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is it possible to connect the phones from a disconnected line to the line with service. I bought a house with 2 lines but i activated only one. that left half the house with dead jacks. Any help would be appreciated
yes is the answer, if both of the lines teammate in the same box then it is most likely just moving a wire, or connectiong a wire, if there are two boxes, then one would need to jumper a line to the live box and then connect, the wires are color coded, and is not hard to do, but if you do not know what to do or how to do it you may be just as well off to see what the phone company would charge to do it for you, (at least in our area, the phone company will bring a wire up to the house and put on a small plastic splice box, and from there your one your own unless one pays them to wire the line in, or a third party does the in house wiring, so some depends on the policy of the telecommunication company your dealing with).
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If you have a network interface box, as BHD refers to, it would be a simple task to make the connection there. If your interface is like most I've seen, it will be located at the side of the house where the wires come in from the phone company. There will be two sides, a telco side and a customer side. This is the demarcation point of who is responsible for the wiring. Inside the customer side, there should be connections for both lines. The connections could be a colored pair (like one blue and one white with blue stripe, making a pair) or they could be red/green (line one pair) and yellow/black (line two pair). With either color scheme, one pair will be for the first line, another pair will be for the second line. Just make sure to disconnect the wires from the second pair coming in when you connect them to the first, or you could have issues now or later.
If your house is old and you don't yet have a network interface, you can probably get your phone company to install one for free. When they come out, you can tell them about your problem and they'll probably hook it up as you need it at the same time.
There's a decent chance that both lines go to each jack in the house. If this is the case, then you could also switch the pairs in the jacks themselves. If you open the jack and see a blue pair and a orange pair (or could even be green or brown pair. A pair is blue and white with blue stripe, etc.) then you probably have both lines at that spot. Just switch the pair with the other colored pair. They will go on the inner two wires on the jack (usually red and green).
It's possible but less likely that the jack is wired for both lines. In this case the inner pair of connectors on the jack will be the primary line, and the outer pair will be the second line. You can get a splitter at radio shack that divides the lines so you can access either one. If you open the jack and see the blue pair on the outer and the orange pair on the inner (or vice-versa), then there is a chance this will also work.
Just remember that you only need two conductors (one pair) for a phone line. They usually enter the house as a colored pair. The jack will use the inner two connectors (usually red and green, with black and yellow as the outer pair). It's pretty simple once you understand the color coding conventions.
Do be careful, as these wires do have a voltage all the time, and even higher when the phone rings
I'm a retired telephone man so here is another scenario which may be helpful.
There is a good chance that both lines enter the house either from a protected block or interface and terminate on a block in your basement, or garage inside. That is where you would find the lines running from different rooms, which were split between the two different lines.
You have a couple options at this junction, either move the lines that don't have dial tone to the working "lugs" one pair at a time, or wire in a jumper between the working and the dead wires. You can figure out the working pair by using a cell phone to dial into your working line and then using long nose pliers short out a pair of terminals until you kill the call. Terminal pairs usually run left to right and not up and down. Most common colors are red and gree with red on the right, this is also called the "ring" or hot side, the green is called the tip or ground.
I suggest you identify each line you add to the working circuit by plugging a phone into the dead jack and then before you hook it up to the working lugs, have someone listen on the receiver while you touch the wires to a battery(AA, or 9volt). When you do hook up the dead jack to the working line, if you have dial tone but do not hear the tones as you attempt to dial, simply swap the wires from left to right. Tag, each pair of wires you add and in the event you lose dial tone in the future, remove one pair at a time until the dial tone returns. You will be able to determine if an individual line, jack or phone is the culprit. Good luck.
Good advice Frank,
Oh, and I'd be willing to bet you know No. 5 Crossbar and No. 6 Crossbar too!
Jim, I was a lowly frameman about 35 years ago and wired plenty of crossbar 5. We still had panel back then and once we made the switch to ESS, I was downgraded to a garageman position cleaning toilets! I slowly worked my way up to office work, garage mechanic and finally lineman.
My years at the Telephone Co. were amazing and ran the spectrum of work,emotions and personal growth. Great bunch of folks and fond memories.