Telephone junction box ground wire?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Ian Gills, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I just replaced the telephone junction box inside my house (not the one outside).

    The old original junction box from the 1950s had no lid but had a mysterious ground wire that runs to my water pipe.

    There is no place in the new junction box to put the ground wire.

    Do junction boxes inside the home for phones need a ground wire any longer?

    Obviously the box outside has a ground.

    I wonder if this has a ground because main boxes used to be inside the house? Does anyone know?
  2. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Not for sure, but that would be my guess.
  3. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    ground

    In the "old days" the phone did not work properly if the ground was loose or missing.
  4. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Thanks hj and Lee. I take it I can disconnect it then from the water pipe? The 'old' phone wires (snipped on the old "junction box" looked rather heavy gauge. I wonder how much current/voltage used to run through the old phone system.

    I found what looked like small fuses in the terminals of the old box as well.
  5. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

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    Those small fuse things are gas discharge lightening protection. I believe they needed that ground wire.
  6. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    With the newer ground in place, that sounds right to me.

    My wild guess would be that the older wires were heavier because of their different composition and/or over-engineering rather than more current or whatever. But, maybe older ringers with those big bells and clappers needed higher amperage!
  7. alternety

    alternety Like an engineer

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    You might want to ask the phone company or look in the outside box. You said you just replaced the inside one. What you may have there is the wire tiepoint outside and then going to the inside box. That box inside would then be the point (demarcation is I believe the term) where wire and equipment changes ownership. The wire leaving that box is yours; the box and wire entering the box belongs to the phone company.

    Unless they have moved the demark point to the outside, you should not fool with the inside box. Have the phone company fix it if it bothers you.
  8. snafflekid

    snafflekid Electrical Engineer

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    Can you describe the outside box more clearly. If it has a test jack on it, then it is a modern demarcation point. It sounds like the company added this and left the old junction rather than remove it. My guess is that you are ok to remove it, but that depends if the outside box is in fact a demarcation point.

    The ground wire is used by a lightning arrestor in the junction
  9. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Thank you everyone. The outside box does have a jack on it and is grey and plastic. It also has a ground wire.

    The inside box was not really a "box" but a station protector. It looks similar to the one on the far left and has no lid. The incoming phone wires from the grey box outside are joined at the bolts on the station protector.

    A (seperate to the one outside) ground is linked to the center terminal and runs to my water pipe.

    [​IMG]

    Is it needed?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2007
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