Adding a Surface-Mount Jack
A surface-mounted jack is simple to install.
Homeowners rarely attempt to work on their own phone system — but they should. Projects such as installing a new line are fairly easy to do, the work is relatively safe, and you probably have most of the tools on hand. Best of all, you can save yourself a bundle. In many areas, you pay $40 or more just to have a phone company installer show up at your house. Then it can cost $15 to $20 for every 15 minutes the installer is there. And electricians who do phone work aren't any cheaper. We'll show you how to install a second phone line — not another extension but a line with its own dedicated number. Another line comes in handy for a home business and Internet use, and to keep your kids from tying up the phone you use. What you learn from this project will help you with other upgrades and repairs. How to Add a Second Line
The first step to adding a line is to contact the local telephone company and request a second line. The company will make the required wiring changes at your Network Interface Device. What's a NID? It's the junction box, usually located outside your house, where the phone company's lines end and the wiring for your home begins. If there's no NID at your home, the phone company will make the proper connections at a demarcation box. You can request to have a NID installed, which will make it easier for you to troubleshoot certain problems with your phone wiring. Having an exterior NID also means that if the phone company needs to do repairs or upgrades, a technician can do so without your having to be at home. You probably aren't aware of it, but the phone wiring in your house can already handle two separate lines. A single line requires two wires, or conductors. Standard residential phone cable contains two pairs of wires, which is enough for two separate lines. The first line is usually made up of the wires covered with red and green insulation; the yellow and black wires serve the second line. If you live in a newer a house or a house where new telephone cable has been installed, you may encounter "Cat 3" or "Cat 5" cable. Both types contain four pairs of wires — enough for four separate phone lines. The paired wires for a single line are usually twisted together, and they consist of a solid-color wire with a white spiral, or tracer, and a white wire with a tracer that matches the solid color.
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