My telephone line as developed a problem. When someone calls the phone
rings one very short ring and then the line goes dead. As a result I
can't receive calls but calling out is not affected. Any suggestions?
The incoming call is being forwarded to Nigeria or somesuch. Here's the way
this scam works:
You get a collect call from someone at the jail. They profusely apologize
for the wrong number, claim they only get one 'phone call, and all you have
to do is punch some magic numbers and the call will be forwarded along with
Thereafter, all your incoming calls are routed to Bongo-Bongo and you get
There IS a sequence (*WAtermelon-U812-Green or something) to turn off call
If you call your number yourself ( from cell, pay, neighbors,
whatever) what happens ??
does someone/something answer, or does it ring forever ??
Did you recently add/replace any phones, faxes, modems, Tivo, alarm,
Begin by eliminating any internal wiring or phones as the source of the
problem. Remove all phones, fax machines and modems from the wall
jacks. Take a corded type phone to the NIM (Network Interface Module)
attached to your house where the phone company hooks up. Plug your
phone into that module and see if the problem remains. If not then you
have something inside the house causing your line to appear busy and
messages are going to voicemail or just appearing busy. If it
continues at the NIM then your phone company will have to check the
unplug all cordless phones
does that fix it?
if it doesnt, unplug network interface, plug regular phone in
interface. if that doesnt fix it call phone company its there problem.
I had that exact trouble turned out to be a bad card in their system.
if plugging a regular phone in the interface works get a cheap 25 foot
telephone extension cord, plug in interface run inside home to a phone
so you have service while this gets sorted out.
I've done all of the standard things like unplug all but one phone,
etc. I used a cell phone to call myself and I can hear part of a ring
then a dead line. I've got the phone co coming out but they are backed
up and I was hoping to find a fix rather than wait on them. I do know
that AT&T has been doing a lot of upgrades in this area such as
running fiber optics and such. I just wander if it's something they
the land phone company can temporarily forward all land calls to your
cell till this is fixed. free service for land during tech troubles
i would plug regular phone into NID on side of home to positively
decide if its your wiring or the phone companies.
I checked the box where the phone lines come to the house and it
doesn't have any place to plug in a phone. The lines and box are about
40 years old. Maybe when the tech gets here he can install a more
It would be an excellent idea to insist on it.
Your problem is called "ring trip". It is almost
certainly caused by a wet junction box, which causes
corrosion to grow between terminals of a cable pair.
The corrosion breaks down under the high voltage from
ringing current, which conducts just enough that the
telco switch thinks the line has gone off hook (i.e., it
has been answered). That causes the ring voltage to be
If you had a proper interface you would be able to very
easily check whether the problem is from your house
wiring, or not. You'll want to remember that the reason
you cannot is because *they* have not installed a proper
interface. If this problem does turn out to be your
house wiring and they want to bill you for the time they
spent, refuse to pay *because* they did not have the
Most likely it is not in your house wiring, and instead
someone left one of their junction boxes slightly ajar
and a bit of rain water leaked in. They'll find it and
Floyd L. Davidson <http://www.apaflo.com/floyd_davidson
Ukpeagvik (Barrow, Alaska) email@example.com
As the OP said, this is a "ring trip" condition.
It is usually INSIDE the home and most often caused by a defective telephone
device (telephone, modem, Caller ID box, satellite set-top box, etc) that is
connected to the line. On fewer occasions inside, it is caused by a corroded
With all (and I mean (*ALL*) equipment unplugged, if the problem persists, it
is probably a corroded connecting block (jack). These are usually found in
damp locations, most often on an exterior wall below grade.
Examine all the plug ends of the devices you have disconnected. The contacts
should be shiny and bright brass. If they are not, closely examine the jack
itself. If its contacts are not shiny brass, the jack should be replaced.
Also, whatever was plugged-in there has a corroded plug-end on the base cord.
That should be replaced, too. If it is not, it will cause the same trouble to
resume if plugged back in.
If all equipment is disconnected and all jacks appear OK, I'd just wait for
the telco tech to isolate and repair the trouble.
If you do NOT have a SNI/NID (Standard Network Interface Device), you should
NOT be billed if the trouble is inside the home. If you do NOT subscribe to
your telco's inside wiring maintenance plan, they SHOULD install the modern
device so, in the future. you CAN isolate your stuff from theirs. Also, if
one is installed - and you don't have the monthly maintenance plan - you ARE
liable for a Trouble Isolation Charge in the future. Good luck!
I have had that trouble also. It was just as you described it. And the
jack that went bad was on an outside wall, right at grade. I fixed it by
moving the jack to another location well above grade.
To be on the safe side, make sure your calls are not being forwarded
elsewhere. One of my neighbors got caught up in an identity theft scam
and this was part of it where credit card purchase checks calls got
forwarded to the scammer and he OK'ed them.
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