How to Safely Replace Old Knob and Tube Wiring in Your Home

How to Safely Replace Old Knob and Tube Wiring in Your Home


Replacing old knob and tube wiring can be a daunting task, but it is an important safety upgrade for homes built before the 1930s. Knob and tube wiring lacks a ground wire, leaving you vulnerable to electrical fires and shocks. With proper precautions, you can safely upgrade to modern electrical wiring on your own. In this article, I will walk through the complete process of replacing knob and tube wiring, from assessing your existing wiring to installing new circuits. My goal is to provide all the information you need to safely take on this project.

Assessing Your Existing Knob and Tube Wiring

Before beginning any work, it's important to understand exactly what knob and tube wiring you have and where it's located in your home.

Locating All Knob and Tube Circuits

Considering the Condition of Existing Wiring

Mapping Out All Affected Circuits

Developing a Replacement Wiring Plan

With all the information gathered on your existing wiring, you can now develop a full plan for replacement.

Choosing a Main Approach

You have two main options for how to replace old wiring:

Consider how comfortable you are doing electrical work, your budget, and the condition of your old wiring when choosing.

Deciding on Circuit Layouts

Selecting Components like Panel and Wire

Budgeting Time and Costs

Safely Working with Live Knob and Tube Wiring

When ready to start your project, safety has to be the top priority when working around live wiring:

Turning Off Power and Verifying

Wearing Protective Equipment

Being Extra Cautious of Old Wiring

Following these critical precautions will help ensure you can work safely around old knob and tube wiring.

Running New Wiring Circuits

Once properly prepared, it’s time to run the new wires that will replace the old:

Routing and Mounting New Wiring

Making Connections

Installing New Devices and Fixtures

Labeling All New Wiring

Carefully running new, labeled wiring according to code is crucial to the long-term safety and usability of your rewired home.

Removing Original Knob and Tube Wiring

Only once all new wiring is installed should you completely remove hazardous old knob and tube:

Disconnecting Old Wiring at Devices and Panel

Pulling Old Wiring Out

Ensuring All Wiring is Removed

Disposing of Wiring Properly

Double check that every last inch of knob and tube wiring is removed and disposed of responsibly. This finishes the job!

Wrapping Up Your Replacement Project

Once all new circuits are energized and old wiring removed, there are just a few final steps to wrap up:

Repairing Walls, Attics, Basements

Testing All New Circuits

Finalizing Permits and Insurance

With that, congratulations - you now have a home fully upgraded with modern, safe electrical wiring! I know the process takes patience and care, but the peace of mind and added property value make it well worthwhile.