Replacing a Telephone Jack

Dear NH,
I'm trying to replace a telephone jack. When I removed the old one, the wires inside were only red, green and yellow. There was no black wire. I can't get a dial tone. What do I do now?

I'll bet you do have a black wire, but it broke off inside the heavy insulation that is covering all four individual wires! Trim back the insulation and the wire should be in there! I hope you have enough extra wire in the wall to make it work! While you're at it, trim back all the other wires just in case one of them might have a stress fracture (a break caused by bending) and to give you new, shiny copper for the connections!

Just an additional thought. The black and yellow wires are typically used for a second phone line. The red and green are used for a single line. All modern phone jacks are wired (and color-coded) this way. Thus, unless you are using a two-line phone or someone got "creative" with the wiring, the black wire wouldn't be used.

There is a lot of information on phone connections and various problems in the article at our website:

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