How can I fix home phone faults

     
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Problems with your home phone? Here’s how we can help.

Before you start

Before you start

Is your Home Phone service active?

If you're moving your phone service to EE or you've placed a home move order, check your service is active.

Your phone service can go live at any time up to midnight on your activation day – we'll send you a text message letting you know it's working.

Or, if you think we may be having problems taking payment for your Home Phone service, see how you can check my Home Phone bill

Check for incidents in your local area

Use the Openreach local network status checker. Simply enter your home postcode. If any issues have been reported you'll find details about the problem, and when it will be fixed.

No dial tone

No dial tone

When you lift your phone's handset, you should hear a steady or interrupted (if you've got voicemail) buzzing. If you can't a steady or interrupted (if you've got voicemail) buzzing. If you can't hear this dial tone, check:

  • your phone is plugged in. It might have been unplugged by accident

  • your phone isn't faulty. Try a different phone if you've got a spare or take your phone to a friend's house to check it works

  • extension sockets and doublers. Remove these where possible by testing in your main BT socket. If you're using a cordless phone, it's also worth checking:

  • your phone is charged. Put it on charge to check

  • your phone is still in range of its base station. Try moving closer, check the base station is plugged into the power and phone sockets

  • your phone isn't broken. For example after a thunder storm

 If you're still having problems, check your internal wiring.

Noisy line

Noisy line

If you're getting noise on your line while making or receiving phone calls, it could be because of: 

Broadband filter set up

As well as fitting a broadband filter to your router's phone socket, you'll also need to fit a filter to any extension sockets. For example sockets used for telephones, TV services (e.g. Sky), answer phones and older alarm systems.

Unfiltered phones (or devices) on your line can cause noise. To fix the problem, disconnect any unfiltered phones (or devices) as a test, or fit a broadband filter to the socket. As an added benefit, you might find your broadband becomes more reliable or the speed increases.

Faulty phone

Try a different phone if you've got a spare or take your phone to a friend's house to confirm that it works. If you're using a cordless phone it may not be fully charged or be out of range of its base station. 

Faulty equipment on your line

Check for faulty equipment connected to your line:

  • 1

    Disconnect all your phones and equipment from your phone line, including phones, TV services (e.g. Sky), answer phones, faxes, alarm systems and broadband filters

  • 2

    Now, with a phone that you know works, connect it to your phone line and check if this has fixed the problem

  • 3

    If it has, reconnect each piece of equipment (starting with your broadband router) back to the line, one by one, testing each time. Leave any faulty equipment disconnected until fixed

     

Interference

Interference from electrical devices can cause noise on your phone line. Try moving your phone away from any potential sources of interference like mobile phones and baby monitors.

Extension cable and doublers

If you're using an extension cable or a phone line doubler, they could be the cause of the noise on your line – check your internal wiring.

Can't make or receive calls

Can't make or receive calls

If you're having problems receiving calls:

Try calling yourself
  • 1

    From your landline phone, call a mobile phone to give a missed call

  • 2

    Then, return the missed call, so you're calling your landline

  • 3

    You should hear a ringing tone on your mobile and your landline phone will ring if your phone is working

If you get a number unavailable tone, let us know.

If your landline rings, check the landline number you called back on your mobile phone – it may be that you've been calling an incorrect number, or your number hasn't moved over to our service correctly. Let us know your number isn't correct. Please have your old and new numbers to hand.

If your landline doesn't ring, try these tips:

Phone not plugged in

Sounds simple, but check your phone is plugged into a phone socket (through a broadband filter of course). If you're using an extension cable, check this is plugged into your main phone socket too.

Phone ringer

Check your phone's ringer hasn't been turned off, or put on silent.

Faulty phone

Try a different phone if you've got a spare or take your phone to a friend's house to confirm that it works. If you're using a cordless phone it may not be fully charged or be out of range of its base station.

Handset lifted

If you've got more than one phone in your house, check the receivers on all the phones in your home have been properly replaced.

Too many phones connected

As a general rule, don't connect more than four phones or devices to the line. If you've got more, try removing them one by one to test which are working.

 Faulty equipment on your line

Check for faulty equipment connected to your line:

  • 1

    Disconnect all your phones and equipment from your phone line, including phones, TV services (e.g. Sky), answer phones, faxes, alarm systems and broadband filters

  • 2

    Now, with a phone that you know works, connect it to your phone line and check if this has fixed the problem

  • 3

    If it has, reconnect each piece of equipment (starting with your broadband router) back to the line, one by one, testing each time. Leave any faulty equipment disconnected until fixed

If you only get the problem when you connect your broadband router to the line (and you've already checked with a spare filter), let us know.

Extension sockets and doublers

Check your internal wiring.

Caller barred

Some modern landline phones have a caller barred feature which allows you to block certain numbers. Check your phone's user guide for instructions on what to do if you've barred a friend’s number by mistake.

 
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Last updated: 15/12/2017
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Thank you.

Glad to hear it.

Thank you.

Glad to hear it.

How can I check my internal home wiring?