Knob & tube wiring is an outdated method of wiring that we recommend replacing for safety and functional reasons. If you’re in an older house, built before the 1950s, you may have some of this in certain sections of your home. We’ll explain why it’s a problem and suggest replacement options.
Knob & Tube Wiring Basics
If you check out the top of a telephone pole and notice the knobs or cases on the wires, that’ll give you an idea of what knob & tube wiring is like. They first installed it into homes back in the 1880s when electricity was still new, but it’s an outdated wiring system. It involves the use of individual cloth-coated copper wires, held with framing members with porcelain knobs or tubes.
We recommend replacing it wherever it’s accessible, which is usually in attics, garages, and so forth. You can replace it with modern Romex wiring, something that gives you much better grounding and other safety advantages. Older wiring systems feed into electrical outlets with only two prongs, which means there is no grounding wire (the third one on the bottom). This is dangerous and violates virtually every electrical code in the country.
One of the biggest issues is the degradation of the outer sheathing or cloth wrap along the wire itself. Over time, it tends to suffer from dry rot, leaving you with exposed wires. This is most common in attics where the temperature varies from hot to cold as the seasons change in Kansas City.
Owing to its age, it’s not very flexible or durable, either. A lot of times when you bend this type of wiring, the insulation will fall off of it. Therefore, it’s better to leave it alone until you make the commitment to replace it (otherwise, you risk getting shocked).
Should You Get Rid of Knob & Tube Wiring?
They ceased installing the knob & tube variety back in the 1930s or 1940s, but if your home is at least that old, then chances are you have some of it. Should you get rid of it? Well, it depends on how practical the renovation task is, the potential safety risks, and whether it’s cost-effective.
Obsolete wiring, like knob and tubes, is a greater risk in unfinished rooms like basements. When you factor in the possibility of water from a basement flood, it’s easy to see why this would be dangerous. Fortunately, this is also where it’s easiest to access, so Fusion Electric can replace it for you in most circumstances.
Don’t Risk Trying to Take it Out Yourself
Hopefully, this goes without saying, but you should never attempt to remove or tamper with any kind of wiring. This is even more pertinent when we’re talking about compromised insulation. When in doubt, treat this like an exposed wire and contact an electrician for help.
If you’d like further information on this topic, then check out one of our older posts on understanding knob & tube wiring.
Call Fusion Electric for Effective Wiring Services in Kansas City
Fusion Electric can help you replace any faulty, ungrounded, or obsolete wiring systems. If you aren’t sure how to approach the problem, you can schedule a free inspection with one of our representatives, so that they can show you the best options.
We serve home and business clients, and with our wealth of experience, have seen just about any wiring problem you could imagine. That gives our team of trained and certified electricians the expertise to diagnose and solve problems like breaker trips, flickering lights, surges, and more.
Contact Fusion Electric soon to replace knob & tube wiring in your home.