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What does it mean when "check tel line" appears on screen? Phone is not working

Posted by Halyna Andrulis on

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Cindy Wells

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  • Lands Phones Master
  • 6,222 Answers

"Check Tel Line" indicates that no dial tone is heard by the phone. If there are multiple extensions, check that all of the handsets are on their hooks. For cordless phones, make sure that the base has power. After that, you need to check the wiring to determine if the phone is faulty or where the wiring fault is. First, try a new RJ-11 telephone cord between the phone and the jack. (Make sure that a handset cord is not used instead.) If you have a dial tone, you have solved the issue. Next try a different telephone; I like to use an old wired phone always works with POTS (plain old telephone system) wiring. These don't need electrical power and are easy to move between jacks. If there is a dial tone on the second phone, then the first phone has a wiring fault. If it is under warranty, contact the manufacturer for repair.

Next try using the test at another jack for the extension. If there is a dial tone, then the first jack has a fault or the wiring to that jack has a problem. Open the wall plate and check for loose or damaged wires. There are two types of wiring connections - keystone and screws. For the keystone jack, you'll need a punch down tool to push the wire back into the appropriate slot. The tool is available at most hardware stores in the electrical department. Do not strip the insulation. On the other type of jack, strip the insulation and secure the wire under the screw. Use https://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx to check which wire should be secured where. Multi-line jacks must have the wires correctly paired.

If there is no dial tone at another jack or you don't have another jack for that line, find the incoming service box. If you are lucky, then the box has RJ-11 terminals. Use the test phone to check for a dial tone. If there is a dial tone, then you have a wiring problem inside. If you can't test the line or there is no dial tone, contact your telephone provider. They should repair outside problems for free; although some will try to sell an upgrade to avoid maintaining the wiring. If it is an indoor wiring problem, you may want to pay to have someone else find the damaged wire in a wall. The telephone company repair crew can do this.

Other possible causes are a damaged DSL filter. If that is inside the home, you have to replace the filter. Filters in the service box should be repaired by the telephone company staff. If you recently had a service box repair, check that all of the wires were properly replaced. My home lost one extension after a service upgrade because that wire was left loose behind the siding on the wall by the contractor. Once we found the loose wire, we plugged it in and solved the problem.

For fiber-optic systems, the problem could be with the modem. That will have to be fixed by the provider. Other problems may be able to reset at the computer at the provider's hub.

Damaged copper wires can be caused by rodents. Above ground wiring could be damaged by vehicles or weather. Underground wiring is damaged by contractors and idiots who dig in the wrong place. If water gets into the copper wiring, it can cause corrosion causing the failure eventually. (With a fiber-optic system, water damage takes incorrectly sealing the connections during the installation.)

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've dealt with most of the above, including the loss of the fiber-optic modem. With that, we had intermittent loss of dial tone and the rest of the service. It took longer to diagnose due to the intermittent nature of the problem. We've also had multiple cases of the contractor dug too deep for both copper and fiber-optic underground wiring. A few times, the issue was area-wide since the cut wiring was near the service provider's hub.)

Posted on Jun 26, 2019

Testimonial: "Thank you!"

  • 1 more comment 
  • Cindy Wells Jun 27, 2019

    You're welcome. Cindy Wells

  • Halyna Andrulis
    Halyna Andrulis Jun 27, 2019

    Phone is up and running again! Appreciate your advice!

  • Cindy Wells Jun 27, 2019

    That's wonderful news. Cindy Wells

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5 Related Answers

Richard Elders

  • 25 Answers

SOURCE: My phone screen says check

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.

Posted on Nov 07, 2010

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rey francis basa

  • 666 Answers

SOURCE: what check tel line means

Hi,

It simply means, Check Telephone Line. Probably the cable is somewhat loose. Check it.

Thank you for visiting FixYa! We answer your concerns promptly for FREE. Please spare a few seconds to click on YES button in return. Have a good one!

Posted on Jul 18, 2011

Michael Baldwin

  • 51 Answers

SOURCE: my phone says check tel line.

I have a similar model from the same manufacturer.

You've got the AC adapter plugged into the wall and the phone base, and the phone wire with std. phone connectors plugged into your phone jack and phone base, and it's still not working.

This can happen if the phone line is not active, or if the "pair" of wires is reversed (which is how DSL worked exclusively for years). Ultimately, it's not sensing a dial tone on the line you're base is plugged into.

First, make sure you can hook up a std. phone handset, if you have one, to the active phone line wire and plug to make sure the line and wire can result in a dial tone. Then, unplug that phone and plug in your new base. You should now be able to use the phone.

If, for any reason, you can't get a dial tone, it may be possible the plug you're using had a two-line phone plugged into it previously, which places the other line on another pair within the 4 wires for that type of plug. In other words, the active wires you want are in the wrong place for the phone to access.

I would recommend taking this handset to a phone jack you know to work fine with a single-line phone, near an AC outlet, and give it a try there like I outlined above. If it works there, then it's just the phone jack and maybe wiring position that is your issue.

You can also find at many hardware and electronic stores a simple phone line checker. It's a small box with some lights on it, with a short phone cable and plug coming out of the other end. You plug this into your phone line jack, and it tells you if the phone wires are wired correctly (typically a green light), or crossed (red light). This may be the source of your problem.

I hope this helps!

Posted on Feb 16, 2012

Anonymous

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: need to set up phone/fax instead of just fax

I have a HP Officejet J6480 All-In-One and needed the answering machine and fax to be on at the same time.  I called the help line at HP and they said I needed another phone line into the home but I tried this and it worked. 
First I got a different phone number for the fax machine - they do this for no charge at my phone company. This is not another physical line into the home - it is just another phone number with a different ring - it rings 2 fast rings for the fax machine instead of the phones regular one ring. I set the answering machine built into the phone to pick up after 4 rings and I set the fax machine to pick up on 2 rings. Be sure to set it so the fax pick up number of rings are less than the answering machine pick up number of rings.  It worked for me. Hope this works for you too.

Posted on Apr 24, 2009

Cindy Wells

  • 6222 Answers

SOURCE: Panasonic PNLC1017, our landline telephones do not work. I've changed batteries, the phone screen reads check tel line. Please help!

The PNLC1017 is the charger for the handset of some Panasonic cordless phones. One of the compatible handsets is the KX-TGA660 which works with the KX-TG4112 system.

However, the 'Check tel line' message indicates a problem at the base or the POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) telephone line. The system is not hearing the dial tone. Check that the power adapter is plugged in to a live outlet and is warm. If it's cold, than the power transformer is not working and the base has no power. If there is power, check if the handset message disappears when the handset is close to the base. This is usually rare but indicates a transmitter/receiver in the handset or base is not communicating properly. You can try to de-register all handsets and then register them again.

To check the phone line, I prefer to use an older corded phone. These don't require power to work. First, try a new phone data cord (RJ-11) between the base and the wall jack. (I've seen someone accidentally use a handset cord which doesn't work.) Test if there is a dial tone when this cord is plugged into the test phone. If there is a dial tone, then if the cordless phone base didn't work with the replacement cord, the base is faulty. Replace it or contact Panasonic if the system is under warranty. If you have a DSL fliter, this may be damaged. If it's inside, replace it. If it is in the service box, ask your telephone provider to check it.

If there is no dial tone, you need to locate the other phone jacks for that phone line. Find where your phone service comes in as well. Check if there is a dial tone on another jack for that phone line. If there is no dial tone, check the service box for an RJ-11 jack, Test for a dial tone there if you can plug in the RJ-11 cable. If you have a dial tone at another jack, then the problem is local to the first jack's wiring. You can open the jack and check for loose wires. There are two styles of jacks - screws or punch-down. For the screw terminal, strip the insulation and wrap it under the appropriate screw. For the punch-down keystone jack, you need a punch-down tool. The tool is available from most home improvement/building supply stores, in the wiring section. Do not strip the wire. Use the tool to press the wire down into the correct slot on the jack. See https://www.lanshack.com/wire_phone_jack.aspx for the wiring diagram.

If you can't test the phone line or there is no dial tone at the service box, then you need to contact your telephone provider. It used to be that the provider would always test and fix outside problems for free. Some telephone companies are trying to stop repairing copper wiring. If you have a dial tone at the service box, then the problem is somewhere in the inside wiring. You may want to get someone to find a broken wire in the wall for you. Your telephone company service technicians will do this for a fee.

I hope this helps. I've had the check tel line issue times several times at my home. Twice, the outside line was damaged by mice and repaired by my telephone company. Once, a lightning strike damaged the DSL filter; it was promptly replaced. Other times, the line was damaged by contractors digging too close to the underground utilities. The contractors got the wiring repaired. When our service was switched to a fiber-optic system, we lost one telephone jack when the installer simply didn't plug in the wire. We found the loose wire behind the siding and plugged it into the port in the service box ourselves. Since then, we lost telephone and other service intermittently when the modem card in the service box was failing. That was also replaced by the telephone company technician.

Cindy Wells

Posted on Sep 01, 2018

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1 Answer

Check TEL line


Is that what appears on the screen?

If so it means that it's not seeing the phone line.

1. Plug in a basic phone to make sure the line really is working.
2. Check the phone cord is connected to the correct socket (probably marked line)
3. If still no line change the cord and make sure that it suits the pin-out of your country. Most of the world uses pins 3 and 4 but the UK uses 2 and 5 on it's wacky BT flat plug. Israel uses this BT plug but uses pins 3 and 4 !!

Oct 27, 2013 | Uniden Cordless Phone

1 Answer

Panasonic phone says check tel line


Check cable conections from phone box on wall to base unit, make sure that the conectors are fully inserted. If possible plug a different phone into box to make sure that line is working. Hope this helps

Jun 08, 2017 | Lands Phones

1 Answer

Landline displays screen message Check Tel Line. Can't phone out or receive calls. Lights on the black box are out. I checked outlets, etc. E mail is [email protected], land line 250-590-5196. Thank


I had to reboot our Shaw box three times last night before the phone started working again. Not sure what triggered the "check tel line" in the first place. My husband had just finished a phone call, I was going to make one right after him. The msg appeared as soon as he hung up. Interesting about your having a Uniden phone; it's the same brand as ours. This is the second time in a year that we've run into this problem. As for your old phone, is it analog? Reason I ask is, our rotary analog phone will work when the digital one doesn't.

Jan 05, 2013 | Lands Phones

1 Answer

The tel 1 and 2 buttons are flashing green along with stand by. The phone line has no dial tone and its busy when we call the line..


When the tel light blinks this indicates that the line is in use. To trouble shoot this issue you will need to connect a phone directly to the tel 1 port of your modem. If you have dial tone when directly connect that means that there is an issue with the internal wiring of the home. If you still do not have any dial tone with the phone directly connect than there is an issue with the modem and it needs to be replaced.

I hope that information above has helped is some way.
If possible please rate this solution.

Aug 25, 2010 | Arris SURFboard SB5120 Modem

2 Answers

Panasonic KX-T7433


These phones are digital proprietary telephones which means that they only work on panasonic telephone systems and not on normal analog lines. If you have a panasonic system the correct way is to plug the line into the " To Main Unit ", the handset into " Handset/Headset" and a normal analog phone into " To Tel ". If the wiring on the line jack was not done digitally the phone will also not work

Feb 16, 2010 | Panasonic KX-T7736 Corded Phone (KXT7736)

1 Answer

"check tel line" message?


have you paid you bill? Seriously ring your provider and get them to check your line out.

Feb 12, 2010 | Lands Phones

1 Answer

Receiving and sending faxes


if the fax is connected to the same line and you have a phone connected to the fax you need to make sure you connect the line from the socket at wall to the correct socket on the fax you can check this by looking at the point the line is connected on fax there should be two connectors one says line and one says tel.. the line in goes to the line socket and your telephone goes into the tel socket.. if you have them the other way round it cant connect properly..on the front display panel make sure you have it set to the auto setting or tel fax mode for receive.. if you have it to auto it will check the incoming call if it is a fax it will send it through if not it will ring till you answer.. if set to tel/fax mode when it rings you will have to answer the phone and manually press start if you hear it is a fax.. Good luck A

Mar 04, 2009 | OKIFAX 4580 Plain Paper LED Fax

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