Knob and tube wiring (K&T) was an early method of wiring in buildings commonly used in North America from about 1880 to the 1940s. This system is considered obsolete and can be a safety hazard.

Energy Geeks can remove Knob and Tube wiring from your attic.
0% interest Heat Loans for wiring upgrades may be available for qualifying homeowners.

Facts About Knob-and-Tube Wiring

  • Most of the dangers from this system arise from it’s age, amateur modifications and situations where insulation is in contact with or covers the wires.
  • This system does not have ground wires and therefore can not safely accommodate three prong plugs.
  • It is not permitted in new construction.

Problems Associated with Knob-and-Tube Wiring

  • Unsafe modification is very common with this type of wiring when compared to newer wiring because the K&T wiring is so old that more opportunities existed for improper modifications.
  • The insulations that encases the wiring can be a fire hazard.
  • It may stretch and sag as it ages.
  • It does not have a ground conductor. Grounding conductors reduce the chance of electrical fires.
  • In very old systems the wire may be insulated with varnish and fiber materials that are susceptible to deterioration.

K&T wiring needs to dissipate heat and therefore any insulation that comes into contact with or covers the wiring may create a potential fire hazard.

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