Latest Discussions : Electrical & Lighting

momshelper

11:02AM | 12/28/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Hi,

So, I'm helping my mom lower her phone/internet costs. She now has two lines going into her home - one of which is used for a dial-up connection only and is connected to her computer. I want to put her on dsl through her phone service. The phone company said we could do the rewiring ourselves to change the second line to the main number OR they could come up and do it for $135.

This seems simple enough. There are four lines that come into the jack: red and green (which are connected to the jack) and yellow and dark blue (which are wrapped around the main wire - that is, not connected to anything). The red is attached to the red connection which then is attached to the black line. The green is attached to the green connection in the jack.

One would think that all I would have to do to get the main number is to disconnect the red/green connection and connect the yellow/blue connection. But, there's no dial tone. I tried every combination possible... (there are about 8 lines in the jack itself, but again, only four wires coming from the phone line into the house).

Any ideas to help me save my Mom some money or do we have to get the phone company out there!

Thank you!

Mom's helper

theeagle

07:00PM | 12/28/04
Member Since: 11/27/04
172 lifetime posts
how is it wired though?. is the lines that you are working on in the house or on the isolator box on the side of the house. if each plug is homerun to the isolator box then only 2 wires are live in the 4 wire you have.


doug seibert

04:04AM | 12/29/04
Member Since: 08/10/02
842 lifetime posts
http://www.homephonewiring.com/

momshelper

05:58AM | 12/29/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Okay, thanks for the link to homewiring, but I couldn't find what I needed..

Regarding how is it wired. There are two separate lines that come into the house. The second one was laid once we decided to add it for the internet. Does that make any sense?

I guess the question is do I need to get access to the switchbox outside - which I can't do.

Thanks!

Mom's helper

Jim D

12:56PM | 12/29/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Momshelper - hi, you need to be doing your rewiring outside at the network box - where the phone company brings its service to your house. You should be able to gain access to one side of the box, probably by unscrewing a bolt. The box will be labeled in some fashion to indicate which side you should have access to. The box should be mounted on the side of the house - anything further away, such as a green box sticking up out of the ground near the edge of the property line, is NOT the box you should be getting into.

Once in the network box, you should see where the two incoming phone lines are attached to separate sets of terminals marked Line 1 and Line 2. Line 1 should be the main phone line - the one you plan to keep. Hopefully, it uses the standard color (red and green) wiring convention; the yellow and black wires won't be connected and will be twisted around the incoming phone cable.

Line 2 should be for your computer - the one you said you want to disconnect. It should be using a different color set of wires. The two wires attached to the terminals are the ones you want to disconnect and re-connect to the terminals for Line 1. (Verify this by checking for dial tone on your computer line once you've disconnected the wires from the terminals inside the network box.) You can connect the wire on the top terminal for Line 2 to the top terminal for Line 1 and then connect the other wire to the other terminal for Line 1. DSL shouldn't care if these wires get reversed on the terminals, but a regular modem looking for touch-tone service would.

Hopefully, this helps you some with your project. Good luck and Happy Holidays! Jim D/West Point, VA

momshelper

02:44PM | 12/29/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Thank you West Point! I am now in search of my mother's phone box...

Mom's helper

Jim D

12:26PM | 12/30/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Momshelper - hi again! Just in case you don't find a box labeled Network Box or Network Interface Device, try looking for a smaller gray box with one bolt through the center.

I was renting an older house (102 yrs old) and the tiny village it was in hadn't been upgraded in some time. The network box was a small gray box, about 3" square, and the letters "TELCO" were nearly impossible to read. The way I found it was by tracing the known telephone wiring underneath the house out to the box.

Before the bushes had grown quite large and a central HVAC system was added by the landlord, the box would've been easily visible. Suffice to say, I did some trimming and made some notes for the family that bought the home as to where the network box was.

Good luck with your project! Happy Holidays! Jim D/West Point, VA

momshelper

03:30PM | 12/30/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Okay, thanks for checking on me. I THINK I found the box. It's in the utility room in the basement. About 2" deep, 5" wide, and 9" long. Two columns of connections, about 20 in each connection. No idea what to do now...... help? Thanks. Mary

Mom's helper

tomh

05:26PM | 12/30/04
Member Since: 07/01/03
549 lifetime posts
The DSL signal is carried on the same phone line as the existing phone voice carrier. The phone company will provide you with a DSL modem and DSL filters that need to be attached to the voice lines. YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO ANY WIRING.

Here is how it works. Order DSL and wait for the install kit to arrive. Attach filters to all telephones. The filter is like a splitter, and one side can be connected to a computer, the other to a phone. Just connect the computer to the unfiltered side, and phone lines to the filtered side per directions. Install the modem and software and you should have a connection if the DSL has been activated to the residence. Again, the DSL carrier is on the same line as the phone, but allows simultaneous use. You do not need the second line.

momshelper

03:29AM | 12/31/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
I know that DSL is carried over the phone line and is always active. BUT, the phone company said they would make it active on the main line, but not the second line so that we need to have someone come out and convert the second line to the main number. They said we could do it ourselves, or have them do it ($135). It seems like it should be really, really simply.

Mom's helper

Jim D

04:16AM | 12/31/04
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Momshelper - hi, you've found a very old style connection box there! I've found those in older US Government buildings but rarely in homes - the phone company normally replaces them when they run across them.

(Tomh - hi, what Momshelper described before was having a dedicated 2nd phone line run for the computer...and now they want to connect the line to the same terminals as the main line so they can use DSL and get rid of the 2nd incoming line altogether.)

Momshelper - at this point, you need to determine what color wires were used to connect your computer line up. You already know your main line uses red and green. Check the back of the phone jack that you plug the computer into. You'll probably see another setup as before - 4 wires coming in, only 2 connected - the 2 that are connected are the ones you want.

Once you identify the wires by color, look in your connector box and see which terminals they're connected to. That should be your second line - and they'll likely be the only wires that run into your house that are connected to the terminals. (The phone company line that runs out of the house towards the telephone pole may be connected as well, but you don't need to worry about them.) Take the two wires you identified and remove them from the terminals, then connect them to the terminals used for your main line. As before, it shouldn't matter how they're connected although if you want a touch-tone phone on the line, you have to get it straight. (If you don't, you simply reverse the terminals they're connected to on that connector box and that should give you touch-tone service.)

Also, I'd verify the wires you're removing are the right ones by checking to see if the computer modem gets dial tone after you disconnect one of the wires. If it still gets dial tone - you have the wrong set of wires. Make sure you have dial tone before disconnecting anything - then remove 1 wire, and check for dial tone again. Once you have the computer phone line wires moved to the main line terminals, check and make sure your computer modem gets a dial tone. If it does, also check and see if you can hear the modem in the handset of any of your phone instruments in the house - you should hear the modem. That'll let you know you've connected teh wires to the right terminals.

While you're down by the connector box, check and see if the phone company labeled the incoming lines with their numbers. If not, it wouldn't hurt to attach some sort of label so you'll know which terminals are active in the future.

I hope this helps you complete your project. Please post back and let us know - regards and Happy Holidays! Jim D/West Point, VA

momshelper

05:37AM | 12/31/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Hi Jim,

From the jack going into the computer, they're red and green. This doesn't seem to make sense since the main line should be red and green. Is it possible that the phone company created a second box somewhere when they put in the second line?

Thanks Jim (and Happy New Year!)

Mary

Mom's helper

momshelper

05:57AM | 12/31/04
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Hi Jim,

Okay, so it didn't make sense to me that the lines into the computer were red and green so I traced the wires from the jack and they go to another jack which has about 15 wires coming from it. It looks like what they did was connect the green/white lines to create the second line.

So, my mom just told me that the 'original' phone jack was 'never used.' (perhaps when it was installed the original owner had to be pay 'per line' or something). Here's the question - do I:

1. Go to the box and find the green/white wires and switch them to the red/green connection.

OR

2. Find the red/green wires in the jack 'that was never used' and has the green/white wires connected and connect the red/green wires? Are the red green wires in all the phone jacks in the house live?

Thanks Jim! And Happy New Year!

Mary

Mom's helper

Anonymous

04:04AM | 01/01/05
Mary - hi, it sounds like you have a bit of a mess there...as you're describing it, the wires from the computer jack are red & green but they've been connected to a jack that used green & white wires for the 2nd phone line. (The part about the jack having 15 wires coming from it throws me a bit. Do they connect to anything at all, like other jacks in the house? Or, is the jack actually another connection box with several sets of terminals?) It seems like that jack shouldn't have the main (1st) phone line in it at all if the green & white wires are providing the service. However, if the extra wires go to working phone jacks that you know have your main line on them, then you may be able to do your connections there.

Right now, the only way it seems you can proceed with certainty would be to find where the green & white wires connect to the original connector box and then move those wires over to the terminals used for the main (1st) phone line. Depending on how many phone jacks you have in the house, you may have seen nearly that many 2-pair cables (meaning 4 wires, probably red, green, yellow, & black) coming from that set of terminals (and the yellow & black probably aren't connected).

Normally, the red & green wires are used to provide phone service in each jack, so yes - they'd be live. It sounds like the technician who installed the 2nd line had an unused jack (the computer jack) pointed out to him/her, and the installer ran the 2nd line using the green & white wires up to a connection point, from which the installer used the existing red & green wires to get service to the jack.

Good luck with this! It almost sounds like it's time to get someone on-site to clean up the wiring mess - remove unused wires, label what's what, and provide your mom with a basic diagram of what's where. Happy New Year! Jim D/West Point, VA

Jim D

04:13AM | 01/01/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Mary - hi, I guess I timed out with my original answer and it didn't get posted. Here goes, in shorter verbiage...

The new jack or connection box you located - can you verify if it also has the main (1st) phone line service in it? Do any of the other wires go out to working phone jacks that you have phone instruments on? If so, you can move the red & green wires that feed the computer jack to the same connection points those other jacks use.

If that jack/box doesn't have the main line in it, you'll need to find where the green & white wires hook up in the original connector box (the one with the strips of terminals) and move the green & white wires to the same terminals as those with the wires feeding your other phone jacks.

It sounds like it's almost time to get someone who's good with phone service to come in there and clean up the mess you've uncovered. It sounds like there may be a bunch of unused wiring that could be removed, or at least disconnected/tied off and labeled as such. Your incoming service line needs to be labeled and all wires feeding the jacks in the house could be labeled as well. The phone company charges quite a bit to do this, so a competent handyman would be the way to go. Good luck - Happy New Year! Jim D/West Point, VA

momshelper

06:28AM | 01/01/05
Member Since: 12/27/04
8 lifetime posts
Hi Jim,

I called the phone company last night. My mom's been paying for wire maintenance forever and apparently she can't use remote phones because they short out her system and then someone needs to come out here and reset the phones when one of my other sisters comes in and plugs in a new phone. phones.

I can't believe they just kept resetting the phones instead of upgrading her box! What was she paying for? The phone company agreed (and apologized) and is coming out here on Monday (but I'll be on a plane back to the West Coast by then) to upgrade her system without charging her (since she's already been paying for it!).

So, thank you, thank you, thank you. I might not get her line switched over, but I uncovered a problem that needed to be dealt with.

May you have a very Happy New Year.

Mary

Mom's helper

Jim D

10:43AM | 01/01/05
Member Since: 01/06/01
342 lifetime posts
Mary - good job there voicing your concerns to the phone company! It certainly sounds like a previous installer took some short cuts instead of cleaning things up during a previous visit. It's good the phone company will provide the clean-up service - but as you say, they've already been paid to do it over the years.

Have your mom ask them about connecting that computer phone jack to the main phone line after they survey what they're up against. The installer could probably straighten that up quickly and save himself/herself the hassles of trying to keep it straight while cleaning up everything else. If the installer runs new wire to the outlet, she might be charged but it shouldn't be too much...plus, since that was the original condition that led to them coming out, she might get any charges for that thrown out by calling back to "clarify" what services she should've been charged for. You may need to make a call on her behalf after you get home, so be sure and keep that service number handy...or get the number you'd call from out of state. (I've commuted from VA's Northern Neck area to Andrews AFB, MD for the last 5 years...when I tried calling from MD to report a service problem on my home line, I found the toll-free number I used in VA couldn't be dialed from MD. When I got home that night, I located the out-of-state number to dial and completed the call the next day.)

Have a safe trip back home - and Happy New Year! Jim D/West Point, VA

jdlcash3

06:14PM | 04/02/07
Member Since: 04/01/07
2 lifetime posts
I FOUND THE BOX OUTSIDE THE HOUSE THE RED AND GREEN WIRERS WERE CUT, I REPLACED THEM BUT STILL NO DIAL TONE, COULD THE PROBLEM BE COMING FROM THE POLE. THE WIRERS IN THE HOUSE LOOKS FINE.

JAMES

jdlcash3

06:22PM | 04/02/07
Member Since: 04/01/07
2 lifetime posts
I AM WORKING OUTSIDE THE HOUSE, WITH THE ISOLATOR BOX, I SEE THE RED AND GREEN WIRE HAS BEEN CUT, I REPLACED THEM BUT STILL NO DAIL TONE.THE WIRERS IN THE HOUSE ARE FINE, THE BLUE AND WHITE WIRER IS CONNECTED TO THE JACK IN THE HOUSE.

JAMES

Billhart

07:44PM | 04/02/07
Member Since: 04/25/05
1915 lifetime posts
In the network box there is plug and just.

Remove the plug and plug a working phone into it. If it works then the phone company side of the wiring is OK.

If it doesn't then it is a phone company problem.

TimBonham

12:09AM | 04/03/07
Member Since: 01/09/07
199 lifetime posts
MomsHelper -- if you actually want Mom to get all the speed that she's paying for on the DSL line, you really should do some wiring.

But forget about those old 4-wire cables running around the house, and the switched-over pairs in them. Just use them for regular phone service.

Run a new cable from the box on the side of the house to the computer location. This cable should be at least CAT-3 -- but I'd suggest CAT-5, since that is almost as cheap nowadays.

Then have the phone company install a 'splitter' where the line comes into the house, one side going to the new CAT cable to the computer, and the other connected to the old 4-wire cables to the regular phones. This replaces for having a DSL filter on each phone outlet in the house, and the phone company should substitute it at no extra cost.

Don't try to use that old phone wiring for your DSL signal. You will probably lose 1/3 to 1/2 of the signal the phone company sells you in that last 40 feet of tangled old wiring.


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