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Old 03-19-2010, 11:26 AM   #1
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testing phone outlets


is there any way to test that phone outlets are wired correctly without having actual phone service at home ? like some sort of a testing device or something ?

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:52 AM   #2
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testing phone outlets


I don't see that happening unless they can turn it on to let you test. there's low voltage through a couple wires, then the 2 wires for the actual telephone signal, etc. all you could test would be continuity from the pole to your outlets.

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Old 03-19-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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testing phone outlets


so how do they do it when they do brand new construction ? i don't think they have phone service connected to every apartment in a nighrise ... do they just wire and assume it all works without testing ? just curious ...
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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testing phone outlets


A phone line only requires two wires which when activated will have around 50 volts DC until the ringer is activated with around 100 volts AC. You could pre-test the wiring for continuity with a tester or you could connnect the wiring to a battery and test voltages throughout.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
so how do they do it when they do brand new construction ? i don't think they have phone service connected to every apartment in a nighrise ... do they just wire and assume it all works without testing ? just curious ...
I imagine yeah... ain't rocket science... red and green are the phone line, black and yellow are the low voltage for lights on handsets, etc.
If they turn it on and something isn't right, THEN they go find the problem.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:42 PM   #6
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testing phone outlets


The main thing you can do is to ensure there are not any breaks in the wire nor any wires cross connected. Here's a simple procedure to test these...

1. Connect up all the phone lines.
2. Get a standard phone cord (with two male ends).
3. Cut the cord in half and strip off insulation at the cut so you have some bare wire.
4. With one of the cord halves, twist the middle pair (red & green) together (we'll call this the "bridge" wire).
5. Well call the other half cord the "test" cord.
6. Plug the "test" cord into any phone jack and perform a continuity test. Since nothing else is plugged into the phone jacks at this time, you should NOT have continuity. If you do, then you have the wire pairs cross connected.
7. Plug the "bride" wire into another phone jack and perform a continuity test with the "test" cord. Now the "bride" wire should be connecting the red/green pair together, so you should have continuity in the "test" cord.
8. Repeat step 7 with every other phone jack. You should get continuity in the "test" cord every time. If you do not, then you know a wire is broken or not connected in a phone jack.

When done, the only thing you WON'T know for sure is if the red/green pair have been swapped anywhere (red installed where the green should be located) but I don't know if that matters.

If for fun, you do want to see if the red/green have been swapped, and you have 4 wire phone cord (black, red, green, and yellow), you could make additional "bridge" cords (connecting black to red, black to green, black to yellow, red to yellow, and green to yellow) and do additional continuity tests between the four wires at the "test" cord and deduce if anything is amiss.
Strip insulation of the wires aand cut the cord in half. Strip some wire at the cuts. With
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #7
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testing phone outlets


Another reason it's so easy is all of the screws in the jacks and pole boxes are color coded, so unless the installer is colorblind, it's pretty hard to get it wrong.

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Old 03-19-2010, 12:50 PM   #8
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testing phone outlets


You could short the main connection, then test each jack with an ohm meter...

However that would only check continuity and connection of the two wires and not that they were wired in the proper order.

So better would be to connect a battery like a 9 volt battery or whatever to the main connection, then use a voltmeter at each jack and check that the polarity of the voltage is as it should be. If the wires were reversed, you would read a negative voltage on the meter.

(If the wires were reversed, you would get dial tone, but could not dial out - when the phone line was connected.)

And you can make your own little phone jack testing cord by cutting the wire on a phone cable.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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i understand it's pretty hard to miss but i am kind of freak about testing.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:03 PM   #10
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testing phone outlets


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Originally Posted by amakarevic View Post
i understand it's pretty hard to miss but i am kind of freak about testing.
Hey, better safe than sorry, right? Po)

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Old 03-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #11
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testing phone outlets


(For modern phone jacks about 1/2 inch square called "modular".)

You need to be able to disconnect from the phone company; the most modern systems have one such plug/jack near where the phone line enters the house.

If your system has the jack immediately above, plug a phone set into that jack to see if it works from there. If so, you can assume there is nothing wrong with the phone company side of things.

Next, unplug all phones.

For jacks inside your house, do continuity check between each prong or contact and the corresponding contact in another jack or plug, left to right wise while holding a plug pointing away from you.

I am not sure of the color convention when there are six wires: orange, green, blue, orange/white stripe, green/white, blue/white.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #12
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testing phone outlets


i would feel pretty stupid having to tear DW down over stupid crap like malfunctioning phone line
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Billy_Bob View Post
You could short the main connection, then test each jack with an ohm meter...

However that would only check continuity and connection of the two wires and not that they were wired in the proper order.

So better would be to connect a battery like a 9 volt battery or whatever to the main connection, then use a voltmeter at each jack and check that the polarity of the voltage is as it should be. If the wires were reversed, you would read a negative voltage on the meter.

(If the wires were reversed, you would get dial tone, but could not dial out - when the phone line was connected.)

And you can make your own little phone jack testing cord by cutting the wire on a phone cable.
Reversing the wires will have no ill effect.

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