Trying to troubleshoot phone problems

Dear Forum,
Yesterday, I was trying to troubleshoot my downstairs phone. My upstairs phone works fine.
Downstairs, the phone line is in rather poor shape. The phone line connects to a socket whose screws are corroded. When I jiggled the socket, I got a tone. However, a few moment later, the downstairs phone would not give me a tone. More surprising, the upstairs phone would not give me a tone either. I had to wait about 10 minutes before getting a tone upstairs.
Does anybody know what could have happenned?
I greatly appreciate your help.
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snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

Any number of things could have caused the downstairs in-wall jack to fail. Anything from a loose screw to streaming neutrinos from the solar wind.
If your hand fits a screwdriver, it should be an easy fix. Take the cover plate off the jack and have a look.
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On Thu, 27 Dec 2007 07:53:08 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

Get a replacement phone jack socket - plate from the Dollar Store. Perhaps also get a replacement phone cable. For $2 its a very cheap fix.
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DA had written this in response to http://www.thestuccocompany.com/maintenance/Trying-to-troubleshoot-phone-problems-277412-.htm : snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

Have the downstairs jack replaced. If it's corroded, it's its time to go. Apparently, the upstairs jack is daisy-chained off of the downstairs one, so you need this one operational for both phones. It's easier if you purchase exact same jack or if you can't get the same, just make sure you are connecting to the same pair of screw terminals that the red and green wires are connected to (assuming the standard color code is used, could also be white/blue-blue wires instead) Good luck.
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On 27 Dec 2007 18:14:41 GMT, info_at_1-script_dot snipped-for-privacy@foo.com (DA) wrote:

More likely the downstairs phone was sensed as "off-hook" then disabled by the automatic phone exchange and reset.
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If you have a NID network interface device you can unplug house so you dont get shocked while working on jacks. its not dangerous but unpleasant........
in a emergency you can plug a 25 foot phone extension into the NID run the wire indoors and connect to phone so you have service
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

No cell phone?
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@fastmail.fm wrote:

If the cover plate screws are corroded, it's a good bet that the brass contacts INSIDE the jack are also corroded. You should replace the outlet. If you are reasonably handy and have some experience working with wires, it should be almost easy.
If the downstairs outlet is as corroded as I suspect, jiggling the cord in the outlet probably caused enough of a short to "kill" the dial tone temporarily. If the outlet IS bad, you should replace the cord (end) that was plugged-into the jack as it will be equally compromised. Good luck.
--
:)
JR

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Do what Jim Redelfs said. And one more thing: Fix one phone location at a time. Since the downstairs installation needs a new plate anyway, disconnect all the wires, tape the ends, and work on the upstairs phone until it's OK. Then, unplug that phone, and work on the downstairs phone. Isolate them from one another, in other words.
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