Uh hu. Ok, so any other devices? Fax machine maybe?
Typically the exact "demarc" point is a modular jack or terminal block
mounted to the wall, probably near to where your electrical service
panel is. All the phone jacks in your house are wired to this demarc.
The demarc might look like one of these:
You have a condition where you're not getting a dial-tone, but your DSL
service is still working. Most likely there is a device (phone, fax,
answering machine, possibly even the DSL modem itself, or a DSL filter)
that is causing an "off-hook" condition. It's like the handset of a
phone that's hidden somewhere in your house was lifed off it's cradle
and just left like that - off hook.
I don't believe you've said if there is a phone jack at your demarc
point. Ideally there should be - the rest of my instructions will
assume you have one there.
Your phone service is supplied by 2 wires (typically red and green).
You might 4 wires in total coming in from the outside (red, green, black
and yellow). Locate the two that are connected to your home's phone
wires. Or you might have just two wires (both of them black).
Once you've located the two wires that are connected to your home's
phone wires, its only necessary to disconnect one of those wires from
your home's phone wiring (but not to the service jack that should be
located nearby). This means your DSL modem will also be cut off and you
will lose your internet connectivity (but only for as long as this wire
Once you do that (disconnect one wire) you've effectively cut off any
problem device from the incoming phone line, and the line should return
to an "on-hook" condition. Now at this point you need to have a known,
good working phone (how you determine that might be trial and error, or
plug it into a friend's or neighbor's house and verify that it works).
Take that phone and plug it into the jack at your demarc point (assuming
there is one). If there isin't one, if your handy with a screwdriver
then you should be able to connect an ordinary phone jack to your
incoming phone line, and remember to keep the rest of your home's phone
wires disconnected from the incoming line.
Once the known-good working phone is connected to your incoming phone
line, lift up the handset and see if you have a dial tone. If you have
one, then you've just established that a service call from the phone
company is not required, because the problem with with some device in
your home - or even with the wiring itself.
Why would he need to do all that? Once you pull the modular plug for
that line at the NID it is end of story for any premise wiring or
devices being the problem.
My NID looks like this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_interface_device (the first picture)
and is on the outside of my house.
From there, the wires do come into the house and go to something that looks
which is what you posted and I guess is called a demarc.
When I go to the outside of my house and open up the owner side of the NID,
and then unplug anything that is plugged into the owner side, everything
from the inside of my house is isolated from the incoming phone lines
(unless someone miswired the NID and accessed the phone company side of the
Look closely at that picture. There is no "jack" by which you can
simply unplug your entire home wiring from that terminal block.
Your home wiring is "hard wired" to those binding posts. The only way
to disconnect your home wiring from those posts is with a socket or
nut-driver (or wire-cutters).
Which is why I keep saying that not everyone has a demarc point to which
their entire home phone wiring is connected to via a modular RJ-11 plug
that they can simply dis-connect by unplugging the plug.
But their certainly is in the picture of the NID he also included.
If you have a "box" (NID) outside there is always a plug which allows
you to easily disconnect your stuff and allows telco access without
needing to go inside. That is the entire point of the NID.
His wiring reflects a typical older phone service that terminated on an
inside carbon protector block. At some point the telco was doing work
there and they did a typical installation of a NID outside while leaving
the protector block in place.
Yes. Roger says he has a box outside his house.
But Roger isin't the guy with the problem that started this thread.
Way too many generalizations in that paragraph.
I could just as easily say that the outside box is secured with
tamper-proof screws or bolts and it not easily opened by the average
homeowner, and that there's no garantee that there's a modular connector
in the box vs just a hard-wired spliced connection to the demarc inside
But regardless - I don't believe the OP (frank1492) mentioned anything
about having an outside box.
I will defer to your expert knowledge. What specific features would one
expect in a phone NID other than I described (I believe I omitted color)
You could say that but it wouldn't be correct. The whole point of the
NID is to define a DEMARC point with ready access for both the telco and
the subscriber and always a tool less method to disconnect premise
wiring in the form of a modular plug .
You are absolutely correct. The "box" where he noted he checked the
connections might have been the litter box...
I understand what you are saying. Not everyone has the same setup, and the
OP may or may not have an NID box on the outside of their house like I was
describing. However, the OP wrote, "Have tried phones directly from the box
and also no dial tone", so maybe he does have an NID like I do.
But, now that I think about it, I am confusing my houses, and what I wrote
above about having an NID on the outside of my house and the wiring then
going from there to the inside of my house where there is a hardwired demarc
block like the one you described was incorrect. On that house, the wiring
does come straight in from the phone company to the hardwired demarc block,
with no NID on the outside.
It is on one of my other houses that has an NID like I described on the
outside of the house. On THAT house, unplugging the jack from the owner
side of the NID does disconnect the whole in-house phone system.
Sorry about the confusion. I actually had two separate phone line problems
going on a two different houses, both in almost exactly the same time period
a few weeks ago. For one, the problem was an underground cable. For the
other the problem was a line problem going from my house to a nearby
terminal on a pole. In both cases, I had no dial tone, and in both cases,
calling my phone numbers from somewhere else just produced a busy signal.
And, in both cases, all I would hear on my phone was a slight hiss but no
dialtone. I do not have DSL service at either house so that wasn't a factor
as it is in the OP's case.
You may have already done this, but the NID (see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_interface_device ) has two sections --
one for the owner access, and one for the phone company access. When you
open the owner side of the NID, you should be able to unplug all of the
plugs and plug a telephone directly in there to see if you get a dial tone.
I think you said you already did this.
To be sure that nothing other than the incoming phone lines are connected to
the other side -- the phone company side -- you would need to open their
side up and look. You probably already did this too, but that is the side
where my phone guy recently said that my alarm company had connected the
alarm system directly to the incoming phone line. As long as there is
nothing from your house (an alarm system DSL wiring, etc.) that is wired
directly to the phone company side of the NID, then the test you did of
unplugging the plugs and plugging a phone directly into the owner side of
the NID to test for a dial tone should be sufficient.
Again, since I think you said you already did all of this anyway, the
problem clearly is in the phone lines going from your house back to the
And, even though when you called the phone company said they ran a test on
the line and is shows up fine, you cannot go by that. They recently told me
the same thing regarding another house that I own (not the one with
underground phone lines that I mentioned before). They told me that the
line tests fine and I said that can't be correct because if I call my number
from any phone I get a busy signal and there is no one home and no phones
are off the hook etc. So, I asked them if they could try actually calling
my phone number -- rather than just "running a test on the line" -- and tell
me what happens. When they did that, they said I was right, they do get a
busy signal -- and since no one is home they said there must be a short or
problem in the wiring going to the house. That's what ended up being the
problem -- a bad wire going from my house to a nearby junction box on one of
I'm sure there is still a large variety of telco wiring and demarcation
/ connection methods / connectors / jacks / terminal blocks still in
place all across US / Canada.
You can't say or assume that any given house has had their demarc
updated to reflect the current practice used today for new home hookup.
An answer to your problem (or at least a way to get your problem fixed)
will be found on the website DSLReports.com.
All manner of teleco and ISP related issues are discussed on that board,
with forums devoted to every major telco, cable and satellite provider,
and all manner of services (internet, phone, cable tv, IPTV, etc).
Each of the major players has a "direct support" forum, where you can
post your problem and only a bona-fide company rep get to read and act
on them, and will communicate with you as the problem is worked on.
In your case, you want to go here:
So go and sign up and get a user-name and password on dslreports.com,
and then go and post your service problem in that forum. You'll
probably have to post your name, address, and service phone number along
with a description of the problem. Only you, and the company rep or
technician will be able to read your post - nobody else.
I can tell you that it's legit. You can see by the subject lines the
various issues that people are dealing with at the moment.
The tech that deals with your issue will be able to test the line-card
in the CO (central switching office) that your house is wired to. He'll
be able to run a remote diagnostic on the line card and it will tell him
where the problem is.
Thank you for these details. I have been to this forum and have
received several ideas. Verizon has run a line test from the office
and tells me nothing is wrong which is puzzling. I will do what you
have suggested but am tied up with another matter at the moment.
What can the DSLReports tech do that the phone company couldn't?
Just to clarify something:
The techs that answer the questions posted to the direct forums on
dslreports work for the various companies (Verizon, Comcast, ATT, etc).
Their normal dayjob is with those companies. They have an arrangement
with DSLReports which gives them the ability to read and deal with the
issues posted by customers.
I don't know the history of how that arrangement came about, but I can
imagine that as DSLreports became popular as the place people went to to
discuss cable, telecom and internet issues, and as the various big
companies were slow (or still haven't) developed a credible on-line
service portal of their own, it became clear that having a presence on
dslreports was beneficial to everyone concerned.
You didn't say whether you checked for voltage on the negative side???
If you've disconnected the house and a known-good phone is hooked to
the company line and it doesn't work,
What are you gonna do to fix it?
All solution sets lead to the phone company.
I wouldn't discount sabotage by the strikers.
What better way to end a get Verizon to yield than to have angry
customers without service.
In addition to what others have said, I just have two things to add in case
One is, what happens when you call your own number from another phone? Does
it sound like it is ringing when you listen on the phone you are calling
from? Do you get a busy signal?
And, the second is, do you have an alarm system (or maybe the DSL hookup)
that is wired directly to the telephone company side of the D-Mark? The
phone company says that nothing is supposed to be connected directly to
their side of the D-Mark, but sometimes alarm company installers and others
ignore this and do it anyway.
I mention these because I had a phone line problem recently and there was no
dial tone. When the phone company came out, they said my alarm system was
connected to their side of the D-Mark, which it shouldn't be. However, that
was not the problem. Also, in my case, although there was no dial tone,
including after doing the same tests you did, when I called my number from
another phone I always got a busy signal. It turned out that my problem was
in the buried phone line going to the house (we have buried incoming phone
lines in my area). They had to call out the "buried cable" guys to fix the
The last people to work on the interface were Verizon techs when
they ran a dedicated line to my DSL because I was having speed issues.
All was fine for awhile. No alarm guys here.
People that call get a busy signal.
I will mention again that V did a line test from the office and
they said everything was normal.
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