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  1. #1
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    Dec 2007
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    Question Telephone jack question

    Hello,

    My wall-mounted kitchen telephone has had it and needed to be replaced. When I went shopping, I found very few choices in wall-mounted phones (they seem to be phasing them out) and decided to buy an AT&T countertop model that plugs into a jack with several extensions that just need to be plugged into electrical outlets.

    Now, my question. When I remove the old wall phone in the kitchen, there's a very unattractive metal wall plate with electrical wire stapled to the wall connecting the jack to something in the basement I think.

    What do I do with this old wall phone plate? It's ugly. It isn't in a spot where I can cover it up with anything. I called the telephone company and she said that "no one had ever asked her about getting one removed before".

    Do people remove these on their own? It will leave a hole in the wall, won't it? And can I just clip that wire leading to the jack or will I get some type of electrical shock? Or mess up my telephone service?

    I appreciate your help. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    All the telephone wiring inside your house belong to you, you can do whatever you want. If you cut it just make sure no bare wires are touching each other. You can pull the box out and patch the hole, you could buy a new plate with a standard telephone jack , or you could just buy a blank wall plate (plain or decorative) and just cover it up.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    highlander,

    No, you won't likely get a shock if you cut the wire. About the only way to get a shock from a telephone wire is to have hold of the (usually) red wire when someone is trying to call you. It's the "ring" wire. If you're using a pair of cutters with insulated handles and aren't touching the bare wire with your hand, no shock.... even if that should occur.

    (If you want to play it real safe.......wear a pair of rubber gloves while you handle the wire. Dishwashing gloves should suffice. )

    Whether you want to remove the box is a matter of personal choice. Lots of the phones out there have provision to be either desktop units of can be hung on the wall. To do so, they will require a bonafide telephone wall plate with the studs for hanging a phone. Yours probably already has these. Maybe not.

    If it was mine to do, I'd trace that line down to where it appears in the basement (if you have a basment)...and then on to the splitter box or however/wherever it's connected. Then disconnect it there and remove the entire line. If there is no basement, just trace it back to it's origin and see if it can easily be removed.

    I would then likely remove the existing box in the wall and patch said wall. If that isn't in the cards right now, besides what Jack suggested, you could also hang a picture or similar over it.

    If you decide to not trace back and remove the whole line.....you could snip it off with something as crude as a pair of scissors, stuff the remainder in the box and cover it over by whatever means (blank plate or picture or.....) But like Jack said, be certain that no two wire ends are touching when you finish. And..........the bare ends should also not touch the sides of the metal box in the wall. If they do, you could short the line or cause some noise/disturbance on the line. (Think static) I'd personally slit the side of the cable sheathing about two inches or so.... fumble all the wires out into the open and suggest putting a tiny wire-nut on each one before tucking it all back into the box. For lack of tiny wire-nuts, you could redneck it by using a couple inches of black electrical tape instead.

    http://www.homephonewiring.com
    Last edited by goldhiller; 12-03-2007 at 09:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    Actually there is always 30-50+ volts DC present on the phone line pair of wires.

    As previously suggested disconnecting the wire at the source would be the preferred thing to do. The problem with simply cutting the cable is you stand a good chance of shorting the pairs with the metal cutting jaws or blades. Depending if there are any other phone extensions this could damage other phones or answering machines , or modems.

    Just adding 2 cents worth.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    Quote Originally Posted by canuk View Post
    Actually there is always 30-50+ volts DC present on the phone line pair of wires.
    Details, details.

    Ain't nuthin' like you'll feel if somebody rings up while you got hold of the wire though. That thar tickles and then some. BTDT.

    Actually, the 30-50 VDC could be significant to someone with a pacemaker.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    Yep .. I've had a jolt or two from phone lines ... coochie coochie coo.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    By the way , you don't need to worry about the ringer voltage is you take one of the other phones off the hook.
    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    Quote Originally Posted by asc2078 View Post
    There is an easy solution for terminating any dead-end or unneeded telephone cables. This same method works for any "hot-or-not" low voltage multi-conductor cable. Strip back a few inches of the outside insulation, exposing the various colored inside conductors. Snip off all bare copper ends to the point of their respective colored insulator. Now, snip off each of the inside colored conductors, a little shorter than the next one. Being different lengths, the ends cannot touch each other to create a short.
    Yup. Same procedure for a repair splice on a cord, for example Shoulda mentioned it, but forgot to. Good catch and correct.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    Ya know, in reading the original post me thinks this is a surface mounted wall jack with no box behind it and just screwed to the wall. Wonder'n if you couldn't just remove everything, get out your handy can of spackle and be done with it.

    I have on of those wall phone jacks in my kitchen as well. It's pretty much worthless without a power receptacle next to it.

    I think that in the not to distant future kids will be asking what the "curly cord" was for on "old fashioned phones".

    I also heard just last night that pay phones are on their way out as well and that 80% of us have cell phones.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Telephone jack question

    One thing that I do with low voltage DC wires after cuting the bare copper .... heat the plastic covering with a lighter , match, or heat gun so it's pliable enough ( just before melting) and stretch it toward the end and give it a pinch ... it covers the end of the copper that's somewhat flush and exposed. Then bend the wires back on each side of the jacket ... wrap with electrical tape.

    Oh ... I'm sure it's not a UL approved method.

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