How do I trace my home phone wires?

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Old 05-26-10, 07:13 AM
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Question How do I trace my home phone wires?

I live in an apartment that was just remodeled on the inside before I moved in. The problem is they just covered all the existing cable and phone lines with drywall and left me to have to pay the cable company to drill through and install new ports - which I did. I really can't afford the $110 installation fee through the phone company when I know there is a port somewhere in my apartment that if I find I can just install my own jack and save some money. So, how do I find it? Is it obvious and I will see the wire entering my house from the outside (what does it look like)? If not how to I trace the wires since I am in a 3 unit apartment to my specific unit? Thank you.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 07:17 AM
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Clarification question, do you own this apartment or is it a rental?

If a rental this should be taken care of by the landlord. Liability issues prevent renters from working on buildings they do not own.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 07:34 AM
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Question I rent

I rent, but have already been given approval by landlord when I called and asked where the old jack was (which they couldn't remember because they rent out so many apartments). They said as long as I make it look professional there aren't any issues. My brother in law has all the tools I would need (he does carpentry and finishing) but lives an hour away and doesn't want me to call him over until I know what I'm working with.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 08:03 AM
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I don't know why you would want this liability. The landlord should be the one drilling holes and looking for the jack. It's not unreasonable to ask for a phone jack in a rented apartment. Call the landlord and have him take care of it.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 06:58 PM
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Unfortunately, without being able to trace a wire, it could be anywhere. On the outside of the building or in a common area there should be the telephone company demarc. Likely a gray box with the main telephone company wires coming in and your apartment wiring going out. Depending on how far away this is, you could run a new Category 3 cable from this point to wherever you want it in your place. Slipping it between the baseboard and carpet or similar techniques should do you well.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 07:29 PM
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More as an aside, when I was young I used to trace wires by putting a calculator at one end and following the wire with a pocket AM radio. Unfortunately you need an old calc with red LED readouts or blue fluorescent readouts. I think they still make the fluorescent kind for business, not sure. Unfortunately for you the LED kind and pocket fluorescents have become highly collectible and are hard to find at thrift store or swap meets anymore. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything convenient that provides the same level of interference. They do make special devices pairs for this purpose that work much the same way, not sure the cost. But, yeah, throw it back at the landlord, just because you have permission to do it doesn't mean it's your responsibility.
 
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Old 05-26-10, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by BarbaraLee View Post
I rent, but have already been given approval by landlord when I called and asked where the old jack was (which they couldn't remember because they rent out so many apartments). They said as long as I make it look professional there aren't any issues. My brother in law has all the tools I would need (he does carpentry and finishing) but lives an hour away and doesn't want me to call him over until I know what I'm working with.
A good landlord will be wise to get the phone jack set up in a common point in either on living room area or near the doorway one of few locations and when that apartment is remodel this what I do is ask the landlord to get the phone jack set up before the drywall go up it make it much easier to deal with it.

but with exsting installments some telephone techperson will bring the toner to trace it out to see where it is and check the exsting phone line to make sure they are good shape otherwise they will pull new one in if the exsting phone line is bad shape.

Merci,Marc
 
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