DIY Telephone Wiring

Updated April 11, 2017

It used to be that when you needed telephone wiring in the home, all you needed to do was a quick call to the phone company. The technician would come out and do the job, and it was all part of your service---free of charge. Today, however, phone companies charge for every job---including the wiring---and many people are finding it cheaper to accomplish it themselves.

The Phone Box

Outside every house is a phone box that your local telephone company has installed. Open it and look for a plug or breaker section, such as those found in your electric breaker box. Either unplug the wire you find there or switch the breaker to the "Off" position. This step is important because the telephone wire carries an electric current that could electrocute you in the process of performing the wiring if you're not careful.

The Wires

Now look at the wires that are presently connected into the box. On a piece of paper, draw a diagram of this hookup, including the colour of the wires and where they go. Label the diagram for future reference.

The colours of the wires are very important because placing the wrong wire in the wrong slot could short out your system. Knowing the wire colours will also allow you to ask for the right kind of line when you shop for the replacement wire.

The primary two wires that connect your phone line are red and green. Standard phone lines also come with black and yellow wires, but these are not part of the connection. Many new phone lines on the market do not consist of red and green wire, but rather wires that are white with blue marks, blue with white marks, orange with white marks and white with orange marks. If the line you purchase includes these colours, you will be concerned with the wires that have white with blue marks, which are equivalent to the green wire in older lines, and the blue wires with white marks, which are the equivalent of the red wire. You will not be working with the other wires; you can simply wrap them around the main line and forget them.

Wire It

You will need to open the main line casing by stripping the end of it and exposing the interior four wires. Again, you are concerned with the red and green, or blue and white, wires. Strip those wires and expose their metal ends. Do not let them cross.

Connect the ends of the wire into the box just as you have drawn on your diagram.

Now determine where you want the phone line to enter the house; drill a small hole there for the phone line entry. Make sure that you are not drilling where electrical wiring runs into the house.

Insert the wire through the hole and strip the other ends of the wire to connect to the phone jack box mounted on the wall inside your home. Once again, you will be connecting the red and green, or blue and white wires into the phone jack box.

Now tack down the line to the wall on the inside and outside of your home with a staple gun, being careful not to pierce the line.

You can now go back out to the main phone box and plug in the line or flip the breakers to activate the phone line. Once you have activated the line, plug in the phone to the inside jack and test the line.

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About the Author

Patrice Lesco has been a writer since 2001. Also a certified teacher, she writes for newspapers, magazines, books, theater and film. Lesco holds a Master of Fine Arts in theater from Michigan State University, as well as a Bachelor of Science in education and theater from Methodist College.