I recently learned about the potential dangers of an old type of electrical wiring called knob and tube. As I researched this outdated wiring, I was shocked by how dangerous it can be. In this article, I will explain what knob and tube wiring is, why it's so hazardous, and what you can do to protect your home and family.

What is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before 1950. It consists of single black rubber or cloth-wrapped wires that are suspended between ceramic knobs and through porcelain tubes.

There are a few key problems with this old wiring method:

Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring

Having knob and tube wiring in your home comes with serious fire and safety hazards. Here are some of the biggest risks:

Fire Risk

Shock and Electrocution Risk

Inability to Support Modern Loads

Signs You May Have Knob and Tube Wiring

If your home was built before 1950, be on the lookout for the following signs of knob and tube wiring:

Solutions for Replacing Knob and Tube Wiring

If you discover knob and tube wiring in your vintage home, I strongly recommend fully replacing it. Here are two options:

Full Rewiring

This involves:

Full rewiring can be expensive, with costs ranging from $8,000-$15,000 for a typical home. But it completely eliminates the hazards of old wiring.


With this quicker solution, an electrician:

Pigtailing costs around $2,000-$4,000 but doesn't remove all the aging wires. Risks associated with deteriorating insulation remain.

No matter which option you choose, hiring a licensed electrician is essential for any knob and tube wiring projects.

Protect Your Home and Family

After learning about the considerable dangers of knob and tube wiring, I highly recommend taking action if it is present in your older home. Replacing this outdated wiring should be a top priority to protect against catastrophic fires and electrical hazards. Though it will require an investment, your family's safety is well worth the peace of mind that modern, safe wiring provides.