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Installing a New Bedroom Phone Jacks

Long gone are the days when a house get get by with one telephone jack. Today, nearly everybody in the house wants their own phone. Or if not, they need a phone jack for a computer modem, or perhaps a fax line. If you need to install a new phone jack in one of your rooms, you'll be glad to know this is a project that you can accomplish easily and quickly. Here are some tips to keep in mind that will guide you through the process.

1) Keep in mind that most houses today have something called "four-wire phone wire." This simply refers to wire that has a sheath with four colors: black, red, yellow and green. The red and green wires are for your primary telephone circuit, while the other two are mostly for adding extra telephone lines. If you look at the back of a telephone jack, you should notice red and green wires going into the box. Inside of the jack, these wires are connected to the appropriate color. Whenever you decide to connect a line in your new jack, there are a few different ways to do this:
A) You can go down into the wall, beneath the floor, and inside of the crawl-space or basement. B) You can go into the wall, then up through the ceiling joists or attic. C) or you can go behind the top of the base-board.

2) Probably the simplest way to install your new phone wire is to use the screws located on the back of your present telephone jack. To install the jack itself, find the edges of where a stud is inside your wall, then mark this spot. This will be the best place for your jack. At the edge of that stud, trace the outline of the box. Now get a dry-wall saw, and carefully cut out an opening for the box. Now you should be able to run the wire as described earlier using one of those three methods.

3) If you choose the option of running the telephone wire through the wall, remember you'll have to pull it from the new jack's location and then take it to the most convenient jack available; you'll need to do this before you install the box. Also, make things easy on yourself by allowing 10 or 12 inches of wire, running out of one of the box knock-outs.

4) If, however, you choose the option of running the phone wire through the base-board, you should be able to go into the box from the front. Just make sure that you allow enough wire length to gain access to them.

5) Once you've run the wire, you need to screw the wall box onto the stud's side. Once you've accomplished this, strip about three-eighths inch of the coating off of each wire. Then find screws inside the new jack plate and attach the wire to them. As you do this, be sure to connect each line to the right line: red to red, yellow to yellow, etc. Once you've done this, reattach the jack plate to the box using the screws that came with the plate.

You're almost finished with your project now, but you still need to take care of the final touches. Strip off another three-eighths inch of covering from the unattached end of each wire. Then connect the wires of the new line from the existing jack. Now you're ready to plug in your phone (or computer or fax line) into the new telephone jack. If you've done everything right, you should have a working telephone jack, ready for service.

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