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This FAQ text is copyright dslreports.com
Reproduction of all or part only with our permission..
This FAQ is edited by: KeysCapt See Profile, MacGyver See Profile, HiVolt See Profile
It was last modified on 2009-05-04 22:01:13

1.0 Introduction

What is Inside Wiring?

Inside wiring is all the telephone wiring inside a residence that is the responsibility of the building owner. Generally, the point that defines where the telephone company's responsibility ends and the building owner's responsibility begins is called the demarcation point or NID.

For CLEC provided DSL (ie, DSL through Covad, or Northpoint), it is the process of taking the line from the drop, where the telco left it, to a socket on your wall.

This may involve running new lines at your premises, but this process is no more painful than adding another phone extension.

For ADSL, inside wiring is handled by the Telco as part of the whole install deal. Where the Telco and the CLEC must cooperate with wiring, there can sometimes be extensive delays and difficulties, none very technical, usually a lack of coordination.

For older apartment buildings, there may be much bigger problems. If there are no spare pairs available for non-Telco DSL, new wires may have to be run in the building, adding to the expense, time delays and trouble.

What is the Demarc / Demarcation Point / NID?

The demarcation point (or demarc or Network Interface Device (NID) for short) serves several purposes:

•It is the point that defines the end of the telephone company's wiring, and the beginning of your wiring.
•It defines where the telephone company's responsibility for maintenance ends, and your responsibility begins.
•It contains a surge suppressor to help protect the wiring and connected equipment in your home from damage
•It allows you to temporarilly disconnect your wiring from the telephone company's wiring for troubleshooting purposes.

Generally, the demarc is located on the exterior of your home in a grey or black box. Sometimes the demarc may be inside your home in the basement if you live in an older home. If you live in an apartment or condominium, the demarc is usually located in the main telephone room, although in some buildings it may be located in your suite, behind a blank outlet cover plate or in a closet or utility room for example. If you live in a townhouse, the demarc may be located in a common cabinet outside at the end unit.

Maintenance of the demarc itself is the responsibility of the telephone company.





More photos available here:
»My demarc????
Bell Canada Demarcs

Will fixing my wiring really make that big of a difference?

In some cases, YES!

Here are some examples of individuals that were able to vastly improve the performance of their DSL service simply by doing some simple repairs themselves:
»Bad wiring story...
»[HSE] I've conquered what I thought was never possible!
»low snr
»DSL problems (long)
»Is Bell Obligated to Provide me Demarcation Outlet?

2.0 Inside Wiring

Detailed Homerun Instructions

Installing a home run with an ADSL splitter eliminates many of the "what if's" involved with troubleshooting an ADSL line. The home run itself insures that there is a clean path for the ADSL signal from the NID/splitter to the ADSL modem. The splitter isolates all the pre-existing IW (inside wiring) and CPE (customer premise equipment) from the ADSL signal and prevents any interference to the ADSL signal that could be caused by the CPE or undetected pre-existing problems in the IW.

The actual task of installing the home run/splitter combo, in most cases, is a straightforward simple job (at least for those of us who do it for a living and have the experience and tools needed). As for the rest of ya, that's what this guide is all about.

Before starting the actual installation, let's go over some of the tools and materials you will need to install your home run.

To begin with, you should have a basic set of hand tools that includes a minimum of the following:
  • Safety glasses
  • 3/16 inch flat-blade screwdriver
  • 1/4 inch flat-blade screwdriver
  • Side cutters or combo cutters and strippers designed to work with 24 gauge solid copper wire
  • Claw hammer
  • Drywall or similar handsaw
  • Stud locator

In addition to the above, you should have the following tools and accessories on hand:
  • A six-foot stepladder
  • 3/8 inch hammer-drill (a battery powered drill is a plus)
  • 3/16 inch x 4 inch masonry bit
  • 3/8 inch x 18-inch masonry bit

Note: If your home construction is wood frame or is a pre-fab building, substitute a 3/8 inch combo-wood bit for the masonry bit. If your home is pre-fab or manufactured and has aluminum siding, then add a couple of 7/64-inch high-speed steel drill bits. (If you're real good with hand tools, an awl makes a much better pilot hole than a drill bit in a metal wall.)

The materials you will need:

  • An ADSL splitter
  • A roll of CAT3 or better, two or more pair, 24 gauge solid conductor cable long enough to run from the NID to the jack for the ADSL modem.
  • 1/4 inch clamps

    Note: Black plastic UV (ultra violet) resistant straps may be used, but will not last as long as metal straps (plus the plastic straps have a nasty tendency to pull loose from the mounting screws over time). If using plastic straps, do not use the clear, white or translucent straps, as the suns ultraviolet light will quickly break down that type of strap. To determine the number of clamps needed, multiply the number of feet of cable you will be supporting by three.

  • A box of 1/2 or 5/8 inch rings
  • A tube of DAP or similar latex based sealant
  • A box of gel-filled wire connectors such as 3M Scotchlok UR or UY connectors
    »solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/e···W8FB2Ngl

  • A modular phone jack

    Note: You may want to purchase a two port jack and use one port for your dedicated ADSL connection and the other for your regular dial-tone. If installing a wall mounted jack on an interior or non-concrete block exterior wall, purchase a backbox, aka an old work box, for the jack, as it is a real labor saver.

  • 2 number 10 x 1 inch pan head sheet metal screws (SMS) for mounting the splitter. If you intend to mount the splitter on a masonry wall, add 2 number 10-12 plastic anchors and a 1/4-inch masonry drill bit to your shopping list.

  • Number 6 x 1 inch pan head sheet metal screws (SMS) in a quantity to match the number of plastic straps, plus a dozen more for good measure.

    If your home is of block construction, add 10 plastic anchors for number 6-8 screws to your shopping list. Be sure to buy the type that will work with your 3/16-inch masonry drill bit.

  • A couple feet of 1/8-inch fish tape or a straightened out stout wire coat hanger
  • A dozen or so of 8 inch black UV resistant Ty-Raps

    If this will be a basement or an attic run, the following would be nice to have:
  • An old pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt
  • Particle/dust face-mask
  • A pair of disposable cover all's
  • Gloves
  • A real good flashlight

Planning the installation:

First, determine the general area where you would like the ADSL jack to be installed and then, depending on the construction of your home, decide exactly where the ADSL jack will be installed. There are many factors that will determine the final location of your ADSL jack, with the primary one being how many problems are between the NID (network interface device) and the desired jack location and how many of those problems you are willing and able to overcome.

There are three practical ways to get the IW from a NID to your modem:

An outside the home wire run (aka a ring run)
Through the attic
Through the basement or under a pre-fab home

Since working safely through a crawl space or attic is beyond the scope of this FAQ let's stay with one of the simplest jobs: the "ring-run". This is an IW run on the outside of a building from the NID to a jack, which will be installed on an exterior wall of a room.

Before starting the work, survey the exterior walls of your home to determine how and where you are going to run the IW from the NID to the desired ADSL jack location. Plants and bushes (especially those with thorns) can become problems, as well as screen enclosures and storage sheds. Where aesthetics are of a primary concern, always consider running the cable along the sides and back of your home, away from the street.

Once you have decided where you will install your ADSL jack, the first thing you need to do is drill a hole through the wall of your home for the IW.

Before starting this task, check the area where you intend to drill this hole very carefully, both inside and outside your home. Be sure to watch out for anything that might present a hazard such as water, sewer and gas pipes, electrical wires and conduit, cable TV lines and so forth.

Getting Started:

If you're installing a wall mounted jack at outlet height, measure the distance from the floor to the center of one of the electrical outlets in the room where the jack will be installed. This will give you a reference for the height of the jack so it matches the rest of the outlets in the room.

Before opening the wall, determine the locations of the studs if working with an interior wall, or the furring strips if opening an exterior wall with block construction. Once that is completed, pick a spot for the jack a few inches away from any stud or furring strip then make a small mark at that height on the wall where the ADSL jack is to be installed. This is where the hole to the outside will be drilled.

Working from inside the room and drilling outward, using the correct 3/8 x 18 inch drill bit, drill a hole either at the top edge of the baseboard for a baseboard jack or where the wall is marked for a wall jack. The hole should be drilled at approximately a 15-degree downward tilt toward the outside of the wall. The reason for the tilt is to prevent water from tracking inside the home along the IW.

If installing a wall mounted jack with a backbox:

First, make sure the location is not over a stud, though it is a good practice to locate the backbox adjacent to one for added strength. Once you know the location is good, use a pencil and the supplied template or the backbox itself held against the wall and reasonably level trace a line around the template or box.

Using the drywall saw, cut out an opening slightly undersize of the tracing. Place the backbox against the hole and enlarge as needed to allow the box to be pushed into the wall.

Once the opening is cut to the correct size, set the box aside until you have finished fishing the IW.

Fishing the IW:

Place a short fishtape into the wall and "fish" it through to the outside. Be sure to place a bend or kink in the fishtape on the inside to prevent it from being pulled too far outside while you are connecting the IW to the tape.

Installing the drive rings for an outside wall run:

For practical purposes, the drive rings for a ring-run should be installed under the eve against the wall of the home. They can either be driven into the bottom of the fascia board where they will be supported by the rafters/trusses, or into the wall where the studs are located. ***Note: If attempting to install drive rings on a concrete block wall, it is best to pre-drill 3/16 inch holes with a masonry bit, place plastic anchors and drive the rings into the anchors.

The drive rings should be installed every three feet on straight runs and no more than twelve inches from a corner. At the corners, protect the IW from damage by applying at least two layers of friction tape or four to six layers of standard electrical tape to the IW where it will contact the corner of the building. In lieu of taping the IW, a short section of plastic tubing can be slipped over the IW to provide the same level of protection.

Running the IW:

To conserve time and labor, pull in the IW working from the NID through the drive rings as they are placed to the jack location. When running on the buildings wall, always keep the IW behind other cables and pipes, if possible, without pinching the IW. Avoid running parallel to PVC (plastic) electrical conduit or romex. If that is not possible, maintain at least 12 inches of clearance for the entire run. Though it may be temptingly easy, do not tie-wrap or fasten the IW to any type of electrical conduit or fixture.

At the jack location, place your last drive ring on the fascia board approximately 9 to 12 inches short of the jack location, then place another drive ring on the wall 3 inches short of the hole you drilled in the wall for the IW, approximately 3 inches down from the fascia board. Then run your IW through these drive rings and tie-wrap the IW to the lower ring. From this point down, hold the IW so it is perfectly level and still 3 inches from the hole you drilled. While holding the IW in place, mark the wall inch to the left of your IW, then every 18 to 24 inches for the placement of your straps with the lowest strap being level with the hole you drilled. Finally, make one more mark a couple of inches lower than the hole and halfway between the wire and the hole. This is done to form a drip loop at the bottom of the IW, further precluding wicking of moisture into the home where the IW enters. Once that is completed, use the appropriate drill bit to drill a hole for each strap. If the wall is of masonry construction, insert a plastic anchor flush into each hole. Secure the IW with straps and move on.

Note: If the vertical run is in a high traffic area (lots of little fingers going by) or can get weed-whacked, a plastic U-Guard, or its ugly cousin, a stick of PVC conduit can be used to provide additional mechanical protection for the IW.

Trimming out:

Now that the IW is run, it's time to trim it out at the jack.

Start by stripping off approximately eight inches of the IW's jacket and conductor insulation. Thread the stripped conductors halfway thru the loop in the end of the fishtape, fold the conductors over on themselves and wrap them around each other to prevent them from pulling out of the fishtape as you pull it through the wall.

From the inside of your home, carefully pull the fishtape and IW through the wall until you have all of the slack pulled out of the IW from the outside, then cut the IW off the fishtape. Go back outside and make sure all of the IW is now pulled into the house and, if not, correct.

Mounting the jacks:

Wall mounted jacks on interior or non-concrete block outside walls:

Route the IW into the old work box and tap the box into the hole you cut for it. Tighten up the wings on the box to secure it to the wall.

Wall mounted jacks on outside walls:

With exterior concrete block, there will not be enough room between the backside of the drywall and the block to install an old work box without chipping out the block, which I am not going into. So what you can do is install a Caddy ring or similar device to support the jack.

»www.erico.com/products/CADDYcfcM···tllc.asp

Using two number 6 x 1 inch SMS screws, fasten the back box or mounting ring in place.

Baseboard jacks:

Remove the appropriate knockout from the base of the jack, so it will not be damaged and fasten the base of the jack to the baseboard with two 6 x 1 inch SMS screws.

Wiring the jacks:

Very carefully strip off eight inches of the IW's jacket and then separate the four pairs, but do not untwist the individual wires that make up the pairs.

How the IW will be connected to your ADSL jack is dependent on the following variables:

Single port jack ADSL line only:

Wire Colors

IW to JACK

Either color to color or white/blue to green and blue/white to red

Dual port jack ADSL + dial-tone:

IW to JACK

Port one either color to color or white/blue to green and blue/white to red

Port two, either white/orange to white/blue and orange/white to blue/white or white/orange to green and orange/white to red

Connecting the IW to the jacks:

Before starting to work with the Scotchlok connectors, read the instructions on the carton! Once the connector is closed it is not reusable. As they are not cheap, you will want to get it right the first time!

Following the color code above, take one of the pairs from your IW and one of the pairs from your jack, twist the two pairs three or so times together and trim off the ends about an inch from the twist. Un-twist the conductors of the pairs, match up the colors and place a connector making sure that the wires are fully inserted into the connector (visible through the clear side of the connector) and close/crimp the connector (most will make a snap indicating the connector has been properly closed/crimped). If using a multi-port jack, repeat the above steps until all pairs have been connected.

If using a wall jack, carefully push the excess IW into the outer areas of the back box or into the hollow space between the drywall and the outside wall of the home. Place the jack into the mounting ring and fasten it in place with the supplied screws.

Then carefully close up the jack.

Congratulations! Your inside work is completed. Take a well deserved break and then well move on to the outside work.

Heading back to the NID:

Installing the Splitter:

Locate a spot adjacent to your NID to install the splitter. Using the 10 X 1 1/4 inch screws, secure the splitter to the wall. Run your home run IW into the splitter. In most cases, it can be tie-wrapped to the existing IW's running to the NID. As mentioned before, avoid tie-wrapping it to anything electrical. If you cannot use the existing IW's, use the same process as used to secure the vertical run of the IW at the jack end.

Wiring the Splitter:

Open the NID and locate the wiring for your ADSL line. If you only have one line in your home, this is easy. If not, refer to the FAQ section of this forum for more information on how to identify which line is which.

Once you have identified the correct wiring, unplug the entrance bridge network jack cord from the test jack.

Carefully make notes of where each wire is connected to the EBN before disconnecting. The goal is to not reverse the connections on any of them. Normally, the colors are what one can go by. ***Note: I said normally! I have seen wires in NID's that had no colors at all. Keep the ones on the right and left or top and bottom together and you will avoid any problems when it comes time to tie things back down.

Now that you have made lots of notes of how the wiring was connected, disconnect all the wires from the EBN of the ADSL line.

Run a jumper made from your IW between the NID and the splitter. Be sure to leave at least 18 of IW to allow for proper splicing and service slack. Secure this IW within the splitter, using a Ty-Rap. ***Note: The term service slack means storing an additional amount of the pair within the NID or splitter while maintaining the twist in that pair to allow for re-termination without replacing or splicing the IW.

Remove the jacket of the IW to within inch of the Ty-Rap. Separate the pairs and, starting at the top of the splitter with the w/bl, followed by w/o and w/g pairs, press them into the back of the splitter and up to the binding posts. Try to build in as much service slack as possible without creating a rats nest of wiring. Terminate the w/bl pair on the network terminals; likewise terminate the w/o on the voice and the w/g on the data binding posts.

Wiring the splitter to the NID:

As within the splitter, secure and strip the jacket off the IW.

Connect the w/b pair from the splitter to the binding posts that the existing IW was disconnected from. If the removed IW was under more than two binding posts, be sure to tighten all unused binding posts. Failing to do so can result in line noise.

Using the appropriate connectors, connect the o/w pair from the splitter to the IW/IWs that were removed from the EBN and if so, wired to the o/w of the home run.

Using the appropriate connectors, connect the w/g from the splitter to the w/b pair of the IW of the home run.

Clean out the NID, reinsert the modular plugs into the EBN(s) and close up the NID.

Connect your ADSL modem to your new jack, cross your fingers and pull sync! Happy surfing! You worked for it.

This FAQ entry by Splitpair See Profile

Installing a homerun in a condo/apartment with an INI (Inside Network Interface)

Procedure written by Splitpair

**Important Disclaimer**

Before you attempt any physical changes to your apartment of condo, please contact the property managers or owners. Any work or changes may be a violation of your lease.


Installing a home run using the existing IW (Inside Wire).

In order for this to work properly, three items must be present. You must have an Inside Network Interface (INI) installed, there must be an existing jack where you want to connect your ADSL modem and there must be a spare pair of wires in the cable between the INI and that jack.



The first thing to do is determine where the telephone service enters your home. This is the point where the Telephone Company installed the INI. Common areas are kitchens, hall closets, laundry rooms, and bedrooms.

Note: Not all apartments have an INI (or it may not be accessible). If you do not have an INI, you will need to have one installed by the Telephone Company, as locating and separating the incoming lines from your inside wiring is not within the scope of a DIY project.

DISCONNECTING & REWIRING THE INI

Before doing any rewiring, check all the jacks in the home to be sure all are in good order. Its not uncommon to find a jack that is out of service and its better to know this before rewiring, rather than finding it dead after the work is done and trying to figure out what went wrong.



Disconnect the feed to the subscriber side of the INI by removing the modular cord located on the bottom of the INI from its jack. Completely remove the plug from the jack to prevent it from creeping back into the jack on its own.

Using a flat blade screwdriver, remove the two screws holding the cover and then remove the cover.



Inside the INI you will find your IW in the lower section which I will refer to as the subs side of the INI, and the Telcos wiring in the upper part. Do not access or do any rewiring in the upper Telco section.

Make careful notes of how the wiring is connected and then disconnect all the conductors from the subs side of the INI.

Open up the standard wall jack where the ADSL modem is to be installed by removing the faceplate screws and then carefully removing the jack from the wall. Disconnect the IW from the jack and strip off a small amount of insulation from the end of the first pair (w/bl or r/g) and attach your ohmmeter or buzzer to this pair.

Now at the INI, short (that is, connect together the two wires that make up the pair) one pair and only one pair of your IWs at a time until you see the short (zero or nearly zero ohms) on your meter or the buzzer sounds. Once located, mark the IW and/or clearly separate it from the other IWs as two pairs from this IW will be needed to give you the homerun with splitter install, while the other IWs will be bridged to the voice side of the inside splitter at the INI.

Disconnect the meter or buzzer.

FINISHING THE INI CONNECTIONS



Start by connecting the w/bl - bl/w pair of the IW you located to the ring and tip binding posts of the INI.



Tighten securely and then using the ScotchLoc connectors, connect the w/o - o/w to the other IWs you removed from the EBN.



Dress the wires back into the INI and replace the cover, but DO NOT reconnect the modular cord at this time.

INSTALLING & CONNECTING THE INSIDE SPLITTER

At the desired location of the ADSL Modem, remove the mounting ring of the disconnected jack and set it aside.



Connect the w/bl - bl/w pair to the network terminals of the splitter and then connect the w/o - o/w pair to the voice terminals.



Then dress back any remaining pairs to prevent shorts or grounds and carefully push the inside splitter into the wall box and fasten in place with the supplied hardware.



Reconnect the modular cord at the INI and test for sync at the ADSL jack on the inside splitter. Also, dont forget to check all the other jacks in your home for dialtone.

Swapping Inner and Outer Pairs on an RJ-11 Wall Plate

Some modems and routers require a signal on the "outer pairs" instead of the "inner pairs" of an RJ-11 jack. You can use a line swapper or you can rewire your wall plate as shown. Note: If you rewire the wall plate as shown you will not be able to use most standard equipment that requires the "inner pairs".


Schematic by Andy Houtz

RJ-11/RJ-14 Wall Plate Jack Wire scheme

Standard RJ-11/RJ-14 Wall Plate Jack.


Schematic by Andy Houtz

Bell Canada's Inside Wiring Guide

Filtering at the demarc

bylo See Profile offers a how-to on how to filter at the demarc.
»Demarc split

3.0 Trouble Shooting

Some causes of Inside Wiring trouble

Some things that can cause inside wire problems, (and you'd probably notice them on voice calls as well) are:
  • poor splices or taps
  • loose connections to outlets anywhere in the house
  • corrosion
  • abuse from furniture, pets, etc.
  • mis-wired connections
Any grounding will cause a problem (you'd hear a bad hum).

Other devices (fax machine, telephones, answering machines, etc.) can also cause a problem.

The line cord you use to connect the modem to the phone jack can also be a problem.

If the phone wiring in the walls is routed parallel (alongside) electrical wiring, this is almost a certain cause of poor lines. Even running a phone wire alongside an electrical wire for a short distance of 5 or 10 feet can make a huge difference in the potential performance of your DSL line. Ensure that telephone wiring is run AWAY from electrical wires, and if a crossing between the two is necessary, then do so at right angles.

More things to check

Here are some more steps you can take to check and isolate any inside problems:
Try a different line cord from the modem to the phone jack.

Unplug all other phone devices on the line. If performance changes, plug them back in one by one to isolate the problem. To verify it is a particular device and not the jack or the wire to the jack, plug the problem device into another phone jack, and check its line cord.

In some cases, EMI (electro-magnetic interference) may make its way into your phone wiring. Sometimes it's as simple as re-routing the line cord from your modem to the jack.

Testing Your Phone Service at the NID/demarc

Testing Your Phone Service at the NID (Network Interface Device)




Schematic and picture by Andy Houtz


NOTE: Your demarc may look different from the pictured model, however the purpose of the demarc is the same.

  • Unscrew the Network Interface cover at the Customer Access point with a screwdriver and open.
  • Disconnect modular plug from test jack. If you have more than one line, select the test jack for the line that is causing the problem. This disconnects your inside wiring from phone company's line.
  • Wait one (1) minute, then insert plug from a telephone set you know is working. You are now plugged directly into the phone company line.
  • Try the telephone. If problem still exists, it is in phone company's lines. Contact your phone company repair service.
  • If problem is gone, you have trouble on your inside wiring, equipment, jacks or remaining telephone sets. Contact your phone company, a contractor or someone else, or make the repairs yourself.
  • Once you have finished your test, disconnect your testing telephone and securely re-insert the original modular plug. Close the cover and screw the fastener down until the cover is snug and tight.


If your NID/demarc does not have jacks inside of it, you can temporarily connect a baseboard wall jack with a short piece of wire to the terminals inside, and connect your modem that way.

Troubleshooting inside wiring guide