Cell phones are omnipresent throughout American society today from cars to movie theaters and other places where they should probably not be used. The old-fashioned handset telephone is still doing business for millions, however, and it pays to know how to troubleshoot them before you decide to go all cellular all the time.
No Dial Tone At Any Jack
Check to make sure that the handset cord or the line cord is not dirty or faulty if there is no dial tone on the phone regardless of which wall jack it’s inserted into. Clean the touch pad if the line cord or handset cord is not the problem. The speaker can sometimes go south on an old-fashioned phone and will need to be replaced.
Phone Rings after Handset is Lifted
Open up the base and locate the hook switch. Clean the hook switch using the same kind of contact cleaner that you use to clean out they keyboard on your laptop.
Dial Tone but Can’t Receive Calls
Makes sure the touch pad isn’t dirty. The problem could also be with the circuit board, which usually requires servicing. It would probably be cheaper just to buy a new phone. Also check to make sure that the ringer switch hasn’t been turned off.
Can’t Hear or Be Heard
Unplug the handset cord and replug it in. The handset cord could be dirty so you may need to replace with modular connector plugs. Snip the old plug off with the crimping tool’s stripper blade, position the wires in the new plug in the exact same color coded and push the wires into the new plug.
Your Party Hears You But Sound is Distorted
Check the handset cord for dirty or to make sure it isn’t frayed or otherwise damaged if the probem is distorted conversation on your end. A static-like kind of white noise on the line often means that the handset cord has gotten dirty or it could be just be going bad. Open the receiver to see if the microphone has gone loose inside the handset.
Dial Tone but Can’t Call Out
Open up the base and clean the hook switch with contact cleaner. If that doesn’t bring the ring tone back into business, check to make sure that the touch pad isn’t clogged between the buttons. If neither of these solve the problem, it could have a bad circuit board. In this case, the best advice is probably to dump the phone and splurge on a new one or make the decision to go all-cellular.