Phone wiring question?

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,680
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
We moved into a new house that has never had phone service and signed up for vonage. So the phone company never came out put up one of their exterior boxes. The exterior phone cord is just dangling there.

From time to time our phone says an extension is in use, I went outside and the cord had fallen down into the dirt. I removed it from the dirt and stuck back into a hole in the brick and that fixed it.

We also get static on the line, so I went out and wrapped the cord with electricians tape and that seems to have stopped the static for the moment.

So the question is, do I need to terminate or protect that line somehow? Is this something the builder never does or should I expect them to have take care of it.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,692
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
I presume you are using the pre-wired internal phone lines with your Vonage service to connect the desk sets.

How is your internal distribution performed? Do you have a punch-down termination block someplace on your premesis? If so the easiest thing to do would be to remove the connections for the "outgoing" cable from the punch-down block. It should be an easy thing to reconnect it there should you decide to revert to traditional POTS in the future.

Without a termination block, you would need to clean up the external end. Probably I would make a clean cut at the end of the cable with a pair of diagonals and then pot the cut end with RTV or the like.

I can't believe it would be the builder's responsibility to clean up the end of the cable....he presumes you will call your local POTS telephone company and have them install an interface box. Since you have had no dealings with the local phone company, you are on your own.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,680
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
Yes, I'm using the pre-wired internal phone lines for vonage. I don't know what a punch-down termination block is. If that is what the phone company installs, than I don't have it, since they've never been here. I've connected vonage to the pre-wired phonlines by plugging the vonage output phone jack into a wall phone jack.

I also don't understand what "pot the cut end with RTV" means.

As you can tell, I don't know much about phone (or electrical) wiring. Thanks your advice.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,692
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
Many new houses have a central patch panel installed - in a closet or laundry room or where ever - for the distribution of telephone and video signals. Some also distribute speaker wire this way. If your house has one of these, there will be a circuit board for interconnecting the phone cables. This circuit board will have multiple plastic strips containing knife blades....you take the individual wires in the cable and shove then down into the blades with a "punch down tool". The blades pierce the insulation and make contact with the central copper conductor.

To "pot" is to slather with goop...here I mean take some room-temp vulcanizing (RTV) rubber from a tube (auto parts store) or maybe some other kind of caulking compound, and just cover the end of the cut cable so water won't get in.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,680
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
I'll check my closets and get something to pot the external wire with. Right now, I've used electricians tape.
 

Dennis Nicholls

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Oct 5, 1998
Messages
10,692
Location
Boise, ID
Real Name
Dennis
Don't forget to cut an inch or so off the cable before potting it...it's already contaminated with dirt and corrosion.

Here's the kind of distribution panel I have...it's quite common:


But if you are not familiar with punchdown panels (the green circuit board in the photo) then you are better off just cutting and potting the end of the cable outside your house.
 

Johnny Angell

Played With Dinosaurs Member
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Dec 13, 1998
Messages
12,680
Location
Central Arkansas
Real Name
Johnny Angell
When you say outgoing, do you really mean what would be the incoming phone line, if there was one? Also, even if I find this block, I'm probably not going to understand which cable is which.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,898
Messages
4,723,966
Members
141,356
Latest member
gullfo