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Troubleshoot static or no dial tone on your phone

Learn how to test your phone line if you don’t hear a dial tone or there’s static on the line.


ArticleINSTRUCTIONS & INFO

Test your phone

If you don’t hear a dial tone on your phone, or you hear static or an echo, you can test your equipment and the connections to your building. If these tests don’t resolve your issues, contact us.

Test a corded phone
  1. Unplug the phone from the wall jack.
  2. Plug a different working phone into the jack.
  3. Check to see if you still hear static or don’t hear a dial tone.
  4. If the problem goes away, repair or replace the phone you just unplugged from the wall jack.

Test a cordless phone
  1. Unplug the phone from the wall jack.
  2. Don’t unplug the phone from the electrical outlet.
  3. Check to see if you still hear static or don’t hear a dial tone.
  4. If the problem goes away, repair or replace the phone you just unplugged from the wall jack.
If testing the phones doesn’t solve your problem, test the outside lines.

Test the outside lines
Before you test your outside phone lines, you’ll need to print the directions and view the how-to video:
Print outside testing instructions

You’ll also need to bring the following items outside with you:
  • Screwdriver
  • 2 corded phones (one without a built-in speaker or lights)
  • Flashlight
  • Printed copy of the instructions
Note: Don’t bring a cordless phone to test outside because it will require additional power to operate.

You’ll test the connections in the network interface box, where our outside line and your inside phone wiring connect. It’s also known as a Standard Network Interface (SNI) or a Network Interface Device (NID). The network interface box is usually located on the outside wall of your building, near the electric meter.

CAUTION Use discretion when testing the network interface box. Although the lines are grounded, don’t attempt to test the lines during a storm or if the surface you’re standing on is wet. Don’t attempt to open the section marked Telephone Company Access Only. Opening this section could disrupt the connection to the AT&T network and damage the equipment.

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