Install a New Phone Jack

Lead Image
  • 1-2 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-100
What You'll Need
Screwdrivers - Phillips and straight
Wall fish, or a metal hanger
Drill with 3/8" diameter phone installer's drill bit
1/2-inch spade drill bit
Phone wire connectors (butt-type)
Phone wire
Drop cloth
Cable stapler with 9/16-inch staples
Wire strippers
Surface mounted phone jack

Adding a second line to your home is an easy task that even the least experienced do-it-yourselfer can do without costly interference from a telephone technician. What do you do if you want the service in a room with no phone jacks? It's not as hard to do as you may think.

You already pay enough to the phone company for service, don't give them additional money for an easy do-it-yourself job that can be completed in about an hour.

Step 1 - Find and Prep Old Phone Jack

Find a phone jack in the room next to the one where you need to add a jack, preferably on the same wall. Call this room with the old jack Room 1. Place your drop cloth under the phone jack. Disconnect the phone from the jack, if there is one, and unscrew the plate from the wall. Disconnect the wires from the phone jack.

With the 1/2-inch drill bit on the drill, drill a hole in the bottom of the box. If the existing wire is coming into the box from the bottom, you may not need to do this step; there may be enough room for another line to use the same hole.

Step 2 - Drill Out the Passage for the New Line

Red phone receiver

With the 3/8-inch bit, drill a hole in the wall directly below the phone jack, right above the baseboard. Drop the phone cable through the hole in the box and use the hanger to snag it and pull it through the lower hole.

With the same drill bit, drill a hole about six inches from where the phone line is coming out of the wall. Drill it all the way through into the room the new jack is being installed in (Room 2). It's important to keep the bit straight!

Step 3 - Pull the Phone Cable into the New Room

Once that is done, head on over into Room 2 with the wall fish or hanger. Push the hanger or fish through the hole so it goes into the Room 1. Return to Room 1 and tape the phone cable to the hanger or fish. Go back to Room 2 to pull the phone cable through.

Step 4 - Wire and Mount the New Jack

Take the cover off of the surface mounted wall jack. Secure the back of the jack to the wall (screwing it into the baseboard gives it a better hold). Strip the phone cable back to reveal the four wires. Again, if this is for the second line only, you'll want to hook up the yellow and black lines to the jack and wrap and tape the red and green ones. Screw the cover back on and use the cable stapler to secure the wire to the wall.

Step 5 - Reconnect the Original Jack

Back in Room 1, continue stapling the wire for neatness. In the box, cut away the excess wire, strip the wire back and use the butt-type phone wire connectors to connect the black to black and the yellow to yellow wires. There's no need to connect the red and green if it's a one-line room. Screw the wall jack back into place and clean up the drop cloth. You can use a small amount of caulk to seal the holes in both rooms.