Knob And Tube Renovation/Upgrade
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Knob and tube wiring (K&T) was the original wiring method used from the 1800s until the 1940s.
This wiring system involved stringing individual conductor insulated wires across porcelain insulators called knobs and through other porcelain insulators called tubes.
Is Knob And Tube Wiring Safe?
There are several major concerns with knob and tube wiring:
- This type of wiring is an ungrounded system, which means there is a greater chance of shock or electrocution and damage to sensitive electrical components.
- Knob and tube wiring is pretty old - at least 62 years old - and in many cases has deteriorated, cracked, or has missing insulations, which can lead to electrical fires.
- Knob and tube switches and receptacles are not CSA approved. What’s more, in many cases, the contacts are loose inside the device, which makes for a poor electrical connection - and poses a fire hazard.
- It’s not uncommon to find newer wiring improperly connected to knob and tube wiring by DIYers. That can result in dangerous conditions such as shock hazards, reverse polarity issues, switched neutrals, overloaded neutrals, fire hazards - and many more.
Knob And Tube Replacement
If you still have knob and tube wiring in your home, we recommend rewiring the entire house. Any other solutions - such as eliminating it only where it’s visible or installing GFCI outlets, for instance - are just temporary.
Although installing GFCI outlets might be acceptable to the ESA, they may not work in situations where you have shared neutrals, which, by the way, are pretty common in homes with knob and tube wiring.
Although it’s a considerable project that could take anywhere between one and three weeks, the complete rewire of your home is the best long-term solution for knob and tube wiring. Also, keep in mind that a full rewire will add substantial value to your property.
If you own a home with knob and tube wiring and you’re concerned about the general safety of your electricals, please give us a call and arrange an assessment.