Removing landline, what to do with interior wires?


Old 08-19-18, 08:21 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 4
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Removing landline, what to do with interior wires?

I'm in the process of trying to convince the phone company to come out and remove an old landline service box and wires that are leftover from the previous homeowner because I'm having new siding installed. I hear this is a difficult task to accomplish, but assuming I'm able to get the stuff removed, I'm wondering about all the phone line wires that are still inside the house.

First, there's this crazy mess, which is in the basement near where the wire enters the house (also directly above a shower stall, which can't be the best location for a tangle of bare, spliced wires):
Name:  IMG_5024.jpg
Views: 446
Size:  96.5 KB

And then there's this, phone line attached to cold water pipe:
Name:  IMG_5025.jpg
Views: 211
Size:  88.0 KB

I've been trying to research the function of that and I've come up with two different explanations, the wire grounding the pipe, or the pipe grounding the wire.

The phone line from the house to the pole is all above-ground, and it has been in service for at least 6 years. If I can get the phone company to remove the box, is that free license to start removing the phone lines in my basement? And am I creating a problem with that cold water pipe by removing the phone line, or is it already redundant?

Thanks so much in advance!
Old 08-19-18, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 1,552
Received 92 Votes on 80 Posts
Those are low voltage wires, so it is ok to have bare wires. The terminal box on the left is a old demarcation point. They are usually outside or a point of entrance, but I have seen secondary block inside serving as just a terminal block.
It has fuses and ground connection to blow and redirect high transition voltages, such as lightning, to ground. This is what the wire connected to your water pipe. It is not grounding your water pipe, but grounding your phone system through your water pipes.

Phone lines inside your home is your responsibility and you are free to do whatever you want to it regardless of your phone service being active or not.
Personally, I'd just leave the wires as is. You may need it in the future.
I'm use mine with VoIP with Telco side disconnected.
Old 08-19-18, 11:27 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 24,427
Received 747 Votes on 686 Posts
You will not get the phone company to remove wiring from your house for free. Their responsibility ends where they connect to your house. Everything after that is your responsibility. I'm sure the hone company or their subcontractor would be willing to remove the wires... for a fee.

A few years ago when we got rid of our landline we just canceled service and left everything in place. If us or a future owner ever wants a landline everything is in place and ready to go. I would have your house re-sided just like any other house and leave the phone connection box and wiring in place.
Old 08-19-18, 12:04 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 60,794
Received 1,327 Votes on 1,226 Posts
It's already half disconnected anyway. The incoming line is supposed to be connected to the demarc block so that it is protected from lightning strikes. It is not connected. It is not grounded. My recommendation is to cut that incoming phone line where it enters the home. If you don't want to cut it..... cap the wires off with wirenuts. Everything else can be disconnected/removed including that ground connection.

Name:  drm.jpg
Views: 244
Size:  53.1 KB

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: