What the Heck is It?

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  #1  
Old 01-20-11, 11:35 AM
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What the Heck is It?

In my house, there is a dual twisted wire running along the wall on the landing. It was retrofitted at some unknown date, and looks terrible. It comes out of the wall on one side and goes in at the other, but doesn't appear on the other side of the wall in the rooms. It has a little box in the middle with no outlets. I can't figure out what it is.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 12:05 PM
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I'd guess it is either a telephone or a thermostat line.
Can you add a picture?
Thanks,
Andy
 
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Old 01-20-11, 01:17 PM
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Old 01-20-11, 01:27 PM
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That is old Bell telephone wire. It may or may not still be part of your phone system. That box probably has a phone jack on the side or under the cover. It might be an old four-pin plug in style.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 03:02 PM
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Looks like christmaslight wire, without the lamps.
 
  #6  
Old 01-20-11, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
That is old Bell telephone wire. It may or may not still be part of your phone system. That box probably has a phone jack on the side or under the cover. It might be an old four-pin plug in style.
It is an old cover with something like a 42A terminal block underneath. It doesn't look like Western Electric but the idea is the same: The twisted wires lead from this jack back to the entrance terminal where the drop wire is terminated.

The quad wire leads to a newer jack location. When originally installed, the POTS phone would have been connected with a spade lug station cord directly to the terminal block underneath.

When people started requesting extensions in different places, it was common practice to connect quad cable to the terminal block and run it to the extension. There was a "modular" aka RJ11 aka 4p4c plastic cover that would replace the blank cover so a phone could be added at this location.

I must be getting old because no one my age would be wondering what this was!
 
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Old 01-20-11, 05:05 PM
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I must be getting old because no one my age would be wondering what this was!
I was thinking the same thing.
 
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Old 01-20-11, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ray2047 View Post
I was thinking the same thing.
Me too! That one was before the days of modular jacks. Telephones were all hardwired in those days. In fact, I believe that box pre-dates rotary dials phones!
 
  #9  
Old 01-20-11, 07:51 PM
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More to the OP's question. Take the cover off by removing the screw in the center. Make notes on how each wire is connected. Disconnect the wires. Check all the phones in the house and plug a phone into any jack you may use in the future. If they all work it is ok to remove the cable. If some don't work reconnect using your notes.

If you wan to get rid of it and it still supplies some jacks we should be able to help you wire around it.
 
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