TELECOM

The Ultimate Handyman is a phone whiz. We provide consulting, installation, maintenance, and repairs for a broad range of telecommunications products and services, including but not limited to telephones, voicemail, voice and data cabling, voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) systems, and networks.

We pride ourselves on efficiency, quality, and personal service: We know the features that suit your business and we will not waste your money on useless ones. And we are very nice to talk to – in person or on the phone.

 

Data drops and distribution is easy for us. Call us and we help you with it.

Data drops and distribution is easy for us. Call us and we help you with it.

 

Telephone wiring is easy to work with and very safe, due to the low voltages involved.

The most complex part of installing telephone wiring is complying with the defined standards in place.

When installing additional telephone wiring into an existing facility, it is usually best to determine which telephone wiring standard is currently in use and conform to that standard.

When installing telephone wiring into a new facility, EIA/TIA T586A is the standard to utilize.

How the Wire Gets Into Your Residence
Historically, the telephone companies have run telephone wire above ground, using telephone poles to make wire issues easy to repair. The wire itself is sourced at a telephone company and goes through various paths to get into the general vicinity of your home.

Above Ground Wiring
In older neighborhoods (1970s and earlier in the US) and areas that have a high water table, the telephone wiring is most likely going to be above ground. There will be one or more telephone poles in easement areas in the neighborhood that distribute phone service wire pairs to residences using an aerial method of connection. A breakout box is attached to the pole with the main services lines for the area entering in one side, and residential lines running out of the other side. Wires are then run from the breakout boxes to each neighborhood residence.

Underground Wiring
Most modern neighborhoods have telephone wiring run underground in the United States today. During the neighborhood build out, before building of homes is commenced, breakout boxes are installed in geographically strategic points in the neighborhood, and then lines are trenched back to the primary distribution can for your neighborhood, and to each property nearby.

The Residential Network Interface Device
Regardless of how the wire is run to your house, the wire terminates on a Network Interface Device, or NID, which is connected to your home. This device is a gray or tan box about eight inches wide and twelve inches long with a door or doors concealing two compartments. Access to the customer compartment is possible with a simple slot headed screw. Access to the telco compartment is controlled by the use of a specialized screw head. You can open the customer access compartment of the NID to check your lines for dial tone, check wiring connections inside the NID, and to trace lines coming out of the NID into your home. You needn’t open the telco compartment of the NID; if there is a wiring fault between your house and the central office, you won’t be able to repair it. Most NIDs can handle up to 5 different lines.

The telephone line from the pole or breakout box goes into the telco compartment and exits through the customer compartment.

If you have only one telephone line, and there has been no maintenance on your line for a long while, you may have a box which is a predecessor to the NID. This box is simply a plastic or metal cover which is screwed over a telephone wiring box to protect it from the elements. At no cost, the telephone company will come out and replace your old box with a new NID if there is time and available equipment, and you demonstrate a need, such as a method to test for dial tone. Sometimes, phone company technicians will leave this original box in place, and just install a NID between this box and the wiring running to the pole or breakout box. This is not a matter of big concern.

Testing Your Phone Lines
Always use a previously tested corded phone for phone line testing. This is the only way you can be sure that you are testing only the phone line and not issues with your phone. If you are unsure if your test phone is functional, take it over to a neighbor or family members home, and test it with a known good phone line. If you have dial tone, your phone is usable for a line test.

First Just Pick Up the Phone
When the telephone company initially installed your phone line into your home, they should have provided you with at least one phone jack to connect a telephone. The easiest phone service test, is to merely plug a phone into this jack with the proper wire, take the phone off the hook, and listen for the dial tone. You may need to consult your phone manual.

No Dial Tone
If you don’t get a dial tone when you take your phone off the hook, you probably have a phone line problem. If you have multiple jacks in your home, test each one to verify which jacks work, and which ones don’t. If some of the jacks are functional and others aren’t, the wiring fault is between the NID and those specific jacks in your home. The phone company may be willing to help you with these problems for a charge. Read more on how to repair these problems in the “Repair” sections below. If none of the jacks in your home are working, you need to test your phone lines at the NID.

Testing at the NID
When you open the customer compartment of your NID, you will notice that there are phone jacks lined up, usually vertically. For each phone line installed in your house, there will be a phone jack with a line plugged into it. Don’t worry if you have jacks that have no line plugged into them, it may be that there was a second line to your home at one time, that the wiring box was faulty, or that they just installed more than one wiring box and jack as a standard install. If you have more than one line, labels on the NID lid should tell you which jack is associated with which phone line or number. If they don’t you will just have to try them all until you find the one you want to test. To test, you need to disconnect the line from the jack, and plug your corded phone into it. This will disconnect the line from the jacks in your house, so don’t panic if you lose dial tone inside. If you have dial tone when you hook up your phone, the wiring fault is in your house. If you don’t then you must call the phone company for repair, there is nothing further you can do to fix the problem.

Sometimes the Wire Colors Don’t Match
Many phone companies have updated their color standards due to the use of Cat 5 cable for most phone line installs, and to keep residential and business installs in line with each other. In this new standard, there are no green, red, black or yellow wires, they have been replaced by white/blue, blue/white, white/orange, and orange/white. To know how to identify the wire color is a simple matter. The wire is going to be primarily one color, with small stripes of a secondary color on it. If the wire is primarily orange with white stripes then that color is orange/white. The following simple table will help you understand what colors match. The NID labels will most likely have the old coloring scheme on them, and most telephone wiring components you can purchase will still reflect the original colors.

Function     New Color     Old Color
Tip 1     Green     White/Blue
Ring 1     Red     Blue/White
Tip 2     Black     White/Orange
Ring 2     Yellow     Orange/White
New Telephone Jacks in Your Home
Installing new telephone jacks in your home is really pretty simple, but there are some tools and basic hardware you will need to perform the install.

Tools:

Drill
Drill bits
Flathead Screwdriver
Fish tape
Cable Test Equipment
Hardware
Most hardware stores, electronics stores, and many grocery and department stores will have the items you are going to need to complete your install.

Modular jack boxes come in two variants, one with a wiring box and one without. If you are installing an entirely new jack, you will want the jack box with the wiring box. You would only need a jack box without a wiring box if you are replacing a jack box that has been damaged, but the wiring box inside is still intact. There are both four and six contact modular jacks available. Make sure you buy a four contact modular jack unless you have a special reason for buying a six contact modular jack. You will need one jack box for each new jack you want to install.

You should buy four wire flat silver satin telephone wire for any new jacks in your home. You may save a little money if you just buy the individual wires without the silver sheath, but in the long run, having the sheath will save you time and frustration. Its flexible, can easily be stripped off in locations that require it, and it will keep the wires together so you can easily fish the wire where you need it to go.

If you have more than two lines in your home and you want to place jacks for all of them in the same location, six or eight conductor telephone wire can be used as well, just keep in mind that there are three pairs of wire, a blue pair, an orange pair, and a green pair in six conductor wire. Eight conductor wire has the same wiring colors as the six conductor, it just adds a brown pair for the last pair. Make sure that you connect the same wires to the proper posts on the wiring block to avoid any problems.

Modular jack boxes with wiring box
Four, six or eight strand telephone wire
Always Have a Corded Phone for Emergencies
Remember that you may need to plug your phone or phone base into house power if you have a cordless phone, a phone with an integrated answering machine, or some other capability. Standard corded phones receive all the necessary power over the phone line itself, so no additional power is required. It is always a good plan to have a corded phone in your residence just in case your other devices have issues, or for use in emergencies when your house power is out.

General Reference Information
The information following may help you understand the standards and wire plans in your home. They are merely reference materials to assist you in your planning and diagnostics.

The Christmas and Halloween Standard for Telephone Wiring
Many existing homes have only 2 pair (4 wire) telephone wiring.

The first telephone line is connected to the Christmas pair. This wire pair is called the Christmas pair because one wire is Green and the other wire is Red.

In the Christmas pair, the Green wire is Tip and the Red wire is Ring.

The second telephone line is connected to the Halloween pair. This wire pair is called the Halloween pair because one wire is Black and the other wire is Yellow.

In the Halloween pair, the Black wire is Tip and the Yellow wire is Ring.

The EIA/TIA 568B Standard for Telephone Wiring
Pin (Jack)     Pin (Plug)     Color     Pair
1     8     White/Orange     Tip 2
2     7     Orange     Ring 2
3     6     White/Green     Tip 3
4     5     Blue     Ring 1
5     4     White/Blue     Tip 1
6     3     Green     Ring 3
7     2     White Brown     Tip 4
8     1     Brown     Ring 4
The EIA/TIA 568A Standard for Telephone Wiring
Pin (Jack)     Pin (Plug)     Color     Pair
1     8     White/Green     Tip 3
2     7     Green     Ring 3
3     6     White/Orange     Tip 2
4     5     Blue     Ring 1
5     4     White/Blue     Tip 1
6     3     Orange     Ring 2
7     2     White Brown     Tip 4
8     1     Brown     Ring 4
The USOC (Universal Service Order Code) 8 Wire Standard for Telephone Wiring
Pin (Jack)     Pin (Plug)     Color     Pair
1     8     White/Brown     Tip 4
2     7     White/Green     Tip 3
3     6     White/Orange     Tip 2
4     5     Blue     Ring 1
5     4     White/Blue     Tip 1
6     3     Orange     Ring 2
7     2     Green     Ring 3
8     1     Brown     Ring 4
The USOC (Universal Service Order Code) 6 Wire Standard for Telephone Wiring
Pin (Jack)     Pin (Plug)     Color     Pair
1     6     White/Green     Tip 3
2     5     White/Orange     Tip 2
3     4     Blue     Ring 1
4     3     White/Blue     Tip 1
5     2     Orange     Ring 2
6     1     Green     Ring 3
The 25 pair Telephone Wiring Standard
Pin (Jack)     Pin (Plug)     Color     Pair
1     50     Blue/White     Ring 1
2     49     Orange/White     Ring 2
3     48     Green/White     Ring 3
4     47     Brown/White     Ring 4
5     46     Slate/White     Ring 5
6     45     Blue/Red     Ring 6
7     44     Orange/Red     Ring 7
8     43     Green/Red     Ring 8
9     42     Brown/Red     Ring 9
10     41     Slate/Red     Ring 10
11     40     Blue/Black     Ring 11
12     39     Orange/Black     Ring 12
13     38     Green/Black     Ring 13
14     37     Brown/Black     Ring 14
15     36     Slate/Black     Ring 15
16     35     Blue/Yellow     Ring 16
17     34     Orange/Yellow     Ring 17
18     33     Green/Yellow     Ring 18
19     32     Brown/Yellow     Ring 19
20     31     Slate/Yellow     Ring 20
21     30     Blue/Violet     Ring 21
22     29     Orange/Violet     Ring 22
23     28     Green/Violet     Ring 23
24     27     Brown/Violet     Ring 24
25     26     Slate/Violet     Ring 25
26     25     White/Blue     Tip 1
27     24     White/Orange     Tip 2
28     23     White/Green     Tip 3
29     22     White/Brown     Tip 4
30     21     White/Slate     Tip 5
31     20     Red/Blue     Tip 6
32     19     Red/Orange     Tip 7
33     18     Red/Green     Tip 8
34     17     Red/Brown     Tip 9
35     16     Red/Slate     Tip 10
36     15     Black/Blue     Tip 11
37     14     Black/Orange     Tip 12
38     13     Black/Green     Tip 13
39     12     Black/Brown     Tip 14
40     11     Black/Slate     Tip 15
41     10     Yellow/Blue     Tip 16
42     9     Yellow/Orange     Tip 17
43     8     Yellow/Green     Tip 18
44     7     Yellow/Brown     Tip 19
45     6     Yellow/Slate     Tip 20
46     5     Violet/Blue     Tip 21
47     4     Violet/Orange     Tip 22
48     3     Violet/Green     Tip 23
49     2     Violet/Brown     Tip 24
50     1     Violet/Slate     Tip 25
Telephone Wiring Pin Number Orientation
When looking at a telephone jack, Pin 1 is the left-most pin.

When looking at a telephone plug, Pin 8 is the right-most pin.

Telephone Wiring Jacks and Plugs
In telephone wiring, the plug is the male end of a telephone cable and the jack is the female receptacle in the wall.

Telephone Wiring Tip and Ring
The terms Tip and Ring are used extensively when discussing telephone wiring.

Tip is the electrically positive wire and Ring is the electrically negative wire.