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Setting up fax and voicemail on same phone line.

Setting up fax and voicemail on same phone line.

Contributor Auntalee
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
Message 1 of 6

I have one phone line with voicemail and fax.  How do I set up the fax so voicemail doesn't pick up my faxes and the fax doesn't pick up my voicemail messages?  I have the fax and phone going through a splitter.  I just discontinued my separate phone line I used for faxing and internet and want to use a single phone line for everything.  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.  Auntalee

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎02-03-2009
Message 2 of 6

If you have Verizon Home Voicemail (the kind you access by dialing a phone number i.e. no answering machine) I can't see how it would work. 


Some fax machines can answer the phone listen for the fax tones and if it doesn't hear them it rings another phone or answering machine connected to it.


It comes down to something has to answer the phone, figure out what kind of call it is a route it to either a answering machine or a fax machine.


The only other way to do it with one line and Verizon voice mail is to get something called Distinctive Ringing service (if its available for Fios).  You get another phone number but not another physical line.  The one phone line rings differently for each number.  The fax machine must then have the distinctive ring feature and be setup to only answer it's ring.  The other ring it ignores which means VM will pick it up.


Good luck

Contributor Auntalee
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
Message 3 of 6
Thanks for the reply. I just bought a new fax and the User Guide says essentially the same thing.  Actually having a fax machine on the same phone line turns out to be a great deterrent for telemarketers. 
Contributor Theatercat
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
Message 4 of 6

It can be done, but you need 2 more pieces of equipment. You can't use a fax machine on the same phone line as Verizon dial-in voicemail, because the fax machine can't "hear" the difference between an incoming call and a fax call. The calls will always go to the voicemail.

However, if you buy an old-fashioned ansering machine and a router, you can attach the phone, the answering machine, and thefax to the router. The router will then tell the calls where to go. Set the answering machine to four rings and the Verizon dial-in voicemail to 20 (or max) rings.

Basically, you are using the answering machine not the voicemail to get your messages, but you can also use your fax.

This is the system I use at the box office of my small theater where we have just one phone line, and it works. In between shows, when the box office is closed, I take all this extra equipemtn off and use the voicemail.

Contributor Auntalee
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
Message 5 of 6
Thanks for the advice. I bought a new telephone digital answering system.  I connected it through the fax and everything seems to be working fine.
Contributor jsch10463
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎07-24-2009
Message 6 of 6

After how many rings does the VZ voice mail answer?  Is that configurable?


Every fax machine and fax modem I am aware of can tell the difference between a human voice and the "c-tone" put out by a fax machine (that high pitched sound before its starts the fast beeping). 


My callers probably don't want to hear the c-tone.  I don't want the call rounted to voice mail before the fax machine can recognize the sound of another machine.


If the other fax machine makes a noise before VZ goes to voice mail, my fax machine should work on the same line.  Its a question of timing.  I don't see the answer in any VZ' information.

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