How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring in Older Homes

How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring in Older Homes


Replacing knob and tube wiring in older homes can seem daunting, but with proper planning and precautions, it can be done safely. Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before the 1940s. While it served its purpose at the time, this old wiring is inefficient compared to modern electrical systems and can pose safety risks. Upgrading to modern wiring is the best way to ensure the electrical safety and efficiency of your older home.

I recently went through the process of replacing the knob and tube wiring in my century home. In this article, I'll share what I learned to help others navigate this project safely.

Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring

Before deciding to rewire, it's important to understand why knob and tube wiring is problematic:

Replacing this outdated wiring clearly lowered the safety risks and limitations in my home.

Dangers of DIY Knob and Tube Replacement

While it's smart to remove old knob and tube, I don't advise DIY electrical work unless you're a licensed electrician. Dangers include:

For safety, compliance, insurance, and peace of mind, hiring a licensed pro is highly recommended.

Preparing for a Professional Rewiring Project

When planning to hire an electrician, here are key steps I took to prepare:

Research contractors

Save up

Make access convenient

Secure valuables

Plan for outages

Taking such preparatory steps made the entire electrical upgrade process smoother.

What to Expect During Rewiring

Once you've selected a qualified electrician and prepared your home, here is an overview of what typically happens:

It's noisy and messy, so temporarily relocating is best if possible. But in the end, you gain a safer, more reliable electrical system.

Maintaining Your New Electrical System

Once your home's electrical system has been modernized, be sure to:

Following basic electrical maintenance and safety practices will keep your new wiring working properly for decades to come!


Replacing outdated knob and tube wiring requires significant effort and expense, but I consider it one of the wisest investments I've made in my home. The peace of mind and safety benefits are well worth it. With proper planning and hiring professional electricians, the process can go smoothly. If your older home still has original wiring, I'd strongly encourage you to look into upgrading for the safety of both your family and your house.