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Need Tips for on Moving a Phone Line
Old 04-15-2012, 05:41 PM   #1
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Need Tips for on Moving a Phone Line

I need to get a phone outlet to the wall behind my desk. I'll need to go down in the crawl space, splice into the current line, and then drill up into the wall space behind the desk. The trick will be drilling up at the right location, and being able to find/grab the wire.

The floor is tile, the hole has to be on the floor within the wall.

I know there are some tricks and devices that help with this kind of thing. Anyone know about these?

This looks like it might work:

How to Run TV Cables in Wall Spaces from the Attic or Basement Space

Note that I don't want to buy a wireless phone jack (which will require power continuously).
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:51 PM   #2
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Al, this is the 21st century. Why do you still need a land line?
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Old 04-15-2012, 05:59 PM   #3
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I have nothing to add at this time, I'm just auto-subscribing for the future entertainment value.


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Old 04-15-2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Hoooo Boy!
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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When we had alarm wires pulled through walls, they seemed expert in fishing wires with unbent hangers and masking tape. They drilled holes in the wall. then ran the "fish" to the crawlspace - attached the desired wire and pulled it back through the hole they had made. Something like this: Snaking or Fishing Wires in Walls and Ceilings
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:22 PM   #6
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I tried this about 30 years ago at my grandmother's house, and almost drilled through her foot while she sat in her rocker.
in your case Al, I would drill a small test hole in the grout line where it meets the wall, down into the crawl space. Then you'll be able to see where the wall is when you go to the crawl space. Then while in the crawl space, drill a hole up into the wall a couple of inches from the test hole, and run the wire. Then caulk or grout the test hole.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:24 PM   #7
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Don't know how long the line will be to fish, but when I drilled through my wall to send an ethernet cable from my bedroom to the living room, having a straightened coat hanger, then using scotch tape to first tape the line to the hanger helped.

The phone line project sounds like, um, fun .
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:33 PM   #8
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If you have shoe molding, you can temporarily pull it off, then drill a small hole through the floor. Use this hole to orient your cable hole, then hide the orientation hole when you replace the shoe mold.
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Old 04-15-2012, 06:38 PM   #9
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I know a wireless solution wasn't requested. But with one, all you'd need is something like this to turn off the power when not needed

Amazon.com: Belkin Conserve Power Switch: Electronics

I use one for my electric razor which stays plugged in as the batteries no longer hold a charge.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:46 PM   #10
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In our area, we can buy these phones that have a base unit that plugs into the phone line and have these other phones that only need to plug into an AC outlet and communicate with the base unit by magic!!!

That is what I use for my office phone.
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Old 04-15-2012, 10:57 PM   #11
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My phone outlet is across the room from my phone, on a different wall.

I just use a very long phone cord, snaked artfully behind the furniture and under the throw rug so that nobody can see it or trip on it. Can you do something like that?
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I know a wireless solution wasn't requested. But with one, all you'd need is something like this to turn off the power when not needed

Amazon.com: Belkin Conserve Power Switch: Electronics
At our local electric rates, that switch would have about a 7 year payback, assuming the phone was off almost all the time.

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Old 04-15-2012, 11:41 PM   #13
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It's pretty simple. Especially if the wall is an interior wall, and the wall runs perpendicular to the floor joists.

Typical platform framing used in the US has the wall framing built laying down on the floor deck, and then stood up into position.

Wall sections assembled while laying down:
A 2x4 Sole Plate for what will become the lower wall end.
A multitude of 2x4 Studs spaced 16" on center (cheap places may allow 24" on center, yuck!).
A 2x4 Top Plate for what will become the top end of the wall.
Nails are hammered through the Sole Plate and Top Plate into the ends of the studs.

When the wall is stood up, the Sole Plate is nailed through the sub-floor (usually 3/4" plywood, but will be 1-by lumber in old houses) and into the top of the floor joists.
The Top Plates are then laminated on top with another Top Plate that will tie wall sections together at the top. I'm leaving out all details of connecting the edges of wall sections together, as it is understanding the top and bottom that is important for fishing wires down from attic or up from basement or crawlspace.

So if it is an interior wall that runs perpendicular to the floor joists, then it is a simple matter to drill UP in the proper place through the subfloor and Sole Plate, into the wall cavity.

What is the proper place?
- Well, it is in the middle of the Sole Plate (forwards/backwards through wall thickness), so there is low possibility of it being hit later by a nail driven into the wall for some other purpose.
- It is in the wall cavity away from a wall stud, you don't want to drill up into the end of a stud, as that won't help So you will need to locate a few studs in the wall up in the room with a electronic stud finder (density) or a magnetic arrow type (finds drywall nails or screws that attach the drywall to studs, thereby locating studs).
- And due to the size of a drill's body, you can drill only so close to a joist.
-And avoid drilling right by an outlet.

You need to accurately project this info, or needed offsets from a known point, down into the crawlspace. Either by careful measurement or by drilling a small (1/8" is more than enough) hole somewhere where it won't show or can be caulked/filled later. Poke a thin wire through the hole for the reference. You could do this on the other side of the wall since the room is tiled.

Just think it through before doing, assume you are fallible, and check measurements and concept twice.

Since the room is tiled, could you drill a reference hole in the room on the other side of the wall.

IF the interior wall instead runs parallel to the floor joists, then you will have to think and measure it carefully because the floor joist may block access to the Sole Plate above it.

Exterior walls are a bit more difficult due to insulation, access from below due to the run of the Joists or Band (Rim) Joist, etc. And if running down from the attic to near the floor, may run into 2x4 blocking between studs in the wall. Blocking unlikely to be a concern when going UP a wall from down below, if you are only going a couple feet up from the floor. Blocking, if used (very rarely) is mid-wall.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:54 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Note that I don't want to buy a wireless phone jack (which will require power continuously).
OK, so I actually hooked up our wireless phone to the Kill-a-watt meter. About 1 watt (and this is a fancy one with a built in ans machine and a base phone). And an extension phone (charger cradle only) measured zero, flickered to 1 watt while charging.

So maybe $2 annually for electricity? Is that worth getting into the crawl space, etc?

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Old 04-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
In our area, we can buy these phones that have a base unit that plugs into the phone line and have these other phones that only need to plug into an AC outlet and communicate with the base unit by magic!!!

That is what I use for my office phone.
Ditto. Three phones, one base.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:45 AM   #16
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Thanks for the info.

Quote:
Since the room is tiled, could you drill a reference hole in the room on the other side of the wall.
Thanks, Telly, that will work. The other side is the back wall of a half-bath and the area behind the fridge. And it is perpendicular to the joists.

The line is for a modem which will be used to detect caller ID and run an app (phonetray) that will filter out telemarketing calls.

Quote:
In our area, we can buy these phones that have a base unit that plugs into the phone line and have these other phones that only need to plug into an AC outlet
I actually have a phone on the desk already

DeskCutting.jpg

but I need an RJ11 plug.

Quote:
OK, so I actually hooked up our wireless phone to the Kill-a-watt meter. About 1 watt (and this is a fancy one with a built in ans machine and a base phone). And an extension phone (charger cradle only) measured zero, flickered to 1 watt while charging.

So maybe $2 annually for electricity? Is that worth getting into the crawl space, etc?
Agreed, and I thought about this. The other downsides are that it would cost around $20, and many of the its reviews on Amazon are bad.

Amazon.com: Philips Wireless Phone Jack System - Turn any AC outlet into a Phone Jack: Electronics

It may work or not. But it's mostly that it's just another device to setup, send back if it doesn't work, two more "things" in the house, I might need to call tech support, it will break eventually, etc.

It's not a clear-cut case, but right now I prefer the simple solution.

And I'm aware of the irony that I'd spend much more time on this project than I would just hanging up the telemarketing calls.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post

And I'm aware of the irony that I'd spend much more time on this project than I would just hanging up the telemarketing calls.
Yeahbut...think of all the time you'll gain so you can split more firewood and shop more garage sales!
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:08 AM   #18
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Agreed, and I thought about this. The other downsides are that it would cost around $20, and many of the its reviews on Amazon are bad.

Amazon.com: Philips Wireless Phone Jack System - Turn any AC outlet into a Phone Jack: Electronics

It may work or not. But it's mostly that it's just another device to setup, send back if it doesn't work, two more "things" in the house, I might need to call tech support, it will break eventually, etc.

It's not a clear-cut case, but right now I prefer the simple solution.
But I wouldn't buy a unique thing for this. Just buy a simple cordless DECT phone that supports extensions, plug the base unit in where your jack is, and plug a charger/extension in at your desk.

Amazon.com: VTech CS6419-2 DECT 6.0 Cordless Phone, Silver/Black, 2 Handsets: Electronics

Amazon.com: AT&T Dual Handset Cordless Telephone DECT 6.0 - 2 Handsets AT3211-2: Electronics

That provides two cordless handsets in the home, and you can add/replace handsets as needed (you set them in the base, and press a button, then remove, to 'register' them to your system). These cordless units also can be used as walkie-talkies (they both need to be within range of the base unit - they communicate through the base, not directly to each other) , I have used them for that when doing some project when I need to communicate with DW and I'm in the basement/attic/outside/roof.

You could even just buy a base unit with handset, and return the single handset to the charger when it needs a charge, ad keep it at your desk other times. Our AT&T DECT goes a long time (several days, probably weeks?) w/o a recharge.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:10 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by pb4uski
In our area, we can buy these phones that have a base unit that plugs into the phone line and have these other phones that only need to plug into an AC outlet and communicate with the base unit by magic!!!

That is what I use for my office phone.
I have those too. No need to drill. http://www.vtechphones.com/vtechphones/
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #20
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Al,

Out of curiosity, how long a drill bit will you be using for the drilling?

When I had to go from bedroom to living room wall, I had to go and buy a long bit for the job.
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