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Home phone troubleshooting checklist

Check for interference originating outside or inside of your home and find a solution.


ArticleDETAILED STEPS

Troubleshoot interference on your home phone

Determine if the problem is outside the house

If your issue occurs on multiple phones, you can perform outside testing to determine if the issue originates in your home or in the AT&T network.

Watch this video to learn about problems coming from outside the house.

  1. Locate the Telephone Network Interface which is usually located on the back or on the side of the house.
  2. Use a screwdriver to open the box. Inside the box is a phone jack labeled customer access jack.
  3. Unplug the short telephone cord and plug in your corded phone and determine if the problem still exists. If you do not have a clear dial tone, the problem is with the AT&T network.
  4. Unplug the corded phone and replace the short telephone cord. Make sure you close and tighten the Telephone Network Interface cover.

If your issue has to do with the outside phone line to your home, please submit a repair ticket online at att.com/repair or call us. Be sure to tell the repair specialist about the troubleshooting steps you have taken.
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Troubleshoot problems inside your home: DSL filter

If the problem does not occur when you are connected to the Telephone Network Interface, the trouble is inside your home. It could be caused by interference from electronic devices in your home or from a connected DSL filter.

Watch this video to learn about troubleshooting your DSL filter.

Follow these troubleshooting steps if the problem occurs with one phone, and it is connected to a DSL filter.

Determine if your DSL filter is defective
To determine if you have a defective DSL filter, turn off or unplug your DSL modem. If the problem does not occur, then one of the DSL filters is likely the problem.

Determine which of these filters may have failed, you will need to turn on your DSL modem
Unplug one filter at a time from the telephone jack (wall). Leave the DSL filter you just unplugged attached to the device. Using another phone and DSL filter on a different jack determine if the problem still exists.

If the problem goes away after removing a device
The DSL filter is likely the cause of the problem. Replace the defective filter. You can purchase a DSL filter from the AT&T website.

If the problem occurs after you replace the DSL filter
It is likely the phone/fax or other device is causing the problem. Try replacing or removing the defective device to resolve your problem. Plug in all of your DSL filters and devices, one at a time, testing after each device is added. If the problem occurs after a device has been added, it is likely the DSL filter and/or the phone/fax or other device is defective. You can determine if the filter is defective by plugging your phone/fax or other device into another working DSL filter.
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Troubleshoot problems inside: electronics

Watch this video to learning about interference from other devices in the home.

A corded phone is recommended for this test. If you are using a cordless phone please ensure it is connected to an electrical outlet.
  1. Unplug connections and power supplies for all telephones, computers, faxes, modems, satellite television or cable boxes, alarm systems, adapters and filters.
  2. Once everything has been unplugged, test your telephone line(s) with a single phone by plugging the phone directly into a telephone jack (wall).

If the problem does not occur
Begin adding the equipment you just unplugged one piece at a time. Check for the problem after each addition. When you find the problem, it was likely caused by the most recently added piece of equipment. Repeat until all of the equipment has been successfully added (you may have more than one piece of equipment causing interference).

If the problem occurs with a single phone
Test using another telephone. If the problem does not occur with the second phone, your issue is likely with the first phone.

If the problem occurs with two phones
Test both phones, one at a time, on a different telephone jack. If the problem does not occur with the second jack, your issue is likely with the first jack. For each cordless phone, ensure the batteries are fully charged and the cord between the telephone base and jack are plugged in and secure. If you are experiencing interference, try changing the channel.

Additional information

When to seek further assistance

If you have followed the steps to troubleshoot both inside and outside of your home and continue to experience problems, the issue is most likely with the telephone wiring inside your home.

AT&T home phone repair services
If you have an AT&T maintenance plan, we will set up an appointment to repair your issue free of charge. If you do not subscribe to a maintenance plan, you can contact AT&T to make the repairs for a charge.

To schedule in-home repair service
Please submit a repair ticket online at att.com/repair, or call us to report your problem.
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