How to Wire a DSL Jack

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DSL subscribers may expect a phone company to install appropriate jacks in their household, but this is not a requirement. It's cheaper to do the wiring yourself, and it's not difficult. Phone lines consist of four-strand wires, including two transmit and two receive frequencies. Newer installations often use Ethernet cables, which still use the same two frequencies but also have extra wires for forward compatibility. A DSL jack is identical to a phone jack, except that the extra transmit and receive wires are connected.


Step 1

Use a knife or stripper tool to gently cut the outer cable's casing and strip the phone cable about 2 inches from the end. Strip each of the four smaller wires as well.


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Step 2

With the screwdriver, unscrew a screw on the jack just enough that the wire will fit in the groove. Note the color label of the screw.


Step 3

Bend the wire of the corresponding color so that it will hook around the screw. A pair of needle nose pliers makes this very easy.


Step 4

Tighten the screw with the screwdriver so that the wire stays in place.


Step 5

Repeat steps 2 through 4 until finished with all four wires. If the jack is a wall jack, screw the wall plate into the wall, and connect either a telephone or a DSL modem to the port.

Things You'll Need

  • Color-coded jack

  • Cat 5 or phone cable

  • Stripper or knife

  • Screwdriver

  • Needle nose pliers


If using an Ethernet cable, the colors on the jack and the colors of the cable will not match up. Instead connect the Ethernet cable's white with blue marks to the jack's green, its blue to the jack's red, its white with orange marks to the jack's black, and its orange to the jack's yellow.


Never work on phone lines during thunderstorms.

It may be wise to disconnect the phone lines at the network interface device in your house. If a call comes in while working on bare wires, it will give you a shock.

Ensure that the bare telephone wires do not touch—this could cause problems with the connections.