DIY Installation of Telephone Wiring


DIY installation of telephone wiring is a matter of understanding some basic terms, equipment you’ll need and how it all works together. Years ago, it was solely the job of the telephone companies provides all level of wiring service, including bring the service to your house and installing interior wiring. Today, the telephone companies are still responsible for the exterior wiring. Property owners must now bear the cost of interior telephone wiring.

Installation Tips

  • Telephone wiring is considered low-voltage wiring; however you should disconnect your wires at the Network Interface Device (NID). Avoid working on the system during thunderstorms. The gray box the telephone company installs on the exterior of you property, usually near the electric meter, is called the NID. In some older homes the NID may be in the basement.

    Older homes are usually wired with four-strand telephone cable with the colors: red, black yellow and green. Today, new wiring projects use CAT 5 wire. The codes are different: white with blue mark/green; blue with white mark/red, white with orange mark/black and orange with white mark/yellow. Purchase eight-stand CAT 5 cable for three or four phones installations.

    When planning the phone system there are basically two approaches you can take: run a separate cable from the network interface box or branch off a jack.

    Regardless of the wiring type you have in your home, you’ll need just two wires for one phone line. If you want a second line, or a totally different telephone number, you can use the other two wires. This will eliminate the need to run additional wiring. It requires the connection of the two available wires on the empty terminals in the NID. If the wire is really old, or has been somewhat unreliable, you may be better off running entirely new cable.

    Use four-contact modular jacks with wiring block for new jacks. Use CAT wire; it has a better capacity to transmit modem and DSL signals. Also, it is the national building code standard for new telephone line installations.

    If you want to connect a second line using the existing cable, connect the two unused wires to the terminals in the network interface devise. For example, if you have black and yellow wires open in the four-strand cable, connect the black to the available green terminal and the yellow wire to the red terminal. To convert line one line to another, you’ll need to switch the lines at the network interface device, such as black for green and yellow for red.

    Test the system, if no dial tone, check the connection in the network interface. You can test the phone system at the NID. Unplug the jack for the line and plug in your working phone. If the phone works properly, the problem is in your new wiring. I

    Go over your connections and make sure that the colors have not been reversed. Also, look for breaks in the cable, especially around fasteners.

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