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Disabled phone line

Recently a local lightning strike created a power surge which fried my answering machine. I purchased a new AT&T standalone machine and, after hooking it up into the single line phone system, it will work perfectly for about 2 hours, then for some reason the phone lines inside the house will go dead (callers hear a busy signal). if i take the answering machine out of the loop, the phones operate normally. does anyone have previous experience with this phenomenon? will another answering machine fix this, or will i have the same problem? thanks

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Sounds like the answering machine is picking up the telephone line and not releasing it.

Hence the busy signal, cause the answering machine has the line off hook. It's like leaving your telephone off hook, the next caller will get a busy signal...

The answering machine might be bad... have you noticed that you were talking on the phone and hung up then the next call would be the busy signal? Maybe test this out.
Do you have the correct voltage to the answering machine, too much power or too little power can do funny things to telephone equipement.

Posted on May 12, 2009

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Damages of Lightning Strikes
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When a switch undergoes lightning strikes, overvoltage is induced by lightning on network cables and transmitted to interior of the chassis. The surge protection measures, such as lightning rod and chassis grounding cannot prevent the damage. Therefore, surge protectors or surge protection circuits are recommended.

Surge Protector Use Precautions Take the following precautions to protect a switch from lightning:
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If a fixed switch is installed in a network box, follow these instructions:
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  • If the network box is located outdoors and power cables are routed aerially over a long distance (more than 300 m) to the network box, it is recommended that you install a power supply surge protector in the network box. The decoupled power cable must be at least 3 m long
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