How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring

How to Safely Replace Knob and Tube Wiring

Overview of Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before the 1940s. This type of wiring consists of individual wires that are run through the walls, attics, and crawl spaces. The wires are supported by ceramic knobs and tubes.

While knob and tube wiring was suitable for the electrical needs of older homes, it can be dangerous by today's standards. The insulation on the wires becomes brittle over time, leading to exposed conductors. In addition, knob and tube circuits are often overloaded as homeowners add more electrical devices over the years. This can cause the wires to overheat, increasing fire risk.

For these reasons, it is usually recommended to completely replace knob and tube wiring. In this article, I will discuss the steps involved in safely replacing this outdated wiring.

Dangers of Knob and Tube Wiring

Before detailing the replacement process, it's important to understand why knob and tube wiring can be so hazardous:

Replacing knob and tube wiring entirely eliminates these risks and brings the home up to modern electrical safety standards.

Planning the Replacement Project

Replacing knob and tube wiring is a major project that requires planning and preparation:

Taking the time to properly plan the project will help ensure it goes smoothly and safely. Rushing into a knob and tube replacement may compromise the quality of work.

Hiring a Qualified Electrician

Only experienced electricians should attempt to replace knob and tube wiring. When hiring an electrician:

Taking your time to hire the right electrician ensures the very delicate and dangerous task of knob and tube replacement is handled correctly.

New Wiring Installation

Once you've hired an electrician, the wiring replacement process can begin:

Removal of Knob and Tube Wiring

Installation of New Wiring

Electrical Panel Upgrade

Finishing the Project

Once the new wiring installation is complete:

Replacing hazardous knob and tube wiring requires time, budgeting, and hiring the right electrician, but it eliminates the risk of electrical fires. For long-lasting peace of mind, contact an electrician about knob and tube replacement as soon as possible.