How to attach two phone wires to make one

Whether you’re wiring connections for telephones in a new house that is under construction, or whether you are installing new telephone wiring in an existing residence, you’ll need to know something about telephone wiring jacks and the wiring you connect to those jacks. Below, you will find 6 useful tips to guide you through connecting your telephone wiring.

Things you’ll need

  • Telephone jacks
  • Screwdriver
  • Punch-down tool
  • Needle nose pliers

Tip 1 – Identifying your Telephone Type
You’ll find that not all telephones require the same wiring, not all jacks have the same type of connection terminals, and not all wiring is the same. Therefore, you’ll need some basic information about each of these factors.

Tip 2 – Analog Telephones
Standard analog phones, the type you generally connect to traditional, analog telephone service, receive electronic analog signals through two copper wires inside a phone cable. These 2 wire are normally referred to as a wire pair. One end of the cable is connected to a telephone wall jack the other end to a jack into which is connected your dial tone service. At a wall jack, one end of a telephone line cord is plugged into the jack, the other end is plugged into the telephone.

Tip 3 – Digital Telephones
Digital telephones, although they use the same type of jacks and cables as analog telephones, receive electronic digital signals. Usually these signals are delivered by the Central Processing Unit (Key Service Unit) of a phone system.

Tip 4 – Telephone Wiring (Cables)
A single wire pair can be found in a cable that contains only the single pair. Or, it can be found in a cable with 2 to 4 pair (4 to 8 wires). All these wire pairs are identical except for the color of the plastic sheathing covering the copper wires. It is important that you connect all telephone wires of the same color to all jacks connections with matching terminal colors. For example: colors for the main cable pair are solid blue with white stripes for first wire, and white with blue stripes for the second wire.

Tip 5 – Telephone Jacks

In some jacks the terminals are slotted, while in others the terminals are screw-type. You can intermix the two jack types as long as you match wire colors with terminal colors. Terminals on both types of jacks are colored coded to match wire colors.

Tip 6 – Connecting Wires to Wall Jacks
To wire surface telephone jacks—those fastened to the wall surface—remove the jack cover to expose the terminals. For screw-type terminals, strip about 3/8″ of the sheathing from the wire. Loosen the screws on the 2 blue terminals, wrap the bare wires of the blue wire pair around the terminal. The blue-white wire goes to the blue-white terminal, the white-blue wire goes to the white-blue terminal. Then, tighten the screws, attach the jack to the wall, and replace the jack cover. For slotted terminals, you don’t need to bare the wire. Just place the 2 wire into the 2 color coded slots (white-blue wire to white-blue slot, etc.) and push these wires down into the slots, using a punch-down tool.

Connecting a Two-line Phone

How to attach two phone wires to make one

Two-line phone options are seemingly limitless. Retailers advertise a plethora of phones with multiline capabilities. There are two-line business phones, two-line touch phones and two-line cordless phones. Two-line cell phones are even an option now.

All telephones have a jack where you plug in the phone cord. The phone jack is connected to the wall jack, which connects to the telephone company’s wiring. The phone jack is lined with contacts, or conductors, that recognize the wires inside the cord and establish a connection with the line. Whereas the contacts in a two-line phone jack automatically recognize all four wires, and thus both phone lines, the contacts in a single-line phone jack only recognize the first line. So even if you have two phone lines up and running, if you plug the two-line cord into a single-line phone jack, you’ll still only receive calls from the first line.

Two-line phones instantly recognize both phone lines and detect which one is ringing. It’s possible to use two phone lines without using a two line phone, but you have to either rewire your wall jacks or purchase a two-line splitter. These devices plug into a standard two-line jack and split the line, directing the first line to one jack and the second line to the other jack. With a splitter, you’ll just have two single-line phones coming off the same jack. One of the phones will receive calls from line one, and the other will receive calls from line two.

Ultimately, two line phones aren’t that different from their single-line counterparts. Take a look inside these double-duty devices on the next page.

Many cell phone carriers now offer second-line service on individual handsets. With this feature, you can add a second phone line with a different phone number to your existing phone. All you have to do is sign up for a second service plan. With two lines on the same phone, you can designate distinct ring tones, subscribe to different services and get phone numbers with different area codes. Two-line cell phones are perfect for people who want to keep work and personal calls separate.

How to attach two phone wires to make one

“Christmas trees and bumblebees.” No, it’s not a strange nursery rhyme; it’s how you remember how your phone lines are distributed. On the back of the phone jacks, there are usually four connections—one red, one green, one black, and one yellow. The red and green (“Christmas trees”) wires to power the first, or primary, line in your home. The black and yellow (“bumblebees”) wires don’t get used unless a second line is added to your home.

Adding a second line to your home is an easy task that even the least experienced do-it-yourselfer can do without costly interference from a telephone technician. First, let’s look a few scenarios where someone may need a second line in their home:

A home office may require a dedicated line for business purposes.

You may have children who need their own line so that they stop tying up the main phone line.

Many people like having a dedicated number for faxes.

Dial-up ISP users may want a dedicated line for their online surfing.

We’ll also go over adding a line to a room that currently doesn’t have a phone jack, so you will be able to pick and choose where you want the second line to be located.

Step 1 – Activate the New Phone Line

The first step to adding a second line is calling your phone company. Tell them that you want a second line added to your account. They will go over all the options that you can include on the line like Caller ID, Call Waiting, etc. Keep in mind that the more options you include, the higher the charge will be for the line.

Tell your phone company that you will be doing the wiring inside your home. Once everything is set, they should give you the new number and a date when the work will be completed.

The phone company’s technician will come to your house and check for service at the Network Interface Device (NID) on the side of your house. Once he makes any necessary connections or repairs, the second line will be ready to go, and you can do the interior wiring yourself.

The phone wire currently running through your house can handle two lines. Remember the “Christmas trees and bumblebees”? The yellow and black wires will now be carrying the second line, while the red and green will carry the primary line.

Step 2 – Unscrew the Faceplate

If you have a certain room, like a child’s room or an office, where you want the second line, the switchover can be simple. In the specified room, find the desired jack for the second line, and unscrew the faceplate from the wall. On the backside of the jack, unscrew the red and green wires and make sure the black and yellow are connected.

Step 3 – Connecting the “Jumper” Wire

If you need to connect the black and yellow wires, simply strip about 3/4-inch of insulation off with wire strippers, and connect them to the screw that already has the same colored “jumper” wire on it.

Step 4 – Check for a Dial Tone

Don’t screw the plate back on yet. You need to check for a dial tone. Plug in a landline phone (one that doesn’t need to be plugged into a power source) and listen for a dial tone. If you hear it, dial your primary number. If the other line in the home rings, then you’re set.

Step 5 – Re-install the Faceplate

Wrap the red and green wires back down the phone cable and tape the ends with black electrical tape. Then, re-install the faceplate to the wall.

Step 6 – Final Touches

Don’t get too excited! You’re not done yet. Go to each of the outlets in your home where you don’t want the secondary line and remove the black and yellow wires from the terminals. Wrap and tape them as described earlier. Some people may say you don’t need to remove the wires, but for the time it takes, it can save you some potential issues down the road. Lastly, double-check for dial tones at each outlet while you’re working on it.

If your phone in your home office is capable of having two lines, then you don’t have to remove the wires from the back of the jack. With all four wires connected, the phone does the work of identifying which line is ringing.

If you have a room with only one phone jack but you want two-line access in that room, there’s a simple remedy. Head to your local hardware store and pick up a dual phone jack plate. It has two jacks on it, one on top of another. Simply hook the red and green to the top jack and the yellow and black to the bottom jack, and you now have two-line access in the same room without having to run additional wires.

Connecting a Two-line Phone

How to attach two phone wires to make one

Two-line phone options are seemingly limitless. Retailers advertise a plethora of phones with multiline capabilities. There are two-line business phones, two-line touch phones and two-line cordless phones. Two-line cell phones are even an option now.

All telephones have a jack where you plug in the phone cord. The phone jack is connected to the wall jack, which connects to the telephone company’s wiring. The phone jack is lined with contacts, or conductors, that recognize the wires inside the cord and establish a connection with the line. Whereas the contacts in a two-line phone jack automatically recognize all four wires, and thus both phone lines, the contacts in a single-line phone jack only recognize the first line. So even if you have two phone lines up and running, if you plug the two-line cord into a single-line phone jack, you’ll still only receive calls from the first line.

Two-line phones instantly recognize both phone lines and detect which one is ringing. It’s possible to use two phone lines without using a two line phone, but you have to either rewire your wall jacks or purchase a two-line splitter. These devices plug into a standard two-line jack and split the line, directing the first line to one jack and the second line to the other jack. With a splitter, you’ll just have two single-line phones coming off the same jack. One of the phones will receive calls from line one, and the other will receive calls from line two.

Ultimately, two line phones aren’t that different from their single-line counterparts. Take a look inside these double-duty devices on the next page.

Many cell phone carriers now offer second-line service on individual handsets. With this feature, you can add a second phone line with a different phone number to your existing phone. All you have to do is sign up for a second service plan. With two lines on the same phone, you can designate distinct ring tones, subscribe to different services and get phone numbers with different area codes. Two-line cell phones are perfect for people who want to keep work and personal calls separate.

Whether you’re wiring connections for telephones in a new house that is under construction, or whether you are installing new telephone wiring in an existing residence, you’ll need to know something about telephone wiring jacks and the wiring you connect to those jacks. Below, you will find 6 useful tips to guide you through connecting your telephone wiring.

Things you’ll need

  • Telephone jacks
  • Screwdriver
  • Punch-down tool
  • Needle nose pliers

Tip 1 – Identifying your Telephone Type
You’ll find that not all telephones require the same wiring, not all jacks have the same type of connection terminals, and not all wiring is the same. Therefore, you’ll need some basic information about each of these factors.

Tip 2 – Analog Telephones
Standard analog phones, the type you generally connect to traditional, analog telephone service, receive electronic analog signals through two copper wires inside a phone cable. These 2 wire are normally referred to as a wire pair. One end of the cable is connected to a telephone wall jack the other end to a jack into which is connected your dial tone service. At a wall jack, one end of a telephone line cord is plugged into the jack, the other end is plugged into the telephone.

Tip 3 – Digital Telephones
Digital telephones, although they use the same type of jacks and cables as analog telephones, receive electronic digital signals. Usually these signals are delivered by the Central Processing Unit (Key Service Unit) of a phone system.

Tip 4 – Telephone Wiring (Cables)
A single wire pair can be found in a cable that contains only the single pair. Or, it can be found in a cable with 2 to 4 pair (4 to 8 wires). All these wire pairs are identical except for the color of the plastic sheathing covering the copper wires. It is important that you connect all telephone wires of the same color to all jacks connections with matching terminal colors. For example: colors for the main cable pair are solid blue with white stripes for first wire, and white with blue stripes for the second wire.

Tip 5 – Telephone Jacks

In some jacks the terminals are slotted, while in others the terminals are screw-type. You can intermix the two jack types as long as you match wire colors with terminal colors. Terminals on both types of jacks are colored coded to match wire colors.

Tip 6 – Connecting Wires to Wall Jacks
To wire surface telephone jacks—those fastened to the wall surface—remove the jack cover to expose the terminals. For screw-type terminals, strip about 3/8″ of the sheathing from the wire. Loosen the screws on the 2 blue terminals, wrap the bare wires of the blue wire pair around the terminal. The blue-white wire goes to the blue-white terminal, the white-blue wire goes to the white-blue terminal. Then, tighten the screws, attach the jack to the wall, and replace the jack cover. For slotted terminals, you don’t need to bare the wire. Just place the 2 wire into the 2 color coded slots (white-blue wire to white-blue slot, etc.) and push these wires down into the slots, using a punch-down tool.

Sending more than one wire to the same terminal connector is OK, bearing in mind a few conditions.

Question: I was checking out the wiring on my boat recently and noticed that some of the connections behind my electrical panel have two wires going to one crimp terminal. (See my photo.) Based on electrical standards is this an OK installation or should it really be two separate terminals?

How to attach two phone wires to make one

This is an example of a strong, carefully made two-wire crimp connection. No problems visible.

Answer: Good question. The short answer is that it is OK to do this. The longer answer has some caveats that are really quite important.

Crimp-type electrical connectors are sized to accept a certain “circular mil” area of wire. Also, the connectors are engineered to handle a certain amount of amperage. The amount of amperage is coordinated to this circular mil area, or maximum diameter of the wire(s) that get inserted into the connector before it gets crimped.

What is most important here, is that none of the individual strands of the conductor gets cut off or otherwise damaged when more than one wire is being fitted into the terminal. If two, three, or even four wires fit into the terminal without damage to the individual conductors, and the crimp can be made to withstands a good pull test, then it’s OK to do it. As I look at the photo you sent in, all seems well.

Standard Telephone Wiring Color Code.

There is a possibility of two color codes that you may find in your home, I will cover both of them but only up to a 4 pair cable which consists of 8 conductors. The cable in your home may consist of only 2 pairs, 3 pairs or may be a 4 pair cable. Even though larger cables are made, it is unlikely that you would find them in your home.

Color Code One is the old solid color code. ( Not used in new installations anymore.)

Pair one – Green and Red – Used for phone line 1

Pair two – Yellow and Black – Used for phone line 2

Pair three – White and Blue – Used for phone line 3

Pair four – Brown and Orange – Used for phone line 4

Color Code Two is the new industry standard used today.

How to attach two phone wires to make one

Each pair can be used as a phone line, so in this example you can use this cable for up to four phone lines.

The primary color of the conductor is the first color listed, the second color is the tracer. As an example using the White/Blue conductor, white is the primary color and blue is the tracer.

Home Phone Line Installation

You will also need to decide what type of phone jack will be used in the installation, surface or flush mount. A flush mount jack is better looking, it requires more work to install than a simple surface jack.

The next step in your installation planning is how many phone lines will be at the new location. If it is only one phone line I would suggest a 2 pair phone cable, which would leave you room for the addition of another line. If it requires 2 or more lines, I would suggest running a 4 pair cable. This will support up to 4 phone lines.

Wiring your phone jack

How to attach two phone wires to make one How to attach two phone wires to make one

While the details above show a surface jack, the wiring is the same for a flush mount jack.

For some reason most of today’s phone jacks still use the old color code, so unless you happen to get a phone jack that reflects the new color code, the above details and the following rules apply.

1) The terminals that have the red and green wires connected to them is the 1st phone line. If you have one with the new color code the white/blue and blue/white terminals are the first phone line.

2) The second pair of terminals either yellow and black or white/orange and orange/white is the second phone line. This is only of use if you are using a 2 line telephone, and continues with the color code for 3 and 4 line phones.

3) If you need 2 lines in a location for 2 separate devices such as a phone and a fax or computer modem, you will need to have 2 separate jacks using the red and green or the white/blue and blue/white on each jack for each line.

4) You can use a Telephone Line Analyzer to test your work.

Line Cords

A line cord is the cord that connects you telephone to the phone jack. The main thing you need to know about line cords is that there are single phone line cords, and two line cords.

You will need to look closely at the modular connector on the end of the cord. If it has only 2 gold pins it can only be used for a single line phone. If it has four gold pins it can be used for a single line phone or a two line phone.

Connecting to the telephone company demark

Connecting to the telephone company demark is a simple process, it is nothing more than a screw terminal connection. There are only a few things you will need to know.

How to attach two phone wires to make one

1) There are two sides of the telephone demark. The customer side and the phone company side. You will need to make sure that you connect on the customer side. It should be plainly marked as to what is the customer side.

2) You will need to make sure that the terminals you connect to are live with the phone line that you want to connect to. This should be marked in the demark, but sometimes they are not. You can unplug the modular connector inside the demark and plug in a normal phone to check and see if it the right terminal.

Tip – A Telephone Butt-Setis a big help when working on telephone wiring.

Tip – Use a B Connector to splice phone wires.

Troubleshooting your phone problems

Problems with your phone can be frustrating and costly to repair if you hire a contractor. The most common problems are static on the line or no service at all. I’m going to provide you with some simple steps you can take to possibly solve your problem.

1) The first step is to unplug every phone in your house directly from the phone jacks. If a phone or line cord is bad it can be the source of your problem. Once you have them all unplugged, find a phone and a line cord that you know for sure is good. If you have to test the phone and line cord at a friend’s house to insure that it is working properly.

2) Once you are sure you have a single working phone and line cord plug it in and test your phone line. If it works proceed to figure out which phone or line cord is causing your problem. If you still have a problem, proceed to the next step.

3) Keeping all your phones unplugged locate you telephone company demark on the outside of your house. Open it and unplug the modular connector next to the screw terminals that your phone lines are connected to. Plug in the telephone that you are sure is good directly into the demark and check the line. If the line works than the problem in on the inside of your house. If the line still dose not work, it is a phone company problem. You will need to call your service provider and tell them that you already checked your line and it is dead at the demark. They not charge you to fix their outside lines, but you will have to make sure and tell them the your inside lines were already checked. If your line did work at the demark you have a problem with your inside lines and will need to proceed to step 4.

4) Now your problem is a bit more complicated, look at the screw terminals in your demark, if each jack is ran back to your demark you will have a wire for each jack. Disconnect them all and hook up only one of them, take your good phone and test your phone jacks to see which one works. Repeat this process hooking up only one at a time until you find out which one is causing the problem. If you only have one pair of wires connected at the demark and have multiple phone jacks, you have a splice point inside the house. You will need to locate it and do the above process from that point.

5) Once you narrow it down to which cable or jack is causing your problem, you can either repair or replace it.

How to attach two phone wires to make one

How to attach two phone wires to make one

Chatty teenagers or a fax line are just two of the many reasons homeowners install a second phone line in their home. Fortunately, you can usually install two separate phone lines from your existing wiring if you already have relatively modern telephone wiring.

Safety Precautions

Before we get started, you must know what you’re getting into. While adding phone lines is not as dangerous as many other electrical projects, you could feel a jolt of electricity if the phone rings while holding the wires. Before you do anything, go outside to the phone service box, open the right-hand side and disconnect line one and line two.

How to Add A Second Phone Line

With safety out of the way, we can get down to the phone line installation. Remove the cover on the phone jack in your house and look at the wires. All telephone cables should contain at least four wires: red, green, black, and yellow. Luckily, only the red and green ones are typically used to connect your primary phone. This leaves the black and yellow wires to power a second line.

Get up to 4 Free Quotes!

The wires in the jack are probably already connected. If not, strip off a half inch of the plastic coating on the end of the unconnected wires and fasten them under the two unused screws. If your phone doesn’t work later, just reverse the two wires. Purchase a splitter and a phone cord that has at least four wires – red, green, black, and yellow – at your local phone store. Connect the outside wires again and then plug the splitter into the jack and the two phone cords into the splitter.

You will want to run the phone cable wires through the wall to avoid any electrical damage. Using a drill, make a 3/8-inch hole below old phone jack above the baseboard to put the second cable wires through to make the connection. You will then tack the phone cable to the floor to avoid tripping and drill another hole in the wall adjoining the room you plan to put the phone in and pull the cable through that hole to install the new phone jack.

Now call the phone company and tell them you are ready for a second line. They will assign another phone number and a technician to deliver the new dial tone for a fee. Be sure to make them aware you will be doing the wiring so they don’t charge you an extra fee to have their technician do the installation.

If you have newer phone lines, you will see the following wires: blue and blue stripe (line one), orange and orange stripe (line two), green and green stripe, and black and black stripe, which are extra pairs. In this case follow this color code system: blue wire to red terminal and blue stripe to green terminal for line one (that should be in place already). For line two, connect the orange wire to the yellow terminal and the orange striped wire to the black terminal.

Conclusion

While it may sound scary, adding a second phone line is not difficult and given it’s low cost, should not deter any homeowner.