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Knob and Tube Wiring - Is It Safe?

Is Knob and Tube Wiring safe?

Knob-and-tube wiring was an early standardized method of electrical wiring in buildings, in common use in North America from about 1880 to the 1940s. 


The system is considered obsolete and can be a safety hazard. 


Some of the reasons you may want to remove your Knob and Tube wiring: 


1) Knob and tube lacks a ground wire, making it incompatible with modern three-prong appliances and devices. This puts electronics at increased risk of damage and your family and home at greater risk for shock and fire. 


2) Since Knob and Tube wiring is so old there is a strong chance for improper modifications over its lifespan. It is often spliced with modern wiring incorrectly by amateurs. 


3) K&T wiring is designed to dissipate heat into free air, and insulation will disturb this process. Insulation around K&T wires will cause heat to build up, and this creates a fire hazard. 


4) Many insurance companies refuse to insure houses that have knob-and-tube wiring due to the risk of fire. Knob and tube is not rated for use in moist environments. It is not recommended for use in kitchens or bathrooms. It can be used outdoors only on a floor that does not receive a lot of moisture. 


If you have installed knob and tube in your home, you should have an inspection to ensure that your wiring is safe. At Spark Smith Electric we can analyze your Knob and Tube electrical system for improper additions or worn-out wiring insulation. 


Here are some things to look for in your Knob and Tube wiring system; 


1) Where the wiring is brittle or cracked, it should be replaced. Proper maintenance is crucial. 


2) K&T wiring should not be used in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, or outdoors. Wiring must be grounded in order to be used safely in these locations. 


3) Do not run an excessive amount of appliances in the home, as this can cause a fire. 


In summary, knob-and-tube wiring is likely to be a safety hazard due to improper modifications and the addition of building insulation. Remember, only an expert can confirm that the system was installed and modified correctly. We are experts at analyzing Knob and Tube systems. 


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