Landline: outgoing dial tone on phone, but phone does not ring for incoming calls

This is very strange.  It started today. 

My mom phoned me on my cell phone because she said our home phone was ringing off the hook.  I thought my toddler had turned off the "answer" on our phone system.  He didn't.

We have a cordless system with 3 handsets because we don't have jacks in every room.

Each cordless phone has a dial tone and I am able to make outgoing calls.  However, when I called our home number from my cell phone, all I heard was a phone ringing, but nothing was happening on the cordless. 

I then repeated the test with a corded phone.  Same thing.

Then I went outside to our Verizon phone box and tested with the corded phone.  Same thing.

Finally, I walked over to our neighbor and tested the corded phone there, with my cell phone, to make sure it rings and actually receives incoming calls.  Hallejuah, my corded phone was working at my next door neighbor's house.

So what does this mean?  Is there a line problem inside our house or outside?

Anyone else experience anything similar?


3 Replies
Moderator Emeritus

Hi rermarcar

Perhaps a tech could help you sort this out. You can reach Verizon through one of the options on this page:


Are you able to successfully make calls on the outgoing portion of the line, and is the line clear of noise? It sounds like it may be trouble with the line card as something similar happened to me years ago. I was able to get it replaced very early in the morning since a neighbor of mine is a field tech for Verizon.


Yes, we had a similar problem that would occur following a rain storm. Apparently water caused a short in the line outside our house and we were able to call out but no one could call us (they would either get static or a busy signal). Also, our DSL worked fine.

In a bizarre twist, the static generated by the short apparently called 911 and the police showed up banging on our door last Friday night. I had to explain to a skeptical looking cop that our phone was not working due to water in the line and that Verizon was schedule to fix it the following Thursday ... and that I had no control over it randomly calling 911. The police must have contacted Verizon because a field tech was at our house bright and early on Monday and fixed the problem.