How can I extend five phone lines by 15-ft each?
I am in the process of re-organizing the telephone connections at the
central panel. Currently, all five phone lines coming from various
rooms in my house home run into a distribution block in an area in the
basement. Originally, this was OK. Unfortunately, when I finished the
basement, I didn't take that area into account, and now that area is
very hard to reach. I plan to move the distribution block to a
different area that is easily accessible.
The problem is that four out of five phone lines don't have any slack;
this means I cannot move them to the new location without extending
them somehow. What is the right way to extend them?
Should I use a phone-line junction box?
Should I use wire-nuts?
Should I use something called Scotchlok connectors in place of wire
Should I turn the end of the phone line into a plug and use a phone
Phone line junction box seems to be a logical choice especially for a
phone line that has 2-pairs of wires (4 wires total); a junction box is
designed to handle 4-wires anyway; this will be a perfect fit. But one
phone line has 4-pairs of wire (8 wires total) (it is probably a cat-5
cable). If I use a junction box for a 8-wire phone line, I will lose
the potential future use of 4 wires.
Should I use phone line junction box for the lines that have 2-pairs of
wires and use cat-5 coupler and plugs for the line that has 4-pairs of
Please note that the junction area will be hidden behind ceiling tiles;
therefore, appearance is not an issue.
Thanks in advance for any suggestion.
Invest in a punch-down tool and buy a punch down block.
This is just first look I tried from a Google search, lots of
people sell this stuff. The block that comes up here is for a
25-pair block, you only need a block capable of handling 5. The
smaller ones probably exist for sale, but the 25-pair ones are
the most popular, may actually cost less. You can skip buying
the "shorting clips" by just punching your own shorting jumpers
down the middle (from scrap wire). I've seen the actual tools
a *lot* cheaper than the one they sell here, I think you can get
one for $20.
Find one spot where all existing lines pass (or you can get them
to if you re-route.) Install the punch block there. Leave the
block with 2 runs of network cable (4 pair each) and run those to
your new termination point. You'll have 3 spare pairs, no law
Telco wire is VERY forgiving of splices...
No shorts + no opens = it will work. That's the way they do
it in the real world, a zillion times a day.
The real Tom Pendergast [ So if you meet me, have some courtesy,
aka I-zheet M'drurz [ have some sympathy, and some taste.
Umm, unless it's a digital phone line from the telco. More and
more showing up all the time now. Or even DSL, which is
digital, but uses analog lines, but it's not necessarily all that
forgiving of bad splicing habits.
Actually I know about the punch down block that you are referring to. I
am planning to install a punch down 110-distribution-block in the new
location. I just didn't think of using it as a large junction box. I
must admit that using it as a junction box is very attractive. But I
can see that I would have a hard time getting it in place in the
junction location (cannot see the wires individually).
I think I will use a jack-and-plug combo to join two sections of phone
line. This probably will have the least amount of untwisted wires (not
that this makes a difference for voice-grade phone line).
Thanks for your suggestion anyway.
You omitted some needed informatiom to be certain of a response
It -sounds- like you have all analog telephones.
But you mentioned CAT-5, which is for digital telephone
Or, the CAT-5 may have just been installed when the house was
built, and that's what you're now changing, but then you indicate
a mix of CAT-5 and other phone wires.
An analog phone sysem will have an "REN" stamped on the bottom
of it. There is about 40 - 50 VDC between the two used wires,
which drops to 6-12 VDC or so when you pick up the phone, and
110Vac during ringing voltages (phone ringing). Digital lines
may or may not show you any DC voltage on them, and it will be
very low compared to analog lines.Maximum current possible under
short circuit will be 100 mA or less when the phones are hung up
and not ringing.
IFF these are -analog- phone lines, you can use about any method
you want to to extend them. Splices can be made with whatever
you wish to use. Analog only needs two wires, the center two in
IFF they are digital phone lines, then you need to use CAT-5
connectors (maybe a box from Radio Shack). Don't try to do those
by twisting wires because there is an impedance to the cable that
depends on wiring positions and spacing, and it must be
maintained for best operation of the phones. Simplest way would
be just buy a single box for each line, or a gang box, and plug
the original lines into it, the plug your extended wiring into
the other side, and you're done. CAT-5 on digital lines often
uses an 8 pin jack/plugs and the color codes vary. 4 wires
minimum are used in a functioning CAT-5 cable. Inside two and
Do NOT mix 6 pin (analog) and 8 pin (digital) systems together.
If it's 8, use 8. If it's 6, use 6. And LABEL and record every
wire connection for future repairs/expansions etc. You'll be
glad you did.
Kits are available to crimp plugs & jacks onto the applicable
Jay, I am guessing you have a "66" block now. If the phone copmpany was doing
it they would leave that 66 and punch down another one in the new location ...
assuming you can keep that accessible without tearing up too much "building
finish". If they did seal it up they would use 10 pink ladies. Shrink tube and
solder works too.
The phone company had a 66-block look-alike thing in the old location.
I have no idea if it is a 66 block or not. But the "teeth" in the
block look the same as those in a "66 Block Split M" from Leviton.
Mine has 6 rows of teeth and 6 teeth in each row.
Anyway, the use of that 66 block will require me to work with that
block in the original location. This is hard to do in the original
location -- tough to see each wire individually (may be my old eyes).
This is exactly the thing that I try to avoid doing.
As mentioned in other of my posts, I will use a jack-and-plug pair to
connect two sections of phone lines.
All the phone lines are for analog use. The DSL line is not involved
in this discussion because the phone company has added a DSL splitter
box to separate the DSL line from all the other phone lines that are
strictly for voices.
Most of the phone lines are old style 4 wires version
(red/green/black/yellow). However, there is one line that has 8 wires.
I believe it is the recently installed phone line that an electrician
installed it for me two years ago. The recently installed line is also
for voice only. Actually, I don't know if it is a cat-5 cable or not;
I was just guessing based on the fact that it has 8 wires.
I think you are right in saying this. Last night, I tried to use a
junction box to connect two phone lines by twisting wires together, and
I didn't like it. This was time consuming. I had a feeling that the
physical connection was not that great. And I will have a long section
of untwisted wires inside the junction box. Of course, I disconnected
it. I think I will use a jack-and-plug pair to connect two sections of
phone lines together, and house all the jack-and-plug combos in a box
or something. I have already had a 110 punch down tool anyway, and I
find that making connection to a jack and plug is quite simple.
Thanks for the suggestion.
I would suggest that you buy the button type of Insulation Displacing
Connectors (IDCs) and use them to splice on new cable segments on a wire
for wire basis. The advantages of the IDCs is that you can apply them
without any special tool and they take up less space then a 66 block.
You then wire the extended cables to a 66M block that is installed at
the new junction location. It is customary to wire the incoming lines
to the left side of the 66 bock and then bridge those lines down to
additional rows on the same side to match the telephone stations each
line will serve. The telephone station wiring is then connected to the
pins on the opposite side of the 66M block with one wire per row. Only
one conductor is punched down onto any given pin. The bridging clips
are used to connect the incoming telco wiring to the interior station
wiring. This is done to make trouble shooting easier because removing
the bridging clips will isolate any individual station wiring from the
outside plant and all other internal station wiring.
If you can't relocate the five lines to an area where you can set up a punch
block, 3M makes gel filled crimp on splices for telephone wire. just stick
unstripped wires into crimp and squeeze with plier. great contact with no
> If you can't relocate the five lines to an area where you can set up
a > punch block, 3M makes gel filled crimp on splices for telephone wire.
> just stick unstripped wires into crimp and squeeze with plier. great
> contact with no oxidation
Those wouldn't be the IDCs I mentioned in the post to which you replied
would they. Why yes they would. Is there an echo in here echo in here
echo in here.
I am not exactly sure if I understand you correctly. The term "IDC"
seems to be relevant to the use of a 110 block. The IDC seems to be
the connection point in a 110 block. Are you suggesting that I should
use a 110 block instead of a 66 block? BTW, I intend to install a 110
Distribution Block in the new location. Therefore, 110 block is not
foreign to me. I am just not sure if the IDC that you are referring to
imply the use of a 110 block.
I was wondering why they use those bridging clips instead of using
wires when I was reading the instruction of a 66 Split M Block. Thanks
for the explanation.
The IDCs I'm talking about are made by 3M and others to splice telephone
wiring without the bulk of a 66 or 110 punch down block.
http://www.action-electronics.com/pppto.htm#3mu is a photograph of what
I'm talking about. As others have mentioned they are silicon filled so
that there is little risk of the connection corroding open later.
I saw those IDC before in Home Depot, and I was wondering what they
were. Thanks for the link and your explanation. BTW, I got the plugs
for making cat-6 patch-cables from the same web page.
Seem like those IDC are great for fixing a small number of individual
wires, and their crimping tool is quite low price. This is good. In
my case, I need to connect the wires of 5 phone lines; I would have a
large number of IDCs hanging around if I used IDCs to connect those
phone lines (because I want to connect all wires in each phone line,
not just 2 wires each). Therefore, I likely will pass on this one.
However, this info will come in handy when I need to fix a small number
of wires. Thanks.
As the previous poster stated IDC stands for Insulation Displacing
Connector. 66 Blocks and 110 blocks are both one type of IDC. IDC
connections for telephone applications are highly reliable and are used
throughout th US Phone system. The 110 block was developed to be a
higher density block replacement for the 66 block. To my knowledge, for
your application, the only advantage of the 110 block is size. I would
guess that the bridging clips were used because it is faster and neater
for the installer to use. I would also recommend using the button IDC
connector since you do not require cat 5 performance.
Thanks for pointing out that 110 block is smaller than a 66 block.
Actually, I choose 110 block instead of a 66 block not for its smaller
My reasons are:
- I don't want to buy a 66 punch down tool when I have already had a
110 punch down tool that I use for home networking.
- The 110 block kit comes with all the other accessories that I need.
66 block only comes with the block itself. And they are the same
(actually 110 block kit is slightly cheaper).
- Leviton.com suggest people to use 110 block instead of 66 block
(Funny thing is that I could not find their excellent installation
their 110 block from their search tool; I ended up need to find it
from a third party web site).
In fact, a big 66 block probably is easier for our eyes than a small
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