My phone/dsl system was installed with a CAT5e cable run to a central blue electrical box. The feed line was there connected to the four other cables that ran to the jacks in the house by crimping them all together with wire connectors.

I assume this was done by the builder or maybe Centurylink at some point. House was built in 2006.

I want to know if this is a reasonable practice to wire the rest of my basement or if there's a better way to connect the jacks to the utility box outside (patch panel or...)

I understand that I'm only going to be using one of these connections to hook up my router, but I wonder if the other wires that are not being used will cause any significant interference or problems with my internet connection.

It would be ideal to run a single cable to my modem location, but I want to maintain the flexibility of being able to put he router in different rooms and I want to keep the land line option intact.

Thank you

1 Answer 1


Yes, wire connectors, or multiple wires per screw terminal, are common for telephone connections. It's unlikely the wiring you have will cause problems for your xDSL signal. I wouldn't suggest re-configuring it until you try to activate your service and determine if you get satisfactory speed. That way, you have a baseline reference before adding any jacks for your basement.

If the cable is CAT5e and connectors are RJ45, you could even use those for hard-wired Ethernet with the appropriate connectors. In a larger home, that can be an advantage for multiple wireless access points, hard-wiring media streaming devices & game systems, etc.

For the above reason, you might think about re-terminating the cables with RJ45 connectors if you ever decide to put an Ethernet switch where the cables are simply wire-nutted together today. You can wire up a small RJ45 patch panel as an ad-hoc splitter for continued telephone use (if anyone ever uses those again) or there are RJ45 splitters.

  • Thank you for the quick response, Jeff Wheeler. I have the DSL service already running in the house, just need to add new jacks to the new basement and trying to just reroute and use the same cables for upstairs. Not only running cables to extend DSL/phone but also running new coax jacks for Comcast, but I understand that running splitters is the way there. Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 18:03
  • So, now I'm wondering if there's a limit to how many cables I should connect together with wire connectors? Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 18:23
  • For telephone connections, you can pigtail two wire nuts together if you feel you have too many for the type of nuts you've got. Alternately, buy a surface-mount phone jack with screw terminals, put it in the area where all these splitters are right now, and crimp spade terminals onto each cable, then just screw them all down neatly. The big home improvement chains carry spade terminals. This won't allow you to re-purpose the cables for Ethernet without re-terminating them, though; that's why I suggested a RJ45 patch panel wired as a splitter as one alternative you might consider. Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 18:40

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