I recently learned about an antique wiring method called "knob and tube" that could be a fire hazard in older homes. As a homeowner, I wanted to understand the risks so I could protect my family and property. Here's what I discovered about this strange and dangerous practice:

What Is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before 1940. It gets its name from the knobs that hold the wires apart and the tubes that protect wires through framing members.

This type of wiring consists of:

The key problems with knob and tube wiring are the lack of a ground wire and the deterioration of the insulation over many decades. This can lead to fire risks.

Why Knob and Tube Wiring Is Dangerous

There are several reasons why knob and tube wiring presents safety issues in older homes:

I spoke with a few local electricians who confirmed they consider knob and tube wiring a serious fire hazard and won't do any work on it except full replacement.

Signs You May Have Knob and Tube Wiring

Here are some signs that a home may have original knob and tube wiring:

I checked my basement and attic and unfortunately found knobs, tubes, and cloth wiring confirming my house still has its original hazardous wiring.

Dangers and Risks of Keeping Knob and Tube Wiring

Here are some of the biggest risks my family faces by keeping the antiquated knob and tube wiring:

The more I learn about knob and tube wiring, the more anxious I become about the safety of my family. The risk of an electrical fire is unacceptably high.

Safer Alternatives to Knob and Tube Wiring

The only truly safe options involve completely replacing the old wiring:

I plan to have my entire house rewired to eliminate all traces of knob and tube wiring. Though costly, protecting my family from fire is well worth the investment. I urge other homeowners to take steps to address this strange, outdated wiring method before disaster strikes. Don't take chances with potentially deadly knob and tube wiring lurking in your walls.