Cordless Phone Defective

Problem: Cordless phone doesn’t work at all, or has static, noise, or a weak signal.

Background: Cordless phones, which provide walk-about convenience, depend on radio signals to transmit between the handset and base unit, using batteries in the handset and an AC power supply to the base. They must be plugged into both a telephone jack and an electrical outlet. Some may have more than one channel which can be used to transmit. A cordless phone’s performance depends on several factors, such as the distance between the handset and base unit, the home’s building materials, and the weather. They work best when antennas are completely pulled out and, in a multilevel home, when used in a room on an upper floor.

What to do: If you just installed the phone and it doesn’t work, make sure the power cord is plugged in, that the cord between the wall jack and base unit is firmly connecte4, and that the antennas are pulled out. If the phone beeps when you press the “phone” button, or if the phone indicator light (on the handset) doesn’t come on when you press “phone,” the batteries may need re charging. If you recently replaced batteries, double-check to be sure they are correctly installed.
If you get static, noise, or a weak signal (even when you are close to the base), pull the antenna out fully and change channels if the phone has more than one channel. Noise can be caused by household appliances or other cordless phones. If possible, plug the base AC cord into another electrical outlet, which is not on the same circuit as other appliances. Also try moving the base to a higher location, such as a second or third floor.
If the phone doesn’t ring on in coming calls, make sure the ringer switch on the base is set to “on,” pull out the antenna, and move closer to the base or unplug some other phones; you may have too many phones to allow them all to ring audibly. If you hear other calls on the line, change channels if possible. Or disconnect the phone and connect a conventional phone. If you still hear other calls, the problem is likely in your wiring or the phone company’s lines. If you hear a lot of noise and none of the phone’s features work, try hanging up for a few seconds to make sure the handset and base are operating on the same channel and security code.

Special advice: If you walk out of range without pressing “off,” a cordless phone may be left off the hook. To hang it up properly, walk back into range, and periodically press “off” until the “phone” indicator light goes out. Instead of pressing the switch hook (as you would with a conventional phone) to signal phone company equipment for ser vices like call waiting, briefly press the “phone” button.

Helpful hint: Don’t depend on a cordless phone as the only phone in your home; it is best used as a second phone. A cordless phone will not operate in the event of a power failure, while conventional phones don’t rely on AC power and thus should work.