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Greg A.
Greg A., Engineer
Category: Phone Systems
Satisfied Customers: 2290
Experience:  Working with Electronics for 25+ years.
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We had a thunderstorm but not too bad but the power went out

Customer Question

We had a thunderstorm but not too bad but the power went out and kept kicking back on and off about 6 times and now may phone won't work, no dial tone and the handset says Line in Use. Is there anything I can do to make it work again?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Phone Systems
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

Hello & Welcome,

I'm Greg and will do my best to assist you today.

Sorry to hear of any issue you are having with your phones.

To help you with this issue, may I ask:

1) The FULL Model Number of the phone system you are working with? If this is a cordless system, that model should be printed on a sticker on the bottom or back of the main base unit.

2) Have the storms and power issue past at this time?

3) What phone service provider (phone company) you have for this phone line?

4) If you have ANY other devices (phones, fax, alarm system, etc.) attached to this same phone line and if so, are they working properly?


Customer: replied 3 months ago.
CS6829 Yes, storms over. AT&T No other devices
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I can't use my phone; it's not working.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Are you still trying to help me Greg???
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

Hi again and thanks for that information.

OK - the first thing I would do for this situation is RESET the phone SYSTEM.

That is done by removed ALL batteries for ALL handsets, and then disconnecting the MAIN BASE UNIT from the phone line (at the phone jack) and the AC power adapter.

Leave ALL components disconnected for about 15 minutes, then restore the batteries to the handsets, and then the power (AC adapter) to the MAIN BASE UNIT, along with the phone cord.

Then TEST for a dial tone, and making calls - if you do hear a dial tone.

Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

ANOTHER way to TEST - to see if this is a "phone issue" or a "phone SERVICE issue" is to use a basic CORDED phone to connect to the phone jack in the wall.

If a basic corded phone works, but the cordless does not, then we will know it is a phone issue (could have been damaged by power surges), and not a phone SERVICE issue.

NOTE: Even a borrowed (working) phone will do for this TEST.

Does that make sense?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Ok. I took the batteries out and unplugged from electrical and the phone line. I just have to wait 15 minutes now. Should I stay connected to you in the meantime?
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

You can do other things if you like, but try to keep this screen open, so you can tell me what happens.

In the mean time, do you have an old corded phone stashed away somewhere, or could borrow one from a friend or neighbor - in case we need to do that TEST?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
No I don't have any other phone.
Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I have about 8 minutes or so left to wait.
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

Sound about the right time.

Do you have a friend or neighbor that might have one you could borrow?

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Why do I need to do a test on another phone? My sister may have a land line if I need to borrow it. I thought that if I did what you directed me to do that that would reset my phone and it would work again.
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

We MAY need another phone to TEST - IF the full system reset does not get the system working again.

I say this because storms and power surges are "well known" to cause damage to phone system - especially if there are lightning storms or your power adapters are not connected to good quality surge suppressor outlet strips.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
I'll see what happens before I ask my sister to bring her land line over. It's almost time.
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

Should be enough time. Please reconnect all components - or at least ONE handset with batteries and the MAIN base unit, and see if you can get a dial tone (and NOT the "line in use").

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
It didn't work and the light is still flashing on the In Use and the 0 is flashing, all same as before. What good is it going to do to get my sister's phone? I need my phone to work.
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

OK - I didn't see mention of the "0 is flashing" earlier.

A flashing number - on the MAIN base unit of the system - usually means that the main base unit has failed its own self test - and can not power up successfully.

That usually indicates that the main base unit WAS/IS damaged, and will need to be replaced (repair is usually more expensive than replacing the system).

So now we REALLY NEED to TEST - with a different phone - to make sure the phone line IS working, so that a replacement system will also work when installed.

If you have a hardware, home improvement, or even some department store nearby, simple basic corded phones can usually be found at those places for about $15 or less. It is good to have such a phone not only for TESTING, but in case of a power failure (most cordless phones don't work without power).

Do you have such a store nearby, or can borrow from your sister in a relatively short time?

Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

I have to run out on a call, but hope to be back in an hour or so.

I will check back when I return.

Customer: replied 3 months ago. need to refund the $30 charge to my sister's account. Her phone is fine...we had a storm today and her line is dead. She needed to call our local phone company and not you....if you were a good tech you would have had her check her line before you did anything else.
Expert:  Greg A. replied 3 months ago.

Hi again,

Sorry for any delay.

We were talking about YOUR PHONE - and not your sister's phone - is that correct?

If so, did calling the local phone company "fix" the flashing lights and function of your Vtech system?