial-up. My housemate likes to keep dial-up as a backup, so the wire that was causing the problem has nothing to do with the way we connect to high-speed internet.)

Apparently, ethernet ports send out a regular signal, so when my housemate plugged his phone cord into the ethernet port, the phone company equipment thought we had left a phone off the hook, like MrRonFL pointed out.

After reading this web forum, I went through the house and unplugged each phone one at a time to see if the other phones started getting a dial tone. This way I could determine if one of the phones was sending a signal that we were not aware of. As soon as I unplugged the wire running to my housemate’s computer, the dial tone returned to our telephones. He immediately said, “Oh, maybe I plugged the phone line into my ethernet port. I did that once when I was out of town and had the same problem.” We moved the phone line from the ethernet port to the dial-up modem port, and we continued to get a dial tone on the telephones.
Old 04-01-05, 08:48 PM
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what you need to do is unscrew all of the wires coming from the house and see if dial tone appears if so then start putting one wire at a time back on the terminals until it goes away if you have only one wire may try disconnecting all phones and plugging them in one at a time to see if you have a problem with a phone hope this helps

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