07:41AM | 06/12/02
Member Since: 04/30/02
6 lifetime posts
I checked the outside box tested with an old phone and it rings. Just that the inside outlets just mute. We can call and dial out, just that the phone doesn't ring. Anyone has this problem before??? Anyhelp is appreciated.......


Jim D

11:55PM | 06/12/02
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Hi, you should try checking at the outside box with the phone that's not ringing. Normally, the phone gets ringing voltage from the red & green wires (Tip and Ring). (The black and yellow wires were used long ago to provide the voltage to light the dial on the old Princess/Trimline phones. Nowadays, if you've got a second phone line installed but don't want to run new wiring, the installer will use the black & yellow wires to get the second line where you want it to appear.) Most phones don't use any other wires to make them ring. If the phone in question doesn't ring outside at the box either, then I'd guess the ringer inside that phone is bad.

If you're not able to get that phone tested outside at the box, take the "old phone" you used outside and plug it in inside the house and try it. If it rings, that again points to the phone in question having a bad ringer. I haven't stayed up to speed on this area, but I don't think it'd make a difference if the red & green wires were reversed. I know it used to if you had Touch-Tone service...reversing the wires would disable Touch-Tone service, although you'd still be able to call out and receive calls.

Good luck - I hope this is of some help!

Jim D/Heathsville, VA


02:01AM | 06/13/02
Member Since: 10/19/98
223 lifetime posts
It used to be that too many phones connected would cause problems. Each phone had a number and you added up these numbers. If the total was too high, the phones wouldn't ring because the voltage was too low. This problem doesn't exist in major markets anymore. But there are still 1000+ mom and pop phone companies that may still have this issue.

1. Unplug all but one phone - does that one phone ring?
2. It could be one of the phones has a short for the ringer that is shorting out all ringers. Again unplug all but one phone.
3. The wire carrying the ringer voltage is shorted - could be a nail for a picture, a mouse chewed thru it, etc


06:39PM | 06/15/02
Member Since: 04/30/02
6 lifetime posts
I tried using 3 different phones still doesn't ring. Using the outside box then the phone ring. So then the line coming from the outside box to the inside is shorted? I guess then if I replace a new line then it would work??
I just bought this house and it's a 42 years old home. Everything seem fine, just that the phone thing now is giving us prolbems.
Thanks for all and any help.


06:42PM | 06/15/02
Member Since: 04/30/02
6 lifetime posts
Oh the phone carrier is Pacific Bell.


Jim D

12:11AM | 06/17/02
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Savannah - this does sound a bit strange. Normally, the Tip and Ring (red and green) wires carry both voice and ringing voltage. (With the phone on-hook [hung up], the lines have about 10 volts on them...the phone company simply runs a higher voltage down the lines to make the phone ring.) If you can make and receive calls inside the house, that would seem to indicate the two wires are good and not shorted.

Are you able to remove the outlet inside the home and see what color wires are going to it? I'm wondering if it's actually got the red & green wires going to it or not. If it has any color pair besides red and green, someone's done some repair work on the lines. If it has all four wires going to it, you might need to check and make sure they're going to the proper terminals on the outlet. Most of the newer ones have their terminals labeled R (red), G (green), Y (yellow) and B (black). One last thing to try might be to replace the line cord connecting the phone to the wall. One of my cats chewed on mine before and the line worked most of the time...if you moved the phone itself about 2 feet, though, it'd cut out entirely.

As I said before, I'm really a bit rusty at this stuff...I haven't had to troubleshoot a major phone problem in over 15 years. I've run my own wiring and stuff but matching all the wire colors normally works.

Someone else mentioned the "numbers" and having too many devices on the lines. As FYI, it's known as the Ringer Equivalence Number, or REN. Each phone, answering machine, Caller ID box, modem, etc., should have a REN indicated on it somewhere. The old standard (which may still be in effect) was the REN's of all the devices on the phone lines couldn't exceed 5.0 - if it did, your phone service quality would suffer.

I hope some of this may help you, or help someone else suggest some more troubleshooting steps for you to try. Good luck!

Jim D/Heathsville, VA


07:37AM | 06/26/02
Member Since: 11/16/01
301 lifetime posts
Dear Savannah,
The first thihg you need to do is at the outside box. You should have about 6" of extra wire there. Phone lines are very thin and crack sometimes. Cut about 2" off the line and strip the wire and reinstall. That may solve your problem. It worked for me.

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