Old Telephone Wire, Or Something Else?

In the kitchen of my house I found a strange looking wire.
It almost looks like an old telephone wire -- with 4 wires, red/green and yellow/black -- except it has only 3 of the 4 wires. I'm not positive as I write this, but I believe it is missing black. In addition, the wires are thicker than typical telephone wires, though not as thick as electrical wires.
Can anyone tell me what this is? Can I still wire it to a jack and use it as a phone line?
TIA, cpp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 11/20/2004 10:35 AM US(ET), cppaddict took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Strip the covering back a little more, the 4th wire (if there is one) could be broken off just inside the covering.

Not until you find out what it is connected to. It could be a low voltage electric wire of some sort. It is not below some homeowners to use whatever wire is available to hook up something.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
old heat only thermostat wire? replaced with new wire when air conditioning was added?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pretty sure I have that wire too, and in my case it is indeed phone wire--only very slightly thicker than the more common telecom wire thats commonly used today.
Early 1960's home.
--

SVL



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
PrecisionMachinisT wrote:

That's correct. 3 Cond station wire was used back then. Red and Green are the phone Line and Yell is Ground. Ground was necessary (Bell System practice) for any stations supplied by a Party Line. Virtually all urban lines today are one-party bridged ringing and the Yell cond is not used.
Jim
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Jim,
Thanks to you and everyone else for your replies. I'm going to hook it up and see if it works when my service is turned on.
Cheers, cpp
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

4 wires was added when lighted phones became available, the yellow and black gets connected to a small transformer, which plugs into the AC (early wall wart).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
it's connected to the 'doomsday' device. whatever you do, dont let the ends short together or its curtains for all of us...
randy

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
cppaddict wrote:

It is single-line telephone wire; very commonly used in residential house wiring through the 1960s. The three wires were used for tip, ring, and ground. A telephone across the red-green wires should get you a dial tone (assuming that it is connected to your house pair somewhere down the line).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You that is the old style phone wire. Green and yellow werte used for selective ringing on party lines. I had a party line in my house in Sanibel (rental) as recently as 1984 so it is not really that rare. The 4 wire station cable came in with the Princess phone "It's little, It's lovely and it lights". The yellow/black pair was for the light. It ran off of a Wall Wart (plug in the wall transformer).
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.