Does anyone know how to fix a dial phone?

red dial phone

Cool phone, right? But not so cool when it suddenly stops working. Help!

It takes an awful lot to make me, the woman of the unstoppable happy disposition, grumpy, but I’m afraid I’m verging on it at the moment thanks to it being a terrible night for communication with the outer world here at the Manse.

Our internet, normally pretty peppy (thanks to my Telus friend Rohit on the other side of the world), is in and out tonight, and sometimes down to dial-up speeds. Which is basically making me insane.

Meanwhile, for the past few days our lovely vintage red dial phone – the hot line with which we used to be able to get Khrushchev on the line whenever we needed him and/or there was a threat of worldwide nuclear war – has been on the fritz.

At first I thought it was the weather; when we used the phone there was a lot of crackling on the line, and I thought maybe it was the dampness outside making the wires act up. (The joys of rural life.) But then the phone went completely dead, no dial tone or anything – except that it suddenly rang last night! Not that I could hear the person at the other end when I picked it up, but that suggests to me there’s some life in the old hot line yet. But today, back to no dial tone.

I have examined my trusty (or, actually, not so much) red phone closely and decided it might not be a good sign that some of the wires coming out the back (green, yellow, red and black) are as loose as they are. I bet if a person knew what he or she were doing, that person could take the hot line apart and tighten up those wires (or something) and all would be well. But I am hopeless at things like repairs, and Raymond is in Montreal at the moment.

So: does anyone out there know how to fix a 1960s dial phone? Because lord knows we might need to reach Mr. Khrushchev!

9 thoughts on “Does anyone know how to fix a dial phone?

  1. Yikes. I am attaching a link to Yahoo Answers. Somebody else asked a similar question, regarding a phone with the old connections, and there are a couple of answers that might help. I can’t vouch for any of this, but this might be the ticket. BTW, I had one of those red dial phones, too .. but mine had been converted to the newer jack system. Wish I still had it! Good luck.

  2. ouah ! il est génial ton téléphone !!! J’espère que tu vas trouver une solution pour le réparer …
    des bises cher Katherine, j’essaie de suivre tes posts chaque jour

  3. Da! Da! Nikita Sergeyevich here, my feckless capitalist female friend. I always find that loose connections tend to snap to attention after a good shoe pounding, and you will notice immediately how the satisfying energy released ties up some loose ends from previous blog entries. If that doesn’t work, it could be a problem on our end. Bloody Sputnik has been nothing but trouble since that ignominious Bobby Clarke slash on Kharlamov in Game 6.

  4. Rather than shoe pounding 😉 try “jiggling” the phone line where it comes into your house, if it is reachable.

    Seriously Katherine, we had the same problem at our previous, very rural home. Damp, wet weather lead to no service at all! A little jiggle of the lines outside solved the problem immediately…finally I tucked the wires up underneath the siding and never experienced the issue again. Ahhhhhh, the joys of country living! Good luck to you.

    • Thanks so much for the advice, Pat! The jiggling and tucking up of the outside phone wires sound like a job for Raymond – just the thing for him upon returning from the big city to his new very rural existence!

  5. Katherine, the only person I know that is great with phones and satellite dishes is Harold Bailey in Madoc. Might give him a call and see what he thinks.

    • Hello, Mary – how nice to hear from you! Another person also recommended Harold Bailey for help with that phone problem we had, so clearly he is the guy. In the end, Bell solved our phone problem, if you can believe it. I know that sounds snarky, but in general I haven’t had great experiences with Bell. But this time, a guy actually came to the house, discovered that there were problems with the outside wires, fixed those problems, and we haven’t had a crackly phone line since. Yay!

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