In the 20th century, there was a method of electrical wiring called knob and tube wiring. Knob and Tube wiring can be easily defined as a single conductor hidden system where the electricity is brought from 60 amp service to different areas of the house. It was the most common wiring technique in 1990’s. In order to know if an old house possesses this knob and tube wiring, check the basement and loft. These ceramic knobs and tubes can also be hidden in the walls. If hidden in walls they can be seen only if holes are made into walls.
Knob and tube wiring consists of insulated copper conductors which are placed in walls or ceiling and are passing through porcelain insulated tubes. They are provided support with porcelain knob insulators. These wires are protected with a flexible cloth or rubber insulation when entered into a switch or lamp. Porcelain tubes are fitted where the wire needs to cross through a joist. Obtaining insurance houses that possess Knob and Tube Wiring is also difficult. The rules are different for knob and tube wiring in different countries. But for new constructions, there is no permission to install this technology.
When compared to modern wiring technology, the knob, and tube wiring costs less and is very less damage resistant. Over the time the cost of labor for the knob and tube wiring was more than the cost of materials and this made people prefer modern wiring technology. The Knob and tube wiring should not be exposed to moisture. So this wiring contained insulation with additives which oxidize copper. House owners unknowingly get problems from the knob and tube wiring. Sometimes people encounter problems with knob and tube wiring due to modifications were done by the unprofessional electricians. Only licensed electricians should be hired for modifying knob and tube wiring in the house.
Reasons to replace the knob and tube wiring:
- The knob and tube wiring use rubber for insulation. This is the reason for overheating and mechanical problem. They do not provide good security for the house, and they should be changed.
- Copper wire used in the knob has a high diameter, and this will be useful for the flow of electricity. But these are placed many years before and may also not have proper servicing. So it is better to have a change from knob and tube wiring.
- In knob and tube wiring technology, there exist only two wires that are hot wire and neutral wire. You will be surprised to know that there is no ground wire. This may lead to earthen in the ground and may often have short circuits and shocks.
- When this knob and tube wiring system was found, the electric appliances used then were in need of very low capacity like toasters, iron box, coffee maker. But in the present world there comes many appliances which need high electric capacity like television sets, washing machines, air coolers, refrigerators, ,
- On knob and tube wiring, there exists rubber insulation, and this can break in high heat areas. The knobs may be present in walls or in the basement or on the roof. If there is a break, then the entire house will be in danger.
- The knob and tube wiring have a tendency to expand and bend as the time passes.
- If the existing knob and tube wiring get older, the insurance companies also do not come forward to provide insurance with the house because there exists high rate of risk. Companies will provide insurance for the houses if the firm wishes to replace knob and tube wiring.
If a house has a knob and tube wiring, it is not necessary to replace it. House should be inspected manually. In order to replace the knob and tube wiring, it is important to know what the present condition of the wiring is. If the knob and tube wiring of the house does not have any issues and if you wish to replace the wiring, then the best optional time to replace is at remodeling of the house. It is not preferable to appoint a normal electrician for the replacement. An expert should be given the work as this is not the same as changing the modern wiring and it needs experience and knowledge.
An electrician should find the problem of knob and tube wiring before it destroys the house. The replacing of the knob and tube wiring may cost you more but having an unsafe wiring is more dangerous. Before appointing an expert for replacing the Knob and Tube wiring, it is required to take estimation cost and compare with other experts also. While replacing the knob and tube wiring the house should be clean and in many cases, there is no need to move to other house at the time of replacing. At the time of replacing the house owner should be aware that the electrician needs to put holes in the walls to find them and pull circuits.