How to work with live telephone wires?


I plan on installing a new telephone demarcation box on the inside wall of my garage near where 2 pairs of wires come out of a conduit. The existing demarc box is old, ugly, and accessible from the outside where it could easily be opened and the wires cut. I'm thinking in terms of greater home security and better DSL performance.
While I can isolate the house wiring from the live wires via unplugging an RJ11 disconnect, I will have to first move the live telephone pair from the old demarc to the new demarc. Is it enough to carefully use a pair of insulated pliers to move and connect a wire over without causing all sorts of havoc at the central office? Many years ago I performed a similar procedure by moving a jack. When I was through the telephone immediately rang. When I answered it was Bell Telephone saying they detected a fault on my line because an indicator "popped up". I'm thinking I may have accidentally shorted the wires. I told the woman on the phone that everything on my end was normal (this was back in the days when the phone company owned everything, including the telephone and jacks).
The only other and perhaps safer way to do this is to first connect a new pair of telephone copper wire to the new demarc and then crimp and join the wire to the live pair coming out of the conduit. Is that how the pros do it? The only thing with this is that I'd need to find the correct crimp connectors. I think the telephone company uses the kind where you insert both wires unstripped and then squeeze down to cut the insulation and make the connection. I'm trying to avoid using crimp connectors though and would prefer to connect directly to the new demarc terminals. With each crimp connector comes the risk of an imperfect electrical contact with degraded voice and DSL performance.
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I think lineman work on high voltage with less caution and concern than you're giving telephone wires. Just try not to short the wires together and you'll be fine. If you're concerned about a shock hazard, wear light weight rubber gloves

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Naval Squid wrote:

box, and your telco will take a dim view of you moving/replacing it without talking to them first, especially if you have to extend the drop wires, which they do own. Not to mention, if they come out on a service call, you will need to be home. The whole idea of the 2-side demarc box was to provide a semi-secure outside box that their techs could get to any time. They may come back and replace your butt splice with a new demarc box, and charge you for it. You will have to run the ground wire back outside to the same attachment point in any case.
If you truly have security concerns (like a neighborhood with lots of breakins), I'd call and talk to them about armoring the drop in conduit where it is within reach of the ground (unless you already have buried service), and swapping the box out for a metal one with a security screw or lock. They are used to that for light commercial work.
Unless your box is full of bugs and corrosion, it is unlikely to make any difference in your DSL connection. A straight run from the demarc box to your DSL modem, bypassing the rest of the inside wiring, is much more likely to help.
-- aem sends...
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The telco will require it to be on the outside. Quit being so paranoid. Who the hell would want to cut your wires...???? jeeeeeze
s

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On Sep 28, 7:14 pm, "Steve Barker DLT"

If I had an alarm system that used the telephone line to signal an intruder, I would want the wires to be secure.
Bob Hofmann
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If i had to be in an area that required an alarm system.............................
s
If I had an alarm system that used the telephone line to signal an intruder, I would want the wires to be secure.
Bob Hofmann
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Use a cell phone to contact your alarm company. Interfaces are made for just such a purpose.
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As the telephone wiring is normally an open circuit you can cut the wires loose any way you want to. There is less than 50 volts on the wires unless it is ringing and then it has about 90 volts on it during the ring. Normally unless you are wet and sweaty you will not feel the lower voltage and if it does ring it will usually just make you hirt yourself when you get shocked. Not normally life threating to a healthy person. If you do short the wires for a second or so it is no problem.
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I'm pretty sure the demac belongs to the phone company, you probably need to talk to them about replacing and/or moving it.
That being said, I wouldn't worry about any special precautions working on the wires. Telephone voltage is about 48VDC, and about 90V AC when ringing, but it's very limited current (I believe it's something around 50ma). It's usually 22 or 24 gauge wires, the last thing the phone company wants is the wires overheating because someone jammed something in the wall jack.
Even shorting them out isn't going to cause any havoc at the central office. Again, since it's current limited it's not going to be any kind of overload at their end. The main effect is that it will look "busy" to anybody calling. I imagine if it's left that way for any amount of time (days?), they might send out a tech to check the wires, but since they don't own the whole system anymore, they probably don't monitor the end connections as closely unless customer contacts them with an outage.
About a year ago we were out of town for a week. When we got back, we didn't have a dial tone. Found out from some friends that our phone had been "busy" for about three days. I checked each jack and found one on an exterior wall that had corrosion, apparently from condensation that had formed on the pins. Soon as I disconnected that jack, we got our dial tone back. Never heard anything from the phone company about it.
By the way, those crimp connectors are available from Home Depot, Lowes, and Radio Shack, etc.. The one's I've seen are called Scotchlok from 3M, but I think others make them too. They're filled with some waterproof (silicone?) gel, so they seal when you crimp them. Considering all the connections between your house and the central switching office, I wouldn't worry too much about signal loss from using them on your phone wires. Of course on the Ethernet network side of your DSL modem, you don't want to use them; not because of the signal loss, but because it messes up the twisted pairing of the wires (not a problem on the phone side).
Mike O.
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On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:56:54 +0100 (BST), Naval Squid

Dont even try this. Hire an electrician. This is far too dangerous for the average homeowner. One wrong move and you'll be a goner. Many people die each year from working on phone wiring, and sometimes they even burst into flames if they directly contact the hot wire (the red one). Think about your offspring. A funeral is more costly than an electrician.
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On Sun, 28 Sep 2008 23:56:54 +0100 (BST), Naval Squid

For best DSL install a home run from the NID to your office. A connector terminal with screws is adequate. Make sure all connections are tight.
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Naval Squid wrote:

But the demarc box isn't yours. It is the line of demarcation between you and the telco. It is always furnished by them and is supposed to be readily accessible so they don't need to get in to troubleshoot.
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Naval Squid wrote:

Not a good idea, ask the phone company before you do this. They could charge you to bring the box back outside when/if they find out you moved it to your garage.
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Here's how: http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=2v9u4ye&s=4
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