I'm in the process of building a new house, and noticed that in two places
(one upstairs and one downstairs), the phone wire has been zig-zagged back
and forth 4 or 5 times between two studs, and then the un-terminated end of
the wire is just stapled to one of the studs. I'm curious as to why this is
done. There must be some specific reason for it. Some type of termination
scheme? What purpose does it serve? I'm sure someone in here knows.
Replace 'NOSPAM' with 'duddles' to reply by email.
I'd guess it was just that the builder put it in there while the putting
was easy, to give you some extra wire, if you ever need to put a phone
in that location. No termination scheme that I know if needs to do that
for plain old telephone wire. Pretty considerate builder, really.
Except how the hell would anyone know they are there after the walls
are closed up? I've seen builders do this type of thing for their own
benefit, not the homeowner. Like a spec builder offering lighting
options in a difficult location my just run some wire in before sheet
rocking. He knows that most buyers will want the extra lights
installed and will pay his list price to get them. So, later he can
put those lights in easily.
In this case, since they are visible, sounds like the dry wall isn't
in yet? If that's the case then the wires are there waiting for a
phone jack. As to why they would zig-zag as opposed to run straight
down a stud, I've never seen that before.
Well, that's what I thought at first, too, except that I went through with
the installer ahead of time and told him where to put every phone, cable,
and Cat5 (ethernet) outlet. In all of these locations they installed a
metal bracket which will provide the means to attache the cover plate after
the drywall is up. The places where these "zig-zags" are were not anywhere
that I can imagine anyone ever wanting a phone outlet (e.g., in the wall
between the mud hall and laudry room). And, where they did install the
brackets (where I know there will be outlets), there is no zig-zagging.
Well, I guess I'm going to call them and ask them.
is Joshua Putnam
Are you sure they are telephone wires? Could they be prewire for
intercom stations, alarm keypads, alarm motion detectors, garage
door opener switches?
Where I live it is common to prewire for future alarm keypad
locations. They prewire knowing that they will SELL some
additional keypad locations. Common locations are near the;
exterior doors, in the master bedroom, in the study, .... and other
places that are not included in the standard trim-out package.
The zigzag makes it easier to snag the wire through a small hole in
the drywall if an additional xxxx is sold.
You know what....I bet you're exactly right. I do remember now that they
said they were going to pre-wire for an alarm, and the locations of these
wires are just inside the entrance from the house, and upstairs in the
master bedroom.....two ideal locations for alarm keypads.
I think mystery solved. Thanks.
I have known that the phone company in the 60s and 70s promoted pre-wiring
of houses, the phone company would string cable throughout the house and in
spots that in the future may need an outlet they would zig-zag the cable
between the studs so that it could be located under the drywall and have
enough slack to make the connection. In this area they gave up doing this in
the early 70s, requiring the builder to do it, or not bother according to
It might just be there until someone decides where the phone jack is
going to be installed, or, maybe the one that strung the wire through
the wall is not the one that will install the phone jack.
Here is a suggestion for you since it is your house and the walls are open.
Find out when the sheetrockers are supposed to come, and on the day or
night before, take a video camera and walk through your entire house,
taking videos of all walls and ceilings (you can even narrate while you
shoot). Take special note of wiring and plumbing locations, and
construction around doors and windows. Take close ups of complicated
looking stuff. I did this with my house 20 years ago when it was being
built and I have had to view it a few times when I was going to do some
renovations or repair, and had to know where things were behind the
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