Thanks very much, I really appreciate you taking the time to help a novice such as myself.
> It sounds like you have 2 phone lines coming into your house. One is
> dedicated to voice (the one you are having trouble with) and one
> dedicated to your internet.. sounds like dsl but we need to know for sure.
The phone line running into my house consists of a blue casing with eight different wires inside, similar to this; http://www.homecontrols.com/homecont..._full_2337.jpg
One of the jacks in the outside box has blue wires (the phone company side) that connect to blue wires (my side) and the other jack has blue wires (the phone company side) that connect to orange wires (my side). Letís call the blue-to-blue jack A and blue-to-orange jack B. Jack A has a dial tone, jack B does not.
> If you unplug the jack which has no dial tone does your internet stop
> working? If so then plugging your phone into the modem jack will not give
> you a dial tone. That would be normal. If you have a dedicated dialup line
> you should have a dial tone there and it should work like a voice line.
If I unplug jack A (has dial tone), I lose internet service. If I unplug jack B (no dial tone), internet service remains. It turns out my DSL box has a jack for a phone. If a plug my phone into the DSL jack, I do not get a dial tone.
> If the jack that goes to your internet is the one with the dial tone then you
> need to notify the phone company that you have no dial tone at your
> network interface with the voice line.
Sounds like this is the case. Can you explain what this means in a bit more detail? What would be their solution? Press a reset button or flip a switch somewhere?
> If the jack that has the dial tone is your voice line then your phone line
> coming in is good and you should be able to make a call to your cell phone
> from the test jack and your cell should ring (with the correct phone
> number).. You should also be able to call your test phone from your cell. If
> this is the case then you do have a inside problem.
In jack A (the one with dial tone), I can call my cell phone with my test phone and my cell phone can call my test phone.
> Check the 2 wires there and make sure the connections are good.
They appear to be good.
> Then trace the wires coming off and check the jack where they go.
They travel a few feet along the outside of my house then enter the wall. This places the point of entry in the garage, which is finished with drywall.
Is there a device that I can use to test the wires in each jack? Would such information tell me any useful information?
The green and brown wires that travel in the blue casing are not connected to anything and, in the one jack I opened, are wound around the blue casing to keep them out of the way.
In the one jack that I opened, there was a blue and an orange wire loosely connected. The wires are not connected to the jack with screws; I need a 'punch tool' to click the wires into the connections. I don't have a punch tool and the local big box store has one for sale for $60 (rip off, IMO). I striped the two loose wires and clicked them into place as best I could using a couple of screwdrivers. I'm confident they are making contact. I would be okay replacing the jacks with jacks that have screws if you think that might be the problem.
Another possible solution I can think of might be to swap around my end of the outside box. That is, take the orange lines from jack B and moving them to jack A. Do you think this could work?