I live in an over-100 year old house. There are enough telephone and cable wires laid down to circle the globe 3 times! The wires are all outside the walls, tacked along every conceivable edge, along baseboards, and are very visible. Some are even cut off, leaving a messy tangle sticking out. How can I tell which ones I can safely pull off the walls without messing up my phone service? Also, I do not currently have cable or satellite TV, although there is a huge, old dish on my roof. Can I just pull out all the cable wires and let the cable guy re-install ONE set if and when I get cable? THANK YOU!
When I bought my house two years ago, I found the previous owners had run cable (as in TV cable) under the carpet to all the bedrooms upstairs. When I signed up for cable service, the cable guy replaced the wire from the pole to the house. I also had him run new wire into the house. Some of the old stuff I've been able to pull up, and some still sits under carpet that appears to be glued down. I don't use any of the old wire, and I hope someday to remove it entirely.
You can start at one end of any wire you don't use any more and just start pulling it out. When you get to a joint/splice disconnect it. There is no magic formula. Just remove anything that is not used/needed. Since this is telephone and cable there is no worry about shocking yourself.
I will respectfully disagree that telephone wires won't hurt you. If you are touching the two wires in a phone cable that are still connected to the phone company and the line rings, you will be in for a shock. Given the right conditions, it may even kill you. The ring voltage is well over 140VAC and with that kind of potential, the current can get up to significant levels very quickly. My advice to you is to use a simple meter to check for voltage on the telephone wires before working on them. If they are still hooked up to the telephone company, they will have a DC voltage of around 50V. The 140VAC is only when the line rings.