How to Troubleshoot a Fax Line

January 24, 2024 | Wendy Sue Hawkins

You know the feeling; standing in the copy room, staring at the device in front of you, waiting for that fax to come through that your customer or associate assures you they are sending right that moment.  There's sensitive information in the document that you don't want the general office population to see, or it's a rush situation that you just can't wait any longer for the information to come through.  But the display just stares at you blankly, lazily indifferent to your heightened anxiety levels and building perspiration.  Or equally maddening is a situation where you're trying to send a fax out.  But time and time again you receive a print out confirmation that your message has once again failed to go through.  So what do you do now?

Well, first and foremost is to test that your fax number itself is actually working.  Just like your telephone line, your fax number needs to be valid and connected for the information to travel through to its destination.  You can test and confirm your fax number is working with these few quick steps:

  • Call your fax number (including area code) from your mobile or a landline. You should hear a fax tone immediately. If there is no fax tone humming back through the reciever or you hear a recorded message that the line is out of order, then you know it is the line and not the equipment.
    • Next step is to call your telecom support team to understand why that line has been disconnected from your services.

If you do receive a fax tone and are still unable to send or receive a fax, check the connection with these steps:

  • Consult your "Communication Result Report" that generates after the failed attempt.
      • This report will generate on all failures, even if the report has been disabled in the settings for successful transmission confirmations.  You should see one of the following explanations for the failure:
    • "Hang Up Or Line Fail"
      • A communication was interrupted because of a fax malfunction or telephone line noise problem.
    • "Busy"
      • The recipient's line is busy.
    • "No Answer"
      • The recipient did not answer the call.
        • This means there is an error with the recipients line
          • Possibilities include a disconnected number on their end or a device that is turned off and unable to recieve
    • "No Facsimile Connection"
      • The recipient answered the call, but the fax communication failed.
        • Possibilities include a telephone line instead of a fax line as the number on the destination.  Confirm with your recipient that you have the correct number.
      • "Exceed Max. Email Size"
        • An Internet fax transmission was interrupted because the machine's maximum mail size problem.
          • You may have too much data currently utilized by other outgoing messages
            • Try again once your device has finished sending any previous fax jobs
  • If your receiving a different result, or no report at all, confirm the physical fax line is securely plugged into both the wall jack and the “LIN” port on your device.
    • Press the "On Hook Button". If you don’t hear anything after touching the On Hook button, go to the back or side of the machine and make sure the phone cord is plugged into the “Lin” Port. Go back to the On Hook Button again and you should hear a phone tone. 
      • Some fax options have line ports numerically labeled (LINE 1, LINE 2, LINE 3).. Connect the first line to LINE 1, and any extra lines in numerical order.

If a transmission is successful, "OK" is displayed on both your display screen of the device and the confirmation report, if enabled in your settings.

If you don't have someone handy who you can fax and receive a fax from to test, there are various services that can help. HP, the printer and fax machine manufacturer, offers a free hotline at 1-888-HPFaxMe.

After troubleshooting, if you are still unable to send or receive a fax, please email or call Advanced Office at 877-547-9500, or see our visit our customer center for more options to connect with your service team.

While fax usage has decreased over the last decade as e-mail and other communication avenues have risen in preference, the importance of those documents that are faxed has actually risen as well.  If a document needs to run via fax, it is often due to very sensitive or timely information contained with in the document, so we understand that stress that can come from dealing with a non-responsive fax machine.  Hopefully, these steps help you to a quick resolution and your communication from here on out is seamless. 


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