Dan Baldwin: Power failure and land lines | TheUnion.com
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Dan Baldwin: Power failure and land lines

I retired from Pacific Bell (last century) and find it amusing that a lot of people don’t know a simple fact: Pacific Bell does not rely on commercial power to give you land line (one telephone number) service at your home or business.

They supply their own electricity — negative 48 volts direct current for talking and dialing and 110-volt AC half-wave rectification current for ringing your phone.

What that means is that when PG&E shuts off your home or business power, you can still maintain telephone service if you have a stand alone one telephone number service.



This is especially helpful if you have medical needs but do not have a so-called smart phone service. When you lose commercial power (PG&E), simply unplug your current digital-electronic phone from its modular wall jack and plug in an old-fashioned “Ma Bell” type ringer phone. It will work just fine.

Everyone with a home/business land line should keep an old 20th century Ma Bell ringer phone stored away to plug in when you lose commercial power.



Business with a fax line already have a stand alone phone number they can use for outgoing and even incoming telephone service. Just unplug the fax machine’s modular cord and plug in an old phone. Try it. It works.

Old school, but still workable in a dark home or business.

Dan Baldwin

Grass Valley


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