Information About Knob & Tube Wiring
Knob and tube wiring was chiefly used from the 1880s until the 1930s. However, there are some homes that were wired in this fashion even into the 1950s. This method was deemed the best option for electricity usage and loads were limited because there were relatively few electric appliances at the time.
In this method, wires were soldered and spliced together—without junction boxes—inside walls. They were then wrapped with electrical tape. Porcelain knobs were nailed to wood studs and joists, and wiring was rubber and cloth and covered with #14 copper.
Porcelain tubes were inserted in holes with conductors inside. As a result, knob and tube wiring never touched plaster or wood structures inside a home. When the heat was produced by electrical loads or overloads it dissipated in the airspace between partitions and rafters.
By looking at splices and conductors, an electrician can determine the integrity of your knob and tube wiring. If the conductors are dry or bare, or you have stiff or crumbling installation, they must be replaced immediately because they are probably caused by short-circuiting or excessive current, among other reasons.
Should you buy a home with knob and tube wiring? The answer is maybe. If you purchase a home with knob and tube wiring, the general rule of thumb is to have them replaced in 60 days to obtain home insurance. This is also a good time to replace outdated electrical outlets!
Call Randy’s Electric at 612-470-0914 to find out more about how we can make your home’s electrical system not only efficient but also safe.