Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before 1950. While this type of wiring was suitable for the electrical demands at the time, it can become faulty and dangerous as it ages. Replacing the entire electrical system is expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, there are ways to fix faulty knob and tube wiring without a full replacement.

Assessing the Damage

The first step is to thoroughly assess the extent of the damage to determine what needs to be fixed. I inspect each room carefully, looking for:

Quick Fixes

For minor issues, some quick fixes can improve safety without replacing the entire system:

Replace Faulty Outlets and Switches

Upgrade the Electrical Panel

Add GFCI Outlets

Remove Unsafe Wiring

Segmental Replacement

For more extensive issues, I perform targeted segmental replacements:

Prioritize High-Risk Areas

Replace with Modern Wiring

Update One Circuit at a Time

Safety Precautions

When making repairs, I take precautions to work safely:

When Full Replacement is Needed

In some cases, the knob and tube wiring is too far gone and a full electrical system replacement is required. Some signs this is needed:

While expensive, a full rewiring provides peace of mind that your electrical system is completely safe and meets modern codes.


With proper assessment and targeted repairs, you can extend the life of aging knob and tube wiring. Segmental upgrades and safety improvements allow you to avoid the major expense and disruption of rewiring your entire home. However, if the system is too far gone, a full replacement may be required. With the right approach, you can keep your home safe without breaking the bank.