How to Replace Your Home’s Knob and Tube Wiring

How to Replace Your Home's Knob and Tube Wiring


Replacing old knob and tube wiring in your home can seem like a daunting task, but with proper planning and precautions, it is very doable as a DIY project. Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before the 1940s and can pose safety risks due to degraded insulation and improper grounding. By taking the time to educate yourself on the process and following important safety steps, you can help bring your home's electrical system up to modern standards. In this guide, I will walk through all the key steps involved in replacing knob and tube wiring in a safe and effective manner.

Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring

Before jumping into the project, it's important to understand why knob and tube wiring needs to be replaced in the first place. Here are some of the main risks posed by this old wiring method:

So while the wiring may seem to be working fine currently, it makes sense to preemptively replace knob and tube wiring before any of those risks above turn into reality.

Preparing for the Project

Replacing the wiring in an entire home is not something to be approached haphazardly. Proper planning, precautions, tools, and know-how are needed to ensure a successful result. Here are some key steps to take in preparing for a full rewiring project:

Assess Scope of Work

Have Electrical Panel Evaluated

Acquire Proper Materials

Take Precautions

Hire Electrician If Unsure

Removing Knob and Tube Wiring

Once preparations are complete, it's time to remove the old wiring. Take it slow and exercise caution when taking the following steps:

Locate All Access Points

Disconnect Wires

Remove Knob and Tube Components

Check for Hidden Wires

Dispose of Old Wiring

Follow all local regulations when disposing of old electrical wiring and hardware.

Running New Wiring

With the old wiring fully removed, it's time to run updated replacement wiring throughout the home:

Plan Circuit Layout

Run Wiring Through Access Points

Update Electrical Panel

Install New Electrical Boxes

Connect Devices and Fixtures

Label New Circuits

Take care to insulate and secure all connections properly per code. Never splice wires outside an approved junction box.

Wrapping Up the Replacement Project

After all new wiring is installed and connected, there are still some final steps to take:

Seal All Access Holes

Confirm No Stray Current

Schedule Inspection

Turn Power Back On

Replacing the knob and tube wiring in a home with modern wiring greatly improves electrical safety and functionality. Paying close attention to details in the planning, removal, installation, and inspection stages helps ensure a successful project free of any lingering hazards. With some perseverance and care, you can avoid the risks of knob and tube wiring.