Archive for Sunday, April 25, 2004

How to install an extra phone line

April 25, 2004

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Need to install an extra phone line? With help from the DIY -- Do It Yourself Network program "Home Repair & Remodeling," you can put one in on your own.


Materials:
Phillips- and flat-head screwdrivers
Wire stripper
Pliers
Drill, with drill bits and spade bits


Remove the phone and cover plate from the phone jack in a room near the one where you plan to install the new line.

Take another phone off the hook to prevent mild electrical shocks in the event that someone calls while you're working on the line.

Go to the attic and locate the top plate over the wall where you want to run the new line as well as the top plate for the wall where the existing phone jack was installed. You'll probably need to find a common reference point in the attic and the wall.

Measure to determine where to drill the hole in the top plate to install the new wire. If you can locate the phone wire in the attic, you won't need to drill into the void behind the wall where the existing line is installed.

Use a 1-inch spade bit to drill straight down into the void behind the wall containing the existing phone jack.

Tie the end of the phone cable in a knot and feed plenty of cable into the void behind the wall.

From the room below, remove the junction box for the existing phone jack from the wall, or poke a hole into the back of the junction box.

Use a coat hanger to fish out the cable from behind the wall, and thread the cable through the back of the junction box. Strip about 2 inches of sheathing from the cable, then strip about one-half inch of insulation from each wire.

Attach the wires to the appropriate terminals on the phone-jack plate as indicated by color. The wires may be fragile, so handle them carefully.

Use a dry-wall-mounted junction box as a template to mark cutting lines on the wall for the new phone jack. Then use a dry-wall saw to cut out the hole for the junction box. The cover plate for the phone jack will cover part of the hole, so don't worry if it's not perfect.

From the attic, drill a hole in the top plate over the wall for the new jack. Run the other end of the phone cable through the hole and into the void behind the wall.

Use a coat hanger as before to fish the wire from behind the wall. Thread the cable through the back of the junction box. Then push the junction box into the hole, and tighten the mounting screws to clamp it to the wall.

Strip the sheathing and insulation from the cable and wires, and connect the cable to the phone jack as before. Attach the jack to the junction box, and connect the phone.

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