[Novalug] OT: Broken phone line ?
jhart at kevla.org
Thu Jan 11 23:01:49 EST 2007
Outstanding troubleshooting method and guide...
> Sorry for the top post, but your post is a bit long and I
> suspect everybody has already read it.
> I am also a bit of a phone weenie. Ken gave you a pretty
> thorough response, but let me see what I can add.
> As Ken said, your phones run on just two wires. You probably
> have four wires (or more) running around the house, but that
> is just to allow for installing a second phone line without
> too much grief.
> Every telephone device in your house connects across the two
> active wires. In other words, the devices are all in
> parallel. The only way that this can work is that every
> device shows an open circuit when it is inactive. When a
> device goes "off hook" (i.e. in use) it puts a load across
> the line. This is the only time that your phone line will
> look like other than an open circuit to the outside world.
> The fact that Verizon activates your voice mail immediately
> shows that it thinks that your phone line is in use. This
> means that Verizon is seeing (pretty close to) a short
> circuit across your line. The first test to run is to
> disconnect your house from Verizon at the NID and then call
> your house from some outside line. Your voice mail should
> respond as if you are not home. If it doesn't do this,
> then there is a problem outside your house.
> I suspect that the preceding test will work correctly. If
> it does, the problem is in your house. And the problem is
> "something" is putting (pretty close to) a short across your
> phone line. It could be an actual short in the line, but it
> would be an incredible coincidence for this to happen at the
> same time that Margo disconnected and reconnected your phone.
> I think the problem is caused by something connected to your
> line. No offense to her, but she probably reconnected the
> phone incorrectly.
> My daughter caused exactly these symptoms one time when she
> unplugged and replugged her phone. Her phone was connected
> to the wall through a surge suppressor and she got confused
> by the extra wires. We had two phone lines in the house
> (you probably do also, even if you don't know it) and she
> accidentally cross-connected them, effectively shorting both
> of them out.
> The solution was to disconnect EVERYTHING from EVERY phone
> jack in the house. It was while doing this that I found my
> daughter's error. After you do this, you should not see
> any continuity between any of the wires in any phone jack
> (with the NID disconnected of course). If you pass this,
> test, then keep the NID disconnected for about 24 hours.
> (When the phone company detects an apparent problem in your
> wiring, it cuts you loose from the network to avoid any
> possible damage to the network and it takes them a while to
> decide that the problem has been corrected.) Then reconnect
> at the NID and then plug your simplest phone into a jack.
> You should get a dial tone and be able to call out. Then
> try to call in from outside and make sure that: a) you can
> answer; b) the voice mail works correctly when you fail to
> answer; and 3) the voice mail works correctly when you have
> your phone off the hook. If you don't pass these tests
> then you have an actual problem in the wiring itself.
> If you pass these tests, then add your other phone devices
> one at a time and repeat these tests each time. If you
> fail a test, then the problem is with the most recently
> connected device.
> Under no circumstances use a continuity tester on your phone
> lines while you are connected at the NID. You will fry your
> continuity tester or your phone line or both.
> Hope this helps,
> Dave Hamnmond
> ---- Original message ----
>>Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 20:37:44 -0500
>>From: gregory pryzby <greg at pryzby.org>
>>Subject: [Novalug] OT: Broken phone line ?
>>To: "Northern Virginia Linux User's Group" <novalug at calypso.tux.org>
>>Calling all PHONE weenies.
>>I just learned that my house phone (verizon) is no longer working.
>>When you call my house, my verizon vmail answers IMMEDIATELY and our
>>'busy message' plays. So any incoming calls look like we are on the
>>line. There is NO DIAL TONE when I pick up.
>>So I go to the NID (courtesy box) and plugin. I have dial tone at the
>>So that means it appears the issue is the house wiring.
>>Nothing has changed in the house, EXCEPT my wife plugged in the fax
>>yesterday to send a fax and then unplugged it. She did it by
>>unplugging the phone from that jack and using that cable to plug into
>>We have only ever used 2 jacks in the house. Those jacks are not
>>working. I can not get a tone on any jack. I have a line tester and
>>get nothing with the tester.
>>So, I would say the problem is INTERNAL wiring. However, I am not sure
>>why vmail picks up showing that the line is busy..... That is the
>>'strange' piece to me.
>>Maybe a phone person can explain.
>>Then explain how a cable was damaged in my house by ghosts.
>>MAN I am frustrated... because it will be 1 week before Verizon can
>>make it to the house.
>>Oh, and forget trying to rewire this house. The wiring job was done by
>>a blind drunk with bailing twine. It is just unbelieveably ugly.
>>greg pryzby greg at pryzby dot org
>>fingerprint: 8A1A DB90 869F 5DD1 D6E9 EEB6 C156 6B04 849F A86F
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