landline troubleshooting 101

Landline Troubleshooting 101


Understanding the methods for troubleshooting your landline phone service can be quite valuable, possibly saving you both time and money.

When phone service goes out, many times a subscriber’s first instinct is to call the Cooperative, rather than first understanding where or in what part of their line service the problem resides. The following step-be-step guide can help you investigate and identify the problem, leading to a faster, more efficient response from the service technician, and possibly saving you a service charge!

  • All homes in the Taylor Telephone exchanges are served from an outside location called a demarcation point (or “demarc” for short). This small box denotes where the line enters your house from the main telephone cable.
  • If there is dial tone at the demarc, but not in the building, the problem lies either in the inside wiring of the structure, or with the equipment (corded and cordless telephones and answering machines) used within. In both instances, the lines and their repair are the responsibility of the home or business owner. Taylor Telephone technicians will repair inside wiring for a fee.
  • If a line trouble is reported and a technician dispatched, subscribers may be assessed a trip fee of $18.75 if the technician finds the source of the trouble is subscriber-owned equipment or inside wiring. Any repairs made to the line are not inclusive of the base-rate trip fee.
  • Subscribers can test their telephones and other equipment for failures by using a standard corded telephone. Unplug all other line equipment, including corded phones, cordless phones, answering machines, fax machines, computers, modems, satellite TV systems, digital video recorders (DVRs), etc, from the jacks and the electrical outlets, as these can cause interference on the telephone line as well. Once all equipment is unplugged from the telephone line and electrical outlets, use a single corded phone to test for dial tone inside the house.
  • If the corded phone has dial tone, the problem is with one of the other pieces of line equipment (cordless phones, answering machine, fax machine, etc). Plug these in one by one, checking the dial tone after each addition, to identify the faulty piece.
  • If the corded phone does not have dial tone, the building’s inside wiring is the issue. A professional Taylor Telephone repair technician should be called to test the inside wiring, pinpoint the problem area, and repair the line.
  • If there is not dial tone at the demarcation point, this points to an issue with outside (telephone company-owned and operated) line, and should be reported immediately. There is generally not a charge for repair of outside lines, unless damage was done to the line after a customer, contractor, or other excavator failed to have the lines marked by a Taylor Telephone technician.

Inside wire maintenance is a $1.00 per month protection plan that provides coverage of any future trouble with wires or jacks inside a customer’s premise. Inside wire maintenance must be active on a line before an instance of trouble is reported in order for the trouble to be covered under the plan. The service is line-specific, so businesses or residences with multiple lines should have inside wire maintenance on each line terminating at their office or home.

If you have questions about these tips, or if you need to report a trouble, call the business office at 325-846-4111 or 1-800-238-4155.