How to Check a Fax Line

By Patrick Phelps

Updated September 26, 2017

When a fax stops faxing, start troubleshooting with the phone line
i fax contact image by dead_account from

When you experience issues with either sending or receiving faxes, the first step in troubleshooting should be to check your fax line. The steps in this article will guide you step by step to troubleshoot the issue. If the issue is not with your fax line, a service call may need to be placed as the issue may be in the fax machine itself.

Make sure the phone line is plugged directly into the "LINE IN" port on the back of the fax machine. Many fax machines have more than one phone line jack. Making sure that the line is plugged into the correct jack may resolve the issue.

Plug in a telephone to the wall jack. If the line was plugged into the proper jack on the fax machine, unplug the line from the wall and plug in a telephone.

Pick up the phone's receiver and listen for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone, then the phone line is the issue. Placing a service call to either your IT department or to the phone service provider should resolve the issue. If there is a dial tone, continue to the next step.

Send a test fax. Use either a fax number that you know or refer to the reference part of this article for information about how to send a test fax. Once sent, contact the person to whom you sent the test fax to see if the fax was delivered. If it wasn't delivered, there is most likely something wrong with the fax machine itself. If it was delivered successfully, continue to the next step.

Have a test fax sent to your fax machine. Again, using a friend or co-worker, have them send a fax to your fax machine. If it doesn't receive or produces a poor quality fax, the issue is most likely with your fax machine and not with your fax line.

Items you will need

  • Telephone

  • Someone to send a test fax to you and who can receive a test fax