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Inside phone wiring

I have Bellsouth, now AT&T. When they last serviced my DSL they disconnected the wires so I cant use the telephone jack in my bedroom-which I could before. They forgot to reconnect it after they finished troublshooting my DSL. I really dont want to wait for them to come back and wait around for an appt. I would like to know...when I took off the jack from the wall, I see there are 2 wires or cables inside the wall. I dont know which one to hook up. One comes from the top, and 1 from the bottom. Both are coated in white plastic with several colored wires inside. How do I know which is for my bedroom? Also, I see that only the red and green wires are used. Do I just take those and wrap them around the voice 1 tip and ring along with the oen thats there already (probably from my kitchen phone)? I have a POTS Splitter for bellsouth, wall mount installed.Thank you very much!

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Re: inside phone wiring

If they used the old wiring red and green would work if it is newer cat 3 or five wiring it would be white with bule both have the same coclor band on them ex white w blus stripe and blue with white stripe this would only work if the wire is active to this location

Posted on Sep 13, 2007

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Re: inside phone wiring

Red and green (2-wires) are all that is typically needed. This does depend on if the other end of the wire is properly hooked up!

Posted on Sep 12, 2007

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1 Answer

My phone says "Line in use" but nobody is using it.

Some of my telephones will read "Line In Use" when the phone doesn't detect a dial tone. I like to use an old wired telephone to check whether the problem is with the cordless phone base or the phone line wiring.

First plug in the test phone and check for a dial tone. If there is no dial tone, try a different RJ-11 cable between the phone and the jack. If there is still no dial tone, use the test phone at another jack and check for a dial tone. If you have two jacks with no dial tone, find your incoming telephone service box. If you have a relatively new phone service installation, the service box will have RJ-11 jacks. Plug your test phone into the jack and check for a dial tone. If there is still no dial tone, contact your telephone company. They will repair an outside wiring problem for free. If the service box doesn't have an RJ-11 jack, you'll need to ask your telephone company to test the phone line for you.

If there is a dial tone at another jack or at the service box, you have an inside wiring problem. You can check for loose or broken wires inside of the jack. Most use either screw terminals or a punch-down design. For the screw terminals, strip another section of the unbroken part of the wire, if needed. Secure the wire under the screw. For the punch-down terminal, take off the cover. Then you'll need a tool that is available in most hardware stores in the electrical wiring section. Do not strip the wire; just place it over the correct place in the terminal and push it into the contacts with the tool. Trim off any excess wire with a small pair of small wire cutting pliers, if the excess wire is blocking the cover from fitting back onto the terminal. has a good diagram of the wire color and pin assignments. If the wiring is okay at the jack, you'll need to check the rest of the wiring for problems. Since the broken wire might be inside the wall, you may want to have a professional check it out. Your telephone provider's technicians can do this for a fee. If you have a DSL computer line, you should check the DSL filter. If the filter is inside at the jack, you'll need to replace the filter. If it is out at the service box, your telephone company will do the replacement.

If there is a dial tone at the jack with the test phone, check the purchase date on the L401 system. If it is under warranty (1 year usually), contact Motorola. Otherwise, replace your Motorola phone system. It's generally not worth the minimum repair and shipping costs.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've had dial tone issues after lightning strikes (the DSL filter was damaged), mice eating wires (buried phone line) and due to county road crew/contractors who dug too close to the wire. The first two problems required phone calls to get a technician to fix the outside line. The last one gets fixed by the contractors/phone company as soon as they can.)

Nov 09, 2015 | Motorola L401 DECT 6.0 Digital Cordless...

1 Answer

Parallel set on how can i get it off

Parallel Set indicates that the CS5121 thinks that another extension is in use on the phone line. First check that no other phones are off their hook. (I have a few that can be tricky to hang up.) If you have no other extensions or if they are on hook, then you need to check if the problem is with your VTech phone or with your phone line.

For diagnostics, I like to use an old corded phone. First try a new telephone cord (RJ-11) to the base of your CS5121. Then if the problem persists, try the new phone cord with the test phone. Listen for a normal dial tone. If you hear a fast busy signal or no dial tone, try the test phone at a different jack on that phone line (if you have one). If you still do not have a normal dial tone, find where the telephone service comes into your building. Open the service box and identify the type of connection. If you are lucky, the service box has RJ-11 jacks. Try your test phone there. If you can't test the phone line or the problem persists, contact your telephone company. They will test the line and repair any outside problem for free.

If it is an inside wiring problem, inspect the wires that are in the open for damage. If only one jack is the problem, open the face plate and check for loose wires. There are two types of connections in telephone faceplates: screw terminals or punch down jacks. The wires need to be stripped (enough to go under the screw) and then secured by the screw for the first type. For a punch down jack, you will need a tool to secure the wires. The tool is available at many home improvement stores in the wiring section. See for the wiring order for an RJ-11 jack. If the problem is inside the wall, you may want to get a professional to fix the problem. Your telephone company will do this for a fee. If you have a DSL filter as part of your phone line, you may need to replace this. (At my house this is part of the outside wiring and gets fixed by the phone company. My sister has the filter as part of the inside wiring and has to fix it herself.)

If only your CS5121 has a problem, try removing the battery pack from the handset. Next unplug the telephone cable and the power adapter from the base. Unplug the power adapter from the wall outlet, as well. Wait a few minutes, then reconnect the power and phone line cord. Then reconnect the handset battery. Test your phone again. If it still gives you a problem, contact Vtech for service if it is under warranty. These phones are not user serviceable.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Nov 29, 2011 | Vtech CS5121 Cordless Phone

1 Answer

My KX-TG6511 Phone is in it's cradle but line in use message shows. It's the only one on that line

Check your phone line with a) a new cord between the base and the jack and b) a different phone (I prefer an old cordless phone). If you still get a "line in use" message (alternate errors: fast busy signal or no dial tone), use your test phone at a different jack and determine if the issue persists. If you can, find where your phone service comes in and open the box. If you are lucky and have a fairly new service connection, you'll be able to plug your RJ-11 phone line in and check if there is the problem is at the box. If you can't test at this point, you need to contact your phone company to diagnose if the problem is inside or outside.

If the problem is only with the KX-TG65111 phone, try unplugging the base from the phone line and the cord from the wall jack, disconnecting the base AC power cord (from both sides - phone first) and removing the batteries the handset. After a few minutes, plug in phone line, power cord and batteries and test again. If it still fails, then the phone needs service. These cordless phones are not designed for the home user to service. If the phone is under warranty, contact Panasonic. Otherwise, decide if it is worth having the unit serviced or replacing.

If no phone works at this one jack but does work at another jack, you have a wiring problem at the jack or in the wall to the jack. Try opening up the outlet and check for loose or damaged wires. The jack is either wired directly to screw terminals or punch down terminals. For the screws, it's relatively easy to strip the insulation and retighten the connections. For the punch down style, you will need the appropriate tool. (It's available from many hardware stores in the wiring section.) See for a diagram of the pins in the jack wiring.

If none of your inside jacks work, look at the exposed wiring and check for any obvious damage. Otherwise, you'll need to find the problem in the walls. You may want a professional to do the job.

If the problem is outside, your phone company will fix the probem for you for free. If the problem is inside, they'll fix the problem for a fee.

If you have a DSL line and a filter on the line, check and replace that if it is part of your inside wiring.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've gotten a line in use error with a DSL filter problem after a nearby lightning strike. Since my filter is inside the service box, my telephone company handled the repair.)

Nov 21, 2011 | Panasonic KX TG6511 Cordless Phone

1 Answer

I just installed a replacement At&t EP 5962 2 line, answering answering device telephone. Line 2 does not get a dial tone. I installed it into proper / same as before outlets and both lines light...

There may be damage to the wiring of line 2 (either in the building or on the phone). Are both lines wired to one jack or are they separate? Do you have any other jacks that have line 2 connected (preferably as single line jack) in the building?

I like to use an old single line corded phone that does not use a power adapter. (As long as the EP5962 corded base will work without power (POTS), it might work for the tests below. You might want a simpler phone to carry around.)

If the lines have separate jacks, try switching line 1 and line 2. (Connect your Line 2 jack to the Line 1 input on the phone and vice versa.) If line 2 doesn't give a dial tone when connected to line 1, see the next set of tests. Otherwise, contact AT&T if the phone is under warranty. These phones are not meant to be user-serviced. Alternatively, plug in a different phone to the line 2 jack to test for dial tone.

Next move to another jack with line 2. Check if you have dial tone at that point. (If you do, you know the problem is at the first jack or the wiring to the jack.)

If there is no dial tone at the next jack or you do not have another jack for the line, find where your telephone service comes in. Open the service box and determine the type of connections in the box. If you are lucky, you will find RJ-11 jacks for the incoming service. Plug in your test phone and check for dial tone. If you have no dial tone or can't check the service, then contact your telephone company. They will test your line and fix it free if the probIem is outside.

If you have a dial tone, then it's an inside wiring problem. Inspect the visible wires for damage. Open the faceplates for the jacks and check for loose wires. There are two types of connectors. Screw type connectors need the wire stripped back a little then wrap around the screw and tighten. The other type is a punchdown jack. To repair a loose wire in this, you will need a punchdown tool. These are often available in hardware/home improvement stores in the wiring section. has clear pictures of the wire color to pin pattern.

You may want a professional to check the wires inside the walls. Your phone company will fix problems for a fee.

Damaged DSL filters on one line could be the cause. Similarly certain animals may have chewed on the specific wires somewhere in the line.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Jul 23, 2011 | AT&T EP5962 Phone

1 Answer

How to hook up a telephone. I need to know how to hook up a telephone from the box outside to the phone jack inside.

In order to do that you need to know on which pair does your phone jack inside your home is connected. In case you don't know or it is not connected then you need drop wire and punching tool to connect. Simply ask your service provider on which pair he has connected connect the drop wire on the same pair and extend it to your phone jack with drop wire.

Jun 30, 2011 | Phones

1 Answer

Every thing works except can,t get incoming calls and out going calls

First check if the phone jack and cable are good. (I like to plug in an old corded phone for this.) If you have a dial tone with the other phone and can make calls, try the new cable on the base of the cordless phone. If the problem persists, then the phone needs service. (Cordless phones are not meant to be user serviced.)

If neither phone has a dial tone at that jack, try another jack. If only the one jack is bad, open it up and check for loose or broken wires. (Most jacks terminate either at screw terminals with stripped wires or keystone jacks that require a special tool to push the wire down. A cheap version of the tool is sold with many keystone jacks and others are available separately at many home improvement stores. Check the aisle for wiring a house.) A RJ-11 wiring diagram is available here: .

Find where your phone connection comes in, open that box and check what type of connection is there. If it is a RJ-11 connection, try your phone at that point. (If it isn't RJ-11, you will need the phone company to check the line.) If there is no dial tone at the service connection, the phone company will repair it at their expense. If the problem is inside, check all exposed wires for damage. If the problem is inside a wall, you may need a professional. Your phone company will fix it for a fee.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(I've lost telephone service due to mice chewing on underground wiring, lightning damage to a DSL filter and digging crews failing to avoid the wires.)

Feb 21, 2011 | Uniden EXAI 918 Cordless Phone

1 Answer

Phone less than a year old. no dial tone with inability to call out or receive calls. other phone functions seem to be working

First check if it is the phone or the line. Try replacing the cables. Use another phone (known working) to see if the jack has a dial tone with it. If you have dial tone on another phone and not on this phone with any set of RJ-11 cords, then send the phone to AT&T for repair. It had a 1 year warranty. Contact the customer service at, or call 1 800 222-3111.

Try both phone on other jacks with that line, if available. If the phones work on other jacks but not on the first one, open up the faceplate and check for loose wires. Most either use screws to hold the wires or have keystones with punch downs. If you have the screw type, strip the wire strand if needed and resecure the wire. has the diagram of the wiring. The keystone punchdown tool is available at stores like Lowes and Home Depot, among others - in the section for wiring a new home.

Try then on another line, if possible. If the phones work here, then it is a general wiring issue on the other line.

Find where your telephone service comes in and see if the box has RJ-11 connections. Try your phones there. If the phones do not work at other jacks and the service connection is not RJ-11, call your telephone provider. They can test the line and will repair the line free if it is an outside issue. If the issue is inside, check all exposed wiring for damage. Check the jacks as well. If it is a problem inside the wall, you may want a professional. Your telephone service provider will probably fix it for a fee.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells

Feb 04, 2011 | AT&T 1855 Phone

1 Answer

How do I take Uniden phone off line in use/hold? I cannot use phone at all or receive calls.

It depends on the reason for the in use message on the line. It could be the phone or the wiring. To diagnose the problem, I like to use an old corded phone.

Plug a different phone into the jack (where the cordless base is); use a new telephone cord. Do you have a normal dial tone? If yes, try the cord with the cordless phone's base; if this doesn't solve the problem, then the problem is the phone. If the phone is bad and under warranty, contact Uniden. These phones are really not meant to be serviced by the user.

Otherwise, try the second phone at another extension. If you get a dial tone, then the problem may be the jack where the cordless phone's base is plugged in. Try the cordless phone and see if you still get the message.

If you didn't get a dial tone, find where the phone service comes in. If you have a new install, you will find that your service line uses RJ-11 jacks. Plug your second phone into the jack and check for dial tone. If the phone still doesn't work, call your phone company. There is a problem with the wiring to your location and they will fix it as part of providing the service. Otherwise, the problem is with the wiring inside your home.

For indoor wiring issues, check any exposed wires for damage. Open the wall plate and check for a loose wire. Some will terminate with screws - just loosen the screw, strip more of the strand wire's insulation if needed, wrap it around the screw and tighten carefully. Others will use a keystone jack. Open the cover (just lifts off) and check the strands. You may need to remove the wire, cut it back and strip a new section of the outer insulation. Then using a special tool push each strand fully into the appropriate slot (do not strip the strand insulation). This tool is sold in many hardware stores in the wiring section alongside the keystone jacks. A plastic version is included with many keystones.

If the wiring problem is deeper inside the walls, you may want a professional. Your telephone provider will do this for a fee.

I hope this helps.

Cindy Wells
(a few weeks ago, we had an open line due to mice eating the wires near the road. It wasn't the first time for the problem. We've also lost a dial tone due to a failed filter for the DSL after a lightning strike and when a road crew dug up the wire by accident.)

Dec 14, 2010 | Uniden Cordless Phone

2 Answers

Telephone connection problem with DSL

unplug everthing from all jacks in the house. call your # a couple of times. if the line rings, plug everything in 1 at a time, but call again after each hook up. if the line goes dead or is busy, that phone you just plugged in is the problem. [ a short in the phone, computer, answer machine, or any piece of equipment plugged into the phone line.] if the line is busy when everything is unplugged, call your phone company. there maybe a problem with your inside wire.there also maybe a box [called a nid] inside your basment/garage or on the side of your house, where you can plug your phone directly in, bypassing all the jacks in your house
hope this helps.

Feb 13, 2008 | Phones

1 Answer

Phones Dead but DSL OK

A short inside the house should also disable the DSL service, but you can rule out this possibility by disconnecting the inside wiring from the outside wiring at the entrance box. If you still can't get a dial tone when you clip onto the incoming wires, then you need to contact your local phone company to have them find the problem and restore your phone service.
Good luck...and I hope this is helpfull!!

Jan 26, 2008 | Phones

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