Unless you have an old home that has never been rewired, you don’t need to worry about knob and tube wiring. It was the standard back in the 1950s because the installation cost was relatively low.
In recent times, most old homes have been rewired due to the risks associated with this type of wiring. This does not mean that knob and tube wiring is a ticking time bomb, but replacement is the safer option.
This article will feature all the information you need to know about this type of wiring. We will discuss what knob and tube wiring is, the risk associated with it, and how to maintain it.
What is Knob and Tube Wiring?
This is the type of electrical wiring that uses hot and neutral copper wiring. These wires are run through porcelain tubes and knobs. The knobs hold the wires in place while the tube prevents the wires from touching wood or drywall. This form of wiring is covered in insulation.
It’s easy to identify knob and tube wiring since it’s completely different from modern wiring. With knob and tube wiring, the insulation is black while the knobs and tubes are white. Modern wiring is yellow or white.
What Can Go Wrong With Knob and Tube Wiring?
Many people ask why knob and tube wiring is dangerous. The answer is simple. It’s because of the fact that a lot can go wrong with this type of wiring.
- Low capacity
Knob and tube wiring does not have the capacity to handle the high power demands of today’s homes. This wiring was made when homes did not need to power a lot of devices. With the use of several modern devices such as dryers, washing machines, TVs, and smart home devices, the power demand is so high. Knob and tube wiring becomes overheated because it is working beyond its capacity.
The wires are insulated which means a heat buildup is a major risk. The wires may not get enough space to dissipate the heat since they are covered in insulation.
Just like any form of wiring, there may be need for alterations. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get the proper replacement parts for alterations. Most electricians end up using makeshift parts to complete the job.
- Ground line
Now on to one of the most important safety questions. Can you ground knob and tube wiring? Unfortunately, you cannot, and this is why there is a high risk of fire outbreaks when it comes to this type of wiring.
Ground wires protect buildings from fires caused by electrical issues.
What Can You Do to Maintain Your Knob and Tube Wiring?
Ideally, you should replace knob and tube wiring if you have it in your home. However, rewiring a home is expensive and can take several days. While making plans to rewire your home, you can take these steps to maintain your knob and tube wiring:
- Invite a certified electrician to check if the wiring is properly installed
- Do not run several electrical devices at the same time
- Replace all cracked or brittle wires
What Is the Life Expectancy of Knob and Tube Wiring?
Copper has a life expectancy of 100 years and this type of wiring can last for a long time. However, as time goes on, it becomes worn out and brittle which increases the risks associated with it.
Get Expert Help Today
Do you have knob and tube wiring in any part of your home? It’s best to change it to avoid the problems listed above that are associated with it. Knowing the risks and how to maintain the wiring as you plan to rewire your home means you are prepared and informed. Redford Electric is here to help you with your wiring and home project needs. Call us today for more information or a free consultation at 778-840-2594 or book online.