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No Dial Tone

Phone line error- however, the phone company has checked the phone jack and it is fine

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Posted on Feb 12, 2008

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Our cordless phone says check tel line we have unplugged and plugged back in nothing called phone company they said everything was fine still our phone isnt working


You probably have a telephone wiring problem inside your home or your cordless telephone base has failed. I like to use an old corded phone for diagnostics. If you have other phones connected to the same phone line, make sure that all handsets are in standby/on hook.

First, try a different RJ-11 cable between the jack and the base. (Note: I have seen someone use a handset cord here. It doesn't work so make sure that the correct cable is in use.) If the "check tel line" message persists, connect the test phone to the jack with the RJ-11 cable. Do you hear a dial tone? If you do, then the cordless phone base has malfunctioned. If it is under warranty, contact the manufacturer. Otherwise, replace the phone.

If neither phone gets a dial tone, check if the test phone hears a dial tone at another jack on the same line, if you have one. If you have a dial tone here, then you know that the wires in the first jack or between the service box and the jack have a problem. Check the jack. There are two types of jacks: keystone and screw connections. Look for any loose conductors. For a keystone jack, you will need a punch-down tool, available at most hardware stores in the wiring section. Do not strip the wire; just push it back into the correct spot in the keystone. For screw-type jacks, strip the wire and secure it under the correct screw. See http://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx for the pattern.

Find your service box. Check if any wires are dangling. I had a service upgrade where the wiring for one jack was left loose behind the siding. Once that wire was connected to the new box, all of the jacks worked. Even though the telephone company said that the service was good, try your test phone if there is an RJ-11 jack in the service box. If you do not have a dial tone, get your phone company to send a technician. The outside wiring needs to be repaired. (Most companies should repair this for free. However, some companies are trying to get more people switched to other service types.)

Do you have a DSL line? If so, where is the DSL filter? If your filter is inside, you may need to replace it. If it is part of the service box, your telephone company technician should fix it for you.

If your phone line has a dial tone at the service box and the problem isn't in the jack, then you may want to hire a professional to fix a wiring problem in the wall. Most telephone companies will provide a technician to do this for a fee.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I have had mice damage copper wire leading to a phone line outage. Other external wiring problems were due to contractors digging too close to the phone line. With a fiber-optic service, when the modem in the service box failed, the phone lost the line and dial tone.)

Sep 16, 2017 | Lands Phones

2 Answers

All 4 hand units say "line in use" How do exit tis situation? hand units model KX-TGA410, baseunit KX-TGA131


A "Line in Use" message generally means that there is no dial tone detected. Assuming that all of the handsets are in Standby and any other phones are connected to that line are also on their hooks, then you need to determine why the base isn't getting a dial tone. This can be an inside or outside wiring problem.

I like to use an old wired telephone for testing since power isn't required to use the phone. You also need another RJ-11 telephone wire. Try connecting a new RJ-11 wire between the KX-TGA131 base and the phone jack. If there is a dial tone with the new cable, you had a bad cable. If not, try the alternate phone. If the test phone has a dial tone, then the KX-TGA131 has failed or has a power problem. If the phone is under warranty, contact Panasonic.

If neither phone has a dial tone, take your test phone to another jack connected to the same phone line (number), if available. If you have a dial tone here, then the problem is in the first jack or the wiring to the jack. You can try to repair the jack yourself. Remove the cover plate and look at the jack. If any wires are loose, reconnect them to their appropriate location. See http://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx for the usual patterns. There are two types of telephone jacks, keystone and screw terminals. For the keystone type, you need a punch-down tool (available at many hardware stores in the electrical section) to put the wires back in place. Do not strip the individual conductors before using the punch down tool. For screw terminals, strip the wire before securing it under the screw.

If you do not have another jack or there is no dial tone at the second jack, find the incoming telephone service box. Open the box and check the wiring. If you find an RJ-11 jack, plug in your test phone and listen for a dial tone. If there is a dial tone, you have a wiring problem. Check the jacks as above. You may want to have someone else check the wiring in the walls if there are no broken/loose wires in the jacks. Your telephone company will usually offer the service for a fee.

If you can't test the phone line at the service box or there is no dial tone at the service box, contact your telephone company. They will test the service box and should repair outside issues for free. (Some providers are trying to avoid copper repairs.)

If you have DSL, you may need to check the line filter. This filter can disrupt the dial tone when it fails. If the filter is in the interior, you are responsible for the replacement. In my service area, the DSL filter was in the service box so my telephone company repaired it.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've had no line issues several times. Sometimes, it was the result of a contractor cutting through underground lines. With copper wire, rodents sometimes damaged those underground wires. Once it was simply an issue of a contractor who'd left one wire loose after upgrading the service.)

Aug 26, 2017 | Lands Phones

1 Answer

CS6482 model phone system; (1) base unit, (1) additional phone. Cordless phones are both showing "LIne In Use" but there is no dial tone and neither phone is "in use"


The "Line in Use" message often occurs when there is no dial tone. You'll need to identify where the dial tone problem is coming from. First, check that the base has power and try a new RJ-11 cable between the jack and the base. I like to use a old corded handset phone for additional testing. First plug in a different phone to the jack. Do you have a dial tone? If you do, then the CS6482 has failed.

If there is no dial tone, next try plugging the test phone into a different phone jack, if one is available. If there is a dial tone at another jack and a new cord didn't help at the first jack, then you have a wiring fault at the first jack. This could be in the jack itself or in the wiring to where the phone service comes in. You can fix the jack more easily. Remove the cover plate and determine the type of jack and look for a loose wire. If the wires are attached to screws, you remove the insulation from the end of the conductor and slide it under the appropriate screw. Then tighten the screw onto the wire. For keystone jacks, you'll need a push-down tool to press the wire back into place. The tool is sold in most hardware stores in the electrical aisle. Do not strip the wire before pushing it into place. See http://cablesupply.com/content/47-telephone-connections-and-rj11 to match the wire colors to the correct pin on the jack.

If you do not have a dial tone at another jack or do not have another phone jack in the house to test, find the service box. Open the box and check the connection type. If you find an RJ-11 jack, use your test phone to check for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone or it isn't an RJ-11 jack, contact your telephone company. They can test the phone line and will repair the wires for free if there is outside damage. If the problem is inside the walls, the telephone company will charge a fee to repair the issue. (This may be easier than finding a broken wire in the wall yourself.) Note: some telephone companies are trying to move residential units to newer fiber optic services and do not want to repair the copper wire to the door. This can cause problems with some security phone alerts.

I know at least twice we lost the dial tone on copper wiring after rodents chewed on the wires. That issue hasn't repeated since we were upgraded to fiber. However, during the upgrade, the installer dropped one of the RJ-11 lines behind the siding on the outside wall. Thus one phone was without a dial tone, we found the dangling wire and restored the phone service in seconds. We also lost the dial tone after contractors dug into the underground telephone service up the road from us. That was repaired quickly.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Aug 16, 2016 | Lands Phones

1 Answer

My phone says "Line in use" but nobody is using it.


Some of my telephones will read "Line In Use" when the phone doesn't detect a dial tone. I like to use an old wired telephone to check whether the problem is with the cordless phone base or the phone line wiring.

First plug in the test phone and check for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone, try a different RJ-11 cable between the phone and the jack. If there is still no dial tone, use the test phone at another jack and check for a dial tone. If you have two jacks with no dial tone, find your incoming telephone service box. If you have a relatively new phone service installation, the service box will have RJ-11 jacks. Plug your test phone into the jack and check for a dial tone. If there is still no dial tone, contact your telephone company. They will repair an outside wiring problem for free. If the service box doesn't have an RJ-11 jack, you'll need to ask your telephone company to test the phone line for you.

If there is a dial tone at another jack or at the service box, you have an inside wiring problem. You can check for loose or broken wires inside of the jack. Most use either screw terminals or a punch-down design. For the screw terminals, strip another section of the unbroken part of the wire, if needed. Secure the wire under the screw. For the punch-down terminal, take off the cover. Then you'll need a tool that is available in most hardware stores in the electrical wiring section. Do not strip the wire; just place it over the correct place in the terminal and push it into the contacts with the tool. Trim off any excess wire with a small pair of small wire cutting pliers, if the excess wire is blocking the cover from fitting back onto the terminal. http://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx has a good diagram of the wire color and pin assignments. If the wiring is okay at the jack, you'll need to check the rest of the wiring for problems. Since the broken wire might be inside the wall, you may want to have a professional check it out. Your telephone provider's technicians can do this for a fee. If you have a DSL computer line, you should check the DSL filter. If the filter is inside at the jack, you'll need to replace the filter. If it is out at the service box, your telephone company will do the replacement.

If there is a dial tone at the jack with the test phone, check the purchase date on the L401 system. If it is under warranty (1 year usually), contact Motorola. Otherwise, replace your Motorola phone system. It's generally not worth the minimum repair and shipping costs.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've had dial tone issues after lightning strikes (the DSL filter was damaged), mice eating wires (buried phone line) and due to county road crew/contractors who dug too close to the wire. The first two problems required phone calls to get a technician to fix the outside line. The last one gets fixed by the contractors/phone company as soon as they can.)

Nov 09, 2015 | Motorola L401 DECT 6.0 Digital Cordless...

1 Answer

Panasonic DECT 6.0 shows "in use" but it's not. Why?


When I get this error, it's often a problem with the phone line wiring. Sometimes, it is the phone itself.

I like to use a spare corded phone and a new RJ-11 cord to localize the problem. First, try using the spare phone at the jack where the Panasonic base is plugged in. If you get a dial tone with the spare phone, try the new RJ-11 cable with the phone. If there is still no dial tone, then the phone needs repair or replacement.

If you do not have dial tone with the spare phone, try the test phone at another jack on that phone line.If there is dial tone, there is a problem with the first jack. You will need to open the jack and check the wiring. These are either keystones jacks or screw terminals. The keystone type require a special tool to press the wires into the terminal block. This is available at many hardware stores in the electrical wiring aisle (with the keystones and wires for whole house video/telecommunications access).

If you still have no dial tone, find the telephone access box. If you are lucky, that box has RJ-11 jacks so that you can test the line. If there is still no dial tone, contact your phone company. Outside line problems will be fixed by your provider.

If you have dial tone at the access box, you have a wiring problem somewhere inside.You can try to track the wires in any exposed area for signs of damage. You might want to call a professional to check the wires in the wall. Your phone company will do this for a fee.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(my own phones gave "Line In Use" when a contractor damaged a wire digging in the wrong spot and when mice got to the underground lines outside. Those problems were fixed by the phone company.)

Jan 29, 2013 | Panasonic DECT 6.0 Expandable Cordless...

1 Answer

No dial tone


  • First, try to check every telephone line is properly plugged into its phone jack. If you have a problem with just one phone, plug a different phone into that jack. If the second phone works, the problem lies in the first phone.
  • Then unplug each phone and answering machine in your house, one at a time. Wait 30 seconds after unplugging the first device. Pick up another phone to see if there's a dial tone -- if there is, then the first phone may be faulty. If not, continue unplugging phones in the same way and check for dial tone. If you find a phone that doesn't work, plug all your other phones back in and see if they work properly. The faulty phone should be replaced.
  • or disconnect the plug from the test jack inside the exterior box. This disconnects your inside wiring from phone company's line. If you have more than one line, select the test jack for the line that is causing the problem. Plug your phone into the jack; this plugs you directly into the phone company's line. If you have a cable modem, plug the phone directly into the jack on the modem.
  • Then pick up the phone receiver to see if there's a dial tone. If there's no dial tone, the problem is with your outside wiring. If there is a dial tone, the trouble is caused by your inside wiring, equipment or jacks.
  • Hope it will help you. Thanks for using FixYa.
  • Oct 19, 2011 | Lands Phones

    2 Answers

    Error message CHECK TEL LINE my phone line is connected and i followed all the right steps to connect my handset to the base HELP!


    This sort of issue requires you to check if the base or the phone line has a problem.

    I prefer to use an old corded phone for testing. I also get a new RJ-11 cable. Unplug your phone base from the jack and check for dial tone when you plug in your test phone.

    If you get a dial tone on the test phone, try the new cable with your cordless phone. If you still get that message, then the phone has failed. If it is under warranty, contact the manufacturer for repairs. If it is out of warranty, then determine if it is worth fixing or replacing. These phones are not designed to be fixed by the end user.

    If you do not have a dial tone, take your test phone to another jack on the phone line. Check if there is a dial tone at that point. If there is a dial tone, the problem is at the first jack or the phone line to the jack.

    If you still do not have a dial tone at the second jack, find where your telephone service comes in. Open the box and determine the type of connection used. If you are lucky, it will have RJ-11 connections. Plug your test phone into the jack and check for a dial tone. If you do not have a dial tone at this point, call your telephone company. They will fix the problem for free. If you find that the connection is not an RJ-11 type, call the phone company and have them test the line and repair it if needed.

    If you have a dial tone at the service box, then you have an inside wiring problem. Inspect the visible wires for damage. Open the faceplates for the jacks and check for loose wires. There are two types of connectors. Screw type connectors need the wire stripped back a little then wrap around the screw and tighten. The other type is a punchdown jack. To repair a loose wire in this, you will need a punchdown tool. These are often available in hardware/home improvement stores in the wiring section. http://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx has clear pictures of the wire color to pin pattern.

    You may want a professional to check the wires inside the walls. Your telephone provider will do this for a fee.

    I hope this helps.

    Cindy Wells
    (who has had outside phone line problems due to rodents chewing on wires, road crews digging just a little too much, and lightning damaging a DSL filter.)

    Jul 07, 2011 | Uniden Cordless Phone

    1 Answer

    My phone screen says check TEL line. I have two Uniden cordless phones and both of them have no dial tone.


    First be sure you have dial tone at the jack. Use a corded phone to do this with. If you do have dial tone then be sure you have ac at the outlet that the transformer is plugged in to. If there is no dial tone at the jack...go to your interface box outside and check for dial tone there....if none call the phone company. If you do have dial tone then you need to check your wires to the jack...or have the phone company do it for you. If you don't have ac at the outlet....check your breaker box or have an electrician check for you.

    Nov 07, 2010 | Uniden Cordless Phone

    1 Answer

    HP officejet all-in-one...keeps saying phone is off of the hook and will not give me a dial tone to fax. Is there a particular setting I need to check ?????


    The very first thing to check with a fax machine is that the line itself is OK. The possibilities are much greater that there is a problem with the LINE and not the HP itself.
    Hook up a regular telephone to the fax line, disconnecting anything else that may be on the line. If the telephone doesn't have a dial tone, call the phone company. If you DO have a dial tone, then maker sure that the phone line is connected to the correct port on the HP. There are two, usually. One is for the LINE and the other is for an EXTENSION (a phone that is daisy chained off the fax machine). If you have the LINE connected to the EXT port, it may give you this error.
    If you have multiple items connected to the same phone line, try removing all of them but one regular phone, and see if you have a dial tone. If so, add the other items back, checking for a dial tone after each one. If one of them causes a lack of dial tone, replace or repair it.

    The phone company may tell you that the problem lies in your inside wiring. I have seen that before. You can take your phone out to the telephone service box on the outside of the building. These usually have regular phone jacks in them. Disconnect the jack wire that runs into your house, and connect the regular telephone into the box itself. If you have a dial tone, then there is indeed a problem with the wiring in your building.

    Jul 16, 2009 | HP Office Equipment & Supplies

    1 Answer

    No dial tone, just buzzing noise - should be 2 line phone, 1 jack


    What you need is a dsl filter since you are working off a splitter. You can usually get these for free from your phone company.

    Mar 20, 2009 | Uniden TRU9466 Cordless Phone

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