Knob and Tube Wiring

If you own a home that was built between the 1880’s and the late 1930’s, it is likely that your home either had, or still has, knob and tube electrical wiring. This type of wiring was even used by some contractors until the 1950’s. It is a very old style of wiring that is easily identified by its unusual appearance. It utilizes single wiring strands that are rubber coated. It utilizes ceramic knobs to support the wire, and the wiring runs inside of a ceramic tube (which serves as protective casing) as it passes through the wooden joists, studs, beams, or brick in the home. Therefore,this wiring style is frequently called “Knob and Tube”.

Obviously, this is a very old wiring style, which is limited in its service capacity (usually limited to a 60amp service). Most newer generation homes have a 125 to 200amp service, to meet modern electrical demands. This means that many homes containing “Knob and Tube” electrical systems have become overloaded through the years. This and other factors, pose many safety concerns for the homeowner.

What Are Some Of The Safety Concerns?

  • The rubber insulation can become compromised by age and heat
  • It is an ungrounded system (missing an important level of safety protection)
  • It is usually rated for only a 60 amp service (it is easily overloaded)
  • Improper modifications:
    • How many improper tie-ins have been made through the years?
    • Potential for ungrounded, unsafe, exposed wiring in attic or walls?

Due to the safety concerns involved, many insurance companies will not insure a structure containing “Knob and Tube” wiring, or will charge you a premium price to do so (which should confirm the validity of your safety concerns).

Because of this:

Right Touch Electrical strongly recommends that “Knob and Tube” wiring be replaced. A complete rewire of the home would be the best solution. This is a large undertaking, but it will remove the questions, and provide a huge safety upgrade for your home and family. Check with your insurance company to verify potential savings. The savings could help offset the costs of upgrading your electrical system.

  • Updating the electrical system in an older home is the biggest safety upgrade you can make. Our Home Safety Experts will be happy to assist you.