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  • Do it yourself home telephone wiring.

       Wiring Home > Telephone wiring
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    This page will help in understanding telephone wiring for your home, and give you tips on installation and troubleshooting your home do it yourself telephone wiring.

    At first glance all the colored wires associated with your telephone wiring may seem confusing. In reality doing it yourself is very simple, even though there may be many conductors in the cable you need only two conductors or what is considered a “pair” for a single residential phone line. Although there is an industry standard for use of the colored conductors, the truth is any two conductors regardless of their color will work as long as the same two are hooked up at each end. Having said that I do recommend that whenever it is possible, stay with the industry standard color code.

    Standard Telephone Wiring Color Code.

    There is a possibility of two color codes that you may find in your home, I will cover both of them but only up to a 4 pair cable which consists of 8 conductors. The cable in your home may consist of only 2 pairs, 3 pairs or may be a 4 pair cable. Even though larger cables are made, it is unlikely that you would find them in your home.

    Color Code One is the old solid color code. ( Not used in new installations anymore.)

    Pair one – Green and Red – Used for phone line 1

    Pair two – Yellow and Black – Used for phone line 2

    Pair three – White and Blue – Used for phone line 3

    Pair four - Brown and Orange – Used for phone line 4

    Color Code Two is the new industry standard used today.

    Each pair can be used as a phone line, so in this example you can use this cable for up to four phone lines.

    The primary color of the conductor is the first color listed, the second color is the tracer. As an example using the White/Blue conductor, white is the primary color and blue is the tracer.

    Home Phone Line Installation

    When installing an additional phone line in your home the biggest challenge you will face is getting the cable from point A to point B. You will need to look at the way your home is constructed and plan the route you will need to take when running the new cable. For each house and desired location this will differ. While you can splice the cable into another cable or another phone jack, it is always best to run the new cable back to the telephone company demark.

    You will also need to decide what type of phone jack will be used in the installation, surface or flush mount. A flush mount jack is better looking, it requires more work to install than a simple surface jack.

    The next step in your installation planning is how many phone lines will be at the new location. If it is only one phone line I would suggest a 2 pair phone cable, which would leave you room for the addition of another line. If it requires 2 or more lines, I would suggest running a 4 pair cable. This will support up to 4 phone lines.

    Wiring your phone jack

    While the details above show a surface jack, the wiring is the same for a flush mount jack.

    For some reason most of today’s phone jacks still use the old color code, so unless you happen to get a phone jack that reflects the new color code, the above details and the following rules apply.

    1)  The terminals that have the red and green wires connected to them is the 1st phone line. If you have one with the new color code the white/blue and blue/white terminals are the first phone line.

    2)  The second pair of terminals either yellow and black or white/orange and orange/white is the second phone line. This is only of use if you are using a 2 line telephone, and continues with the color code for 3 and 4 line phones.

    3)  If you need 2 lines in a location for 2 separate devices such as a phone and a fax or computer modem, you will need to have 2 separate jacks using the red and green or the white/blue and blue/white on each jack for each line.

    4)  You can use a Telephone Line Analyzer to test your work.

    Line Cords

    A line cord is the cord that connects you telephone to the phone jack. The main thing you need to know about line cords is that there are single phone line cords, and two line cords.

    You will need to look closely at the modular connector on the end of the cord. If it has only 2 gold pins it can only be used for a single line phone. If it has four gold pins it can be used for a single line phone or a two line phone.

    Connecting to the telephone company demark

    Connecting to the telephone company demark is a simple process, it is nothing more than a screw terminal connection. There are only a few things you will need to know.

    1)  There are two sides of the telephone demark. The customer side and the phone company side. You will need to make sure that you connect on the customer side. It should be plainly marked as to what is the customer side.

    2)  You will need to make sure that the terminals you connect to are live with the phone line that you want to connect to. This should be marked in the demark, but sometimes they are not. You can unplug the modular connector inside the demark and plug in a normal phone to check and see if it the right terminal.

    Tip - A Telephone Butt-Setis a big help when working on telephone wiring.

    Tip - Use a B Connector to splice phone wires.

    Troubleshooting your phone problems

    Problems with your phone can be frustrating and costly to repair if you hire a contractor. The most common problems are static on the line or no service at all. I’m going to provide you with some simple steps you can take to possibly solve your problem.

    1)  The first step is to unplug every phone in your house directly from the phone jacks. If a phone or line cord is bad it can be the source of your problem. Once you have them all unplugged, find a phone and a line cord that you know for sure is good. If you have to test the phone and line cord at a friend’s house to insure that it is working properly.

    2)  Once you are sure you have a single working phone and line cord plug it in and test your phone line. If it works proceed to figure out which phone or line cord is causing your problem. If you still have a problem, proceed to the next step.

    3)  Keeping all your phones unplugged locate you telephone company demark on the outside of your house. Open it and unplug the modular connector next to the screw terminals that your phone lines are connected to. Plug in the telephone that you are sure is good directly into the demark and check the line. If the line works than the problem in on the inside of your house. If the line still dose not work, it is a phone company problem. You will need to call your service provider and tell them that you already checked your line and it is dead at the demark. They not charge you to fix their outside lines, but you will have to make sure and tell them the your inside lines were already checked. If your line did work at the demark you have a problem with your inside lines and will need to proceed to step 4.

    4)  Now your problem is a bit more complicated, look at the screw terminals in your demark, if each jack is ran back to your demark you will have a wire for each jack. Disconnect them all and hook up only one of them, take your good phone and test your phone jacks to see which one works. Repeat this process hooking up only one at a time until you find out which one is causing the problem. If you only have one pair of wires connected at the demark and have multiple phone jacks, you have a splice point inside the house. You will need to locate it and do the above process from that point.

    5)  Once you narrow it down to which cable or jack is causing your problem, you can either repair or replace it.

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    Disclaimer: You understand that you are personally responsible for your own wiring, and that you're wiring should conform to the National Electrical code. The information provided is general installation advice. We make no claims about the completeness or the accuracy of the information as it may apply to an infinite amount of field conditions. It is the responsibility of the person or persons using this information to check with all concerned parties, owners and local authorities, etc. before doing an installation. Users of this information agree to hold Wireityourself.com or any of its agents harmless form liabilities of any kind relating to the use of this information. You also agree to the terms set forth in our terms and conditions.

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