Telephone will not dial out--the kind of phone with no AC power

Page 1 of 4  

I like to have one telephone in my house that will work when the power goes out.
I had an old push button phone that got a good dial tone, but wouldn't dial out. I was told that in very old phones, polarity is an issue.
I bought a new phone today at Radio Shack, and it won't dial either! The dial tone is fine.
I reversed the wires at the jack, but no help.
I tried the new phone at another jack, no help.
An AC powered phone works fine at the original jack.
I disconnected all my other phones and computers, no help.
Every other phone in my house has an AC power supply and works fine. My computer modem works fine.
This is California, about 50 miles north of San Francisco, if that provides any clues.
Can anyone help with this? Aside from not wanting to spend any money, this is bugging me and i want to fix it myself!!!!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@vom.com writes:

Are you SURE you reversed the correct two wires at the jack? Old, standard phone not able to do touchtone screams "reversed polarity."
While at radio shack, they do or at least did sell a little phone line tester that verifies jack wiring and polarity.
Best Regards, -- Todd H. http://toddh.net /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@vom.com wrote:

line enters house ? If so, it has jack for testing telco vs house problems. Try the non_AC phone there. Report results.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 22 Jan 2007 22:09:11 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@vom.com wrote:

First, describe you're TELCO...
Are you using POTS (plain old telephone) or are you using VOIP from another provider?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 22 Jan 2007 22:09:11 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@vom.com wrote:

Can you try other jacks?
I would take the phone to a neighbor and see if it works there. Then I would take it back to the store and see if it works there. If not, I'd get my money back.
If it does work at the neighorbs, I'd read Todd's post.
Not really relevant to you, but just this week I had a reallly old phone that only made one tone for each row, no matter what column was pressed. A different tone for each row. This was a Western Electric multi-line phone, and I identified the problem, which was dirt. TWo of the 5 cam axles were so dirty in their notches they didn't spring back. Maybe I just should have sprayed something, but I took it apart, and it was murder getting it back together. When new, it was assembled in a different order. And even if fixed it was so heavy, and I'll never have 5 lines, or whatever is needed to use the Hold button. I ended up stripping it for parts and throwing much of it away.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
|I like to have one telephone in my house that will work when the power | goes out. | | GET A CELL PHONE NUMBSKULL
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

this poor fellow isnt aware the wired system is much more reliable in a emergency. every line has a dedicated path, power backup is by big batteries and generators designed to run for weeks. specs designed during the cold war, it is very reliable. with the exception of peoples cheap phones that need power to operate
now cell phones dont meet the military reundant specs, have limited capacity, during a real emergency only emergncy workers phones will function, all others will go all circuits are busy try your call later. when you need it the most know it wouldnt work.
this so the limited capacity bandwidth can be used by emergency workers........
plus cell phone handsets need recharged frequently, in a power outage that may be a issue too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Wires break, I am a ham operator, I have radio gears I can use in an emergency charging batteries off my car. Solar panel is there too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tony Hwang wrote:

Tony Wires don't break just because the utility power goes out but cell site batteries don't last for ever without it. Point is that you don't depend on just one means of communication. An exchange powered copper pair line is an excellent means to keep a pathway open when the a power outage is the problem. -- Tom Horne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thomas Horne wrote:

from the central office. About a month ago, after less about a day of power failure, the phone went out (but DSL kept working for a while!!). It turns out that there is fiber optic from the central office to an equipment shack in the field. Power comes from the utility, then back up batteries, then a back up generator, but someone has to go out into the field to start the generator.
What really matters for reliability is not the technology (land line vs. cell), but the reliability expectations, and what the service providers will do to meet those expectations. Currently, we expect land lines to be there all the time and get very upset if there is one outage a year. We expect cell sites and entire network regions to go down frequently. Consequently, land lines have back up batteries and generators (usually automatic!), and cell sites might have a battery.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I was in Springfield last week where the power is STILL out. I had a cell phone and my daughter had a cell phone, 2 different carriers. There were plenty of times when only 1 had service and a few times when neither had service. Cell phones are not that reliable. How about CB and a couple extra batteries or a decent sized generator?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike Dobony wrote:

as we are now once again referring to it, are not designed to be cost competitive AND as reliable as 'land lines'. Cell phone systems make a lot of sense; fewer cables, portability of the handsets, can be activated by building some towers and connecting them to the national telephone network which was and still is, including the numbering system, designed an built mainly by the traditional telephone companies.
Also, these days, there is a lot more 'stuff' (junk if you like) being transmitted via cell phones. When situation is normal that has good aspects and bad. But one has visions of someone in an emergency situation like the above (Springfield), calling up a relative in another part of the world and saying "Hey, I'm in Springfield, look at this picture of a tree which fell on a house in ..................... ", blissfully unaware that the picture they are sending is using up cell phone bandwidth and circuit time that could carry 100 'real emergency' calls!!!!!!
Thirdly the old monopoly telephone networks which reported to various regulatory commissions and had their rates approved, before the days of 'Competition', were, as somebody mentioned built to withstand various emergencies. Standard were, huge banks of batteries good for at least 24 hours, diesel generators, extra circuits, 'thread of life' circuits and procedures built into day to day operations that ensured what to do if/when emergencies occurred.
Much of that 'extra' or overbuilding, which involved large capital investments, has gone in the name of cost reductions in the face of competition. Nowadays almost anybody can start a telephone company by using a computer plugged into a bedroom electrical outlet. Not very reliable, but cheap.
The telephone business is a different world today; the technology has changed so rapidly, wider range of services available, lower price competition for customers. So; in times of stress particularly, poorer service and less reserve within the system/s to carry the telecommunications through an emergency!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Cell phone will not work, reliably, for voice. But text messaging works even under worst conditions. Too many Americans, because they don't use text messaging, do not understand why you set and periodically text message - because it is the only reliable mobile communication method during outages and crisis.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
jart ames wrote:

Our crews in New Orleans found that after the cell site batteries ran down the only phones left working were the ones that were connected to unflooded local exchanges. Not all cell sites have generators and their battery reserves are only good for a day or two. All of the legacy bell exchanges have engine alternator or generator sets. -- Tom Horne
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 00:40:24 GMT, Thomas Horne

What a child!

I think these are the most reliable too, but feel compelled to give one opposite example. AFter the World Trade Center was destroyed in 2001, much/most landline phone usage was impossible in NYC, but cell phones continued to work, well in most cases.
I wasn't in NYC that day. G-d forbid more of us should learn such things first hand. But like others have said, back-ups are good. Back-ups of a different sort are even better. And everyone with a landline should have at least one corded phone in the house, because almost all will work without house power.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That's exactly backwards. The WTC was home to a number of cellular antennas, and the cellular service obviously went down when the towers did. Landlines that were not routed through the towers continued to work.
--
Regards,
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 24 Jan 2007 13:06:32 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

I apologize. You're absolutelly right. I called a friend in NYC to make sure. It kept flipping back and forth in my head which way it went. Another good reason to have a "real" phone, wired to the phone company.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Doug,
I think you are making an assumtion and it is mostly incorrect. I had worked in the towers off and on since they were under construction and I am in the communication business.
First, Cell antennas are not mounted on 110 story buildings, that would be way too high for effective coverage. 2nd, What was on top of the Trade center was a number of Microwave and VHF/UHF systems (receivers and repeaters) in addition to the main TV transmitter for the NY Metro area. These systems included NYC emergency frequencies for the PD, FD, etc. 3rd, Next to he Trade Center was a NY Tel (Verizon) main central office on West Street which suffered incredabile damage and was out of operation 4th, Around the Trade Center were many building that did have Cell Antenna and continued to work only if they were not supplied dial tone from the damage Central Office and for as long as their batteries lasted (don't forget that the power grid also suffered major damage). 5th and last, In one of the cellar levels of the Trade Center, there was a major alternate telephone service provider switching center and fiber operations center whcih was destryoyed.
So between the Central office damage, the alternate provider damage, the physical destrution to the trunking cables and the pure volume of calls that happens during this kind of emergency, land line service is the surrounding area was severly curtailed
Cellular service in the area only lasted untill the central office went out of service or until battery operation was exhausted.
It was quite a few weeks until the power grid was restored as the manholes were not usable and the cable in them had melted. Con Ed and the great boys of IBEW Local 3 worked around the clock to restore temp power to the area.
I lost a number of friends on that day and WE WILL NEVER FORGET - God Bless America
On Jan 24, 8:06 am, snipped-for-privacy@milmac.com (Doug Miller) wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Jan 23, 1:09 am, snipped-for-privacy@vom.com wrote:

I agree with to one responder. Rule out bad phone. Often times other devices (aka cheap junk) can affect the working of other devices. Go through your house and disconnect all the other things plugged into all of your other phone jacks checking your new phone as you go. The same thing happened to me. Once I unplugged the bad device everything was fine. Good luck.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Totally agree we once had a fireman complaining his phone would not ring when he was called for emergencies.
The cause was two cheap phones that had been supplied as 'free gifts' with magazine subscriptions by his two sons! Junk phones that damped down the ringing on his line so badly that not only they but his regular 'Telephone company' phone would not ring at all! Took them off and everything went back to normal!
This not a criticism of the OPs 'good' phone but; 'Not all phones are created equal' that's in quality or meeting reasonable standards of ringing, dialling and transmission.
Also other gadgets such as FAX machines, voice announcers, certain cheaply made (not always cheap to buy!) cordless phones, bedside radios that incorporate a phone etc. There is a lot of junk out there that was not manufactured to any particular standard. In most case the high quality of the existing phone system manages to cope with them; but not always.
Been there! Hard to tell some telephone customer that their fancy 'art deco' whats-it phone bought on a back street in Istanbul or Paris is terrible junk and not designed to suit North American standards telephone network. The North American telephone system being for at least the last 60 to 80 years the best in the world, so that we take it for granted. But just try to make a phone call in some other countries; or even get a phone installed etc. in less than months/years and without paying a bribe!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.