Troubleshoot home phone issues

Learn how to check for interference from outside or inside your home—and find a solution.

Check for outside issues

If your issue occurs on more than one phone, you can perform outside testing to find out if the issue is in your home or with the AT&T network.
  1. Locate the Telephone Network Interface. It’s usually located on the back or side of the house.
  2. Use a screwdriver to open the box. Look for a phone jack labeled customer access jack.
  3. Unplug the short telephone cord and plug in your corded phone.
  4. See if the problem still exists. If you:
    • Don’t have a clear dial tone: The problem is with the AT&T network. You’ll have to submit a repair ticket online at or call us. Be sure to tell the repair specialist about the troubleshooting steps you have take
    • Do have a clear dial tone: The problem is inside your home, and you should check for inside issues.
  5. Unplug the corded phone and replace the short telephone cord. Make sure you close and tighten the Telephone Network Interface cover.

Check for inside issues

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

Check devices connected to DSL filters

If the problem occurs with one phone, and it’s connected to a DSL filter:
  • Check your DSL filters: Turn off or unplug your modem. If the issue went away, then a DSL filter is likely the problem.
  • Identify the failed DSL filter: Unplug one filter at a time from the telephone jack (wall). Leave the DSL filter you just unplugged attached to the device. Use another phone and DSL filter on a different jack to see if the problem still exists.
  • Test your devices: Plug in all of your DSL filters and devices, one at a time. Perform a test after each device is added. If you still have the problem, it is likely the phone, fax, or other device is defective. Remove or replace that device.

Check your electronic devices

We suggest using a corded phone for this test. If you use a cordless phone, make sure it’s connected to an electrical outlet and the batteries are fully charged. Also, the cord between the telephone base and jack should be plugged in and secure. If you have interference, try changing the channel.
  1. Unplug connections and power supplies. This includes telephones, computers, faxes, modems, satellite television or cable boxes, alarm systems, adapters, and filters.
  2. Test your telephone line(s) by plugging a single phone directly into a telephone jack (wall).
If the issue went away
  1. Plug in the equipment you just unplugged, one device at a time.
  2. Check for the problem after each addition. If the issue reoccurs, remove the last device added. It’s likely the cause of the problem.
  3. Repeat until all of the equipment has been successfully added (you may have more than one piece of equipment causing interference).
If you still have the same issue
  • With a single phone: Test using another telephone. If the problem doesn’t occur with the second phone, your issue is likely with the first phone.
  • With two phones: Test both phones, one at a time, on a different telephone jack. If the problem doesn’t occur with the second jack, your issue is likely with the first jack.

Additional help

If you’re still having issues after trying these tips, the issue is most likely with the telephone wiring inside your home.

If you have an AT&T maintenance plan, we’ll set up an appointment to repair your issue free of charge. If you don’t subscribe to a maintenance plan, you can contact us to make the repairs for a charge.

You can submit a repair ticket online at or call us to report your problem.
Last updated: December 7, 2022

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