Home Garden

How to Run Cable & Telephone Wire

You do not need to wait for the telephone or cable company to run wires through your home. In fact, in most cases, you can run cable or telephone wires with little difficulty. Running new cable or telephone wires will allow you to watch television, talk on the phone and surf the Internet in several rooms at the same time. Ideally, you would plan where all of the wires go before your home is built, but people living in older homes may not have all the wiring they would like. Rather than spend countless hours waiting, consider taking on this home improvement project yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Drill
  • Drill bits of varying sizes
  • Telephone or cable wire
  • Jack box (telephone wire installation only)
  • Wall plate
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    • 1

      Decide where your jack box or cable outlet will be located. This includes both which room you will wire and where the actual jack or outlet will be located on the wall.

    • 2

      Call your utility company to find out where the wire is. Likely at least part of your cable or telephone wire will be underground, and it is important to know where these wires are located outside your home.

    • 3

      Find the place where you are first responsible for the wires. In most houses, there will be a cable or telephone wiring box outside the home. This is where your utility company turns your service on or off. Look for a gray box attached to or near the house.

    • 4

      Test your cable and phone lines to make sure they work before you start the project. If your lines work, at the end of the project you will be able to rule out the possibility that it is a problem originating from the cable or telephone company. If the lines do not work, contact your utility provider before continuing with the wiring project.

    • 5

      Look for the easiest way to run your wires. If you have an attic or crawl space near the place where you would like a telephone jack or cable outlet, use these areas. It is easier to run wire through attics or crawl spaces because you are less concerned about disguising unsightly wires.

    • 6

      Drill a small hole in the wall and look to see what is behind it. If you encounter nothing, fiberglass insulation or spray foam insulation, you can proceed with the wiring project. If you encounter poured cement, you must stop and seek the help of a professional, as you will not be able to complete your project independently.

    • 7

      Create a wall box next to the place your phone jack or cable outlet will be located. Be aware of any studs in your wall, as they will block you from creating a wall box in some places. If you find a stud, simply choose a new location for the jack or outlet.

    • 8

      Drill a hole from your attic or crawl space into your wall box and thread the wiring through the hole.

    • 9

      Connect the wiring to your television or telephone. You may want to install a wall plate over your wall box for aesthetic purposes.