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Phone Line

January 16th, 2010

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How do I wire a existing phone line to become an extension on my main number?

I have two phone lines. The second line is not in service any more. I want to make the second phone line an extension of the first line. How do I connect the wires?

This answer assumes some things, primarily that your phone system is residential or small commercial, and does not have one of those huge boxes inside which has dozens of wires connected to terminals.

There may be a box outside (attached to ext. wall) your building which is the service entrance to your system. It may have an imprint with the name of a manufacturer (Western Electric, AT7T) or the name of your local telephone carrier. Open the door to that box. Inside you will see a small cable coming in from the street with several small gauge coated wires. You will also see a few sets of two terminals (the things the wires are wrapped around and tightened by screws).

The box will contain at least two sets of two terminals each, to each of which is attached one of those small gauge colored wires from the entrance cable, and another similar wire going into the building. One set of two terminals carries the signal of the phone line that works. The other set is for the line no longer in use.

Being careful to remember which wire is connected to which terminal (draw a diagram), remove the wires from one set of terminals. Then see if your phone works. If not, you know that those terminals control the live phone signal. If so, reconnect the wires and disconnect the wires to another set of terminals. Continue until you locate the controlling terminals.

Then disconnect the wires that lead from the other terminal/s into the building and connect them to the controlling terminals, one wire per terminal. What you will have accomplished is to connect all the phone jacks in the building to the controlling terminals.

This work is not as difficult to perform as it is to explain.

Telephone line current is small, so you don't have to worry about shock. But do not confuse the box with the electric power service entrance.

If in doubt, contact an office supply which sells small commercial multi-line telephone systems, adn ask for a referral to a qualified installer.

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