How to Connect a Leviton Phone Jack

By Finn McCuhil

Wiring a standard phone jack is relatively easy. You strip a half inch of insulation off the red and green conductors and attach them to their respective screw terminals on the backside of the jack. One of the first differences you will notice on a Leviton jack is the absence of screw terminals. This change can be disconcerting for the average homeowner who is not familiar with punch-down connections. Once you know how to make a punch-down connection, installing a Leviton jack is simple.

Things You'll Need

  • Telephone or Cat5 cable
  • Cable stripper
  • Leviton jack
  • Mini punch-down tool (included with jack)
  • Electrician's scissors

Step 1

Remove three inches of the outer insulating jacket from your phone cable. Using a cable stripper will reduce the chance of damaging the inner copper conductors in your communications line.

Step 2

Separate the inner conductors. For standard phone cable, you will be using all four conductors. To make a phone connection with Cat5 cable, use the blue, white/blue and brown, white/brown pairs. These pairs are twisted together in data cable. You will need to separate these pairs and straighten the conductors by pulling them gently between your thumb and forefinger before attaching them to the jack.

Step 3

Hold the Leviton jack in one hand with the modular plug side facing away from you and the small punch-down pins facing up. These punch-down pins are arranged in two rows with a gap in between them. Bring your wires into position by placing them in this center gap. Match the conductor color to the color on the tape directly below the pin.

Step 4

Gently press the conductor in place with your thumb over the matching color slot. Hold the punch-down tool directly over the conductor, and press it firmly into place. The punch-down tool looks like a small plastic fork with two tines. The slot in the middle of the tool allows it to press the wire between the connecting terminals on the jack. The insulating jacket on the conductor is incised by the terminals as it is pushed into position by the punch-down tools to make a tight, permanent connection.

Step 5

Repeat the punch-down procedure for your remaining conductors. Clip the loose ends of the conductors even with the sides of the jack with a pair of electrician's scissors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Leviton phone jacks will have two bands of color codes. One strip of colors is located directly above the other. Follow the color code that corresponds to the type of wire you are using.
  • Using Cat5 cable to wire your jacks will allow you to wire two phone lines and an Ethernet connection in one outlet box with a single cable. The Ethernet connection will be wired with the orange, white/orange and green, white/green pairs.