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What Is Knob and Tube Wiring?

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

What is Knob and Tube Wiring? You might know that some older homes built back in the 1960s through 1970s have aluminum wiring. Aluminum wiring has plenty of disadvantages for your home, so what about a wiring method that was used throughout the 1880s to 1940s? Knob and Tube wiring can be noticed in your basement or attic by seeing wires running through tubes inserted in wooden floor joists and knobs to keep the wires secure. You won’t be finding these in newer homes, but if you decide to own a heritage-style home, you’ll have to keep an eye out for the type of electrical wiring installed in your home. Many insurance companies don’t want to cover houses with knob and tube wiring because of the high risks of fire hazards. You may need to call for an electrician from Super Electric of Reno and Sparks to switch out your electrical wiring.

Risks of Knob and Tube Wiring

There are a number of problems that can arise from having knob and tube wiring on your property. Being aware of these problems can help you take certain precautions against them. Perhaps being educated about the risks can allow you to upgrade your wiring as well. If you feel the need for a change of wiring, call an affordable electrician to help you out.

  • Insulation – Knob and tube wiring requires open space to cool down. Covering wires with insulation can cause serious problems and be dangerous. It would cut off air circulation needed for cooling the wires, which would consequently create a potential fire hazard. Additionally, if moisture were to get captured between the covered wires with insulation, it would again have a risk of creating a fire.

  • Overuse – Knob and tube wiring was installed back in the days when there were fewer appliances being used at once. In today’s time, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, and other appliances can cause the system to overheat. The wiring method was modeled to support a certain amount of energy and relying on it now can be a bad idea.

  • Alterations – Even if you consider upgrading certain parts of your knob and tube wiring, the changes made will have a risk of backfiring on you. It can be difficult to have alterations on such an old wiring system, making it less guaranteed to have it properly modified.

  • Damage – Because the wiring method is out of date, it is normal to have an increased risk of getting damaged. A crack on the tubes or sagging wires can be problems you’ll have to deal with. Saving yourself time and energy by upgrading to a better, more efficient wiring system is the best option if you have knob and tube wiring on your property.

We’re Here to Help Owning a heritage-style home can be just as much a struggle as it is a delight. Luckily, Super Electric of Reno and Sparks is here to save you from electrical issues that can get in your way of enjoying your home. If you notice that your wiring is knob and tube, call us so our professionals can deal with the upgrading process. It’s better to be proactive and identify potential problems than to wait around for more hazards to pile up.

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