Many households are finding the need for additional phone jacks a necessity. Your family may need one because you have a teenager who would like a phone in their room or maybe you have a computer you want to hook up to the internet and you use a dial-up connection.
You do not need to call a phone company technician or an electrician to install a new phone jack, you can do it yourself. Doing this simple job yourself can save you between 100 and 200 dollars.
The standard phone jack in homes today has four colored wires in each line. The wires are red, green, yellow and black. The red and green wires are the wires used for the first phone line in the home. If you want to add another line in your home, with a completely new phone number, you would use the yellow and black wires.
This article is not going to tell you how to add a new phone number line, it will tell you how to add a new phone jack to an existing phone line. Therefore, the colors of wire we are concerned with are the red and green ones. When you look into your phone jack, you should see the red and green wires threaded into the matching color connectors by a screw.
Different circumstances will make it easier to install the new phone line yourself. It is ideal if you have access to the attic, basement or crawlspace in your home. Another circumstance that will make it easier to install the new jack is the new phone line location being in close proximity to an existing phone jack.
Either way having the following tools and supplies available will make the job more manageable: Different sizes and types of screwdrivers, wire strippers, a drill with drill bits, pliers, a jigsaw, or drywall saw, and a ladder.
The first step is to place the new phone jack in the wall where you want it. You will locate a stud and measure from the floor up 15 inches or the same height as the rest of your phone jacks in your home. Using the back of the dry-wall-mounted junction box trace an outline on the wall next to the stud for easy cutting.
Use a drywall saw or jigsaw to cut out the rectangular square. The square does not have to be perfect, but make sure it is small enough for the cover plate to cover the new box. Use screws to attach the junction box to the side of the stud. Make sure it is level.
Following are instructions if you are using a phone line that is in close proximity to the desired location of the new jack and you are going to be climbing into the attic for wire placement. First, take the cover off the existing phone jack. To prevent an electrical shock, which is usually mild, take a phone off the receiver while you are working so that you will not get any in coming phone calls.
You will need to thread the new phone lines down into the wall so they can be attached to this jack. You can go into the attic and find the top plate of the wall with the phone jack. Make sure your new wire will be long enough to go down into the wall and then through the attic over to the new wall where the new phone jack will be and then down on the side.
Planning for extra wire is smart. Once you have located the hole where the original phone line is fed down through you can thread your new cable down into it. You can tie the end of the line in a knot before you thread it down to make it heavier and keep it together. If you cannot locate the hole where the original line is fed through, you will have to drill your own 1-inch hole.
Once the line is down the wall, you will now run the line through the attic and over to the wall where you put the new phone jack box. Drill a 1-inch hole in the top of the wall 2×4 and thread the other end down into the wall. It is good to have someone down below tell you that they can get hold of the new line. Secure the new lines in the attic to the joists. You are now done in the attic.
Go down to the existing phone jack and pull the new line into the junction box, you can use a coat hanger or another device to thread it through. You will now attach the wires to the terminals. Strip 1 inch of the covering from each of the phone wires. Being careful not to break the fragile wires attach each color of wire to the terminal, the terminal is usually a screw that matches that color.
Now go over to the new phone jack terminal and strip the covering off the wire at this end. Attach the ends of the wire to the matching terminal here and screw it in. Now you can test it and make sure your new phone jack is working, so plug a new phone into the jack and call someone and find out if it works. Once it is working screw on the faceplate and you are done.
If you are unable to go into the attic to thread your new phone wire you will need to thread it under the base boards on the floor of your home, or under the carpet padding. Another option for the wiring is in the basement or crawlspace of your home. The basic instructions are still the same for either of these methods.
It is amazing how easy installing a new phone line is if all of the circumstances are favorable. There are some cases, especially in two-story homes, that it will be nearly impossible to do this installation yourself and you should call a professional phone technician to do it for you.