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barry martin
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Default Help w/ Phone Wiring


R I have had no problems with my phone service until now. Some numbskull wen

R digging and cut through a 600 pair cable somewhere in the neighborhood. No

R the phone company has repaired the line (as evidenced by my working DSL
R connection) but for some reason I cannot get dial tone from any phone on my
R primary line. Line 2 was never affected by this outage, the line is
R repaired, the phone company tells me it tests fine, and there is dial tone
R at the interface, but now my previously-fine wires appear to have some
R problem. Does anyone have any suggestions? I can receive incoming calls
R just fine, but no dial tone. TIA

I wonder if when the numbskull cut though the cable if managed to
damage one of your telephones/devices? Or if when they repaired the
line reversed polarity (or fixed a reverse polarity problem) and an
old telephone/device is now not working? Either way since the phone
company says they get a dialtone I would disconnect your phone
distribution system at the Demarc. Depending on how old the install
is may be as simple as unplugging an RJ11 connector at the jack in the
basement (or wherever the entrance point is). Wait about a minute,
plus back in; test (listen for a dialtone). Sometimes 'resetting'

If still no dialtone, unplug at the demarc again, plug in a known
working phone - preferably a single-line phone. If you hear the
dialtone then you know the phone company was right and the problem is
somewhere in the house. The 'fun' starts by locating the problem.
Disconnect all phones and telephone devices from Line1 and add back
one by one.

BTW, if you have a telephone line tester (the device with one or two
LEDs to determine line status) plugging it in will let you know if the
wiring is correct but will also load the line enough so you do not
have a dialtone. I also found out the 2-line tester I have will give
a false-positive reading. (Line1 worked, Line2 did not. Tester said
both lines were wired correctly -- both LEDs were green. Found a
broken wire in the run; fixed and both lines worked.)

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