There are two basic ways to install telephone wiring:
- Concealed wiring inside walls, as in the case of a new construction or renovation;
- Visible wiring, normally attached along the baseboard, as in existing buildings where the walls and floors are finished.
Concealed wiring tips
Use 3-pair wire for concealed installation. This will make it easier to connect additional telephone services to your home or business in the future.
Use standard flush-mounted baseboard or wall jacks, since they fit a standard electrical outlet box.
- Concealed wiring should be installed prior to the walls being covered by insulation and drywall.
- Install standard outlet boxes to hold the jacks. Attach these boxes securely to a stud inside the wall at the same level as an electrical outlet or light switch (for wall-mounted phones).
- Plan your wiring route to avoid possible damage from future construction, rubbing, overheating, dampness or contact with power wires.
- Start a new wiring run for each jack location (or see continuous loop option).
- Every run of wire should start at the demarcation point or, if phone service has never been installed at your location, at a point close to the main electrical panel. A customer distribution device, or connector block, should be installed at this location.
- Leave approximately 1 metre (3 feet) of wire hanging at the demarcation point. You will make the connections later.
- Run the wire through holes drilled in wall studs and floor joists to reach each location where you plan to install a jack.
- At each jack location, leave approximately 30 cm (12 inches) of wire coiled up inside the electrical box.
- Repeat steps 4 through 8 for each jack location.
Visible wiring tips
Two or three-pair wire can be used for visible installations. Depending on the brand of wire you buy, you might decide to use 2-pair wire since it may be easier to secure and will look better.
Use standard baseboard jacks, since they can be secured easily to any baseboard and are slightly smaller than a flush mounted jack.
- Start at the point where you intend to install a telephone jack.
- Leave at least 30 cm (12 inches) of extra wire at the planned location of the jack.
- Leave at least 1 m (3 feet) of extra wire at the demarcation point.
- Fasten the wire to the baseboard and mouldings using a staple gun (Bell recommends use of rounded staples to avoid damaging the wire). Pull the wire straight (but do not stretch it) before installing each staple.
Be careful not to drive staples or clips through the wire. If this occurs, discard the entire section of wire and start again.
Do not run wire along the floor or under carpets. Normal activity such as walking can damage the wire and cause it to break.
Do not run wire inside or near heating ducts or vents. Heat can cause wire to become brittle and break.
Avoid installing wiring in damp or wet areas such as bathrooms, along basement floors and outside walls. (CSA requires that telephone jacks in bathrooms must be a minimum of 4 m away from a bathing area.)
Keep wire at least 15 cm (5 inches) from electrical wires, fixtures and lights. Electrical circuits can cause noisy interference on your telephone line.
Do not wrap wire around nails, hooks or other sharp objects. This can cause wear on the wire over time.
Since the wire is visible, you may not want to install individual runs of wire from each jack to the demarcation point. An option is to run wire from a selected jack location to another jack or to a conveniently located wire bridging device (connector block). This method is referred to as a continuous loop (see Figure 2).
We don’t recommend the continuous loop installation. We recommend the home-run method, which uses individual runs of wire from each jack to the demarcation point. Installing the wiring this way simplifies repairs if there is a problem and permits greater flexibility if you decide in the future to change the location or telephone number working on a jack (see Figure 3).