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Home >Blog >The Dangers of Knob & Tube Wiring

The Dangers of Knob & Tube Wiring

  • The Dangers of Knob & Tube Wiring test

Knob & Tube wiring was an approved method of wiring in North America from 1880 to the 1940“s.  It is now obsolete, and is not used for any new construction or work.  However, homes with existing knob and Tube wiring are still plentiful, and homeowners should be aware of a few items if they come across this type of wiring in their home.

To begin, note that knob & tube wiring is not inherently unsafe.  If installed and maintained properly, there should be no issues with it“s service.  However, issues can arise with other modern building practices which can make it unsafe.  Some of them are:

  1. Building  Insulation — Knob & Tube wiring is designed to dissipate heat into open air, so any use of modern building insulation should not be placed near the wiring.  If it is, it can cause in increase in heat retention, and ultimately is a serious fire hazard.  Be sure to keep any existing knob & tube wiring in your home away from any building insulation.  Some insulation, although fireproof, may not be allowed by certain localities, so it“s important to check with your electrician.
  2. Overloaded Circuits — At the time Knob & Tube wiring was in use, the appliances of the day did not demand the amount of electricity that today“s appliances do.  Because of this, many people over the years may have installed larger fuses than the wiring can support, in order to run a new appliance on a circuit.  If you discover and Knob & Tube wiring in your home, it is important to make sure the circuit is running at it“s intended amperage, and that no heat damage has occurred to the wire.
  3. Wiring Insulation — The insulation used to house the copper wire is also a fire hazard.  Over time this insulation can also deteriorate to the point of exposing the wire in an unsafe manner.
  4. Knob & Tube wiring does not have a ground wire.

    Proper maintenance of knob & tube wiring is critical for your safety.  If you discover knob & tube wiring in your home, call Ronco Electric at 732.938.2094 for a no hassle inspection.   We can review your situation and let you know if it unsafe and should be replaced.  Even if your entire home requires a re-wire, this can often be done without the homeowner having to leave the home for any period of time.