Rewiring This Old House Continues September 28, 2009

Many of the joys of owning or even maintaining a home are fixing the little things; the things that don’t work quite right. The things that no one can really see but you. Wiring definitely falls into that category. In my house, I have three fuse boxes. Two of them are decades old when the house was still two units and the other one is a sub panel for the kitchen remodel.

Like other projects in the house when I know better than to tackle it myself I call in a specialist. In this case a licensed and insured electrician, Tim Moran. Some of you who read this blog know that I do a lot of my own electrical wiring, almost all of it actually. But when it comes to installing a new fuse panel and redoing some of the horrendous wiring its best to leave it to a licensed professional.

While Tim and his apprentice were in the basement replacing my old fuse boxes with a modern one I was doing some rewiring of my own. About the time that our seismic work was done my phones stopped working. Turns out it wasn’t a coincidence.

After a few hours of work on both of our parts the wiring was done and everything was back to normal. Now instead of three fuse panels there was one and all the wiring and conduit was cleaned up. Also, I fixed all the phones and ripped out all of the dead wires and hid everything that could be hidden. Not bad for a thousand bucks and a few hours of my time.

For those of you who are interested in working on telephones its quite simple actually. With the digital lines of today, the signal is carried over only two wires, usually red and green. Also, there’s only a maximum voltage of 30 volts and the current is low so it wont shock you. The only tool you will need is a lineman’s handset, also known as a butt set. They are often orange and look like a telephone handset with two wires that have alligator clips at each end. They are cheap and easy to find on the Internet or you could easily make one. Anyway, connect the alligator clips to a binding post or a wires in question and start looking for a dial tone. Now its just a matter of digging through that gaggle of wires and figuring out where they all go.

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