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Installing a Second Phone Line to an Existing Jack

June 18, 2006

Q: I just moved into a house that is wired for line 1 as the primary line in three different rooms. I had the phone company activate two phone lines, so I planned to simply rewire one of the jacks to line 2 as the primary line. I was able to get a dial tone when I rewired the jack to line 2 as the primary line. However, now the other jacks (still wired for line 1 as the the primary line) do not work. When I went back to red/green on the jack I had changed, the two other jacks work again.

What am I doing wrong that would wipe out Line 1 on the untouched jacks?

A: It sounds to me like your phone wiring is “daisy chained” from jack to jack. I believe that when you disconnected your existing primary line you opened a connection that went to the other jacks. To determine this, check to see how many phone cables come into the jack you are trying to rewire.

If there are 2 or more phone cables at that location, your phone wiring is “daisy chained”. If this is the case, I recommend taking the wires you had from your existing primary line and wirenutting them together color for color (red to red, green to green or blue to blue, white/blue to white/blue).

If you only have one phone cable at your jack, then it sounds like you may have shorted your existing primary line. If this is the case, I recommend capping the red and green or blue and white/blue individually. This will prevent the wires from shorting together.

Phone cable color code:

Line #1 Tip = Green (solid color twisted pair cable) or White/Blue (CAT5 cable)
Line #1 Ring = Red (solid color twisted pair cable) or Blue/White (CAT5 cable)

Line #2 Tip = Black (solid color twisted pair cable) or White/Orange (CAT5 cable)
Line #2 Ring = Yellow (solid color twisted pair cable) or Orange/White (CAT5 cable)

Line #3 Tip = White (solid color twisted pair cable) or White/Green (CAT5 cable)
Line #3 Ring = Blue (solid color twisted pair cable) or Green/White (CAT5 cable)

Line #4 Tip = White/Brown (CAT5 cable)
Line #4 Ring = Brown/White (CAT5 cable)

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One Response to “Installing a Second Phone Line to an Existing Jack”

  1. Steven on August 2nd, 2006 11:46 pm

    I am having the phone company activate a second line on a phone jack, they told me I need to have this jack rewired. Could you explain to me how to do this?

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