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Guidance Center

Home Phone

No dial tone?

The cause could be affecting your whole neighborhood or it might only be inside your home. You might be able to fix the problem without waiting for a visit from CenturyLink.

Is the dial tone problem inside or outside of your home?

Plug a traditional corded telephone into the "test jack" on the box where the outside and inside phone wiring connect (also known as the Network Interface Device, or NID). Depending on your home, your NID (and the test jack) may be inside or outside of your home.

Not sure where your NID is? Go ahead and skip to the next step.

  • If there is no dial tone OR the dial tone doesn't sound clear, then the problem needs to be addressed by CenturyLink, with no expense to you. All you need to do is create a repair ticket.
  • If there is a clear sounding dial tone, then the problem is somewhere inside your home and you should continue with the next steps.

Check the phone jacks and equipment inside your home.

The problem could be inside your home, either with your phones or your wiring. Here's how to isolate the potential problem.

First, make sure all phones are hung up correctly. If you find any phones off the hook, hang them up, give it a moment and then see if this corrects the problem.

Next, anything that is plugged into a phone jack should be unplugged from the phone jack and the electrical outlet. Then using a corded phone that you know works properly, plug it into each jack, one after the other. Check for a clear dial tone.

  • If all jacks have a clear dial tone with a corded phone, then you may simply need to replace the phone that is not working or replace a dead phone battery.
  • If you find one or more of your jacks does not have a clear dial tone, then usually it is an inside wiring problem. You can either request a CenturyLink repair (additional charges may apply) or hire an electrician to fix the problem.

Didn't fix the problem?

Need a little more detailed instructions? Learn more about how to troubleshoot for static or noise on your phone line, or no dial tone. Or try Service Troubleshooter to test your service.

Get rid of annoying noises on your phone line

Static, hissing, echoes and other noises you hear on your landline are often caused by simple things you can check and correct on your own.

Check for interference

Using a cordless phone? You may be experiencing interference or there may be problems with the phone.

Other electronic products can cause interference with your cordless phone. Try installing your phone as far away as possible from these types of electronic devices:

  • modems
  • wireless networking equipment
  • personal computers
  • radios and televisions
  • cell phones
  • other cordless phones
  • intercoms and room monitors
  • kitchen appliances

Check CHANNEL

If your cordless handset has a CHANNEL (or CHAN) button, press it in order to improve the sound quality. You many need to press the button more than once.

Move the handset closer to the base

  1. The operating range may vary with environmental conditions and time of use. There may be places within your home that a cordless phone will not work well.
  2. To get better reception, try moving the telephone base to higher location.

Check the battery

Your phones battery may not be fully charged or the batteries may be flat (not holding a recharge), try replacing the battery.

Check the cords

Check phone cords for damage or cracks and replace if necessary.

Remove line-splitter

Avoid using line splitters - adapters that allow two phones to fit on one phone jack. They can cause phone line noise. Plug your phone directly into the phone jack - does that solve the problem?

Voice Mail

Callers might not be able to leave you messages until you've set up your voice mailbox.

Unwanted Phone Calls

There are several options available for rejecting or blocking incoming calls.

Caller ID

Caller ID gives you the name and phone number of who's calling you. That way you can decide if you want to answer the phone or not.

Sometimes it doesn't display the caller's name and number, here's why:

  • If Caller ID shows UNKNOWN, UNAVAILABLE or OUT OF AREA, the person is calling from an area where the caller's information is not available.

  • If Caller ID displays PRIVATE, PRIVATE NUMBER or ANONYMOUS, it means that the caller has chosen to block his/her line.

Call Forwarding

Don't miss phone calls just because you're going to be out! Call Forwarding lets you automatically forward all your calls to another local, long-distance or wireless number.

Call Waiting

Don't miss a call just because you're already on the phone.

3-Way Calling

Sometimes its just easier, or more fun, to talk to two people at different telephone numbers together at the same time.

Repair Requests

You've given it your best shot, time to call in the experts to fix your phone problem.

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