Phone Jack Wiring Installation Cost
While life in a mobile world may make "old fashioned" concepts like wired telephones seem obsolete, there’s actually a pretty compelling reason to install a phone jack and wiring in your home: access. While cell phones are nice, they aren't always reliable. Anything from a dead battery to a freak storm can cause them to stop working. Phone jacks, however, when wired into hard phone lines, often work even when the power is out, providing a more reliable way to communicate. Reaping these benefits, however, is only possible if you install phone jacks into your home.
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Table of Contents
- Phone Jack Wiring Cost
- Why Install Phone Jacks?
- Existing Wiring Vs. New Jacks Wiring
- How to Wire A Phone Jack
- DIY or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Phone Jack Wiring Cost
There are two main components needed to install phone service to the rooms of your home: wiring and the jacks themselves. The cost of installation depends on the complexity of that wiring and the number of jacks you need or want to install. In addition, hiring a professional electrician to set that wiring also increases costs, as electricians charge, on average, between $50 and $80 an hour for labor.
Homeowners report paying anywhere from about $100 to $260 for phone jack installation, with an average price of $160. Installing systems yourself, on the other hand, can cost as little as $50 whereas complex professional work may cost upwards of $400.
Why Install Phone Jacks?
"Can you hear me now?" While the presence of cell phones, smartphones and other forms of digital communication have skyrocketed over the past two decades, the need for reliable, albeit "old fashioned" means to communicate is still present. Homes located in rural areas, for example, or those where the proximity to power lines and other interference hinders cell signals, may need traditional phone service and phone jacks no matter how powerful their cellular networks or how modern their owners’ smartphones may be.
In addition, in times of disaster, whether natural or manmade, cell and Internet service tends to collapse before traditional phone services, particularly when phone lines are underground. In these cases, having the ability to call for help or even just communicate with the outside world can be a major relief. Though it’s far from the necessity that it once was, traditional phone service still plays an important role as a safety and security feature in modern homes.
Existing Wiring Vs. New Jacks Wiring
One of the biggest factors when it comes to the cost of installing phone jacks and wiring is whether or not systems already exist in your home. You also need to consider the condition of those systems. As a result, the type of work that an installer may need to do varies considerably.
For example, in a home with existing wiring, the age of the wires and the environment surrounding it, including pests, water damage and rust, can affect the viability of those systems. Professionals have special tools they use to check wiring connections as well as the integrity of wires inside a wall to see if there’s any need for replacement or repair. In some cases, you may need to opt to replace some or all wiring systems anyway in order to upgrade them and increase safety and efficiency.
In a situation where no previous phone jack service exists, installers need to complete the entire wiring system from scratch. If you wish to have flush outlets, this includes cutting the walls. Adding onto an existing system by installing new or upgraded jacks may also involve splicing those wires.
How to Wire A Phone Jack
If you’re interested in installing a new phone jack in your home, it’s important to understand all the steps and details involved in order to complete the process safely and efficiently. This includes the following steps:
- Choose a room in your home and a place in that room to install the jack. Make sure that the area is accessible considering the layout of the room, its furniture and your intended use of the jack. Choosing a baseboard jack or mounted jack is often easier in terms of installation, especially for first timers.
- Measure the distance from the existing jack in your home to the new one so you know how much wiring you need to install.
- Affix the new jack to the spot on the wall you chose for the installation, ensuring that the jack is level to the floor/baseboard for aesthetic as well as safety reasons.
- Disconnect the line feed from the telephone box outside your home to prevent a minor shock when working on the system.
- Open the casing on the old jack and note the wire colors and where they connect. There should be four: red, green, yellow and black. Trim any damage from these wires and strip some of the insulation off the end of each one.
- Connect each old wire from the old jack to a new wire that runs to the new jack by twisting them together, taking care to match colors. Replace the wires under the screws of the new jack and secure each screw, thread the wire through the old casing and secure it back onto the wall.
- Use the path determined in step 2 above to run wire from the old jack to the new jack, using fasteners to attach the wire to the baseboard.
- Once at the location of the new jack, trim the excess wire to a reasonable length, strip the insulation from the four wires and affix them each to the screws according to their proper, color-coded places.
DIY or Hire A Pro?
As the process above clearly illustrates, wiring a phone jack isn’t a simple task. While many advanced electrical hobbyists can complete the task as a DIY job, it’s often better in terms of time and safety to hire a professional installer or electrician to complete at least the wiring phase of this project. Some telephone companies may provide an installer free of charge or for a small fee, though many no longer provide this service. Electricians, who caPhonen also work with the existing outlets and wires in your home, are often the best pros to complete this job.
Find A Pro
Far from an old-fashioned solution, installing phone jacks and wiring in your home is a truly modern choice that’s wise for safety and security. Get started in the process today by contacting professionals in your area through our free lead generator tool.
Last updated on Sep 22, 2016
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