Why doesn't the machine answer when receiving a call?

If you are having problems receiving calls or faxes, follow the instructions below:

 


  1. Verify that the date and time are displayed on the LCD.

    1. If the LCD displays an error message, refer to "FAQs & Troubleshooting" for information on the error message you are receiving.

    2. If the LCD displays the date and time, continue to STEP 2.

    3. If the LCD is blank, first verify that the power cord is connected. If the power cord is connected to a surge protector or power switch, remove the cord from the device and connect it directly to the outlet. If the display is still blank, try a different electrical outlet. If the display still remains blank, your machine may require service.
  1. Check for splitters, commshare devices, voicemail, custom phone features, etc. Remove any of these devices from the phone line. The machine is to be plugged directly into the wall jack.
  1. Verify that the wall jack has a dial tone.
    Connect a regular telephone directly to the wall jack. Lift the handset of the telephone and listen for a dial tone. If there is a dial tone, continue to STEP 4.
    If there is no dial tone from the wall jack, test on another phone jack.
    If there is still no dial tone, you have a problem with the wall jack or line. You need to contact your local telephone company for service.
  1. If the wall jack has a dial tone, disconnect the telephone line from the telephone and connect it to the jack on the FAX/MFC (labeled LINE for USA). Make sure the line cord is connected from the jack on the FAX/MFC (labeled LINE) directly to the wall jack. Verify if your Brother machine has a dial tone. For more information, please refer to "How can I verify if my Brother machine has a dial tone?". If there is a dial tone, continue to STEP 5. If there is still no dial tone, your machine may require service.

  1. Verify that the answer mode is set correctly on the FAX/MFC.
    This is determined according to other devices/services on the same line as the FAX/MFC.

    • FAX ONLY
      In this setting, the FAX/MFC automatically answers every call as a fax call. You cannot receive an incoming voice call, but you can make an outgoing voice call.

       

    • FAX/TEL
      In this setting, the FAX/MFC automatically answers every call upon completion of the ring delay (unless you answer first). Ring delay is the number of times the unit and all extension phones will ring before the unit answers the call. If the call is a fax, it prints the fax. If the call is voice, it signals you with a double ring that is different from the phone company ring.

    • TAD:ANSWER MACH.
      This setting is the only one that can be used with an external answering machine. Your telephone answering device is connected to your FAX/MFC and answers every call (unless you answer first). Once the TAD answers, the FAX/MFC is in the background silently listening for fax tones. If it detects fax tones, it will go into the receive mode. If it does not hear fax tones, it remains silent and allows the caller to leave a voice message on the answering device.

    • MANUAL
      In this setting, the FAX/MFC will not answer incoming calls automatically (unless using Distinctive Ringing feature).

If in the FAX/TEL mode the FAX/MFC will answer after the F/T Ring Time. In the TAD mode the TAD will answer after completing the number of rings set on the TAD. If you answer a fax call on an external telephone (in the EXT. jack for USA), you can make your FAX/MFC take over by entering the FAX Receive Code. When you enter the Fax Receive Code *51 (*91 for New Zealand), the FAX/MFC starts to receive the fax.


  1. If the unit is on a rollover system, connect the unit to the last line of the rollover pattern. You do not want your fax machine rolling over to another line.
  1. Test the print operation of the unit by printing the Help List. To print the Help List, follow the instructions below:

    1. Press the Reports, Reports/Recall or Ink/Reports key.
    2. Press the up or down navigation key until HELP or HELP LIST appears and press Menu/Set.

    The Help List should begin printing. If the print option works, continue to STEP 8. If the print option does not work, please contact Brother Customer Service from "Contact Us".
  1. Complete a test fax to your unit.

    1. First, adjust your ring delay setting. If the answer mode is set to MANUAL, do NOT adjust the ring delay setting and continue to Step b. If the answer mode is set to FAX ONLY or FAX/TEL, reduce the ring delay to 1 ring. If the answer mode is set to TAD:ANSWER MACH., reduce the number of rings programmed on your answering machine to 2. This is to ensure the test fax is answered as fast as possible. The ring delay setting determines the number of timea the unit rings before it answers.
      To check the ring delay setting for the Brother machine,

      1. Press the Menu/Set key. Then, press the up or down navigation key on the control panel until FAX appears.
      2. Press Menu/Set.
      3. Press the up or down navigation key until SETUP RECEIVE appears and press Menu/Set.
      4. Press the up or down navigation key until RING DELAY appears and press Menu/Set.
      5. Press the up or down navigation key until 01 (02 for some countries) appears and press Menu/Set.

      To adjust the number of rings programmed on your answering machine, use the owner's manual for the device.

    2. (Only for USA)
      Next, you can contact a person and have them send you a fax or you can utilizeour automated Fax Test Sheet and Product Registration system. If you have not completed and faxed your Fax Test Sheet provided with your productdocumentation, fill out the warranty registration information and fax it to 1-877-268-9575. Please make sure your station ID is programmed into your unit prior to sending the test sheet. Shortly after your Test Sheet is received by the system, it will automatically fax a confirmation sheet to the number programmed as the station ID. If you have already registered your warranty, fax a blank piece of paper with the word "Test" printed on it and a confirmation sheet will still be sent to you. By utilizing the Fax Test Sheet and Product Registration system, it alleviates the need to contact an outside source to send you a test fax.

    3. If you receive the test fax successfully, your unit is operating properly. Remember to reset your ring delay or answering machine setting. If receiving problems recur after the setting is reset, then something (i.e. a person or device answering the line) at your location is interfering with the fax reception before the machine has a chance to answer the fax.
  1. Verify that senders are dialing the correct number and you are providing the sender with the correct fax number for your unit. If you have a second telephone number at your location or cell phone, you can test the number yourself. Dial your fax number from the second telephone number or cell phone as if you are sending a fax. Then, lift the handset of the FAX/MFC or the external telephone. Determine if what you are hearing on the phone you dialed from is consistent with what you are hearing on the FAX/MFC. For example, if you hear ringing on the dialing phone, but hear dial tone on the FAX/MFC, then there is a problem with the line or the number you are dialing. In this case, you will need to contact your local telephone company for assistance.

You must have access to a separate phone line to perform this test.

If you continue to experience problems with receiving faxes, please contact Brother Customer Service from "Contact Us".

If your question was not answered, have you checked other FAQs?

Have you checked the manuals?

If you need further assistance, please contact Brother customer service:

Related Models

FAX-1800C, FAX-2800, FAX-2900, FAX-3800, MFC-3100C, MFC-3200C, MFC-4800

Content Feedback

To help us improve our support, please provide your feedback below.

Step 1: How does the information on this page help you?

Step 2: €Are there any comments you would like to add?

Please note this form is used for feedback only.