Knob and Tube Wiring-Is Your family in Danger

Knob and tube wiring
Live knob and tube wiring throughout this uninsulated attic.

Many older homes in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have old wiring called knob and tube. When in excellent shape, this outdated wiring system is considered safe. Unfortunately, finding knob and tube wiring in good shape is rare. Natural deterioration, rodents and questionable electrical modifications have rendered most old systems a hazard at best.

The picture above shows a typical attic containing knob and tube wiring. Because it needs to be kept cool at all times, knob and tube wiring can’t be covered and therefore must remain in the open so that the heat it generates can dissipate. For this reason, this attic does not contain any insulation. Think about the energy (heating and air conditioning) loss. The only thing separating the conditioned living space and the unconditioned outside air is a plaster ceiling. The owners of this old house are literally throwing money out the window every time they turn on their heat or air conditioning. Additionally, un-insulated or under-insulated attics can lead to ice damming.

For these reasons, we think it prudent to remove this old wiring and replace with modern electrical cable whenever possible. Modern wiring can usually be fished through interior and exterior walls. Some small holes in the existing plaster may be necessary which can be easily patched.

No need to rewire the entire home all at once either. Since the attic area is often where a lot of amateur wiring modifications occur and is also where lacking insulation causes the most problems, rewiring just the attic often reaps the most rewards.

According to the Mass Save Program in Massachusetts and the EnergyWise Program in Rhode Island, adding insulation to your attic provides the most bang for the buck. Think of the benefits, huge energy savings, increased comfort in your home, a reduced chance of ice damming and modern, safe wiring throughout your attic.

At Energy geeks our comprehensive approach is rare in the industry. No need to hire multiple contractors, we take care of the entire process from soup to nuts. Whether it be wiring upgrades, air sealing, attic insulation or ventilation, we do things competently, timely and in a transparent manner. When it comes to safety and comfort “We Do It All”. Our work is guaranteed so you can be confident that the work we do is done right the first time.

Contact us at 401-766-1540 or 508-444-9800 or fill out a contact form on this website.


Master Electrician

BPI Certified

Mass Save Partner-Massachusetts

EnergyWise partner-Rhode Island

Crew Chief Certified

Lead safe Certified

Ventilation Experts