telephone wiring removal and cleanup
We currently have our telephone service thru our cable provider and a cable modem box in our basement storage room. I'd like to refinish the room and close off the ceiling (the house is built in 1940). The telephone wiring is a mess in that room. There are wires junctioned with loose tape three different places in the room.
Additionally in our front hall we have the original termination from western electric mounted on the baseboard with 2 cables running along the hall - one apparently into the original kitchen mounted wall plate which we no longer use and the other goes into the baseboard probably into the basement. I'm getting the hall repainted and i want to remove whatever wires i don't need as the kids are already snagging on them and pulling them loose (and also they are ugly).
So i've pulled off the cover to the western electric box and disconnected one of the cables (goes into baseboard probably to basement) and as far as i can tell it has no effect on any phones in the house.
The other cable has black, yellow, red and green wires and only when i disconnect the red do the phones not work. it seems flakey. This is from the cable that goes into the plate where the old kitchen was (best i can tell - it goes into the wall just above the wall plate).
There is also some other wires in the western electric junction box that apparently were for the ringer (?).
So my questions are:
1) Why would it need one wire (red) at this junction box to operate all the phones in the house? It doesn't make sense to me.
2)Is there a ternination box that i can buy and mount in basement to clean this mess up and allow us to finish the basement room ceiling?
3) Is there a tool to check "liveness"? Some of these wires go no where I'm sure.
I'll try to take some pictures but looking for suggestions on an approach.