How Do I Hook up a Fax Machine to My Phone Line?

In a single-line connection, hooking up a fax machine to a phone line is a matter of plugging in the correct cords to the fax machine and attempting a fax to a known fax number. Most fax machines allow users to share the line with a phone for voice calls.

  1. Connect the phone line

    Each fax machine is different, but nearly all have two ports for phone line connections: one for the inbound phone line and one for a nearby phone to use for voice calls. Refer to the user manual for the fax machine to determine which port is for the inbound connection. Then connect the phone cord from the wall to this port.

  2. Connect a phone to the outbound port

    Once the fax is connected to the phone jack, connect a working phone to the outbound port for voice calls and pick up the receiver. If there is a dial tone to make calls, then the connection to the phone line is working properly.

  3. Attempt to fax a document

    Once the phone connection to the fax is working, attempt a fax to a number known to accept faxes. Verify that the recipient received the fax. Once verified, the fax machine is connected to the phone line and faxing properly.