What's Knob And Tube Wiring — And What Should You Do About It?

There is a lot to appreciate about living in an older property. Many homeowners will inform you there is a definite charm and sense of history which you cannot get from newer homes. Apart from their sentimental and nostalgic allure, older houses can bring yet another edge — they had been built to survive. The simple fact an older home is still standing strong and ready to be lived in is a testament to the quality of building and craftsmanship that went into creating it.

But despite these many benefits, there is one important consideration which you need to make in the event that you now reside in an old home or whether you are thinking of moving into a single — and that concern is older electrical wiring, like knob and tube wiring.

Now’s electricity demands are much more than when older homes were constructed. The wiring in older homes is more inclined to get overloaded and overheated, and this also presents security hazards that may endanger the insurability of your home. That is why it’s essential to understand what is knob and tube wiring also what type of wiring is presently installed in your old home and think about whether replacements or updates have been in order.

What’s Knob and Tube Wiring? How Does This Operate?

If your home was built before 1950, it probably uses knob and tube wiring, also called “K&T.” So just what is this old timey wiring together with the funny-sounding name?

Well, first, knob and tube wiring utilizes two cables — one “hot” cable and one neutral wire — to provide the home’s electricity requirements. Unlike modern wiring, old knob and tube wiring includes just hot and neutral cables, but no ground wire (more about this later).

The hot and neutral wires are installed individually and retained at least a couple inches apart to permit the ambient air to absorb the warmth coming off of their wires. This differs from modern wires which are often installed side by side.

The 2 wires are encouraged by ceramic “knobs” and “tubes” — thus the name for this kind of wiring.

The knobs help fasten the cable parallel to the wooden joists from attics, basements, and interior walls. They also function as a pivot point to change the management of this cable, and to prevent the cable from touching the wooden framework of the home.

The tubes are ceramic sleeves which protect any cable that has to run via joists or different parts of the framework of the home.

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