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Troubleshooting Home Phone for Line Noise

This article will explain what to do if you’re hearing line noise on your landline home phone.

Please see these alternate guides if you have a Netphone or Fibre Phone (VoIP) service.

Select one of the links below to jump to a query:


  • You hear any of the following while making a call: buzzing, crackling, static, screeching, or popping.
  • You may hear line noise when you lift the phone handset, even if you’re not on a call.
  • While on a call, voices may be distorted or intermittently drop in volume.

Things to check first

Potential cause Try this:
Poor signal or issue with the other caller’s phone service If you only hear line noise when you call a specific number, it may be their phone service that has an issue, not yours. You can check this by making some test calls to different phone numbers.
Central splitter required If you have more than three telephony devices or a Back to Base Alarm system, you may need to contact an ACMA-approved electrician to install a central splitter.



  1. Unplug all devices from every phone socket, including your modem, telephones, fax machines, pay TV boxes and EFTPOS terminals.
  2. Plug a standard phone handset directly into the phone socket (without a filter), and then make a call, listening for line noise. If you were able to make a call without line noise, see the advice below.
  3. If you have more than one phone socket in your home, plug your handset (without a filter) into each of those sockets and make a call, listening for line noise. If you hear line noise when your phone is plugged into one socket but not another, there may be a problem with your home’s internal wiring.
  4. Using a different handset, repeat steps 2 and 3. If you hear line noise on the original handset but not a different handset, then the original handset may be faulty.
  5. If you no longer hear line noise, please see the advice below.
    If you hear line noise on both handsets, please use an alternate phone service call us on 13 22 58 for further assistance. If you have no access to a working phone service, please email


If you don’t hear line noise any more

  1. Plug your handset into the phone socket with a filter and make another call, listening for line noise. If you hear line noise again, that filter may be faulty.
  2. Plug your other devices back in one at a time and attempt to make a call after each new device is plugged in. Always start with any devices that are plugged in with a filter.
  3. If you suddenly start hearing line noise again, then the device you’ve just plugged in may be faulty or interfering with your phone service, or it may be plugged in with a faulty filter.
  4. We recommend replacing a filter or device if it is faulty, or adding a filter to a telephony device if it didn’t already have one.

More information

Why do I need to test a different phone handset?

Phone problems can be caused by several things, but a common cause is faulty hardware.

If iiNet lodges a fault for a phone line when there is no fault, then you may be charged an Incorrect Call-out Fee by our wholesaler’s fault technician. To reduce the risk of this, we need to rule out as many other possible causes for your phone problem as we can.

If you hear line noise on the original handset but not a different handset, then the original handset may be faulty.


What do I do if I suspect my home has internal wiring issues?

If your phone works when it's plugged into one wall socket but not another, you may have internal wiring issues. If you suspect this is the case, please contact an ACMA-licensed electrician. This means that they are properly licensed to work on communications cables.

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