How to Troubleshoot Antiquated Knob-and-Tube Wiring

Knob-and-tube wiring was commonly installed in homes built before the 1940s. This antiquated electrical system features insulated wires that pass through porcelain knobs and are separated by tubes. While knob-and-tube can still function safely, it does not meet modern electrical standards and can become hazardous over time. As such, troubleshooting and upgrading knob-and-tube wiring is an important task for homeowners.

Evaluating Your Knob-and-Tube Wiring

The first step is to thoroughly evaluate your existing knob-and-tube wiring to identify any potential issues or risks. Here are some key things to look out for:

I thoroughly inspected all accessible areas of knob-and-tube wiring, checking for any hazards or deficiencies per the criteria above. I also enlist the help of a qualified electrician to provide their professional assessment.

Upgrading the Electrical Panel

Before making wiring upgrades, it is advisable to upgrade the electrical panel to support additional circuits. Here are key steps to upgrade the panel:

I upgraded my 60 year old 60 amp knob-and-tube panel to a new 200 amp panel following the guidelines above. This provides capacity for additional circuits.

Replacing Knob-and-Tube Wiring

With the service panel upgraded, I can now replace any old knob-and-tube wiring. Here is how I approached the rewiring:

I systematically rewired my entire house circuit-by-circuit to completely eliminate the old knob-and-tube wiring. Each circuit was labeled clearly in the panel.

Testing and Safety Checks

With the rewiring complete, I finished the job by conducting safety checks and testing:

The system passed all safety checks successfully. I also plan to have the work periodically inspected by a licensed electrician.

Upgrading antiquated knob-and-tube wiring requires time and diligence. But the investment in a modern, code-compliant electrical system brings invaluable safety and peace of mind. Let me know if you have any other questions!