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  • Question

    My phone won't ring

    • Answer
    • Your phone might not be ringing for any one of several reasons. To fix the problem, work through the following steps. After trying each step, check to see if the problem has been resolved. If not, then try the next step listed.

      Step 1: Check if there is a service outage

      If there is a service outage or network problems, this might cause noise on your phone line. To check for problems that might be disrupting your service, please visit Service outages. There you'll find a list of the most recent problems that we've been notified about.

      Step 2: Check your cordless phone

      If you have a cordless phone, please check the following:

      1. Check that the batteries are fully charged. If they are running low, you may experience noise on the line.
      2. More than one cordless phone in your home might cause interference. Try disconnecting one to see if the noise stops.
      3. Check your phone's user manual to see if the phone is picking up noise via radio waves.

      Step 3: Check that the ringer on your phone is on

      The ringer is usually found on the base of your phone. It is normally a small, sliding switch that can be set to HiLo or Off. Please ensure that it is set to Hi. If you're unsure how to check the volume levels, please refer to the user manual.

      Step 4: Check your Calling Features

      If you have BT Call Minder, check that the number of rings is set to more than one. For details on how to do this, see Call Minder.

      If Call Barring is set up on your phone line, some in-coming calls may be blocked. For details on how to check this, see Last Caller Barring.

      Step 5: Check your connections

      Check that none of your phones are off the hook and that all cables and connections are plugged in securely. If the problem occurs only on a specific phone, it's likely that there is a problem with the phone itself, or with the wiring to the socket where you experienced the problem.

      If you have more than four phones or other telephony devices connected to your phone line, you may experience problems. Each device that's connected to your phone line has a value assigned to it called a REN value. Your phone line can have a maximum of four REN in use at any one time.

      Most phones and faxes have a REN of one, although some older pieces of equipment can have a higher REN value. If you have several devices connected to your line and they exceed the maximum limit of four REN, there's a possibility that your phone will not ring.

      To check if this is the problem, unplug all your telephony equipment from the phone line. If you have broadband, don't forget to unplug all microfilters and your modem or router. Plug everything back in, one by one, calling your landline after each one to check if it will ring or not. This will help you to locate which device, if any, exceeds your REN limit.

      Step 6: Check your telephony equipment

      If some faulty equipment is connected to your phone line, this could be the cause of the problem. To check for faulty equipment, follow these steps:

      1. Unplug all telephony equipment from your phone line. This includes telephones, faxes, modems, Sky Digital, extension leads, adapters, phone splitters and so on.
        Note: If you have broadband, don't forget to unplug all microfilters and your modem or router.
      2. Plug a telephone (preferably a corded phone) into your master phone socket and check if the problem still occurs.

      If the phone now rings, the problem may lie with your telephony equipment. In order to identify which piece of equipment is at fault, follow these steps:

      1. Plug one piece of equipment back in.
      2. Call your phone to see if it rings.
      3. If it rings, then that piece of equipment is fine. Plug in another item and check again.
      4. If you find that your phone stops ringing at any point, then the last piece of equipment you connected may be the source of the fault.
      5. Unplug this piece of equipment and keep it unplugged.

      Please refer to the user manual of the faulty item or contact the supplier for help.

      Step 7: Check your extension wiring

      Important: This step is for advanced users only.

      We now need to check if your extension wiring is the cause of the problem. To do this, follow the steps below:

      1. Locate your master phone socket. The master socket consists of two parts, with two screws on either side of the bottom half.
      2. Carefully unscrew the two small screws and pull out the bottom half of the faceplate.
        Note: If your main phone socket does not have two parts across the front, as shown in the picture above, do not unscrew the faceplate, as this is not the master phone socket. If you can't locate your master socket, please contact us for further assistance.
      3. You'll see a test socket on the right-hand side. This socket connects you directly to the phone line and bypasses any extension wiring you may have. Connect a micro-filter to the test socket, and plug a telephone (preferably corded) into the phone side of the filter.
      4. Make a phone call and see if the problem reoccurs.

      If your phone rings at the test socket, it's likely that your internal wiring is faulty. You can either repair the wiring yourself or contact us to arrange for an engineer to visit your home. If the fault is found to be with a piece of equipment that's connected to your phone line, or is something you have caused, you will be charged for this visit. If there is a fault on your phone line, there will be no charge.

      If the problem persists at the test socket, there may be a problem with your phone line. Please contact us to report the problem at the appropriate number below:

      • Residential customers: Phone us at 0870 087 8777*
      • Business customers: Phone us at 0800 083 3006

      *This number is free of charge when dialled from your TalkTalk landline.


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    • View Answer at http://help.talktalk.co.uk/app/answers/detail/a_id/1554/related/1
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