How to Tap a Phone Line for Power During a Survival Situation

How to Tap a Phone Line for Power During a Survival Situation

How to Tap a Phone Line for Power When SHTF


In a survival situation, power is one of the most crucial resources. It helps us stay warm, cook food, communicate, and power essential electronics. When the grid goes down during a disaster, finding alternative sources of power becomes paramount. One often overlooked source of power is a phone line. In this article, we will discuss how to tap a phone line for power when SHTF.

Why Phone Lines?

Phone lines carry electrical power along with voice and data signals. This electrical power is typically low voltage but can still be harnessed to power small devices and charge batteries. Tapping into a phone line for power can be a useful trick in emergency situations when no other power sources are available.


Before we dive into the details, it’s essential to mention that tampering with phone lines without proper authorization is illegal. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used to undertake any illegal activities. Only consider utilizing this information in true survival situations or with the consent of appropriate authorities.

Steps to Tap a Phone Line for Power

Step 1: Gather the Necessary Tools

To tap a phone line for power, you will need the following tools:

  • Insulated wire strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Alligator clips
  • A small screwdriver
  • A multimeter

Step 2: Locate the Phone Line

Locate the phone line junction box in your home or the building where you intend to tap the phone line for power. In most cases, it will be located near the main electrical panel or near where the phone lines enter the building. This junction box is where you will gain access to the phone line.

Step 3: Open the Junction Box

Using a small screwdriver, open the junction box. Be cautious not to damage any components or wiring inside. Once the box is open, you should see multiple phone line wires and connectors.

Step 4: Identify the Power Wire

Using a multimeter, set the dial to measure DC voltage. Carefully touch the red probe to each phone line wire and the black probe to a grounding point (e.g., a metal pipe). The wire that shows a voltage reading is the power wire. Make a note of the color or label of this wire for future reference.

Step 5: Strip the Power Wire

Using the insulated wire strippers, strip off a small portion of the insulation from the power wire. Make sure not to strip too much, as this could expose too much of the wire and lead to a short circuit.

Step 6: Connect the Alligator Clips

Attach alligator clips to each end of the stripped portion of the power wire. Ensure the clips are securely attached to the exposed wire, so they don’t come loose during use.

Step 7: Connect to Device or Battery

Depending on your intended use, either connect the alligator clips directly to a device or battery that can accept the low voltage power, or connect them to a power bank to store the power for later use.

Precautions to Consider

While tapping a phone line for power can be a useful survival skill, there are a few precautions to consider:

  1. Low voltage power can be dangerous if mishandled or short-circuited. Always exercise caution when working with live wires.
  2. Be aware that tapping into a phone line for power may affect its functionality. If the line is still in use, it may cause disruptions or damage equipment on the line.
  3. Do not attempt to tap into phone lines during thunderstorms or when lightning is present. Doing so can put you at risk of electrical shock.

My 2 Cents

Tapping into a phone line for power can be a valuable skill to have during an emergency. However, it should only be used as a last resort and with proper authorization, where necessary. Remember, tampering with phone lines without permission is illegal. It’s always better to have alternative power sources like solar panels, generators, or batteries as part of your emergency preparedness plan. Take the time to research and invest in these more reliable and legal options. Stay safe and be prepared!