Only 2 out of 6 phone jacks work!

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  #1  
Old 06-30-05, 09:12 AM
just.moved.in
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Only 2 out of 6 phone jacks work!

I just moved into a 3 year old townhouse, had SBC activate a primary phone line, and will have DSL activated next week. Once my new phone number was activated, I bought a corded phone to try out around the house. Unfortunately, only two of the six phone jacks in the house produced a dial tone! The ones that worked were in the kitchen and loft (directly above the kitchen). None of the bedroom jacks (one downstairs, two upstairs) and living room worked. I now remember that the previous homeowner didnít have phones in those rooms either.

After checking with this forum* (to avoid posting a question thatís been asked hundreds of times before), I tried the following: I removed the jack covers to the living room (not working) and upstairs loft (working) to compare their wiring. Both sets of wiring were identical. I then went out to my NID with my corded phone to test the phone service, but found that there was a clear, bubble film inside the test jacks and I couldnít plug in my phone.

Any guesses as to what gives? Any DIY solutions? Will my DSL activation next week change anything?

Any and all advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


*Iíve visited http://www.homephonewiring.com/nid.html and http://www.safewatchservice.com/phon...73ecd6d7dfd008
 
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  #2  
Old 06-30-05, 09:58 AM
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usally in a townhouse /condo situation all wiring terminates in the kitchen jack

are ther any unconected cables there ?

is there a cable disconnected at the loft jack ?

probably goes from kithen to loft then to other jacks if only one side of the cable is connected in the loft then everything 'downstream" will be dead .

also look for blank plates with no jack and check behind them , cable could be cut behind there if no jack was installed

are there any cables in the nid not connected ?

no need to plug into the test jack in the need if you have dialtone in the house .
 
  #3  
Old 06-30-05, 03:53 PM
just.moved.in
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Question RE: Only 2 out of 6 jacks work!

Thanks for the reply, but Iím a layperson. Excuse my ignorance, but by ďcableĒ do you mean the telephone wire cable or ďcableĒ like TV cable? FYI, I donít have TV cable activated yet though there are cable cords ready in all bedrooms, loft, and living room. I guess I should open up the kitchenís jack tonight to see if anythingís disconnected. There werenít any extra disconnected wires in the loft jack than what was in the living room one. Again, the wire configurations in the two were identical. Thereís a blank plate on the opposite wall of the phone jack in the downstairs master bedroom. Should I open that up too? Itís just a couple feet away from the TV cable out.

What I donít get is how come only the jacks in the central part of the house work? Itís a duplex, so I only share one wall, but none of the jacks on that wall work. The other outside wall has the living room jack that doesnít work either.

Iím beginning to get the feeling that Iím doomed to pay SBC some more fees.
 
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Old 06-30-05, 04:20 PM
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your telephone runs over a cable/wire . there is a outer jacket and when you strip it away typicaly anywhere from 4 wires (two pair) to 8 wires (4 pair )

each phone line (number) requires two wires , one pair .

so if the line is working on a pair in the loft but not working on the same pair elswhre you need to find where the break in continuity is
 
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Old 06-30-05, 04:27 PM
just.moved.in
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Well, there were four screws and 6 connected wires in the two jacks Iíve opened up: red, green, blue, yellow, black, and white. The working and nonworking jacks had the same wiring configuration with the screws. There were two additional wires that coiled around each other and pulled away from the screws. Since this was the case in both the living room and loft jacks, I didnít think those were problematic.

I'll check out the kitchen one tonight. I couldn't even open the one in the downstairs masterbedroom after unscrewing the screws. The cover was stuck to the paint.
 
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Old 06-30-05, 05:41 PM
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carefully score around the jack with a razor knife to cut the paint
 
  #7  
Old 07-01-05, 08:13 AM
just.moved.in
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Well, I now know the difference between the jacks that work and those that donít: Upon closer inspection, the ones in the kitchen and loft actually have TWO blue cables of wires attached to the jack while the other ones only have one. The non-working jacks, however, still have all the wires of its cable connected to the screws. Does this mean that the builder meant for only two out of the six jacks to work??
 
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Old 07-06-05, 09:58 AM
just.moved.in
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UPDATE: DSL has been activated and works only on the "live" jacks (kitchen and loft). I still don't understand why the kitchen and loft actually have TWO blue cables of wires attached to their jacks while the other ones only have one. The one cable of wires for the other jacks has all of its wires screwed in properly. Do I have to have SBC come in to add an additional cable to the other jacks so that they'll work too?
 
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Old 07-06-05, 01:22 PM
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just.moved.in, On the jacks that have two cables, one is "in" and one is "out" to the next jack. This is a daisy-chain arrangement. Sounds like the loft and kitchen jacks are wired that way. On the jacks that only have one cable, it is just an "in". These "in's" could be tied together the "out" from either the loft or kitchen jack in a junction box creating a fan like arrangement.

Either arrangement works equally well and the use of either often is oftened based on the construction of the building or to reduce the amount of cable used or simply the designers or installers preference.

Did you open up the box that was sealed shut with paint to see what's in there?
 
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Old 07-06-05, 03:24 PM
just.moved.in
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Rodeko1, thanks for the reply. The phone jack that was previously stuck to the paint was the master bedroom, which I have since discovered only has that one "in" cable you were talking about.

Prior to purchasing the home, my home inspector went up to the attic and said that my house was prewired for things like air conditioning, security system, etc. if I wanted to add them. I'm guessing that's why there are some extra blank plates on some of the walls (including the one on the opposite wall of the master bedroom from the phone jack). I guess I should have opened up some of those blank plates too, but I'm hesitating since the jack plates so far have been difficult to screw back on.

How do I remedy the daisy chain setup so that my other phone jacks can work too?
 
  #11  
Old 07-06-05, 04:42 PM
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have you looked in the attic ?

you need to find the other end of the cables

might be time to call in a pro , not necessarly telco , in fact I would suggest you look in the yellow pages and get a indpendent installer.

there are tools that will make it easy to trace the wires and figure out whats going on

a pro should have it figured out for you in less than a hour
 
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