A thorough analysis of a large number of Cisco IP Phones that have been
reported as hardware failures has been completed and our research reveals that
the great majority of these phones do not have any determinable failure. The
standard by which the phone industry measures phone failures is based on Bell
Corp/Telcordia standards and the standard acceptable failure rate is set at 4
percent. The Cisco IP Phone's overall failure rate is well under the acceptable
industry average. Many of the problems that have been reported as hardware
failures are really either operational or cleanup issues. This document
describes some common troubleshoot steps to be taken before you attempt to
replace the Cisco IP Phone.
There are no specific prerequisites for this document.
The information in this document is based on the hardware versions
For more information on document conventions, see the
Technical Tips Conventions.
This section highlights some guidelines for phone usage and what to
look for if you suspect a hookswitch failure.
A slightly dampened soft cloth should be used to clean or wipe down
the phone. Do not use any liquids or powders directly on the phone to clean or
for other purposes. As with all but weatherproof electronics, liquids and
powders can contaminate the components and cause failures.
Check to see whether signaling works properly between the phone and the
Cisco CallManager. Use the speaker button to answer the phone or take the phone
off-hook. If the call is answered or dial tone is received, signaling is
The phones are designed with a reversible clip in the handset cradle
area. The clip is used with the tab out when the phone is wall-mounted. Check
to see whether the cradle handset clip is in the wall-mounted position (with
plastic tab that protrude upward). If the phone is on a desktop, slide the clip
upward to remove it, rotate one 180 degrees, and slide back in so that the tab
This tab can interfere with the handset as it is replaced on the base
(in the cradle), which causes the hookswitch to remain in the up position. When
the handset is lifted later in an attempt to initiate a new call or answer one,
the hookswitch is not activated. If you answer a call, the phone continues to
ring; if you place a call, no dial tone occurs.
Check to see whether the dark gray line cord / LAN cable that was
packaged with the phone is being used. If a different patch of cable is in use,
position it to pass out the side of the phone, between the base and the
Other cables such as Cat-5, Cat-5E, or Cat-6 that have larger diameters
do not pass under the rear of the footstand without raising the phone forward.
The footstand is designed to allow the most number of positions to eliminate
glare from the display. When the phone is adjusted to the most vertical
position, larger diameter cords actually force the phone forward to the point
where the handset may not sit firmly on the hookswitch. This creates false
Keep the phone one notch from the most vertical position to ensure that
the handset firmly rests on the hookswitch.
The hookswitch contacts design uses a wipe action to self-clean the
contacts. Periods of nonuse of the phone allow air impurities such as dust and
other contaminants to hinder contact performance, which results in intermittent
operation. Press and release the hookswitch rapidly a dozen times or so to
clean the contacts.
Disassemble the 2 pieces of the phone shell (front and back, should be
4 screws). On the front half, where all of the electronics are attached, find
the hookswitch and remove it. Underneath, there is a small white contact pad.
Lift the contact pad and clean the contacts underneath with an eraser, until
they are as silver as possible.
Note: If none of the solutions above remedy the situation, Return Material
Authorization (RMA) the phone.