Troubleshooting Your Telephone

Why doesn't your telephone work?

That depends on whether the problem is in your telephone set, in your inside wiring or in the outside lines and switching equipment that CVTC uses to provide your service.

You are responsible for repairs if the problem is in your telephone equipment or the inside wiring. Simple tests can help you determine whether to call CVTC for assistance. These tests may save you time and money. There is a charge if the trouble is in your telephone equipment or inside wiring and the telephone company is called out for a repair. There is no charge if the trouble is in the outside lines or switching equipment and was not caused by negligence on your part.

How to Troubleshoot

You are responsible for maintaining and repairing your own telephone equipment. If the phone you own isn't working, here are a few things to check:

  • Is the phone cord plugged in (both in the outlet and telephone instrument)?
  • Is the cord damaged or broken?
  • Do the buttons stick?
  • Is another phone in your home off the hook?
  • If the problem persists, disconnect all but one phone at a time in your home. If the problem disappears, the problem is with your telephone equipment.

If the above check out okay, you need to go to the next step. The Network Interface Device (commonly called NID) that is on the outside of your house or office allows you to identify whether telephone problems are in CVTC telephone lines or house wiring. Before calling us, please do the following:

  • Open the Network Interface Device cover and unplug the modular cord.
  • Plug in a telephone you know works. If the phone works, the problem is likely in your house wiring or your other telephones.

Call CVTC if you've tested your telephone equipment and are sure it is working properly. It's important to try to determine where the problem is before you call us. If the problem is ours, it will be repaired without cost to you.

Installing Your Phone

All new telephones are modular, which means they come with a clip attachment on the cord that connects easily with a modular telephone outlet. A modular outlet has a small hole that the clip fits. Just squeeze the clip between your thumb and forefinger and insert it. You're all hooked up! To disconnect it, just squeeze the clip again and gently remove it.

Since deregulation of the telephone industry, telephone equipment has become available from many sources. It's a competitive business and we cannot recommend particular suppliers to you. The new modular telephones have, however, made installation easy for owners of equipment.

The telephone outlet in your home may be of the old four-prong variety. In that case, you can either purchase a simple converter that plugs directly into the outlet and provides a modular style connection, or you may decide to replace the old outlet with a new modular one. That's an easy task, requiring only a few moments and a screwdriver.

To install a modular outlet, notice first that the outlet has four terminals. Each of the four has a lead wire attached, each of a different color (green, red, black, yellow).

After removing the old outlet, wires from your home's phone wiring system will be visible. Match the colors of the wires extending from the wall of your home to the colored leads of the modular outlet (red-to-red, green to green, etc.) Wrap the end of each house lead wire around the base of the appropriately colored terminal on the back of the outlet, and tighten each screw with a screwdriver. Then attach the modular outlet to your wall and secure the screws.

Please remember:

  • Match wire colors.
  • Don't let the metal parts of any wire or lead touch those of a different colors.
  • Don't pinch the wires or leads while replacing the cover.

Telephone Safety

The telephone is one of the safest appliances in your home or office. There are, however, a few situations where a telephone user needs to be cautious:

  • Use of the telephone near water - the telephone should not be used when you are in the bathtub, shower or pool. Immersion of the telephone or handset in water could cause electrical shock.
  • Use of the telephone during an electrical storm - you should avoid using a telephone during an electrical storm in your immediate area; calls of an urgent nature should be brief. There is a remote risk of dangerous electrical shock from lightning when using the telephone during a nearby electrical storm.
  • Use of the telephone to report a gas leak - if you think you have found a gas leak, you should not use a telephone in the vicinity of the leak until the leak is repaired. The telephone contains electrical contacts that could generate a tiny spark when you lift the handset and dial. While unlikely, it may be possible for this spark to trigger an explosion if the gas concentration is high enough.

REMEMBER: The possibility of electrical shock always exists when dealing with telephone wires. Use caution. We are not responsible for damage or personal injury due to hazardous voltages and electrical shock.

Call Before You Dig!

Don't forget to call your local telephone, electric and cable company before you dig!

It is the cheapest route to take as you may be required to pay for time and materials to fix a cut cable.

Telephone Troubleshooting Call Before You Dig