What Causes a Humming Noise in a Phone?


Many things can cause a humming noise in the phone, but determining whether the problem is inside the house or outside the house can be a problem. The outside line is under the local telephone company's control, so if the problem exists outside the home, call your local phone service provider. Inside the home is your responsibility and you can check out the phone system yourself by performing some easy troubleshooting techniques.

Inside the Home

  • Determining whether the humming noise is coming from inside the home is easy. Take a corded phone outside to the telephone junction box. Open the junction box with a screwdriver and plug the phone into a test jack located on the side of the junction box. If the phone continues to hum, the problem is with the phone company's line running into the box. If the humming stops, the problem is occurring from the box to the telephone jacks inside the house.

Phone Jacks

  • Go to each phone jack inside the home and plug the corded phone into each one. You can narrow down the humming to one location if the humming is coming from one phone jack. If you hear a humming noise from multiple jacks, the problems is occurring in the main line that runs into the home. A loose wire on one of the jacks can cause a phone to hum when you pick up the handset.


  • Some electronic devices inside the home cause the phone to hum. Remove any appliance or electrical device that is near a phone jack and test the system again to see if the problem persists. If the problem persists, the humming is being cause by another source. The kitchen is not a good location for wireless phones because of all the appliances typically located within it.


  • Each phone runs on a different frequency that can be affected by outside sources, such as electrical wires, radios and wireless computers. A humming noise or static can develop when the frequency from another device is too close to the frequency of a wireless telephone handset. The only way to correct this problem is to replace the phone with another phone or have the frequencies changed on the other devices, which is not always possible.


  • The handset in a phone has a receiver and a transmitter so you can listen as well as talk on the phone. A loose wire or connection on the receiver of the phone can cause the phone to hum. This problem can occur if water is splashed onto the handset or the handset is dropped, damaging the connections. Many phone companies sell replacement parts for phones, but it can be cheaper to purchase a new telephone.


  • Several times a humming noise can be caused by the cord on the handset or the cord leading from the base of the phone to the phone jack. Check to see if a kink or cut is visible in either one of these cords. If there is a kink or a cut, there probably is an electrical short in either phone cord.

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