No Dial Tone: Fixed Phone Troubleshooting

If your Home / Office Phone has no dial tone, it's important to identify whether the problem is caused by faulty equipment, wiring or a problem with the telephone line.

To eliminate the possibility of faulty equipment & handsets follow these steps or watch the video which has helpful tips to troubleshoot this kind of problem.


Step 1 - Check our network

Check if there is a known problem with the Optus Network in your area. You can check here.

If we've posted a known problem and it relates to this issue - Continue to monitor the service status for a resolution or further updates.

If you suspect that your issue is only partially caused by the listed problem or that it extends beyond the estimated time for rectification, continue to troubleshoot your service, below.


Step 2 - Reset your phone line

Unplug or disconnect ALL phones and any other equipment that is currently connected to your phone line/sockets. 

Equipment could be: cordless phones, extension cords, phone adaptors, double adaptors, answering machines, eftpos machines, printers, DSL filters, computers, dial up or DSL modems, back to base alarms, Pay TV boxes, etc.

Leave the equipment unplugged for approximately 30 seconds.


Step 3 - Test your equipment

Plug only a single handset into a socket and test for a dial tone. If you have more than one telephone socket in your house, use the same handset to test each socket for a dial tone.

If your service starts working again

You've established that a piece of equipment you had connected to your phone socket was causing the problem. To identify the specific piece of equipment that is causing the issue you will need to:

  • Reconnect your equipment, one piece at a time.
  • Check if you have dial tone
  • Repeat for each piece of equipment

If you have no dial tone after connecting a piece of equipment - you have identified where the issue lies. Consult with the manufacturer of that equipment for a solution.

If your service is still not working:

You've eliminated a potential conflict with your equipment, so the remaining areas to test are your handset and then your phone line.

A note about cordless handsets:

Before continuing with testing, ensure the cordless handset is holding charge and the battery is not flat. Place the handset securely in the base station cradle to ensure the base station is 'registering' the handset.


Step 4 - Test your handset

To test the handset, you will need access to an alternate (preferably non-cordless) working telephone.

  • Disconnect your handset
  • Plug in the alternative handset to the telephone socket
  • Check for a dial tone now

If there is still no dial tone, you've eliminated your handset as a likely cause of the problem. The issue maybe a network and/or wiring fault, please skip to Step 5

No alternate handset?

Check with a neighbour, friend or relative to see if you can borrow one, you will only need it for a few minutes.

If you don't have an alternate handset but have access to an alternate working phone line (eg. at your workplace, a friend or neighbour's house etc), try your handset with that line.

If you have a dial tone on an alternate phone line, then you've eliminated your handset as the likely cause of the problem and the issue could be related to a network and/or wiring fault. Please go to the next step.


Step 5 - Notify us of the problem

Thanks for attempting troubleshoot the problem, it looks like we may need to help you out. Please contact our  Service Difficulties & Faults Team on 13 13 44 (Open 24/7) from another phone service or a mobile.

Don't stress, calls to this number from Optus Mobiles and most other services are not timed. If you're not with us, check with your provider if you're unsure. You can also ask the technician you're speaking with to ring you back, we're only too happy to do so.

Keep in mind we may ask you to repeat some of these troubleshooting steps, so that we can check the diagnostic responses that come from the network.


Watch the video for some helpful tips