How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring in your Home

How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring in your Home

What is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Knob and tube wiring was an early system used to wire homes in the late 1800s through the 1930s. It consists of individual wires that are insulated only by drawing them through porcelain knobs and ceramic tubes.

This old system has become outdated and potentially dangerous due to:

Replacing knob and tube wiring helps make your home safer and up to modern electrical codes.

Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring poses several risks, including:

It is highly recommended to replace knob and tube wiring as soon as possible to protect your home and family.

Planning Your Wiring Replacement Project

Replacing knob and tube wiring is a major project that requires careful planning and safety precautions. Here are key steps to prepare:

Planning thoroughly will help the project go smoothly and safely.

Step-by-Step Process to Replace Wiring

Replacing knob and tube wiring is an extensive demolition and reconstruction process. Here is an overview of what's involved:

1. Turn Off Power and Inspect

2. Remove Old Wiring

3. Install New Wiring System

4. Update Electrical Boxes and Fixtures

5. Inspect and Close Up

The process often takes several days based on the extent of the house rewiring. Take precautions against dust and debris during the work.

Finding a Qualified Electrician

Seeking bids from qualified, licensed electricians is highly recommended for any knob and tube replacement project. Warning signs of an unqualified electrician include:

The best electricians will provide a certified final inspection of their work. This provides peace of mind that your home's electrical system is now safe and code compliant.

Is DIY Wiring Replacement an Option?

It is strongly advised to hire a professional for any knob and tube replacement project except very minor work. Dangers include:

Unlike simpler jobs like adding an electrical outlet, rewiring a home requires specialized skills, tools and licensure for safety. The risk and liability of DIY errors is too high.


Replacing outdated and dangerous knob and tube wiring provides huge safety benefits for your home. Follow proper planning steps, hire a qualified electrician, and take all precautions when undergoing this major electrical project. The peace of mind and safety after replacing knob and tube wiring is well worth the effort and expense.