why do I have a transformer wired to phone system?

weaseNovember 19, 2007

I have two wires that are used coming in off the street (4 total). The other two are not wired. These 2 wires go to a junction block next to the electrical panel. There is a transformer plugged into an outlet there and the two wires from that go to the green wire pairs running through the house. There are actually only two runs from the junction block through the house. One for the upstairs and one for the downstairs. The low voltage is wired to both sets of green pairs. Why is there low voltage running through these lines?

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tom_o

There used to be a phone called a "Princess Phone" (I think) and it was kind of stylish for the time(1960's or 70's). When you picked this phone up, the buttons , which were in the handset, lit up. The power for the lamps was supplied by a small transformer such as you describe.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 8:28PM
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brickeyee

The princess phone supply transformers have all been recalled (many years ago) when they became a fire hazard.
Unplug the transformer, disconnect the wires and throw it out.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 8:39PM
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petey_racer

"The princess phone supply transformers have all been recalled (many years ago) when they became a fire hazard.
Unplug the transformer, disconnect the wires and throw it out."

I did not know this. I still have one of those little grey wall wart transformers (with the terminals) kicking around somewhere.
I remember it has the old "Bell System" logo on it.
I always wondered what they used that for.

Thanks for the info.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:18PM
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joed

It was only a certain brand of transformer that was recalled.

WARNING! IF YOU HAVE A PRINCESS TRANSFORMER MADE BY AULT, IMMEDIATELY REMOVE IT FROM YOUR POWER OUTLET AND DISCARD IT. IT WAS RECALLED BY THE MANUFACTURER (AULT) AND SHOULD BE REPLACED WITH A NON-AULT BRAND TRANSFORMER. HERE IS THE BELL SYSTEM PRACTICE DOCUMENT WITH MORE DETAILS.

http://www.porticus.org/bell/telephones-princess.html

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:29PM
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joefixit2

I remember when I was a kid one of our rich friends daughter got a princess phone for Christmas in her room. Everyone had to go over there to see it light up. I won't say how long ago that was but the Monkees were topping the charts!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 9:30PM
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wease

Yes, this makes sense. This home is a high end lake home so I'm sure the people who owned it when it was built in 1967 had to wire that in.

Just to be clear, I only need the 2 wires to run the phone...right?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 6:16AM
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hendricus

Right. The other wires are for a second line. We did use those for a while, dial-up internet on one line teenagers on the other.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2007 at 7:57AM
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hansonsux

The transformer recall is only for one Ault multi station model. The vast majority are safe. Please do not throw them out without looking as they are desireable to the phone collecting community for lighted dials.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2014 at 6:37PM
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alan_s_thefirst

I'm just thinking how much electricity that transformer has wasted sitting there, powering nothing for decades.

I realise a transformer with no load doesn't use much, but it does add up.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 1:15AM
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