battery backup.png

Backup Power for Home Phone Service

Power outages are more than an inconvenience; they disrupt home telephone service, which might prevent you from receiving assistance in the event of an emergency. To combat this, Golden West diverts backup power from its central offices to customers whose home phone service is delivered over copper cable, providing uninterrupted service during a power outage.

Golden West customers like you who are served by fiber optic connections benefit from faster, more reliable service. There are numerous advantages to fiber, but unfortunately, there is no direct connection to a backup power source. To keep your phone service functional when the power is out, Golden West installs a battery backup unit at your residence. This allows corded landline phones to work during a power outage and ensures you can connect to 911 emergency services. The battery backup unit is provided free of charge as a courtesy to customers with fiber optic home phone service packages.

What Your Battery Can – and Can’t – Do

The standard battery backup unit provides enough power to support a minimum of 8 hours of normal home phone service usage during a power outage. Extended or excessive home telephone use during a power outage will reduce the available runtime of the battery backup unit to less than 8 hours. 

When a power outage occurs, make sure you have one corded single-line touchtone phone plugged into a wall jack, which is connected directly to the battery backup unit via your in-home wiring. If you connect a cordless phone, it will not function without a separate battery backup, and not all cordless phones are so equipped. 

A battery backup unit does not provide power to any service other than voice.  Home security systems, medical monitoring devices, and other equipment will not run on a home phone battery backup unit and may not function during a power outage. 

Expected Backup Power Duration

The actual duration of backup power provided during an outage may exceed or fall short of your unit’s specifications depending on a number of factors. Battery age, phone usage, and environmental factors all impact performance. If your home phone service does not last the intended 8 hours during a power outage, please contact Golden West to schedule a replacement of the battery backup unit.

Purchase and Replacement Options 

Golden West monitors the health of the battery installed in your home and will replace the battery backup unit at no charge when it reaches the end of its useful life. Upgraded 24-hour battery backup units are available for purchase directly from Golden West. These cost $165 plus applicable installation charges. You must schedule an appointment to install the 24-hour backup battery unit at your location. Golden West will not perform any installations during a power outage. The estimated life expectancy for the battery is 2-4 years depending on power outage frequency and environment. If you purchase the 24-hour backup, you will be charged for a replacement unit unless you instruct Golden West to downgrade to the 8-hour option.  

Instructions for Proper Care and Use of Your Battery 

Please follow the instructions included with your battery for proper use, storage, and care. Environmental factors such as temperature and humidity can shorten your battery’s useful life. To maximize performance, the battery backup unit should be situated in a clean and dry location with a consistent temperature between 41° and 104°. The installed battery is rechargeable but won’t last indefinitely; it should be replaced when your phone service does not last the intended duration during a power outage.

You should periodically remove and test your battery to verify both operation of the backup battery and its condition. The battery backup unit can be tested by unplugging it from the power outlet. If it is working correctly, the Optical Network Terminal will remain powered and regular corded land line phones will still work in the house. Make sure to plug the unit back in at the end of testing. 

Battery backup units will display a battery light when the battery needs replacing. 


If you have any questions or would like to request a replacement battery, contact Golden West at 1-855-888-7777.