How to Wire a Telephone Jack

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A telephone jack is the outlet on the wall that you plug in a telephone device. Most telephone devices can only use one telephone line although a telephone jack may allow for the physical connection of up to three lines. The primary challenge in installing a telephone jack is identifying the correct wires to use.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Wire stripper
  • Telephone jack
  • Examine the colors of the telephone wires that come out of the wall. The old color standard for line one uses green for the positive (tip) wire and red for the negative (ring) wire. A house that's wired according to the newer Cat 5e/6 standard uses white with a blue stripe for the tip and blue for the ring.

  • Learn the old color standards for lines two and three. The traditional color standard for line two uses black for the tip wire and yellow for the ring wire. For line three, this standard uses orange for the tip wire and blue for the ring wire.

  • Study the Cat 5e/6 color standard for lines two and three. The Cat 5e/6 color standard for line two uses white with an orange stripe for the tip wire and orange for the ring wire. For line three, this standard uses white with a green stripe for the tip wire and green for the ring wire.

  • Identify the terminals that connect to the two innermost pins of the six pins in the telephone jack. These two pin positions are typically the only ones that most telephone devices use. The left innermost pin position is for the tip wire and the right innermost position is for the ring wire.

  • Select the pair of wires that correspond to the line you wish to connect to the phone jack. Snip the ends of the wire to form cleanly cut ends and strip off 1/2-inch of insulation from both wires. Wrap each wire around the appropriate terminal that you identified in step four. Place the jack against the wall so that the holes in the jack line up with the holes in the wall. Fasten the jack to the wall with the screws that came with the phone jack.

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