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A new phone system I have bought requires the jacks in my home to be in parallel. If I remove the cover from a phone jack, is there a way to tell if it's hooked up in a parallel circuit? If it's not in parallel, how can I rewire it so that it is? Thanks.

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A parallel phone system means all phone jacks are connected in a series. From phone jack A to phone jack B to phone jack C. That means if jack A is not functioning properly or has a short ,all other phone jacks in that series will cease to function. The other type of system is a home run system.Meaning all phone jacks are ran independently outside to service provider NID Network Interface Device. This is the best to trouble shoot because if one jack fails the others will continue to operate independently. The best way to check is to remove the lead from one side of the phone jack, after carefully removing from wall. Check for a dial tone at other phone jacks if no, replace lead at the initial jack. If dial tone returns you have a series system.

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

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How to connect your VOIP phone service (IE Vonage, MagicJack, Via Talk) to...


Are you tired of being tied down to your computer area to use your VOIP phone service (IE Vonage, MagicJack, Via Talk or ITP)? Here is a way to make your existing home phone jacks work with your VOIP.

***** DO NOT USE THIS TIP IF YOU HAVE DSL (FROM THE PHONE COMPANY) FOR YOUR INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER OR IF YOU ARE IN AN APARTMENT BUILDING*****

Items you will need-
  1. An existing home telephone jack near your VOIP service modem.
  2. A screwdriver
  3. A telephone cord long enough to reach from the VOIP service jack to the existing phone jack.
COMPLETE THESE DIRECTIONS EXACTLY AND IN ORDER OTHERWISE DAMAGE COULD RESULT TO YOUR VOIP MODEM.
NOTE THAT EACH HOME IS SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT AND MAY HAVE NON-STANDARD WIRING SITUATIONS OR HAZARDS UNFORESEEABLE SO THIS TIP IS TO BE DONE AT YOUR OWN RISK AND YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES THAT ARISE FROM WORKING ON YOUR OWN HOUSE SUCH AS IF YOU DAMAGE ANYTHING OR GET SHOCKED OR FRY YOUR VOIP MODEM AND BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE IT'S ALL ON YOU....

So hopefully I haven't scared you off from trying this tip since it is fairly simple to do but complements of lawsuit happy America I had to cover the disclaimers....

Let's get started...

First thing you need to do is to locate the main telephone junction box to your home usually located outside near the power meter. Here are some pics of some standard used boxes.5124c69.jpg
There is a screw keeping the customer access door closed. Loosen this screw and open the access door to expose the home wiring. Note: this screw does not usually come completely out. To set you at ease, yes it is completely legal for you to access this portion of the box. The portion that you are not supposed to access is restricted by a security bolt and can not be opened with a normal screwdriver.

Once you have the access door open there are two types of commonly used connections.

  1. The most common is one similar to this picture. Disconnect the lines attached to the test jacks.
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2) The second style is very similar to the first but the area where the screw terminals are has a plastic rectangular bar about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide with telephone lines attached to it (often times Red and Green or Blue and White/Blue). If you have this style of connection push the side of the bar closest to the center of the box and then pull outwards and to the right this should expose the "Test Jack". Once the bar has been extended twist it 1/4 turn counterclockwise to remove it from its mounting bar. Use caution not to disconnect the phone wires attached to the bar.

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Now try to connect a phone to any of the phone jacks in your home and you should have dial tone. Note that most phone service is made to comfortably handle 4 phones that connect to a phone jack.

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