man calling a fax number

Can You Call a Fax Number?

man calling a fax number
Calling a fax number from your landline phone is straightforward. You’re going to dial the full phone number, including the area code, just as you would for a normal call. Fax numbers in the U.S. are usually 10 digits long. 

For instance, if you need to send a fax to a company in Los Angeles, you would dial the entire number, including the area code. Say the fax number is (213) 555-6789. Here, “213” is the area code, and “555-6789” is the rest of the fax number. 

If you are faxing long distance but within the USA, you need to add a ‘1’ before the area code and the fax number. For example, if faxing the same Los Angeles number from outside the local area, you would dial 1-213-555-6789. This prefix helps route the call as a long-distance communication within the country.

Many people mistakenly think you can skip the area code when dialing a local fax number – this isn’t the case.

What Happens When You Call a Fax Number?

When you call a fax number, it will ring just like a regular phone number. After a few rings, you’ll hear the familiar sound of a telephone dial tone. This indicates that the call has been connected to a fax machine on the other end. 

Instead of a voice answering, the fax machine will transmit an audible signal, often described as a series of beeps or screeches. This “fax handshake” is the fax machine’s way of acknowledging the incoming call and indicating that it’s ready to receive a fax transmission. The sounds are produced when the fax machines establish communication and synchronize their frequencies.

Once you hear the fax machine’s answering signal, you’ll know that it’s ready for you to begin sending your fax. The next step is to place your document in the feeder tray or scanner bed of your transmitting fax machine. When you hit start, your fax machine will convert your document to signals and transmit the data to the recipient’s fax machine over the phone line.

When Fax Calls Go Unplanned

When you call a fax number, it’s not always going to be a straight shot of hearing that familiar fax handshake. Sometimes, things can go a bit differently, and what you hear (or don’t hear) could clue you into a few different scenarios. Here’s what might be going on if you don’t get the typical beep-beep-beep right off the bat.

  • Silence or Errors: Occasionally, when you attempt to call a fax number, you might not hear the expected series of beeps. Instead, there could be complete silence, or an error message might be audible. This typically happens if the fax machine is turned off or if there’s a problem with the connection. Such silence or messages are indicators that the fax service may not be active at the moment or the machine itself is experiencing technical difficulties.
  • Voice Response: Additionally, some fax numbers are configured through integrated services capable of handling both voice calls and faxes. In such cases, if you call the number, you may be greeted by an automated message or a prompt. These responses guide you to execute specific actions if you’re intending to send a fax or provide options for voice communication if that’s what you need.

Forget Calling a Fax Number and Use Faxburner

FaxBurner offers several faxing solutions:

  • Online Faxing Service: Our online faxing service allows you to send and receive faxes over the Internet. This is perfect for those who want to handle fax tasks without the need for physical equipment. It’s efficient, eco-friendly, and saves you the hassle of maintaining a fax machine.
  • Free Fax App: For those who need to fax on the fly, our free fax app is a game changer. Available for iOS, this app turns your smartphone into a virtual fax machine. You can send, receive, and even sign faxes directly from your phone.
  • Email to Fax Service: If you prefer managing everything from your email, our email to fax service offers a seamless integration. Whether you’re using a computer or a smartphone, you can send a fax just by sending an email. This service bridges the gap between traditional fax technology and modern email communication.