Knob & Tube Wiring
Upgrading Your Electrical
SAFETY IS AT THE HEART OF EVERYTHING WE DO
Knob and tube wiring will eventually breakdown.
We’ve inspected many Seattle homes that have been wired with old knob and tube but modern wiring. This is extremely dangerous and against electrical code.
- Electrical Demand – With the rise of technology there is a higher electrical demand. Homeowners with knob and tube often overuse and abuse extension cords and power bars. There’s simply not enough power for modern-day living.
- Poor Connections – Problems with knob and tube wire can result from amateurish connections made after original installation
- Weakness – The rubber insulation on knob and tube can become brittle; this usually happens in high heat areas like receptacles, fixtures and switches.
- Old Technology – Homes with knob and tube wiring will likely have two-prong receptacles. Since there is no ground wire, there is an increased chance of shock and injury, especially around water.
- 60 AMP Service – Knob-and-tube uses a 60 amp service, today it is recommended that homeowners use a 200 amp service/ breaker panel.
The History Of Knob & Tube
Knob and Tube was the first generation of electrical wiring ever used. And if your home was built between the 1900s to the 1940s you’re probably familiar with it.
Maybe you’ve had some electrical upgrades since then, maybe you haven’t. What you should know is that knob and tube, although deemed the electrical system of choice back in the day, is not safe by today’s electrical safety standards.
The name “knob and tube” is pretty self-explanatory – it’s named after the ceramic knobs that are used to support the ceramic tubes that encase the wires. The knobs hold the tubes in place as they pass through the wood framing of your home.
One of the biggest differences between modern wiring and knob and tube is that the knob and tube system runs white and black wires separately.
So what’s the problem?
Since the knob and tube system uses no ground wire, there’s no protection when a fault occurs. As a result, you increase your risk of shocks and fires.
Today, these wires are bundled together with a ground wire in a single plastic sheathing cable.
It’s also important to mention that modern wiring is insulated with plastic, while knob and tube use rubber. The breakdown of the rubber insulation, over time, is often a reason to have your knob and tube replaced.