Connecting phone wires in the NID - will I get shocked?

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Old 01-11-07, 04:47 PM
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Connecting phone wires in the NID - will I get shocked?

Hi All - New to this site. Wondering if I can get shocked from connecting the wires inside the Network Interface Device(NID) for the phones lines? I heard this can only happen if someone calls the line. No one knows the number, it is brand new so no one will call.

Disconnected service through Comcast about a year ago due to everyone having cell phones. Just got a TiVo, need a phone line to connect. Added a lost cost line through Verizon. They say there is a dial tone from the street to the house but not the house to the street. Apparently Comcast cut all the wires when they disconnected. Can I reconnect these on my own without causing any harm to myself? Please bear in mind that this NID is located near the internet wires and the electric meter.

Thank you!
~Wendy
 
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Old 01-11-07, 06:53 PM
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I am not sure I understand what you are saying about the wires being connected.

When Verizon disconnects telephone service at the central office, they leave the line active so that 911 calls can be made, but all other calls are blocked. I don't know if they eventually disconnect the line or if it stays this way 'forever'.

It is likely that ComCast disconnected the lines entering the house so that they could use the inside wiring for their phone service. If your ComCast phones use the inside wiring then you will have to run new lines for whatever connection you need to make for your TiVo.

While you can get shocked if someone calls your house while touching the lines, the shock is not significant.
 
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Old 01-11-07, 08:17 PM
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While you can get shocked if someone calls your house while touching the lines, the shock is not significant.
=========================================================
I wouldn/t call 90 volts DC insignificant. It will definately wake you up. Never heard of any injury from the shock but it will surprise you if you do get it.


If your verizon NID is similar to what they use in my area, you are never eexposed to the power. The wires are put into a couple small holes and then when this little lever ispushed, it makes contact with the incoming line at that point. No shock hazard.

The older type I have seen them use have you place a stripped wire behind a pinch nut. Again, the expossure would be very minimal, even with this type of NID.

I've never seen phone service from Comcast other than their VOIP system. Did they provide service via a standard phone line?

Even if they did, they should not have disconnected anything. If you have a modular plug in type NID, plug your phone directly into the NID with a short cord. If you have a spare phone wire, you can strip off one mod plug and connect that way if it is either oof the 2 types of NID's I spoke of earlier.

If you have service at that point, you simply need to figure out where in the house you have lost the wiring continuity.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 04:56 AM
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You are right, 90 volts will be felt and you will notice it. I know from personal experience. However, it won't cause injury. Further, there is no reason to get shocked. Use proper tools in a proper manner and you won't be touching the wires.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 07:33 AM
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Nap, the ringing voltage is not DC but 80 to 130 volts AC, albeit usually not 60Hz but instead can be 20Hz, 30Hz, 66Hz or some other less common frequency.

With my NID (NIC) the outer cover is held closed by a spring clip and when released the inside has a separate cover over the telco (Telephone Company) connections that requires a nut driver or socket wrench to open. The telco connections are made internally to the jack which is accessable to the user. The permantently attached pigtail that plugs into the jack is internally connected to four binding posts and it is to these binding posts that the homeowner connects the the inside house wire. Unplugging the pigtail completely disconnects the binding posts from the telco network.

Wendy, yes you may re-connect the wiring by yourself. How much trouble it will be depends upon how much Comcast destroyed the original setup when they installed the VoIP and then later removed it. If you could post some pictures on a separate hosting site and then post the URL of the pictures here there are several skilled people who can help you.

Yes, Verizon will eventually disconnect dial tone from a vacant line although it takes a while. When I moved into my present home I did not have the landline re-connected because of several reasons. I did get a dial tone but when I attempted to call out (I never tried 911) I would get an intercept and a recorded message that the line was disconnected and to call some number (I assume this number would have gone through) to re-establish service. Some time later, I think it was a couple of months after moving in, my alarm system would give a trouble indication on the keypad and short beeps on the inside signal. I would completely disconnect power on the alarm to silence this trouble signal, re-power and every thing would be fine for a period of time and then the same trouble signal. I finally plugged a telephone into a jack and discovered that there was no dial tone. My alarm was sending the trouble signal because it was not detecting a dial tone on the telephone line.
 
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Old 01-12-07, 07:53 AM
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Vacant line

In most cases in my area, Verizon tries to leave a line "connected through" for 90 days. After that, the connection may be broken and used somewhere else. Although in some areas we have a shortage of facilities and a "connect through maybe broken in a matter of days.
 
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Old 01-27-07, 02:25 AM
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Electrical shocks that cause no harm in themselves, can make us jump. I don't think any electrician will deny that. The more common injury comes from working with sharp tools and raw metal edges, startling, and inadvertently cutting one's self, falling off a ladder, etc. Always work such that startle reflex will do no harm. Then it's just a surprise if something pops, no more.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 06:52 PM
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if your working on lines out of a digital office, you have a variable line current on those wires... depending on the resistance, the C.O. puts out more or less for your line... so.... if your damp, or wet, such as the case when it rains, or your kneeling, laying, or being one with the damp earth........ you could get your undies tied in a knot touching the bare wires... as to the ringing voltage, yep, the surprise hurts more than the bite.. but it still don't feel good..
 
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Old 02-05-07, 10:28 AM
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TiVo doesn't need phone line

Originally Posted by wendybeth77 View Post
Disconnected service through Comcast about a year ago due to everyone having cell phones. Just got a TiVo, need a phone line to connect.
Are you sure you need a phone line? New TiVo's can use an internet connection rather than a phone line. The new digital ones have a network connection on the box, just plug and go. The more common ones do not and you'll have to buy a USB adapter. There may still be some with old software that requires a phone line for the initial setup, but there are tricks that usually work, or you can set it up at a friend's house, then use the network from then on.

This won't apply to old series I TiVos, DirecTiVos, and some DVD TiVos.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 06:46 PM
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Shock Yes, deadly no, hurt yes

It will shock you if you are touching both wires at the same time when the phone rings or you are on the "tip" side of the wire. There is -48V DC on the tip side. A pulse of 120V is used to make the phones ring when someone calls.. There should never be any AC voltage on the line. If there is, it is inductive or "foreign". When the CATV companies disconnect the inside wires (IW) for voice over IP, they usually just disconnect the wires by pulling the "plug" in the "test jack" port. If this is the case just plug it back in. If the wires are off the screws and the test port is pluged in, then unplug it (on newer NIDS you might just have to open the door if it has orange squeeze tabs or if it is a black door and there are 2 silver tabs inside just plug a phone cord in the port) this will disconnect you from the outside verizon cable and there wont be any voltage at all. You can touch the wires without risk of any shock. Either way the shock wont harm you other then a good jolt. If you are wet from rain or it is humid and you are sweating the chance of a shock is greater. I am a Verizon Facility Tech. (phone guy) and have been for over 20yrs. I have got shocked pretty good at times when it was raining or humid, it ain't no fun and will really make you PO. Oh, the reason the CATV Co. disconnects the IW from the Verizon cable is because the phone number is just de-programmed from the operating equiptment. There is still central office (CO) battery, the -48V , and ground. If left connected it would severly negatively affect your service. If it worked at all it would be very noisy. CATV voice over IP is generated from the modem, verizon dial tone is from the CO supplied by their phone cable and eventually to your NID.
 
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Old 02-09-07, 11:34 PM
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you will only get shocked if you are touching both wires and somebody calls.
 
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Old 02-10-07, 01:06 AM
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Like you have to get struck by both positive and negative lightning bolts simultaneously to be electrocuted.

***

Anyway, tissue damage or fibrillation caused by shocks, in most cases, is not what hospitalizes people. It's the indirect injury caused by startled or uncontrolled reaction. Falls and self inflicted cuts for example. The answer is to handle live or possibly live materials, tools, and one's own body, in such a way that convulsive movement will do us no harm.

And most injury from electrocution itself can be minimized through working as though electrocution *will* happen. The answer is to work in a posture that provides no circuit, naturally recoils from hazards, and never one that would uncontrollably clench hold of live material. Examples of these precautions are: keeping one hand in the back pocket; maintaining a low center of gravity away from the hazard; and favouring the knuckles over the palm when handling materials. Most electrocution death case studies I've read, the victim knew of the hazard and would have survived if not for collapsing onto or gripping the source of electrocution.

Well, that's way beyond the little zap we might get from phone lines. But there's always danger when something we're handling goes "boo!". Work as though it will, any time.
 
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Old 02-10-07, 06:15 AM
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mrmom posted: Shock Yes, deadly no, hurt yes


=========================================================

I hate to be anal about this and I have never heard of anybody actually being killed by a phone line, I would like to share some information that does support the idea that phone line voltage could be lethal.
====
from: http://www.lbl.gov/ehs/pub3000/CH08.html#851
8.5.1 Electrical Shock
Accidental contact with EXPOSED electrical parts operating at a VOLTAGE greater than 50 volts to ground, and having a current greater than 5 milliamperes, can cause serious injury or death. Fatal ventricular fibrillation of the heart can be triggered by a current flow of as little as several milliamperes. Severe injuries, such as deep internal burns, can occur even if the current does not pass through the vital organs or nerves.
=====
http://www.highvoltageconnection.com/articles/ElectricShockQuestions.htm (it contains much more info if you care to read it)
============
from:http://www.darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin1999-50.html (go to the page and read the entire story. quite intersting and informative)

(1999) A US Navy safety publication describes injuries incurred while doing don't's. One page described the fate of a sailor playing with a multimeter in an unauthorized manner. He was curious about the resistance level of the human body. He had a Simpson 260 multimeter, a small unit powered by a 9-volt battery. That may not seem powerful enough to be dangerous… but it can be deadly in the wrong hands.

The sailor took a probe in each hand to measure his bodily resistance from thumb to thumb. But the probes had sharp tips, and in his excitement he pressed his thumbs hard enough against the probes to break the skin. Once the salty conducting fluid known as blood was available, the current from the multimeter travelled right across the sailor's heart, disrupting the electrical regulation of his heartbeat. He died before he could record his Ohms.
====

obviously there are many variables involved that affect the level of current that would pass through a humans body but it is generally accepted that voltages less than 50 volts can be lethal in mA ranges of current.

I was born with a congenital heart defect and until repaired, just about any electrical shock was capable if initiating a lethal heart rhythm. I didn;t know about the defect until I was near 40 years old. Many have the same thing and never know it.

====
Bottom line; avoid getting shocked at any time. It is the only way of being assured it cannot kill you.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 11:47 AM
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Are you sure you need a phone line? New TiVo's can use an internet connection rather than a phone line.

....

This won't apply to old series I TiVos, DirecTiVos, and some DVD TiVos.

****
Actually, all DVD combo TiVos are Series 2s, which can accept a network connection. Only the newest ones have built in ethernet. The older ones need a USB-ethernet adapter to use on a wired network. All Series 2s and the Series3 can connect to a wireless network with a wireless USB adapter.
 
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Old 02-11-07, 05:14 PM
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"There is -48V DC on the tip side. A pulse of 120V is used to make the phones ring when someone calls.. "...

sorry to report, but ringing voltage is AC..... never heard of a pulse to ring a phone... the ringing cycle is 20cycle or 30, 40, 50, etc... and it IS JUST LIKE sticking your finger in the wall socket..
 
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Old 03-04-07, 12:30 PM
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In a nutshell, you'll be OK. Just use common sense wiring practices -- only one hand on wires, insulated screwdriver handles, rubber-soled shoes, etc.

In detail: Yes, there are potentially dangerous voltages in there. If memory serves: approx 40VDC off-hook, 90VDC ringing. However, you won't be in danger unless you wet your fingertips and grab both ends of the wire and stand there until somebody rings your lines. OR... Grab one wire with a wet hand and stand in a puddle on the ground with bare feet. And wait for a ring.

I wire phone lines all the time and have never had so much as a little shock.

Even if you were to be holding the ringing lines in both hands with wet fingertips, you'd feel a jolt but you wouldn't be in any mortal danger unless you have existing heart disease that tends to fibrillation. The ringing of a telephone is may make your muscles twich, but then it pauses between rings, your muscles will release and you'll drop the wires. People get electrocuted by home power wires because they're higher voltage, higher frequency, and supply current continuously so that once you grab them, you'll never release because your muscles can lock up.

So, with all that worst-case-scenario info, if you're a healthy, young adult, you have nothing to worry about.

Regards,

John
 

Last edited by devicenode; 03-04-07 at 12:32 PM. Reason: Missed some of the other posts.
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Old 03-04-07, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by devicenode View Post
Even if you were to be holding the ringing lines in both hands with wet fingertips, you'd feel a jolt but you wouldn't be in any mortal danger unless you have existing heart disease that tends to fibrillation. The ringing of a telephone is may make your muscles twich, but then it pauses between rings, your muscles will release and you'll drop the wires. People get electrocuted by home power wires because they're higher voltage, higher frequency, and supply current continuously so that once you grab them, you'll never release because your muscles can lock up.


John

sort of kind of.

first, if you want to be this specific, you should have stated ventricular fibrilation when you posted simply "fibrilation". Atrial fib is generally survivable and in itself is not generally considered lethal. V-fib on the other hand is most often lethal. and trust me on this; many people have conditions that can be a problem without knowing it.

Your belief of "higher voltage" and "higher freq" is incorrect. Phone voltages are very similar to power provided by home electrical systems. DC voltage provides greater power given the same voltage and current as AC voltage and is considered by itself more dangerous for the fact it does not alternate and causes a muscle lock situation easier than AC.

The freq of house current (60 Hz) is not so great as to cause greater effects to a human as say anything in the KHz range or greater. AC is a factor in how electricity reacts within the body but a low freq such as 60 is not much different than DC in that respect.

Now I will go along with the reasoning of the "ring-pause-ring" situation though and the fact that you are generally not in a life threatening situation.

People generally get electrocuted by residential AC because they do dumb things. Treated properly, there is little to fear from 1 million volts. Treated improperly, there is much to fear from 100 volts.

Your safety tips are very good and should be followed but take notice of your own post. If there was nothing to be concerned of, why would you bother to suggest rubber screwdrivers, one handed work, rubber soled shoes, etc.? If there is nothing to be concerned about, there is no reason to take precautionary steps to avoid anything.
 
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Old 03-08-07, 12:25 PM
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and, to further complicate your notes.. DC will only clink the bell.. a bell rings with alternating current.. and... ringing voltages can be as high as 150Volts.... and... I'd like to see someone hold T&R with wet fingers while I ring the line... I've been doing phones since 1968 and I've seen many a big person put on their knees with a "little" ringing voltage.. oh yes... "current" kills, voltage doesn't..
 
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Old 03-17-07, 08:24 AM
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ALWAYS check for deadly voltage

Verizon techs have DIED from stray AC voltages being where it should not have been, including on the frame at the C.O.

So, good rule of thumb: always check.

remember, your pair with "only -48vdc" has traveled who knows how many miles through how many joint-use manholes and/or over how many pole spans to get from the C.O. to your house. all kinds of things can happen along the way.
 
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Old 03-18-07, 09:37 PM
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Talking

yep.. when your local power company loses a grd grid, or neutral line... it goes to the best ground source there is... "The Telephone Company"... it has fried a many frame at the C.O., and jolted a lot of techs.. and has KILLED a few when the neutral was missing on a mobile home and he connected from the trailer stake to the mobile without checking difference in potential first.. and digital C.O.'s will knock your ding-a-ling in the dirt if you are standing in water and grab t&r.. the digital C.O. sees an opportunity, or basically a request for dial tone... so, somewhere between your ears, if you listen, you'll hear it as you come tumbling down...
 
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