How to Replace Old Telephone Wiring

Metal telephone wiring has been used since the invention of the telephone, and continues to be used into the 21st Century.

However, the chemical makeup of most metals allows for oxidization, which in turn degrades the ability for telephone wiring to carry an electrical signal. Since many buildings utilize flush-mounted telephone jacks, telephone wiring is typically installed inside a wall, where it is difficult to remove and replace. Sometimes, a building will have no telephone wiring at all. This article will discuss how to replace old telephone wiring by installing new telephone wiring in its place.

Open the wall-mounted phone jack by unscrewing the retaining screw and pulling apart the backing plate from the cover. Install the phone jack backing plate to the wall with the screws provided in the phone jack package.

Place the raceway at the phone jack level into the wall, using screws and a screwdriver. If more than one section of the raceway is needed to complete a wire channel from the telephone service demarcation or other splice point, attach as many sections as are needed to complete a wire channel. If the final section of the wire channel must be less than five feet long to connect to the splice point, trim as necessary with the metal cutters, so that the channel is complete.

Strip the end of the telephone cable so that the internal wires are exposed by approximately two inches. Strip each individual wire of ½ inch of insulation, and connect each wire to the terminal on the telephone jack backing plate. Each terminal is labeled to show how it attaches to the terminal ("Red" for the red wire, "Green" for the green wire, etc.).

Replace the phone jack cover, and run the telephone cable from the jack to the splice point, making sure to insert the cable into the telephone wire channel. Cut the telephone cable so that there are at least four inches of slack at the splice point.

Strip the telephone cable coming out of the wire channel, so that the internal wires are exposed by approximately two inches. Strip each individual wire of ½ inch of insulation. If wiring this jack directly to the demarcation point, connect each wire to the appropriate labeled terminals ("Red" for the red wire, "Green" for the green wire, etc.).

If splicing to a currently existing wire, splice each wire to the corresponding color (green wire to green wire, red wire to red wire, etc.), using wire splicers.

Install the cover channel over the base channel raceway. Trim, as needed, with the metal cutters.

Things You Will Need

  • Spool of telephone cable
  • Base channel raceway (several 5-foot sections)
  • Cover channels (several 5-foot sections; equal number to sections of raceway)
  • Wall mounted telephone jack
  • Screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Electrical pliers
  • Metal cutters
  • Wire splice connectors

About the Author

David Sandoval has served as a trainer and technical writer since 2000. He has written several articles online in the fields of home improvement, finance, electronics and science. Sandoval has an Associate of Applied Science in microelectronics from Northern New Mexico College.